Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line

While busy tapping away at the computer, trying my best to fathom out a spreadsheet from the sales department the desk begins to vibrate and the disco tones of my phone broke the silence and train of thought.  Expecting as is so common a squeaky voiced sales rep trying to sell offers on credit cards that apparently benefit you “Cough, Cough”, I was surprised.

Well it most definitely wasn’t a sales person. What it was, was the requirement to review a car for YallaMotor.com. It can be a difficult task to pull out of the bag a car that does not get the notice it deserves and is different in some shape or form.  The sort of cars that slip through the net and don’t get the praise they so rightly warrant.  Suffice to say again YallaMotor.com does not disappoint. I had been asked to collect a Peoples Car, the newly refreshed Volkswagen CC 3.6 V6 4Motion range topper.  Ok stop there all those that know the car and are thinking of the relation to the once Leader of Germany, Hitler. That’s the past and this car is the now and future, let it go. You could say that this car had been manufactured for the UAE, it fits in so well with the business lifestyle of the country. 

Style

The CC has not really changed over the years since its introduction in 2008 but as with all German cars they tend to evolve with the consumer rather than smack you in the face with new versions and models, lest ofcourse any secondary sponsored tuner gets hold of the cars.  You get the impression the car has been sitting quietly at the back of class taking notes. The older Passat still shows its presence in the car but unlike the old Passat the CC takes the practical look and feel and opens a can of elegance making it the most distinctive Volkswagen in the fleet.  It’s kinda got up fresh after a good sleep, had a good breakfast, ironed a shirt and gracefully caresses its way onto the streets and highways of the UAE with some confidence. The style is in truth pioneered by Mercedes: see the lower roof and no window sashes.  The silhouette of the car has an undisputable elegance and it stands out from the crowd. Even amongst the Volkswagen family this car shows it to be one step ahead on the catwalk.  Coupe actually means two door and just as the Mercedes CLS does, this also comes with two doors extra to challenge the norm.

Interior Material and Finishing

Right then, you’re sat down and your eyes are looking for the comfort in CC (Comfort Coupe). Hands start rubbing the leather seats, firm and extremely well put together while accommodating.  Adorned with pleats on the lower and back parts of the seat and having a firm and comfortable feel. The Dash and surrounds emulate the elegance of the exterior with smooth flowing lines. All said the interior has very good finish, with minimal use of plastics. Switches and dials don’t wobble in your fingers and have a firm luxury movement.  Of an evening the car will give you  quite a pleasant light show.  The headlights go through a setup to calibrate themselves for use and on the inside there is a multitude of dash lights. In the door cards much like some of the prestige models on the market you will have the gentle glow of down lighting also seen on the passenger side of the dash.

Interior Space and Visibility

Surprisingly this car has a Tardis like feel to it. Like Dr Who you’ll open the door and the space jumps out. The roofline is low on this car and it deceives the eye into thinking that all will be compact within but it’s completely the opposite.  The CC gives plenty of room for both front and the rear travellers, lest ofcourse for the taller amongst us. Those with a height around 6 feet plus may be close to touching the roof lining.  That said the front seats have a submarining function which allows greater flexibility for taller people.  The rear seats are bucketed but visibility is thus reduced for the taller. 

Visibility on the whole is quite low from a driver perspective. Front and sides are fine but you cannot rely on the rear view and side mirrors.  If you are quite used to driving two seats you’ll understand what I mean.  Driving a sports car requires a certain amount of classes taken with Yoda to understand and use the force. Add that to the daily traits of drivers in the UAE and you would be better having a radar screen from an Apache helicopter highlighting all cars around you.  The CC has a small rear screen, which also curves out at each side and has the added intrusion of headrests. Add this to the viewable range of the side view mirrors and you can actually loose approximately 20 metres either side of you.  That’s a full articulated truck, which is quite a blind spot. Now hopefully you have passed your Force training with Yoda and you will be fine but you will find yourself consistently (as you should do) turning around to check if anyone is present before making a move. 

Interior Technology and Options

There is plenty of techno on this car. It is certainly moving with the times.  The usual premium car standard equipment includes the 6 way adjustable memory electric seats; indash touch screen radio system setup to 8 speakers is standard on all CC models. An Aux socket is in the centre console arm rest, electric mirrors and parking sensors.  The multi-function steering wheel has controls to operate most of the basic functions of the entertainment /media system as well as the on-board computer settings.  On a safety point, I did like that the on-board computer could only be operated when the car is stationary. Nice little touch! The standard models are given 17 inch wheels, the GT gets 18 inch. 19 inch wheels are also available as optional. I was quite intrigued by the boot function. We quite often get that scenario where you get to the car and you would rather not put the bags down.  You do what you can to grab the key from your pocket or handbag then to drop them on the floor. Well this fancy little innovation allows you to keep hold of your bags.  The key uses proximity detection. So when you’ve reached your car and you just wave your foot under the centre of the back bumper, hey presto the car winks at you with the high level brake light and pops the trunk.  Simple idea and very useful.

This V6 4 Motion had the optional DVD touch screen SatNav/radio system with ‘Dynaudio’ sound pack, which in this case was also connected to the optional rear reverse camera that sits snugly under the badge. The system was relatively simple to operate giving clear instruction. The sound was crisp and clear.  If you have a Bluetooth phone the system will integrate with this to give a much safer driving environment.  The seats have the option of being heated just in case it gets cold in the UAE.

Overall the cabin keeps in tune with the CC label.  You will not be disappointed at the end of a long highway trip. You’ll exit the car feeling as fresh as you were when you got in. Levels of refinement are definitely alongside the class leaders.

Safety Features

The car is going to keep you on the road and in the car no matter what. All round airbags line the interior from front A frame to B pillar curtain and the obvious steering and front passenger. Door side impact protection, ABS (Anti-Lock Braking),EBD (Electronic Brake distribution) and ESP ( Electronic Stability Program ) with EDL ( Electronic Differential Lock ) and ASR (Anti Slip Regulation).  This car has got everything covered; it has almost as many computers as the Pentagon.

Power and Transmission

In this review I am looking at the V6 4 Motion model.  It is stated that the car has 298Bhp, a very respectable amount of power and you’ll be thinking that the car will go like a rocket.  Well let’s just say this, the car goes but it does not give you that bum forced into the seat feeling. The torque level of the car is 258lb ft on tap; showing that the car has been designed again to keep comfort in mind. Plant your foot and the car surges with poise and great stability. The assistance of the DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) gear box, 4 Motion 4 wheel drive system and the adaptive chassis all help to propel the car with grace and comfort.  I had no wheel spin or noticeable torque steer.  It is told that the car will do the 0-100kph in 5.6 seconds. As for me I made the run four times and near qualified the same speed every time.  I made two runs in normal drive and comfort suspension and two runs with Sport suspension using the paddle shift.  The results were not as expected. The car is claimed to be able to reach 100 in 5.6 seconds. I used a level straight road and planted it every time.  There would be a small 1 second pause as the car thought about it and it took off! First run in comfort mode the CC reached 100 in 7.23 seconds. On the second run 7.18. Third run with sport mode and Paddle shift was 7.02 seconds and the fourth 6.86. I have driven some fast vehicles and have normally come very close to the figures stated in the spec. This is almost one and half seconds slower than the book figure of 5.6 seconds.

Handling and Suspension

The CC judges the road well in normal mode generally soaking up the bumps and ruts that can be commonly found in many parts of the UAE.  Highway miles just disappear with ease.  There is a definite difference in the car when choosing between the Normal/Comfort mode and the sport mode. 

I chose a particular bend, ok not many of them here but I found one away from the general highways but I found one. Anyway this bend if following it to the left has a slight opposite camber.  This I thought may challenge the car a little given that the weight of the car will want to push right and with the extra help of the slight opposite camber the car may tell me more about itself.  

Being the owner of a 2003 Passat this bend has been taken at the speed of 60KPH. The Passat was not too keen on it and is not as fruitfully loaded with the latest technology that the CC states will keep it on the road.  Sport mode selected I went for what was comfortable not knowing what the car may do. I came into the bend at 110KPH.  The chassis hardly moved, the front left wheel skipped a couple of times and the steering with its electro magnetically weight adjustment started to feel like a PlayStation wheel with force feedback.  It stayed firm though, poised and when getting to the apex accelerated with no spin. Suffice to say that in the hands of a race driver I estimate he may have done the same bend at about 130kph.

Braking

UAE roads can be dusty, sandy and not as well built as the roads of Europe.  What better place to test the brakes.  I chose a couple of back roads that where rough or a little dusty to test the brakes.  I gave the stop watch to my wife warned that I was about to stamp on the brakes and not to drop the stop watch and got the speed to 100kph. ‘WOW’ it surprised me. The first road was dusty.  With standard steel brakes the car came to a halt in 3.18 seconds.  You could feel the brakes skipping under the braking system and the car was trying to pull left and right but it stopped a lot quicker than I expected.  Second road, now this was a little rough to the surface, enough to be able to hear the tyre noise. Again the car surprised me.  Almost bouncing at the front the car came to a halt in 2.83 seconds.

Verdict

The CC really does not have any direct rivals, the closest being the Mercedes CLS. If to put anything close we would be looking at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C Class and possibly the Alfa 159.  The types of people driving these cars are sitting in the area of possible purchase of the CC.  There are so many reasons why you should buy this car and the fact that it’s the best looking of all noted, is one of them.  The CC is a fine smart casual cut price version of the Mercedes CLS and not so buttoned up as the rivals. 

Prices & Specs: 2014 Volkswagen CC

Comparison: Volkswagen CC vs Mercedes CLS

Images:

Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line
Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen CC 3.6 R-Line

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