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ROAD TEST: VW CC 2.0 TSI DSG
I've always had mixed feelings about these so-called 'four-door coupés'.
They're not really coupés but by sedan standards they are rather good to look at.
Problem is, they're disproportionately expensive. The Mercedes CLS, for instance is a lot dearer than the E-Class it's based on, ditto for the 6 Series Gran Coupe, which is really just a 5 Series in drag.
Why do we have to pay so much more for style? It's not like it costs them a lot more to make a car look better. And why couldn't they just make an E-Class or 5 Series look more like the CLS and Gran Coupe?
Sure, rear headroom would be a problem with those coupe-like rooflines, but then Jaguar got it right with its XF and surely the estate versions can cater for those planning to carry back-seat Frankensteins.
I'll present the same argument for VW's 'poor man's CLS', which is the subject of this test. It's based on a Passat and it looks a whole lot sleeker and more interesting - so why do we need to have a CC and a Passat then? Oh, right, VW can make more money on a CC.
At R395 950, the CC 2.0 TSI DSG costs ten grand more than the Audi A4 with the same engine and almost 70K more than a Passat, albeit with a bigger engine and more spec. Nonetheless, the CC is still an interesting prospect for those that want to stray from the default Audi/BMW/Merc flock.
We've already established that the CC is very easy on the eye, even though it's looking a little generic after that facelift, and the remaining good news is that it is a solid performer.
Its 2-litre direct injection turbopetrol engine, the same one that powers the Golf GTI, musters 155kW at 5300rpm and 280Nm from 1700rpm. Despite being saddled with 1480kg worth of bulk, it pulls like a Boeing and does so with smoothness and grace. Fittingly, the twin-clutch automated DSG makes its moves quickly, gently and at the right time.
It's a real cruiser, this.
The ride is comfortable and the handling neat but the steering is not going to give you too much in the way of excitement through the hairpins.
To describe the interior I could really just cut and paste an extract from a previous Passat road test. So once again, I can tell you about the neat design of the dashboard, its soft-touch surfaces and beautifully stitched leather seats that wouldn't look out of place in an Alfa Romeo.
The CC's also spacious enough to swing a tiger in and there's ample leg-stretching capacity in the rear but, as it is with these coupe-inspired sedans, headroom could be an issue. I'm about average in size and my hair just about tickled the roof lining when I sat in the back. If you've got teens to haul around, a sudden growth spurt could mean no Father's (or Mother's) Day card for you next year.
Heated and foldable mirrors, rain and light sensors, cruise control, 300W sound system, dual-zone climate control as well as front and rear park assist. You'll pay extra for things like electric seats, panoramic sunroof and parking camera, as well as things that should be standard at the price, such as navigation and Bluetooth.
An interesting, elegant and comfortable alternative to the usual default sedans, although it doesn't quite rise the occasion when it comes to overall value for money.
VW CC 2.0 TSI DSG - R395 950
ALTERNATIVES (click links for more info)
Audi A4 2.0T SE (155kW) - R390 000
BMW 320i AT (135kW) - R380 539
Citroen DS5 THP 200 Sport (147kW) - R395 500
Mercedes C200 AT (135kW) - R398 500
Volvo S60 T5 Excel (177kW) - R400 200