Until the VW Arteon fastback came along, the Volkswagen CC was arguably the most attractive car in the German carmaker’s local lineup. Thanks to its combination of curves, a sloped roofline and frameless windows, this pretty number easily makes the rest of its siblings (especially the boxy Touran and Sharan MPVs) look rather square.
The CC, however, was never considered a stirring drive, even in range-topping Sport guise. Hoping to change everyone’s impression of this, VW Singapore has replaced the CC Sport with the supposedly more dynamic CC R-Line.
Compared to the CC Sport, this R-Line variant is distinguished by its more aggressive grille, new front bumper and side sills, and larger 18-inch rims (the CC Sport had 17-inch wheels). The sporty treatment continues inside, with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and special door tread plates that feature R-Line lettering.
More useful, however, are the standard ventilated seats (which do a great job of keeping your back dry) and Dynaudio-branded hi-fi, which sounds better than the standard Volkswagen audio system. For added convenience, the CC R-Line’s Park Assist function comes with a rear-facing camera.
All this added kit is welcome, but under the bonnet where it counts, the CC R-Line is no different from its predecessor. Power comes from the same turbocharged 2-litre engine, with an output of 210bhp/280Nm.
Performance, then, is on a par with the preceding CC Sport. Despite the lack of initial responsiveness, acceleration is brisk enough for most drivers, with the slick dual-clutch gearbox hastening the process. But given that this is an R-Line variant, the lack of added oomph is a bit disappointing. An upgraded exhaust system that produces deeper vocals should have been included, at the very least.
What is welcome, though, is how this swanky number continues to handle like a refined cruiser. With the Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) left in Normal mode, road undulations and nasty speed bumps are easily dealt with. It’s best to leave the system in this setting as Comfort is too soft, while the stiffer Sport mode makes the ride bumpy but doesn’t improve handling.
That said, the CC R-Line’s problem isn’t its lack of added performance – the real issue is that it’s been mislabelled. It would’ve been more apt for VW to have badged it as the CC Comfort instead, since all the nifty additional equipment has done is make it a cushier and more complete model.
This article was first published in November 2013.
Volkswagen CC R-Line 2.0 (A)
ENGINE 1984cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 210bhp at 5300-6200rpm
MAX TORQUE 280Nm at 1700-5200rpm
GEARBOX 6-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-100KM/H 7.3 seconds
TOP SPEED 240km/h
CONSUMPTION 12.8km/L (combined)
CO2 EMISSION 182g/km