The VW CC is now available in distinctive Black Edition trim. Is it worth the extra money over the regular R-Line model?

What is it?

If you were hoping for a new or even mildly refreshed version of the CC, then be prepared to wait a bit longer. Rather than an update, this Black Edition model gets more standard equipment and a few visual tweaks inside and out.

Spend a little more cash over the regular R-Line model and you get gloss black door mirrors, window surrounds and grille along with a sunroof and heated front seats. Manual or DSG dual-clutch automatic gearboxes can be had, but engine choices are limited to the ubiquitous 2.0 TDI with either 148bhp or the 181bhp of our test car.

It may not be a massive change, but it should be enough to keep potential buyers happy until a new model is revealed. The CC is pricier and less practical than the standard Passat saloon, but more than 300,00 have found homes since the model’s introduction in 2008. Time to find out if it’s still worth considering.

What's it like?

As you’d expect from such a mild makeover, there are no surprises with how the CC gets down the road. The 2.0-litre diesel offers a sizeable slab of low and mid-range torque that makes reasonably brisk progress easy. Push towards the top end and the power predictably tails off, as you’d expect.

The problem with all that easily accessed twist is that sometimes the front wheels get overwhelmed. You might get VW’s XDS electronic ‘diff lock’, but it can’t aid traction like a good old-fashioned mechanical limited-slip diff. Nail the throttle from a standstill and you’ll experience noticeable torque steer, squealing front tyres and a flashing traction control light.

A set of 18in alloy wheels comes as standard, although our test car had optional 19s. They might look good and fill the arches convincingly, but they don’t do the ride any favours. Even with the adjustable dampers set to Comfort, it’ll crash and bang its way through potholes, while expansion joints thump through the cabin.

It’s not particularly pleasant in Comfort either; there’s a fair amount of float and wallow from the body, which isn’t appealing. Normal mode sorts this with no real loss of ride comfort, but Sport takes things too far.

In Sport, roll may be resisted well and it feels more agile, but you feel most imperfections in the road’s surface. Cornering may be improved, but it’s never fun or involving. Push beyond the high levels of grip and you find lots of safe and secure understeer. A lift will tuck the nose in, but that’s about it.

As for the steering, the weighting is well judged but it’ll never tell you what the front wheels are up to. Overall, then, it’s too over-wheeled to play the comfy cruiser and too sensible to ever truly thrill. 

Inside, the cabin feels sturdy and upmarket in isolation but is starting to show its age when compared to similarly priced cars. It’s also dark - very dark. Lashings of black leather, a black headliner, dark tinted rear windows and lots of carbonfibre trim makes it gloomy for those up front and borderline oppressive for anyone in the rear.

Speaking of those in the back, the CC may get two additional doors when compared to traditional coupés, but practicality still takes a hit. The swooping roofline eats into rear head room and makes entry harder. At least the boot is sizable enough for a couple of bags of golf clubs.

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Should I buy one?

Ultimately, the Volkswagen CC is a car best enjoyed at a relaxed pace. With that in mind, this particular variant is hard to recommend. The pace provided by the 181bhp TDI is tempting, but you can’t ignore the cheaper running costs of the 148bhp variant, especially with 80% of sales going to business users.

We would also stay away from the 19in wheels of our test car. They improve looks, but it isn’t worth the uncompromising ride we experienced. If you must have a CC R-Line, then the Black Edition does make sense for the extra kit you get - but stick to 18in rims. Ultimately, however, we would still wait for the new model.

Volkswagen CC R-Line Black Edition

Location West Sussex; On sale Now; Price £33,485; Engine 4 cyls, 1968cc, diesel; Power 181bhp at 3500-4000rpm; Torque 280lb ft at 1750-3250rpm; Gearbox 6-spd dual-clutch automatic Kerb weight 1607kg; 0-62mph 8.1sec; Top speed 144mph; Economy 56.5mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 130g/km, 26%

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winniethewoo 10 May 2016

Isn't this car built on the

Isn't this car built on the B6 / PQ46 platform with roots in 2005? Its ancient! Even older than Fords EUCD platform that most of the Volvo range is based on. Poor show.
Lanehogger 11 May 2016

winniethewoo wrote: Isn't

winniethewoo wrote:

Isn't this car built on the B6 / PQ46 platform with roots in 2005? Its ancient! Even older than Fords EUCD platform that most of the Volvo range is based on. Poor show.

It is indeed based on the previous generation (B6/B7) Passat launched in 2005. Although the CC came out in 2008, it still makes it very old but I'm sure VW will probably be launching an all new model based on the current Passat.