Review: 2013 Volkswagen CC R-Line – Go Ahead, Do a Double Take.

2013 volkswagen cc r-line

TFLcar missed the initial introduction of the VW CC back in 2009.  Here is a chance to get to know the refreshed 2013 Volkswagen CC in a special R-Line trim.  What is this four door coupe all about?  Read on to learn more.

STATS Starting Retail Price As Tested Price HP / Lb-Ft
2013 Volkswagen CC R-Line $33,020 $33,020 200 / 207
EPA Rating MPG As Tested MPG
Rating: BUY IT!  21 / 32 Combined 25  26.3

First Impressions

The 2013 Volkswagen CC is face-lifted after four years on the market.  Not that it was a bad looking car to begin with.  This refresh moves away from the round shaped lights, and switches towards angular and more masculine design.  And what a looker!  This attractive sedan can get you noticed.  And what is that on the inside?  A 6-speed manual transmission.  Wahoo!

2013 volkswagen cc r-line 2014 tail rear


Volkswagen updated the front and the rear of the 2013 CC, but left the profile and the interior alone.  Up front, you get new trapezoidal headlights with Bi-Xenon HID lamps and VW signature LED running lights.  Yes, the headlights swivel while cornering at lower speeds for improved visibility at night.  The sporty oriented R-Line model adds a more aggressive and larger lower grill and round fog lights.  The R-line brings standard 18-inch Mallory alloy wheels that are eight inches wide and provide a good contact patch to put down the power.  More good news in the back.  There you can find a sexy aerodynamically shaped trunk lid and large tail lamps with now familiar Volkswagen “hockey stick” design.  These subtle design updates should appeal to more guys, but still get the girls to notice.

2013 vw cc r-line 2014 interior dash steering wheel
Interior of the updated CC is generally unchanged, and why mess with a good thing?  The interior combines classy and sporty design elements.  Aluminum trim looks and feels high quality, as do the seats and other materials.  Driver seat is comfortable, supportive, and has plenty of head room (I am a bit taller than 6’2”).  The four door coupe style means there is much less headroom in the back, but there is still decent amount of leg room, and you can theoretically put three people across the rear seat.  I found out that CC can fit kids perfectly.  The child and booster seats for my two and five year olds fit just fine, and the little guys had plenty of room.  Feel free to use this argument with your wife.  Did I mention this sedan has a 6-speed manual?

If I was to change one thing about the interior, it’s the now outdated RNS 315 media/entertainment system.  It has a touch screen and most features, but the screen is on a smaller side and the user interface is a bit cumbersome.


The 2013 Volkswagen CC R-line is powered by the same engine as in the CC Sport and multitude of other vdubs.  It is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder that is rated at 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.  As the old saying goes, don’t judge the book by its cover.  If you have not driven a car with the 2.0T engine, don’t assume that it’s not enough or that the car is not quick. Yes, there are other 2.0-liter turbo sedans out there pushing more than 270 hp.  However, I am here to tell you that the folks from Wolfsberg know a few things about engines and how to put power down to the front wheels.  And when they combine their 200 hp engine and this 6-speed manual transmission, they have really outdone themselves with this CC.  This sedan is so much fun to drive and the 18×8 tires effectively put all the power and torque to the ground.   If you need more proof, watch the 0-60 MPH video review at bottom – then compare the acceleration times to a 274 hp KIA Optima with two people or a 260 hp Cobalt SS with one person.

2013 vw cc r-line profile wheels


Just as the CC can efficiently put the power to the road, it is also not afraid of corners.  This sedan is fun in the twisties.  The car stays mostly flat through corners, the suspension strikes a very good balance between comfort and sport.  You cannot adjust it on the fly, but it’s firm in a corner and compliant over bumps.  Some expansion joints can send a good jolt via the low profile tires, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary and on par with much more expensive cars.  The steering feel is very direct if a little over boosted.  It may not be as great as a proper sports car, but it’s excellent for a sedan at this price point.


Starting Retail Price City/Hwy MPG HP / Lb-Ft Interior cu-ft
2013 VW CC R-line $33,020 21/32 200/207 93.6
2014 BMW 328ix Gran Turismo $41,450 22/33 241/258 N/A
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA $30,825 26/38 208/258 N/A

Volkswagen may tell you that the CC competes against the Acura TSX or even the Lexus IS.  However, there are only two rivals in this size segment with four door coupe design and style.  The BMW 328ix Gran Turismo comes only with all wheel drive, it’s a bit larger, and much more expensive.  The new Mercedes-Benz CLA is front wheel drive, a little smaller in size, more powerful, and has a lower starting price.  Neither the BMW nor Mercedes offer a manual transmission, so the choice between these three can be obvious.

On the TFLcar scale of:

  • Buy it!
  • Lease it!
  • Rent it!
  • … or Forget it!

I give the 2013 Volkswagen CC R-Line a Buy It!

This CC put a smile on my face every time I got in.  Yes, it did not have many options like the sunroof, but it kept the price down ($33,020) and kept the nice 6-speed manual.  This sedan says – you don’t have to drive a family sedan with boring looks or boring manners.  You can pay a little extra and step into the CC and enjoy the daily driving experience.  And this is a Buy It! in my book any day of the week.

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Andre Smirnov
Andre Smirnov

Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply ‘going for a drive’.