Special Coverage

Auto Interiors Conference

In most popularly priced cars, the best you can hope for in an interior is good fit and finish, supportive seats and, if you are lucky, a few touches of flair.

That’s why the Volkswagen CC stunned Ward’s judges with style and attention to detail normally unheard of in its class.

The CC’s striking first impression comes from the car’s four ergonomically formed sport seats that immediately announce it is no run-of-the-mill family hauler.

The back seats are especially stylish and at first glance look like they were fashioned for a Bentley, rather than a Volkswagen. Aggressive bolstering makes the back seats look and feel more like buckets than a standard bench seat. All four are positioned lower than normal to offer improved lateral support and create an enhanced connection between driver, passengers and the road.

Once the initial shock of the CC’s seating arrangement wears off, the eye is drawn next to exquisite design details and upscale materials and textures that, again, usually are not found in cars priced under $30,000.

“The detailed stitching on the steering wheel is amazing,” gushes Associate Editor James Amend. “This interior and me, it’s love at first sight.”

His comments are echoed by other judges, who marvel at the way the instrument panel design lines flow seamlessly into the doors and interior colors harmonize with the light-colored woven headliner to give an open, airy feeling to the cabin.

Judges also single out the CC’s seats for delivering a perfect combination of support and comfort. “Some of the best seats on the market,” underscores one tester.

CC designers also did a magnificent job of carrying inward the dramatic styling cues of the car’s exterior sheet metal to create symbiosis between exterior and interior design: an often-stated goal that is rarely achieved.

Superb ergonomics, lots of handy storage space and excellent safety ratings further round out an already superlative interior.

That’s not to say the fussiest among us could not find a few, if minor, flaws. For example, our test car was not heavily optioned, yet at $28,225 it still was among the priciest entries in the category. Clearly the craftsmanship the CC offers comes at a premium.

Another editor thought the center stack was a bit too bland for the rest of the dramatically styled interior and found the door-mounted armrests a bit cheap for their upscale surroundings.

Overall, editors find the CC interior simply extraordinary. The design goal for the CC was to blend sports car dynamics with sedan comfort in a sophisticated package. VW did an astonishingly good job of creating an interior that fulfills that mission.

dwinter@wardsauto.com