Four seats weren’t enough, so Volkswagen decided to make room for five inside the cabin of its sleek CC sedan for 2013. That’s good news for families with young children. The CC still gets away with a “sports sedan” look, but now has the practicality of a larger family sedan. Volkswagen calls it a “four-door coupe.”

Whether you put a child seat, a week’s worth of groceries or luggage for a weekend getaway in the back seat, the CC is a “family sports sedan” that blends style with substance. There are five trim levels of the CC: a 2.0T Sport, a 2.0T Sport Plus, a 2.0 R-Line (available in early 2013), a 2.0T Lux and the VR6 4Motion Executive all-wheel drive model. Two engines are available, including a 200-horsepower turbo four and a 280-horsepower VR6. Both engines are quite capable of getting some heavy-footed Dads a “slow down honey” from the passenger seat.

The 2.0-liter engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. A dual-clutch transmission allows much smoother and faster gear changes (VW says it takes less than four-hundredths of a second). The VR6 engine has a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic and paddle shifters.

The CC gets new front and rear styling for 2013, including Bi-Xenon headlights and LED taillights. The headlights have LED running lights that look like diamonds across the bottom, adaptive front lighting moves the headlights up to 15 degrees when turning.

Inside, the 2013 CC has luxurious appointments with upholstery choices of V-Tex leatherette or leather. Color schemes come in solid or two-tone colors. A leather steering wheel has media controls. Passenger volume in the cabin is 93.6 cubic feet, while there is 13.2 cubic feet of cargo space.

Although the new CC sedan has room for five, the vehicle looks as sleek as it did when it was introduced four years ago. It is less than 56 inches tall, and has a ground clearance of just 5 inches. Still, the CC is a fairly heavy car at 3,369 pounds of curb weight. The CC’s substantial nature is evident in the doors. My Dad told me once, “Son, if you want to know how well a car is made, all you have to do is slam the doors.” The CC passes the “slam” test with flying colors. No hollow or tin can sound here.

The CC still manages decent mileage figures: 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, although premium fuel is recommended. With an 18.5-gallon fuel tank, the CC has a potential range well over 550 miles. That’ll get you to Pensacola and back on a single tank of gas.

The other test the CC passes is the safety test. With active and passive safety features, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2013 CC front wheel drive models its top “Good” rating. Safety features include a full complement of airbags, stability and traction control systems and VW’s Intelligent Crash Response System, which shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in a serious accident.

On the road, the CC is responsive and quick. Braking is good, and steering is especially good. The linear and balanced feel of the steering wheel allows for just the right amount of road feedback. The car also stays flat in hard cornering thanks to the sport-tuned suspension.

This is the CC’s first update since it was introduced, and now you can add functionality and practicality to this Volkswagen’s list of attributes. The base 2013 CC 2.0T Sport with an automatic transmission starts at $31,710, the 2.0T Sport Plus is $32,850, the 2.0T Lux begins at $35,355, and the 3.6 VR6 is $41,420.

Made in Emden, Germany, the CC is a great choice for families and others who don’t mind spending a little bit more for a really great ride.

2013 Volkswagen CC Sport Plus

  • Engine: 2.0 TFSI inline turbocharged 4-cylinder
  • Transmission: 6-speed dual clutch automatic
  • Horsepower: 200
  • Test model base price: $32,850
  • EPA mileage rating: 22 mpg city / 31 mpg highway