We Review the Audi TT

We Review the Audi TT
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The Car.co.uk verdict:

4.5

With over half a million sold since 1998, the Audi TT is a popular and successful car. It’s also immensely fun to drive, with a fantastic choice of powerful engines and beautiful handling. There’s a precision feel to the design that runs from the gear to the minimal luxury of its interiors.

This is without doubt a driver’s car - there’s a great choice of online equipment here and everything is built specifically with the driver in mind. You might have to pay a little extra for some of the features, but they’re well worth having.

Don’t underestimate the hatchback. Few of the 2018 Audi TT’s rivals can supply this much space in the back and the ease at which you can access it. The back seats might be useless for passengers, but even this flaw can be overlooked when you repurpose them.

Pros

  • Superb steering and handling
  • Fantastic interior design
  • Four-wheel drive versions available

Cons

  • Impossible rear seats
  • Lack of sat nav as standard
  • Two-wheel drives struggle in wet weather

At a glance

  • Looks
  • Practicality
  • Reliability
  • Equipment and options
  • Interior
  • The drive
  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Why buy

Looks

5 out of 5

A clean-cut car with plenty of punch

Audi originally introduced its TT as a compact two-door sports car towards the end of the 1990s. In 2014, the third generation version followed on show at the Geneva International Motor Show.

This latest Audi TT version features new styling, though you have to know where to look. There is nothing wrong with this coupe’s appearance and Audi hasn’t taken many steps to mess with it.

Sporting a new take on the grille design, this Audi TT spec feels more masculine and geometric. The new range also gives you a new line-up of colours for bodywork and wheel options too.

Overall, this is the same clean coupe design we’ve come to know and love and we can’t see anyone complaining. Most of the changes have taken place on the inside and they’re well worth the wait.

Practicality

4 out of 5

Less cramped than competitors, but useless rear seating

Unlike many coupe cars, the Audi TT sports a wider cabin making for a less confining feel. Although most adult-sized occupants will find the space up front comfortable, if you’re particularly tall, you might wish the driver’s seat could slide back a little more.

There are small spaces to tuck things throughout the cockpit, such as a small compartment located at the fore of the gear lever and a glovebox of good size, plus drop-bins on the doors. There’s a nice deep cup-holder centrally placed between the front seats too.

Although inadequate for carrying passengers (even children), the Audi TT’s rear seats are great for storing gear you want closer at hand than the boot. There’s also extra space in the footwells if you need it – very handy for a little shopping.

The Audi TT’s boot specifications are in actual fact larger than those of a Ford escort. Although not too deep rearwards, the boot space is wide and square. There’s plenty of room for shopping and, with the hatchback opening, it’s much easier to add larger loads like bicycles.

If you need an even bigger boot space, the rear seats are easily collapsible. The seatbacks lie completely flat once folded giving a great loading space. Both of the front seats are customisable with a good range of height adjustment.

Reliability

4 out of 5

Proven parts performing well

As a brand, Audi has not always fared so well when it comes to reliability. With this version of the TT, we’re seeing an increased performance for a car of its class.

Many of the Audi TT’s inner workings are shared with other cars in Audi’s stable. Tried and tested, these parts have already proved their worth and could be the reason why the Audi TT has notched up a few gears in the reliability category.

Equipment and options

4.5 out of 5

A driver-friendly set-up, but you’ll pay extra for sat nav

The Audi TT infotainment system was placed with the driver in mind. The large, full colour 12.3 display sits behind the driver’s wheel, where you’d expect to find your dials. This makes it perfectly placed for the driver to safely view it while keeping their eyes on the road.

Thankfully, there are plenty of physical controls, so it’s very simple for the driver to use. A large dial is located between the front seats, and there are also plenty of shortcut controls to get you quickly to the functions you need.

Both a USB port and a DAB radio ship as standard, but sat nav will cost you extra. The annoying thing is the sat nav is only available as part of an expensive technology package, but it’s still a worthwhile option.

Interior

5 out of 5

Incredible interiors to shame the most luxury sports cars

The Audi TT’s interior actually outclasses those of some far more expensive cars. From the finish to the fittings, everything inside feels exceptionally high quality, it’s even difficult to see just how they’ve been fitted, with panel gaps so thin they’re practically invisible.

The simple dashboard is beautifully designed with a minimalist style. In what Audi calls a ‘virtual cockpit’, the usual analogue dials are nowhere to be seen. In their place in the new Audi TT, there’s a digital display screen and four buttons inset on the fascia. From its position behind the wheel, the driver can use the screen to call up all kinds of information, from a sat nav map and traffic reports to sound system levels.

Both the steering wheel and seats have a great range of adjustment, so drivers of all sizes and shapes will have no trouble getting comfortable in the cabin. Standard on nearly all the trims across the range is the adjustable lumbar support feature. It’s worth bearing in mind that should you opt for the Sport trim, this will cost extra, but it’s a luxury you’ll certainly be glad of.

The drive

4.5 out of 5

A comfortable, precise drive you can feel in your wheel

There are plenty of options when it comes to the Audi TT specifications, but all of them give a comfortable drive. Although firm, the standard suspension is generally comfy and the alternative sports set-up makes for a smooth ride.

You might feel a few more bumps in the road if you go for big wheels, so if you’re looking for a more comfortable ride they might be worth avoiding. Having said that, the temptation of 20-inch alloys and that sporty style could be irresistible.

In what Audi entitles its ‘Magnetic Ride’, the TTS is kitted out with adaptive dampers. Also on offer as an additional option on the less expensive models in the line-up, this feature allows you to soften or stiffen up your suspension to suit the drive you’re on. While not absolutely essential, it’s handy to have and works really well.

The Audi TT handles very neatly. It feels light and pinpoint accurate in the steering, and as soon as you take your turning you’ll feel exactly what your wheels are up to. It grips well too, with superior traction and no noticeable lean whatsoever on a corner. This is even truer on the Audi TT version with the sports suspension included.

The sturdy four-wheel-drive versions of the Audi TT perform really well in poor weather, but the 241 bhp 2.0-litre front-wheel-drive sometimes means it struggles to gain power to work on the road, especially when negotiating corners.

The Audi TT for the most part is a quiet cruise for a sports coupe. There’s always going to be a little road and wind noise in a car of this kind, but it definitely beats many of its rivals for noise reduction.

The automatic gearbox available for the Audi TT is generally very smooth, but can be a little notchy at times. The manual alternative has six speeds and doesn’t respond quickly like you’d expect from a sports car, but it does feel extremely light and very precise

Cost

4.5 out of 5

Not cheap, but great performance and value for your money

The Audi TT price is premium, but then again it is a premium coupe, and overall you’re getting a lot of value for your money.

All Audi TTs maintain their values far longer than their rivals, and all the available engines are powerful performers with incredible economy when it comes to fuel, so you’re running costs should stay low.

Business owners and company car drivers might miss the diesel option from the line-up, but considering the performance you’re getting for your money, the lower-end petrol options still deliver excellent value.

At the higher end though, the TTS and TTRS are the complete opposite, with the RS guzzling its way through more fuel than any other TT in the range.

Safety

4.5 out of 5

Four-star safety with optional extras

Four airbags are fitted as standard in the Audi TT. It also features a ‘secondary collision assist’ system which aids cars in stopping in the aftermath of a crash as soon as possible.

Regrettably automatic emergency braking is not available for the Audi TT, but optional extras encompass a useful blind-spot warning feature.

Euro NCAP awarded the Audi TT four stars in its crash test in 2015, with scores well over 50% for pedestrian protection (82%), adult protection (81%), and child protection (68%).

Why buy

4.5 out of 5

A superb coupe that handles beautifully

The Audi TT is safety conscious and in many ways a sensible car in its category of coupes. Although it’s always been a very comfortable and confident drive, the Audi TT never really made sporting class and this latest version won’t change that. Still, look a bit closer and you’ll see its worth. A lot of work has been put into this update on the inside, making this Audi TT the most driver friendly it’s ever been.

So, first and foremost, buy the Audi TT because you’re a driver. This car was designed for you.

With Audi’s new virtual cockpit you’ll have everything you need close by in a luxury interior to rival that of a Porsche 911.

If you’re after a quick car with a choice of four turbo-charged engines, the Audi TT is a good bet for you. If you like to feel your wheels when you steer and appreciate fine design, you’ll no doubt appreciate the latest version of this classic coupe.

If you don’t want to sacrifice space for sport, the Audi TT is also an ideal option. With its fold-down rear seats and hatchback, it can do both with ease.