£33,280 - £43,450 Price range
Historically, the Audi TT Roadster hasn’t been the most engaging premium convertible to drive. Audi may have hoped to make a class-leading sports car, but buyers looking for an engaging roadster at this price point were more likely to choose a Porsche Boxster or Lotus Elise instead.
It seems business is usual with this all-new Audi TT Roadster, though there are several differences this time around. In fact, apparently Audi’s trying to straddle the middle ground between the aforementioned Porsche and less hard-edged sports cars like the BMW Z4 and Mercedes-Benz SLK. There is a super-fast version of the TT Roadster this time around – read our Audi TTS Roadster review for more about that.
A car like that certainly has appeal in a market that’s decidedly split between two camps, and certainly gives the Audi TT Roadster a unique selling point. A classy interior, a great range of engines and a stylish design only help sweeten the deal even further. We also have a colours guide on the TT Roadster so you can see every shade it is available in.
However, can the Audi TT Roadster successfully pull of the trick of being the upmarket sports convertible that’s able to do everything asked of it? If you have a craving for even more power, check out our preview of the upcoming Audi TT RS.
The Audi TT Roadster’s cabin is, for the most part, identical to the one you’ll find in the Audi TT Coupe, so the interior is perhaps the finest you’ll find on any sports car at this price point. The overall fit-and-finish is exemplary, the materials used throughout are of a very high standard, and the minimalist design helps reinforce the cabin’s classy feel whilst also improving overall ergonomics.
It’s the large, 12.3-inch digital display that’s at the core of the Audi TT Roadster’s simple control layout – drivers can swap between traditional dial readouts and a multimedia display at the press of a button, allowing the driver to operate the main controls without having to divert their eyes too far away from the road ahead.
Buyers who opt for the optional navigation package will also be able to turn this screen into a giant sat nav display. However, at £1,795, it is one of the most expensive options available for the Audi TT Roadster, so it probably won’t be a hugely practical extra for most people.
Audi TT roadster passenger space
Though the need to accommodate a fabric roof has resulted in the removal of the two tiny rear seats, there have been no compromises to practicality up front. As a result, there’s still plenty of space up front for the driver and passenger, and no critics mentioned wind buffeting as a potential issue for taller people to contend with.
What’s most disappointing, though, is that there aren’t many spaces to stow smaller items in throughout the cabin. Only one cup holder is available, for instance, the pockets in the door cards are quite small and the glove box size isn’t particularly practical either.
Audi TT Roadster boot space
The need to stow a fabric roof away behind the seats has had an impact on the Audi TT’s boot space, albeit a marginal one: the Roadster’s 280-litre boot only sacrifices 25 litres to the Coupe.
Furthermore, the Audi TT Roadster’s boot also has a (by sports car standards) fairly large floor space, meaning longer items can be squeezed in without too much hassle. However, the boot opening itself is quite narrow, and there’s not a huge amount of vertical room available to play with.
Being 90kg heavier and (despite the extra bracing) less rigid than the Audi TT Coupe, the Audi TT Roadster isn’t the sharpest sports car on the market. However, the differences between the two variants are marginal at best, so you’ll still have access to one of the better roadsters in this market place to drive.
Whilst it’s not quite as exciting or as engaging to drive as a Porsche Boxster, the Audi TT Roadster does stack up well to more relaxed rivals like the Mercedes-Benz SLK and BMW Z4. All of the road tests agree the Audi TT Roadster is a very stable and composed sports car, though the responsive steering and plentiful amounts of grip do make it entertaining to drive.
At lower road speeds, the Audi TT Roadster also makes a case for itself as a more relaxed cruiser: there’s very little wind buffeting when the folding fabric roof is stowed away, body movement is well contained and the noise insulation with the roof up is reasonable. The ride is also quite comfortable for a sports car, though top-spec S-Line models do take a hit once you fit the optional sports suspension.
Some of the road testers seemed to prefer the Audi TT Roadster models with the ‘quattro’ all-wheel-drive system, stating it offers increased stability, improved levels of traction and mildly more precise steering over the front-wheel-drive models.
As a result, it is worth considering the all-wheel-drive system if you’re looking at an Audi TT Roadster variant that can be fitted with it. However, the front-wheel-drive models are still enjoyable to drive and are cheaper to buy and run.
The engine line-up for the Audi TT Roadster hasn’t changed much since the model’s launch, so prospective buyers will only be able to choose from three options: two petrol variants and an ultra diesel, the latter being the most recent addition to the range.
A majority of buyers will undoubtedly go for the petrols, given they best suit the Audi TT Roadster’s nature as a sports car. However, the diesel will make sense for buyers who rck up high mileages.
The well-received manual and automatic S-Tronic gearboxes are also available on the Audi TT Roadster, though not all models have access to them: the ultra can only come with the manual, for instance, whereas the top-spec TT S is only available with the automatic.
Likewise, the ultra and TTS can only be fitted with front-wheel-drive and quattro all-wheel-drive respectively, so it’s worth keeping that in mind if you’re interested in those models.
Audi TT roadster petrol engines
Until the inevitable flagship TT RS model arrives, only two petrol engine options (both 2.0-litre four-cylinders) are available in the Audi TT Roadster range.
Being so initially similar to each other, it’s not surprising that both engine variants have similar positive attributes. All the road testers reckon they suit the car’s sporting character well, whilst also being refined and civilised enough to be useful when you’re just cruising about.
Most petrol buyers will probably plump for the base model, given it offers a good balance between outright power (227hp) and fuel economy (40mpg with all-wheel-drive, and 45/42mpg for the front-wheel-drive models with manual and automatic gearboxes respectively). As a result, we’re inclined to agree with the critics that this is the best all-round engine in the Audi TT Roadster range.
Those who want more power, though, will have their eyes set on the range-topping TTS model, which comes with a 306hp version of the 2-litre petrol engine. The added traction of the standard-fit quattro all-wheel-drive system endows the Audi TTS Roadster good grip and impressive acceleration (0-62mph takes just 4.9 seconds), though the seven-speed automatic gearbox may irk those who prefer to have a manual gearbox.
Audi TT roadster diesel engines
As with the previous model, the new Audi TT Roadster also comes with an ultra diesel engine that’s aimed at buyers who’ll regularly use it as a commuter car. Whilst it’s not perhaps the most obvious choice of engine for a sports car it does fit the brief surprisingly well.
Though the 181hp power output isn’t anything to get excited over, the impressive torque from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine does give the Audi TT Roadster a decent lick of speed and good mid-range punch. It sounds good for a diesel engine, too.
What really gives the Audi TT Roadster ultra package appeal, though, is the fuel economy. Audi claims the car can return up to 65mpg, and the low CO2 emissions of 114g/km.
The only real disappointments are that the Audi TT Roadster in ultra spec only comes with front-wheel-drive and a six-speed manual gearbox – buyers who want quattro all-wheel-drive and an automatic will have to plump for the petrols.
The Audi TT Roadster has yet to be officially put through the paces at Euro NCAP, but the hard-top version got a four-star rating, with a few criticisms for its protection of child occupants.
All Audi TT Roadster variants also come with a decent amount of safety equipment, such as traction control, stability control, a tyre pressure loss warning system front and side airbags for the driver and passenger. Models fitted with the 2.0-litre petrol engine also come fitted with the Audi Lane Assist feature, which alerts the driver (by vibrating the steering wheel) if it detects the car is veering out of the road lane it’s travelling in.
Additional equipment can be specified as optional extras, though – as with almost every other Audi model currently on sale – some of them are quite expensive. Specifying rear parking sensors, for instance, will cost you £430!
The different spec levels for the Audi TT Roadster are also quite simple to comprehend – there are only the entry-level Sport and top-of-the-range S-Line trims to choose from – and each spec comes with a reasonable amount of equipment as standard.
For example, all models come with DAB digital radio, heated wing mirrors, leather upholstery, air-conditioning and Bluetooth as standard. Stepping up to S-Line adds extras like full LED headlamps and 19-inch alloy wheels while S-Line Competition trim adds sporty looking bumpers from the TTS and a set of new alloy wheels. The Audi TTS Roadster gets heated sports seats and adaptive damping as standard.
Most buyers will probably be satisfied with the standard Sport trim, especially since some of the more desirable equipment on offer can still only be specified as optional extras. However, Audi has relegated quite a fair bit of equipment you’d expect to find as standard on a £30,000+ car to the options list – cruise control, parking sensors, wind deflectors and even front armrests can only be added to the Audi TT Roadster by paying extra!
Thankfully, the Audi TT Roadster is expected to have impressive residual values, and should comfortably hold more of its value for longer than non-premium rivals like the Nissan 370Z.
Though it still won’t leave owners of the Porsche Boxster envious in the handling department, the rest of the Audi TT Roadster certainly puts it in a very strong position. Bar interior practicality, there’s very little else that the Audi TT Roadster doesn’t have down to a tee.
If you really need the extra boot space, then rivals like the BMW Z4 will make more sense for you. Should outright storage capacity not be a concern, though, then the Audi TT Roadster is a very enticing prospect, and should go down a treat with buyers.