The Audi TT’s fantastic fun to drive and impressively comfortable for a sports car
You can get the TT with a pair of 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol engines and even a 2.0-litre diesel.
The best all-rounder is the 230hp 2.0-litre petrol model. It’s easily fast enough to put a huge smile on your face on a twisty road but won’t cost the earth to run. Audi claims it’ll return 46.3mpg but, in the real world, it’ll return a figure in the low thirties – not bad for a sports car that’ll sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.3 seconds.
The 2.0-litre diesel version is more suitable if you spend more time on the motorway. It doesn’t feel quite as sparky as the more powerful petrol version but it’s quieter and more economical. This 184hp model will return fuel economy in the high forties but accelerates from 0-62mph in a more leisurely 6.7 seconds.
The 1.8-litre petrol will be your best bet if you’re not too fussed about performance and spend most time pottering around town. Its 180hp means it’ll be left at the lights by most hot hatches but it’ll return a more wallet-friendly 47mpg and its engine is just as smooth as the rapid 230hp 2.0-litre version.
The TT’s standard manual gearbox is a slick six-speed unit but the optional £1,500 twin-clutch DSG automatic – available on 2.0-litre models – offers faster gear changes, improved acceleration and better fuel economy.
Audi’s engineers have finally cracked it with this TT – it feels genuinely sporty and engaging
Entry-level 1.8-litre models have to make do with front-wheel drive only but both the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel models are available with Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system for around £1,700 extra – providing you pick a model with an automatic gearbox. You probably won’t notice the difference it makes in the corners but it’ll provide a bit of extra grip in slippery conditions and improve acceleration.
Even faster TTS and TT RS models are available, powered by 310hp four-cylinder and 395hp five-cylinder engines respectively. Both are seriously rapid – the TT RS will happily eat a Porsche 718 Cayman S for breakfast – but they’ll cost significantly more to buy and run than the standard car.
The TT’s low-slung body, sloping roofline and small side windows make it slightly tricky to drive around town. Front and rear visibility is fairly good but you’ll have trouble sneaking it through width restrictors without wincing.
Rear parking sensors come fitted as standard but, for a little extra peace of mind, pick either the £450 rear parking camera or £640 park assist feature that’ll steer for you into parallel and bay parking spaces.
You’ll hear more tyre roar at motorway speed in the TT than in a BMW 2 Series and there’s a distinct whistle from the wing mirrors, too. Neither are excessively loud, however, and you can easily drown them out with the excellent stereo.
The TT strikes a better balance between sharp handling and comfort than most sports cars – especially if you avoid the optional 19-inch alloy wheels. It’ll cruise happily over fairly rutted roads without sending any jarring bumps through the cabin yet barely rolls in tight corners and four-wheel drive versions grip the road like a rock climber’s fingertips. It doesn’t feel soft and squidgy like Ford Mustang or quite as twitchy as a BMW 2 Series – it’s one of the most approachable and easy-to-drive performance cars on sale.
The TT received a fair four-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in 2015. It was let down by mediocre scores in child occupant protection and safety assist categories but it’s still one of the safest sports cars available.