Audi has struck the perfect balance between practicality and fun
Words by Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto-Trader
The Audi TT is one of the most recognisable two-seat sports cars on our roads. Its popularity is due to a tempting blend of sharp performance, cute dimensions, a desirable badge and a hi-tech interior. You can choose between the standard version, the convertible, and sportier models – the TT S and TT RS, which both come in coupe and convertible form.
It’s the trend for the latest crop of sports cars to get narrower headlights, sharper body lines and whizz bang LED tail lights, and the TT is no different. The first version, back in the Nineties, gave us a bubble car, and the new version is barely recognisable from that, with an angry face and aggressive bodywork.
Inside, it’s similarly a step change in design, with a very pared back interior that has the entire display screen mounted behind the steering wheel, leaving the dashboard free from everything other than three air-con vents.
Audi has always been on the ball with what it calls its MMI (Multi Media Interface). Its infotainment system has always been easy to use and intuitive, with smart graphics and pleasing switches. The whole thing now exists behind the steering wheel, on a digital display that the driver can switch to show whatever information she needs – a huge space fills the space between the two digital dials as well as behind them if you are on satnav, for example. It does clever things, like allow you to reduce the size of the speedo so that other information like what music you’re playing is clearer.
All cars come with DAB, and have steering-wheel buttons to control the audio, satnav and so on.
For a two-seater, the TT is very comfy with space for two 6ft-plus adults. The seats and steering wheel adjust, and there are big pockets in the long doors for things like water bottles and a tray in front of the gear-lever plus a smaller space for phones. While the TT RS is, of course, noisier and a more harsh experience, and the convertibles leave you windblown, the ride on all is supple enough to leave you comfortable on long journeys.
You’ve got a good choice of petrol engines here: the base TT, called the 40 TFSI, has a 2.0-litre engine powering the front wheels, with 194 horsepower. The more expensive 45 TFSI version has a whopping 242 horsepower, which does 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds. You can opt for a manual gearbox or automatic with this version, and front wheel drive or quattro four-wheel drive which gives you more grip. The TT S gives you a more sporty performance again, and then there’s the range-topping TT RS which has more than double the horsepower of the base version, with 400, and a 0-60mph time of 3.9 seconds. Lots of fun.
Given the vast range of options – coupe or convertible, two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, manual or automatic, and standard, fast, or faster still – the price range varies widely too: at the very top end the TT RS will cost you up to £68,000, while the entry-level TT has a price tag of about £31,000. Retailer finance offers start at about £310 a month, depending on contributions.