- We like...Looks, comfort, sureness of drive
- We don't...Cramped back seats
Uber-cool coupe is a delight to drive. It’s quite practical, too - if you ignore the back seatsThis is a car that the stylists got just right, first time. When unveiled back in 1999, the TT looked daring for an Audi and it quickly proved a hit. Two years ago, Audi gave us this refreshed one: its lines are softer but still true to the original’s distinctive silhouette. It’s evolved, gaining a clever alloy/steel chassis that keeps the car light, yet solid. Practicality has moved on too, a long tailgate replacing the previous model’s boot.
The new TT no longer cuts such a dash on the street but that’s no criticism of the way it looks –it’s more a sign of how car design’s evolved. The original had charm and speed but was never a polished performer – underpinnings and running gear adapted from the Mk4 Volkswagen Golf saw to that. In contrast, the new one’s much more cultured. It rides firmly but smoothly with its suspension at ‘normal’. Thumb the ‘sports’ button and its clever suspension (which is optional) firms up further but remains civilised and is never teeth-jarring.
Although the 198bhp 2.0 turbo tested here is the cheapest TT, it’s quick, and a pleasure. The engine’s as you’ll find in a Golf GTi and umpteen other VWs, Seats, Audis and Skodas. It’s a terrific unit, smooth, rapid and energetic and it sits well in the TT. This is no full-out racer, though. Instead, it’s best at covering big distances quickly and efficiently. This one is front-wheel-drive: to get power to all wheels, you need the 3.2 V6 model, which is a fair bit more expensive.
Inside, the standard leather and suede front seats are firm but hold you comfortably, while the black and silver-trimmed dash looks cool and elegant in a way only Audi ds that well. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is a pleasure to hold and, like every other major control, gs about its work precisely and easily.
There are two back seats but don’t attempt sitting in either. Head and leg space is in ridiculously short supply: it’s so cramped back there that we wouldn’t even attempt to install a child seat. Drop the seat backs instead and add to the already pretty good boot space.
Seats folded, the tailgate and load area are long enough for you to pop a bicycle back there, or a week’s holiday luggage for two.
But the steeply sloping roof and high waist of the car restrict the view rearwards, a problem worsened by the tailgate’s lack of a screen wiper. Parking sensors don’t come as standard fittings, but perhaps they should.
Still, there’s plenty of other gizmos fitted within the price: digital air conditioning, alloy wheels, an MP3 compatible radio/CD, manual gearbox with six forward speeds and a driver’s computer. And, as you’d expect, it comes with a full suit of safety gear.
Should you buy one? Definitely. If you’ve £25,000 to drop on a car there are few others we’d recommend more strongly. And if you’re the cautious type, take comfort because it’ll lose value over time more slowly than most others we’d recommend. Take care when reversing, never ask a friend to cram into the back and it’s just about perfect.
- Engines2.0 TFSi
- 0-60 mph6.6sec
- Insurance groups17
Motors.co.uk value verdict: