Unlike its predecessor, the Mk 3 Audi TT is a much more masculine car, writes Beth Keenan.
With its aggressive and angular shape it is a world away from the curvy ‘hairdresser’ car first introduced in 1998.
Available as a hardtop coupé or soft-top roadster, buyers have a choice of front-wheel or ‘quattro’ four-wheel drive; 6 speed manual or automatic gearboxes; and petrol or diesel engines. However, the diesel option is only available as a manual, front-wheel drive. The entry-level coupé starts from £27,150 increasing to £29,700 for the S Line trim (which adds 19-inch alloy wheels, all weather LED lighting and a more detailed body kit).
The interior of this 2.0 TFSI Quattro S-tronic test car was sophisticated yet sporty. The black Alcantara leather seats were embossed with the S Line logo and were comfortable, easily adjustable and could be heated for an additional premium of £325. The three-spoke flat bottomed steering wheel incorporated the paddle gear change levers and also featured the S Line logo, enhancing the ‘sportiness’ of the car.
The most distinctive feature of the Audi TT, however, is the ‘Virtual Cockpit’ – a hi-definition 12.3inch LCD display where normally the speedometer and tachometer would be. It combines an advanced satellite navigation system, audio and media controls, various drive modes and trip information – although you will be disappointed to learn that the sat-nav only comes as part of the optional Technology package, costing £1795. The Comfort and Sound pack also included on this test model came with a high-performance Bang & Olufsen sound system, rear parking sensors and carefully incorporated climate controls within the centre of the air vents (£1590). There are many additional internal and external options for the TT so be sure to keep a budget in mind as the extras will soon add up!
This mid-range test car accelerates 0-62 mph in 5.3 seconds with a maximum speed of 155 mph. The car is very easy to drive and you can switch quickly between driver modes.
The sequential automatic transmission provides effortless gear changes and keeps the engine at the optimum revs. For everyday driving, the automatic or economic mode works well, but the real fun begins when you select ‘dynamic’.
The car suddenly transforms from being a domesticated cat into a swift and nimble cheetah, with the steering and suspension tightening and the exhaust rasping behind you. You would never believe the power output of the car was only 227bhp! Whether you’re on country lanes, off-road or on the motorway, the car instills you with confidence as it grips the road. The brakes are responsive, yet progressive and you always feel that you are in control.
During our road test, which included city and country driving, we managed a fuel consumption of 34.7mpg overall.
Although this is sold as a 2+2 sports coupe, the rear seats are clearly not designed for people, and even a small child would struggle to feel comfortable in the back. The rear seats are best used for shopping bags or dropped to extend the boot space. The superior attention to detail from the TT branded fuel filler cap to the quirky heartbeat sound when the vehicle switches off will certainly put a smile on your face. Overall, this car is classy, sporty and fun to drive.
|Audi TT Coupe 2.0 quattro S line||Price: £34,845 (£42,050 as tested)|
|Insurance Group: 37||Mechanical: 230ps 4cyl turbo-petrol, 6sp auto 4WD|
|Max Speed: 155 mph||0-62mph: 5.3 sec|
|C02 emissions: 153 gkm||Combined MPG: 43.5 mpg (34.7 mpg on test)|
|Bik rating: 27%||Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles|
For: brilliant handling, stunning interior, a sports car for everyday use at any age.
Against: rear seats are too small, sat-nav is not included in standard spec.
© Words and images Bethany Keenan