Audi’s TT has always been loved, but in this latest iteration it has gone from a stereotypical hairdresser’s car into something a lot more butch.
Now in its third incarnation everything has become tighter, more finessed. Gone are the large bulging headlights, sculpted angular lines replace and cut off circular ones. It’s more masculine. It’s what the TT needed.
Price wise the range can start from just £27,150, meaning this is a good entry point to open up some very attractive personal car leasing options with deposits as low as £2000. The new TT can be yours on contract lease hire from as little as £181 a month +VAT on business leases or £217 a month all-in on a personal rental for 2 years.
Our model was a rather eye watering £42,050…and it’s not even an S – which starts at £39,245.
The reason for the high price tag was the S Line trim, Quattro all-wheel drive, 2.0 litre TFSI petrol engine and the 6 speed S tronic gearbox. Additional hefty add-ons included the Comfort & Sound package at £1,590, the Technology Package with Audi Connect – £1,795, and the Audi Matrix LED headlights, a cool £945.
Oh, and forget those rather chunky looking tyres sitting on 17” rims. It had winter rubber fitted so speed was capped to 130 MPH – spoilsports.
Firing up the TT sounds pretty plain and ordinary, there is a slight burble from the exhaust but not much more…after all, this is the same engine found in the Golf GTi just slightly tweaked.
On hard acceleration – keeping the gearbox in sport – you do get a nice parp as it shifts up on the red line, but the engine noise is augmented through the speakers which is always a bit of a cop out. Luckily, this extra noise only switches on when set to Dynamic mode.
Grip in the Quattro is unending, even in the wet with these winter tyres on you can really push on with 100% confidence. The 0-62 time is a rapid 5.6 seconds, not bad from just 227 BHP – in a car tipping the scales at 1,410 KG.
Steering input is pin sharp, as you would expect. It’s direct and the wheels feel connected. You can swap modes from Dynamic, Comfort, Personal etc and these change the steering weight, as well as the throttle mapping, shift speed of the S tronic and also the way the all-wheel drive works.
Ride wise the TT was spot on, firm and sporty enough but perfectly cushioning over the rough stuff, no doubt helped out by those chunky winter tyres.
We have heard the 19’s that the S normally gets festooned with are the ones to go for, whilst the 20’s are to be avoided at the cost of a much harsher ride.
Pushing the TT through some tight B roads you can have a lot of fun, the pace of the TFSI and the S tronic gearbox make for a really nice driver’s car. However, there is one slight niggle.
In our car’s guise it’s no featherlight, and you do feel that heft when you really start to push. It will understeer at the higher end and push wide, it does tuck back in nicely though once you let off the go pedal.
Inside the TT is a masterclass of design. It’s minimal, uncluttered and totally German. At first it looks like half the interior is missing – no central infotainment, no heating controls, barely any buttons at all in fact.
But the heating controls are mounted inside each circular air vent, and the infotainment screen is for the drivers’ eyes only. It houses the dials, but can be customised and switched between the sat nav, radio, even the Audi connect apps. Really clever stuff, and you can see that this design language will permeate the rest of the Audi brand.
That lack of buttons is more than made up for on the steering wheel though, it’s basically the drivers command centre. Even the smallest space on the hand rests houses a tiny little micro switch beneath the plastic, giving a reassuring ‘click’ whenever pressed.
A very cool feature is the singular customisable button, something that will no doubt become more prolific in time.
Audi have secured the coupe market for the foreseeable future. The latest TT starts off very competitively priced, but it can be a double edged sword. Albeit, you can enjoy this sporty coupe with an entry level spec over a fixed monthly rental term by financing it as a lease car.
Our car didn’t look as pricey as the tag suggested, sit it next to an entry level Sport and most punters would be hard pushed to tell the difference between them. Being lavish with the options list can also lead you into an upward spiral of pound notes. But after all that is said and done, it’s a model that can truly cater for all walks of life.
Want a flashy two door coop for not much more than a hatch, no problem. Need Quattro all-wheel drive for wintery conditions, sure. Want a 296 BHP version, the TTS has you covered.
You can really be that granular in your requirements, something none of the other marques offer within this segment.
Audi TT – Sharp new styling, awesome interior, 2.0 litre TFSI packs a punch, can become rather pricey if you aren’t careful.
Owner / Editor of Carwitter – French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter