Still a style icon – and hugely desirable, too…
- Smart, high-quality interior
- Innovative dashboard design
- Great engines
- Still not all that exciting to drive
- Cruise control and parking sensors cost extra
- Over-firm ride on larger wheels
Welcome to the third instalment in the TT blockbuster franchise. The Mk1 Audi TT Coupe (launched in 1998) and the Mk2 (2006) have both been sales smash hits, so TT 3 has a lot to live up to.
After our first drive, we’re pretty sure it has little to worry about. This is the all-new version of the Coupe, with the soft-top version coming in summer 2015. Rivals include the likes of the (now discontinued) Peugeot RCZ and BMW 2 Series, while the high-performance Audi TT S model is faster than a Porsche Cayman.
All the bits that made the old TT so popular – head-turning looks, a high-quality interior, everyday usability and speedy performance – remain, while the car as a whole has been brought bang up to date with the latest technology.
Familiar styling, remixed for now
The styling mixes elements of the Mk1 and Mk2 and at first glance it’s unmistakably a TT. The wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) has grown slightly but the car’s overall length remains the same, making for super-short front and rear overhangs.
They wear sharper, more modern-looking headlights and tail-lights with some neat touches including directional indicators that swipe across the tail-lights rather than wink on and off.
The Audi TT Coupe is still a 2+2, with a pair of tiny seats under the rear window that are best suited to kids only. As before, convertible Roadster and super-quick TT RS models will follow.
Audi TT interior, equipment and options
Biggest point of interest is the instrument panel, which has become a 12.3-inch high-resolution LCD screen. The only ordinary gauges are the fuel and water temperature meters at the bottom of the screen – everything else is digital.
There’s no central multimedia screen in the new TT – everything, from sat-nav maps to album artwork, is displayed behind the steering wheel.
Audi TT's active display – how it works
You can choose between ‘Classic view’, with a conventional speedo and rev counter in their usual positions. In addition, all other information is displayed between them in the middle.
There's also or a full-screen ‘Infotainment mode’ where the instruments shrink to miniaturised versions of themselves. Functions such as the sat-nav map, for example, then grow to fill the screen almost entirely. You’ll need to specify the optional Technology Mode to access the best of this function, though.
It’s all controlled via either buttons on the wheel or Audi’s latest-generation MMI control wheel near the gear lever and it’s all fairly intuitive. It might take a little practice to get used to at first, but after a short while even the least tech-savvy of drivers will be happily scrolling through the system’s various functions on the move.
Audi TT petrol and diesel engine choices
At launch, the regular TT came with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-litre petrol or a 2.0-litre diesel, both turbocharged.
The petrol TT can be specced with either front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox or its Quattro four-wheel drive, and Audi’s smooth S tronic six-speed automatic gearbox.
The diesel, for now, is front-drive and manual only and can boast impressive fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Uprated Audi TT S and RS models
There’s also a hot Audi TT S model, with a serious 309hp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and four-wheel drive. For more information on these, scroll down through the full review.
The RS versions have their own reviews, which you can click on, below.
The Parkers Verdict
The Audi TT is a sharp drive, looks great and continues to attract great residual values. In other words, as well as being the stylish coupe choice, it's also a smart one. It's not cheap, but the quality oozes through, even if it's not the last word in dynamic finesse.
The pick of the range for keen drivers has to be the TT RS, although that version comes at a hefty premium, even if it has supercar-baiting perormance. Effectively, buy with confidence, and come the time, sell with confidence. too.