3.9 out of 5 3.9
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Stylish roadster still looks good after all these years

Audi TT Roadster (15 on) - rated 3.9 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £35,480 - £68,865
Lease from new From £415 p/m View lease deals
Used price £12,810 - £61,265
Fuel Economy 30.7 - 40.9 mpg
Road tax cost £30 - £490
Insurance group 34 - 48 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Interior quality
  • Sharp looks
  • Punchy engines and performance

CONS

  • Evolutionary design
  • It's about to go out of production
  • Rivals more focused

Audi TT Roadster rivals

Written by Keith Adams on

When it comes to sports coupes there’s none more stylish than the Audi TT, and removing the roof to make the Audi TT Roadster only heightens that. When launched it was designed to fight the Mercedes SLK, BMW Z4, Nissan 370Z Roadster and the talented Porsche Boxster. Of those only the Z4 and Porsche remain – and they have been massively updated since then.

But there's still a lot to like about the TT Roadster – read on to find out more...

What's it like inside?

Ever since the first TT arrived in the UK back in 1999 the interior has left rivals playing catch-up, and so it is with this third generation. Completely uncluttered and boasting the firm’s Virtual Cockpit Display, which dispenses with the traditional centre console for infotainment, sat-nav and other information and puts it directly in-front of the driver in the main instrument binnacle.

Antisocial for passengers, who are now faced with a stark cabin to look at rather than the digitised map, it is however fantastic for the driver and entirely befitting of a sportscar. The ability to switch between information streams, and even fill the screen with navigation instructions is intuitive and genuinely beneficial to drivers, while the multifunction display offers a different layout for the TTS.

At least passengers can marvel at the beautifully designed airvents, complete with integrated controls for the climate control system (and heated seats where fitted). It’s such an intuitive design and idea you’ll wonder why it wasn’t done decades ago. Be in no doubt this is one of the best car interiors in production, at any price point.

Comfort

This is not designed as a hardcore sports car, so it’s no surprise that Audi TT Roadster comfort is rather impressive. Certainly for a car to cover big miles in, any one of the TT Roadster offerings would excel at the job, with a well-damped ride and quiet cabin.

That roof is certainly well-insulated, and even in heavy rain, it is nearly complete in its ability to shield the cabin from unwanted noise so often associated with fabric-roofed vehicles. Being able to retract it at up to 31mph in just ten seconds ensures you’re never caught short whether the sun is suddenly appearing or the rain is pouring down.

Take advantage of the open-air experience and you’ll be glad of the heated seats, which now include a head-level heating element which blows warm air from just below the headrest onto the nape of your neck. Like the heated seats themselves, it’s all controlled by the intuitive and masterfully designed air-vents on the dashboard, and offers three stages of warmth.

If you can, opt for the Supersports seats too, the adjustable side bolsters ensuring they can hug the figure of the leanest or lardiest occupants, and combined with the steering wheel and other seat adjustments means a perfect driving position is easy to obtain.

Practicality

It’s a two-seat sportscar, but actually Audi TT practicality is surprisingly strong. For a start the boot space totals 280 litres, and best of all dropping the top – which folds into a ‘Z’ structure – requires no extra portion of room from the luggage compartment.

All that said, it does lack properly useful oddment storage spaces in the cabin. Prime culprits are the door bins, which are incredibly small and especially shallow – it’s easy for some items to simply fall out while driving. The centre console has a cup-holder, and there is a decent-sized cubby with retractable lid in front of the gearlever, plus an average sized glovebox, but that’s really about all that is on offer.

Like the Coupe, the TT Roadster’s cabin feels plenty spacious enough, and even with the fabric roof closed it never feels particularly claustrophobic.

What's it like to drive?

You can only buy the TT in petrol form these days – the ‘entry-level’ TT Roadster is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol with 230hp. Accelerating from 0-62mph takes 6.2 seconds (front-wheel drive manual) or 5.6 seconds (quattro S tronic) with an electronically limited top-speed of 155mph.

Lasting until 4,300rpm, that gives the Audi TT roadster a strong spread of performance, and while the 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds (5.6 seconds for the quattro S tronic automatic) is impressive, it’s the mid-range flexibility that leaves the lasting impression. There’s always plenty of urge for overtaking, and reaching the legal limit - from a motorway slip-road for example - is deceptively quick. The engine is smooth and refined too, though not particularly loaded with character.

Driven back-to-back with the TTS though, it still feels purposefully quick – choose this ‘entry-level’ car and you’ll never feel short-changed. That said, the figures do not lie, and the TTS with its extra 80hp accelerates up to one second quicker from 0-62mph (5.2 seconds for the manual, and 4.9 seconds for the S tronic). Be in no doubt this is a quick car.

Handling

With standard quattro four-wheel drive it can deploy that performance without drama though, whether you’re travelling in a straight line or turning a corner.

The sporty TTS gets Magnetic Ride adaptive damping as standard, and constantly adapts to the road conditions or user requirements – the Drive Select allows owners to toggle between Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency and Individual modes on the move. You can completely turn the ESP system off in the TT. It still allows an entertaining amount of slip without allowing the car, or more specifically the driver, to get carried away.

But it’s not a proper sports car – a Porsche Boxster stands head and shoulders above the TT Roadster for driver involvement and feedback – and visceral thrills are not its A-game. It’s a car, especially in TTS quattro guise, to flatter its driver. No matter their behind-the-wheel ability. For many this composed, assured and capable nature will be perfect for their needs, and on an unfamiliar backroad the confidence it inspires is addictive, if not all that exciting or enveloping.

Ownership and running costs

The TT won’t be too harmful on your wallet in terms of fuelling. With front wheel-drive and a manual gearbox, emissions are pegged at just 140g/km. Officially this car will return 47.1mpg, though we’d expect a real-world number closer to 40 than 50mpg.

A three-year warranty is included as standard, but you can guard against any extra bills by extending this if you wish, while fixed-price service packages are also available when you buy a new Audi TT Roadster.

Safety

The Audi TT Coupe was tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 and scored four stars. It's getting on in years, but is still fundamentally a safe car, with airbags, for both passenger and driver and a pair of rollover bars behind the headrests, ensuring occupants aren’t injured if the vehicle is inverted.

Also yet get three stage Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is fitted as standard, allowing drivers to toggle between full assistance, a Sport mode that allows some slip before intervention and a fully off function. Audi Lane assist is fitted as standard to petrol models, though the light and rain sensors for automatically controlling the lights and windscreen wipers only appear on the S Line or TTS models.

What else should I know?

It's unlikely that the TT is going to be replaced when it goes out of production as Audi moves towards an electrified line-up and an SUV-focused model range. If you want one new, move quickly...

Audi TT Roadster rivals

Other Audi TT models: