There are four turbo petrol engines: a 1.8 with 158bhp, a 208bhp 2.0-litre, the 270bhp 2.0 TTS and the 335bhp five-cylinder TT RS. All are fast, but the effortlessly flexible 208bhp unit is our favourite. There's also a 168bhp 2.0 diesel. It delivers brisk performance, yet still returns over 50mpg. All engines have six-speed manual gearboxes as standard and most are available with an excellent S tronic six-speed semi-auto 'box.
The TT is one of the most enjoyable coupes you can buy at this money. The turn-in is amazingly crisp, thanks to bullish grip and sharp steering. Body control is impressively tight, too, but you still get a comfortable ride. You can have the lower-powered 2.0 petrol with front- or four-wheel drive - we like the former, which feels more alert and more fun. The other versions all get four-wheel drive as standard, and one of our few reservations is that the RS isn't as sharp as a Porsche Cayman.
The TT offers the best of both worlds - drive it gently and the TT is a sedate, refined performer; drive it hard and you'll unleash a rasping exhaust note. There is some wind noise at high speed, but nothing to deter you from long-distance touring. Tyre noise is more pronounced on the more expensive models, which have larger wheels.
Despite strong demand, you can still save plenty on a TT without hurting its strong resale values. It also makes the car a relatively cheap contract hire proposition, given its list price. Running costs are reasonable; the 2.0 diesel returns supermini-like fuel economy, while our favourite petrol is more efficient than its major rivals. However, if you make the most of the performance in the faster versions, you'll run up hefty bills for fuel and tyres.
The materials used in the car's construction are first-rate and the cabin is hugely appealing. The TT finished in the top third in our most recent reliability survey, but in the latest JD Power survey, it was given a below average score for reliability.
The TT gets a good amount of safety kit, including electronic stability control and front and side airbags, but we would have liked curtain airbags to be available as well. Your car should be well defended from thieves, too, with an engine immobiliser and alarm provided as standard.
The flat-bottomed sports steering wheel looks great, and all the controls work efficiently. The driving position is also excellent, thanks to plenty of adjustment for the seat and wheel. Visibility is exceptionally good for a car this low and sporty, too.
There's loads of head-, shoulder- and legroom for two, but there's not much space for odds and ends in the cabin. The boot is well-shaped, if rather shallow, but the 50/50 split rear seats fold flat to boost practicality. The tiny rear seats are virtually useless for adults, because there's almost no foot space or headroom.
The TT's sharp styling is enhanced by alloy wheels, and standard luxuries include climate control, remote central locking and Alcantara and leather upholstery. You'll also find electric windows and mirrors, but some rivals provide more goodies. S line versions add lowered sports suspension and a whole array of aesthetic goodies.
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Simplest is best, so not only is the 2.0 TFSI the best TT, it's even better if you forget the quattro four-wheel-drive, DSG semi-auto gearbox and over-firm S line suspension options.