There are four turbo petrol models: a 158bhp 1.8, a 208bhp 2.0, the 270bhp 2.0 TTS and the 335bhp five-cylinder TT RS. All are fast, but the smooth, flexible 208bhp version is our pick. The 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel is free revving and punchy, yet still averages more than 50mpg. All have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, and most are available with an excellent S tronic six- or seven-speed semi-auto 'box.
The TT Roadster feels like a proper sports car in a set of twists and turns. The steering is quick, precise and feelsome, while the strong grip, sharp responses and impressive balance also make it feel incredibly agile. The models with four-wheel drive don’t feel quite as nimble, but they’re still fun. Even the ride is comfortable, so long as you avoid the larger wheels.
Tall drivers have to sit low to avoid having their hair blown about with the roof down, and the fabric roof lets in a little wind noise on the motorway. Models with large wheels also suffer from road noise on coarse surfaces, but cars with smaller rims are impressively quiet. The turbocharged petrol cars have a throaty exhaust note, while the diesel is extremely smooth and reasonably hushed.
Audi dealers are prepared to offer decent discounts, but the TT still holds its value brilliantly. This also makes it a relatively cheap contract hire proposition, given its list price. Running costs are reasonable, with the 2.0-litre diesel model returning supermini-like fuel economy, but if you make the most of the performance of the faster versions, you’ll run up hefty fuel and tyre bills.
The TT's cabin feels really special, with impeccable build quality and materials, and terrific attention to detail. 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 decent amount of safety kit, including stability control and front and side airbags, but we would like curtain airbags as well (they aren’t available, even as an option). Your car should be well defended from thieves, though, with an engine immobiliser and alarm both 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 lots of adjustment for the seat and wheel. However, visibility to the side and rear isn’t brilliant with the roof up.
There’s plenty of space for two, and storage space is decent by convertible standards. The boot has a narrow opening and is quite shallow, although at least you can squeeze in the same amount of luggage whether the roof is up or down.
Entry-level models have the basics, including alloys, climate control and aluminium interior trim. Sport models add Alcantara and leather upholstery, while S line versions have full leather trim, xenon headlamps, 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.