Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The TT uses a 2.0-litre, petrol engine that’s offered in three power outputs, of which our pick is the entry-level 40 TFSI. It produces 197bhp and pulls strongly from low revs, with more than enough mid-range grunt for quick overtakes. 0-62mph takes 6.6 seconds – fast enough to worry small hot hatches such as the Ford Fiesta ST.
The extra power of the 241bhp 45 TFSI is mostly found at the top of the rev range, so it doesn’t feel much faster than the 40 TFSI in most driving situations. However, while the 40 TFSI is front-wheel drive only, you can add quattro four-wheel drive to the 45 TFSI; it brings extra traction for clean launches even in slippery conditions.
The 302bhp TTS is quick enough to pip the Porsche Cayman from 0-62mph and, with four-wheel-drive traction as standard, none of its power is squandered; you simply point the car in the direction you want to go and give it as much gas as you see fit. Stick it in Dynamic mode and the throttle response sharpens up, the S tronic automatic gearbox holds on to gears for longer and the exhaust even makes a satisfying – but manufactured – burble to soundtrack your back-road blast.
Suspension and ride comfort
The standard suspension gives a firm but generally comfortable ride, and even the optional sports setup (available for no extra cost on S line versions) never makes things too bumpy. Both systems are a little crashy over motorway expansion joints or particularly intrusive drain covers, but are nothing that you’d ever tire of. Add big wheels (options up to 20in are available), though, and you’ll feel every imperfection in the road. It’s worth resisting the temptation to do so if you value comfort over sporty looks.
The TTS comes with adaptive suspension as standard; it's available as an option on cheaper models and allows you stiffen or soften the ride to your taste. It’s an effective system and there's a big difference between its Comfort and Dynamic modes, but it isn’t something one we’d regard as a ‘must-have’ option.
Turn into a corner and the TT’s light, accurate steering allows you to place it on the road with pinpoint accuracy. However, it’d be more confidence-inspiring if there was more feedback and feel. For the most part, though, grip levels are good and there’s hardly any body lean – especially in versions equipped with the stiffer sports suspension.
In wet conditions, front-wheel-drive TTs can struggle to transfer all of their power to the road when accelerating out of corners. The four-wheel-drive versions, on the other hand, are virtually unflappable.
Noise and vibration
The Audi TT is a sports coupe, so it was never likely to be as hushed as a luxury limo. However, while there’s noticeable wind noise around the frameless windows and a bit of suspension noise over bumps, it's still a pretty quiet cruiser – certainly when compared with rivals such as the Ford Mustang.
The six-speed manual gearbox has a slightly long and un-sporty shift action, but it’s light and precise. The S tronic automatic gearbox (standard on quattro four-wheel drive models and an option on front-wheel-drive variants and the TTS ), is generally slick, apart from being a little jerky at slow speeds, especially when left in Dynamic mode. It can also be prone to the occasional harsh gear change when you want a quick getaway.
While using the steering wheel-mounted paddles doesn't overcome these issues, manual gearchanges are at least smooth and immediate.