The TT’s all-turbocharged engine range starts with a 178bhp 1.8-litre petrol, plus there's a choice of two 2.0-litre petrols (one with 227bhp and the other, badged TTS, packing 306bhp). A 181bhp 2.0-litre diesel completes the regular line-up.
The 1.8 is the cheapest option, and the one we think is best. That’s because it offers great value alongside a cracking engine that delivers the lively acceleration most TT buyers will be searching for. Of course, there will be those of you that crave more power, for whom there’s always the 227bhp 2.0. This feels fast at virtually any revs, and will crack 60mph in less than 6.0sec. It’s available with both front and four-wheel drive, but the latter model is heavier and comes into its own only in wet conditions.
Despite having a lot less power to call on, the TDI diesel offers lots of mid-range shove, so it's worth a look if you’re a company car driver or cover lots of miles. Meanwhile, the TTS is so quick that it will just pip a Porsche Cayman from 0-62mph.
At the top of the range sits the TT RS, which has a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine that produces 394bhp. It also gets quattro all-wheel drive as standard, and as such is massively fast; it'll crack 0-62mph in just 3.7sec while sounding superb.
Audi TT Coupe ride comfort
The standard suspension gives a firm but generally comfortable ride, and even the optional sports set-up (available for no extra cost on S line versions) never makes things too bumpy.
Choosing to add big wheels (up to 20in alloys are available) means you will feel more of bumps, so it’s worth resisting the temptation if you value comfort over sporty looks.
The TTS comes with adaptive dampers, which Audi calls Magnetic Ride. This is available as an option on cheaper models, and allows you stiffen or soften the suspension depending on the type of driving you’re doing. It’s a great system, but not one we’d put down as a ‘must-have’ option.
The TT RS, on the other hand, comes with 10mm lower suspension than the standard cars without adaptive dampers. They're an option, but we'd say you needn't bother, because the standard suspension is firm but never uncomfortable.
Audi TT Coupe handling
Turn in to a corner and the light, accurate steering gives you a good sense of what the front wheels are doing, so it’s easy to judge when you need to back off a bit. The TT also feels nimble, grip levels are huge and there’s hardly any body lean – especially in the high-powered TTS and regular versions equipped with the stiffer sports suspension.
In wet conditions, the front-wheel-drive 1.8 TFSI remains pretty manageable, but the front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre TTs can struggle to transfer all of their power to the road on the way out of corners. The four-wheel drive (quattro) versions on the other hand, are virtually unflappable.
Audi TT Coupe refinement
The Audi TT is a sports coupe, so it’s never going to be as hushed as a luxury limo. However, other than some wind noise around the frameless windows and a bit of road noise, this is a pretty quiet cruiser – certainly when compared with rivals such as the Peugeot RCZ R.
As mentioned, the six-speed manual gearbox has a slightly long and un-sports car-like shift action, but it’s light and precise. The S tronic automatic gearbox (standard on the four-wheel-drive petrol TT, and an option on the front-wheel-drive petrol and the TTS) is generally slick, and is jerky only when manoeuvring.
It may be the cheapest engine in the range, but with 178bhp and a very respectable 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds, it offers lively performance as well as great value for money. We’ve also found the lighter engine improves the ride, and unlike the more powerful front-wheel-drive 2.0 TFSI 230 that scrabbles for traction in the wet, the 1.8 TFSI is easier to manage. We think it’s a cracker.
Our pick 2.0 TFSI
For those that want a bit more oomph, this offers very impressive performance - particularly at medium revs – and it sounds great. The engine is available with both six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes, but we’d stick with the manual. Being front-wheel drive and with all that power, you do have to be careful with the accelerator out of tight bends on wet roads to avoid it spinning up its wheels.
2.0 TFSI quattro
This quattro (four-wheel-drive) model has the same engine as the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol, but is available only with a six-speed automatic gearbox. The extra traction is handy in slippery conditions, but not really necessary the rest of the time. The gearbox is super-quick to shift ratios, although it’s a bit jerky at manoeuvring speeds.
2.0 TFSI TTS
With more than 300bhp and four-wheel drive as standard, the TTS can accelerate even quicker than a Porsche Cayman – particularly if you go for the optional six-speed automatic gearbox. However, the manual version is cheaper to buy and more fun to drive. It’s a shame the engine noise sounds a bit fake, though.
2.0 TDI Ultra
The diesel is the slowest model in the range, but it’s still effortlessly brisk. The engine is a bit grumbly and un-sports car-like, but it provides serious overtaking shove and has low CO2 emissions. It’s available only with a manual gearbox.
2.5 TFSI TT RS
This powerful 394bhp turbocharged five-cylinder makes a superb sound when pushed hard and allows the TT RS (the only model that gets this engine) to fire itself from 0-62mph in just 3.7sec - that's supercar levels of performance. With it, though, comes high running costs.