Audi TTS long-term test: report 1
The Audi TTS is a stylish coupé with fun at its core, but does it still have a place in a world dominated by high-riding SUVs? Our deputy editor is living with one to find out...
The car Audi TTS Black Edition | Run by Darren Moss, deputy editor
Why its here To see if this hugely successful car still deserves a place on your driveway
Needs to Combine entertaining handling and grin-inducing performance with a comfortable ride and top-notch interior quality
Mileage 1032 List price £50,825 Target Price £47,998 Price as tested £52,320 Official economy 34.0mpg Test economy 30.1mpg Options Comfort and Sound Pack (£1495)
24 October 2022 – Orange is the new black
To paraphrase Cyndi Lauper, deputy editors of popular motoring magazines just want to have fun. Yet while my list of previous company cars includes many entries that might be considered practical, comfortable and even financially smart choices, there aren’t many that I’d describe as overtly fun.
That changes here, though, because sitting on my driveway at the moment is the automotive equivalent of a day out at the theme park: the Audi TTS.
It’s sleek, it’s got a big spoiler on the back and its bright orange paintwork practically glows. If this isn’t a car that screams at you to get behind the wheel and go for a drive, I don’t know what is.
However, don’t go thinking that I’ve abandoned all my senses, because I'm hopeful that the TTS will still fill the role of everyday transport pretty well. It has four seats (technically, at least), plus a boot that’s deceptively practical, thanks to its hatchback opening. And while the aforementioned spoiler blocks most of my view out of the back window, there’s a reversing camera to help me park. See? Sensible.
What’s less so is the engine, which is the same turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol that you’ll find in all TTs other than the bonkers Audi TT RS, but with its power increased to 316bhp and its drive sent to all four wheels. As a result, my car is fast enough to pip a Porsche 718 Cayman S to 62mph. Or as, as a friend put it, really bloody quick.
And then there’s the soundtrack. At higher revs, the TTS emits a noise that can cause even the most avid of music listeners to turn down the stereo to enjoy the moment, while around town it settles to an angry burble. It helps that I've set the exhaust to its rortiest setting; I’m a young, single man around town, after all, so I want to announce my presence.
While pressing the accelerator pedal of the TTS is an intoxicating experience, though, it’s also one I need to temper; the car officially does only 34mpg, and has so far managed less than that in my hands. If I want to keep my running costs even vaguely sensible, I’ll need to restrain my enthusiasm some of the time.
Even at sensible speeds, however, the TTS is wonderfully involving, with feelsome, well-weighted steering, and a ride that can be stiffened or softened at the touch of a button, thanks to adaptive suspension.
Inside, my TTS is awash with high-quality materials, too, but it does without one feature that I’ve come to expect on almost every new car: a central infotainment screen. Instead, the infotainment functions are bundled into Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, an approach which works surprisingly well. Even the smartphone mirroring functions, such as Apple CarPlay, can all be controlled from this one screen, without being too distracting.
In fact, my TTS comes with almost all the equipment I could want, with such luxuries as heated front seats, ambient interior lighting and automatic lights and wipers all fitted as standard to my chosen Black Edition trim.
I’ve only added one option from the extensive list: the Comfort and Sound Pack, which brings a high-quality Bang & Olufsen stereo, as well as front parking sensors and the reversing camera I talked about earlier.
As someone who shops both big and tall, I’m still working out how to get into and out of the TTS with dignity, because it sits much lower to the ground than the cars I’m used to. But that currently feels like a small price to pay for the number of smiles it's giving me.
So, will this Audi cause me to drive all night, like Cyndi? Or is there a reason why the Audi TT will soon be discontinued – probably in favour of something electric and SUV shaped? I'll get back to you on that.
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Audi TTS long-term test
The Audi TTS is a stylish coupé with fun at its core, but does it still have a place in a world dominated by high-riding SUVs? Our deputy editor is living with one to find out