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Why it’s Audi TT time on my motoring menu

06:22 05 February 2016

Audi TT Coupe is dynamic, desirable and delivers as practical everyday transport for two people.

Audi TT Coupe is dynamic, desirable and delivers as practical everyday transport for two people.

Audi

With the children flown the nest, motoring editor Andy Russell makes a case for an Audi TT Coupe his and his wife’s motoring needs and still leave room for the dog.

In the far-off days before we had children, my wife and I were more interested in performance than practicality when it came to cars. But with two children it was expansive estates, huge hatchbacks and lots of legroom in the back.

Life goes full circle and now we empty-nesters can let our hearts rule our heads again.

Which brings me to probably the most desirable, affordable coupe on the road, the Audi TT. One that fits our life now - just the two of us… and a dog!

Audi TT Coupé

Price: Audi TT Coupé 2.0 TFSI S line 230PS six-speed manual, £32,765 (range from £27,150)

Engine: 1,984cc, 230PS, four-cylinder petrol

Performance: 0-62mph 6.0 seconds; top speed 155mph

MPG: Urban 37.7; extra urban 54.3; combined 46.3

CO2 emissions: 141g/km

Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 23%

Insurance group: 35E (out of 50)

Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

Will it fit in the garage? L 4,177mm; W (including door mirrors) 1,966mm; H 1,353mm

Coupe de grace

The third generation TT’s styling is more evolutionary than the revolutionary revamp from first to second generation.

It’s shorter and narrow than its predecessor but longer between the front and back wheels so has more useable space inside. The wider front grille it introduced to the Audi range is obvious but not the 50kg weight loss although that pays dividends when it comes to driving performance, economy and emissions.

Inside story

The rear seats are next to useless with very little head and legroom. The fact that the front seats backs tilt forward but the rest of the seat does not automatically slide with them is an indication Audi does not expect them to be used much.

With the seats in place there is a useful 305 litres of boot space, enough for two people’s holiday luggage even though it’s shallow, but fold down the 50/50 split rear seat backs and the 712-litre load bay swallowed quite a large dog-carrying cage and still left enough room to pack some soft holdalls in.

Under the bonnet

I’m going from diehard diesel fan to passionate petrolhead and the TT’s 230PS 2.0-litre TFSI engine is a prime reason why and only a £105 more than the noisier turbo diesel.

It delivers a healthy dose of torque, not far short of the 184PS 2.0-litre turbo diesel, but starting lower in the range at just 1,600rpm. It carries on all the way to 4,300rpm, just before the full 230 horses in unleashed.

The result is a car that’s both relaxing and rewarding to drive, hugely flexible in urban traffic, without constantly using the slick six-speed gearbox, yet free-revving and refined with sparkling performance.

Even in sixth gear it picks up cleanly from 40mpg and that helped me achieve nearly 40mpg overall and 45mpg on a run. Given the performance that’s very acceptable.

Driving appeal

While I would invest in the S tronic automatic gearbox for £1,480, the front-wheel drive model is so good to drive, flowing through bends and putting the power down safely even on wet roads, that I would not spend a further £1,465 on the auto-only quattro all-wheel drive model.

The TT is also surprisingly comfortable if you get the set-up right. Even with the S line models’ bigger 19in wheels (Sport gets 18in) it’s sensitive to poor surfaces travelling slowly, but not unduly firm, as my test car did not have the 10mm lower sport suspension, a no-cost option on S line. Again, it’s something I happily do without.

Drive Select allows more efficient, comfort and sporty engine and steering set-ups so you can tailor the experience to your mood and the road, altering the character of the TT although after a while I just left it in ‘auto’ mode to do its own thing.

At the wheel

The TT boasts one of the finest quality, clinically-finished cabins I’ve had the pleasure to sit in.

Everything falls to hand, with a central controller for most functions, and the heating and ventilation controls integrated into the three central round air vents are genius.

You’ll also love the 12.3in virtual cockpit which allows the speedo and rev counter to be made smaller – very useful when sat-nav is fitted, part of the £1,795 technology pack featuring internet-enabled Audi Connect, and the map fills the display.

Given the visibility, it’s a shame rear parking sensors are a £430 standalone option or available as part of the sound and comfort package.

Final say

Apart from carrying four people, the Audi TT can do everything I want of a car and would put a thrill into every journey… even the supermarket run!

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Andy Russell

Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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