Review

Audi TT Coupe (2019 - ) review

This TT is a revised version of the sports car launched in 2014. Its rivals include the Porsche Cayman and the BMW 2 Series.

Words by: First published: 18th January 2019
The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 4.5
The TT is an excellent choice for someone that wants a great quality sports coupe. It offers an engaging driving experience with a touch more practicality than some of its rivals. Sure, some of these rivals are more focused to drive, but many people will prefer the everyday usability of the TT, and it’s still more than capable of putting a smile on your face.

Pros

  • Eye-catching looks
  • Good to drive with punchy engines
  • Great quality interior

Cons

  • Reliability concerns
  • Rear seats are for small children only
  • Clever infotainment system takes time to learn

Interested in buying an Audi TT?

How good does it look? 5/5

We won’t blame you if you don’t spot any differences between this facelifted Audi TT and the original third-generation car that launched in 2014. But look closely and you’ll find a revised grille taken from the R8 supercar, and tweaks to the bodywork. You can spec an S line package to sport up the bodywork a bit, while the performance TTS ramps up the visual dynamism further.

There are three trim levels, starting with the Sport which features LED daytime running lights and xenon headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels. The next step up is the S line, which comes with brighter LED headlights and 19-inch wheels, as well as some gloss black bits on the bodywork and a sportier bodykit. The top model of the “standard” TT is the Black Edition, which comes with 20-inch black alloy wheels and, as the name suggests, lots of black elements on the bodywork.

The sportiest version of the TT is the TTS, which has aluminium-look bits on the side mirrors, bumper and side skirts, and rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. You also get some TTS logos on the brake calipers, so the keen-eyed will know you’re packing a bit more oomph. Solid paint is included, but metallic colours are extra.

What's the interior like? 5/5

With Audi maintaining a superb reputation for interior quality, it would be hard for the company to mess up the revamped TT. Changes are, again, pretty minimal, which means a very high quality of materials and excellent fit and finish. Sports seats are standard, with all models getting part- or full-leather upholstery.

All cars also come with a 12.3-inch display in the front of the driver, rather than traditional instruments or a central screen. This displays both driving information and infotainment options, which is controlled either from the wheel or by a dial and buttons next to the gearstick. It’s certainly cool to look at, and works well once you get to know it, but be prepared to take a bit of time to figure out how to navigate your way around the interface.

How practical is it? 4/5

You don’t buy a small sports coupe because you want a practical car, but within the confines of the genre, the TT is actually pretty good. It compares well to the Toyota GT86 in terms of interior space, and it’s better than Porsche’s 718 Cayman in that it has rear seats. However, these seats are tiny, and really only suitable for small children. There’s a 305-litre boot under a hatchback boot lid, which expands to 712 litres if you fold the rear seats down. This is more than the GT86, BMW’s Z4 and the Mercedes-Benz SLC. There are small pockets in the doors and a cubby in front of the gearstick, and a single cupholder between the front seats.

What's it like to drive? 5/5

Audi calls the TT a sports coupe, and luckily, it has the dynamic ability to back that up, with engineering that’s unchanged in the revamped version. With strong grip, taut body control and fast, predictable reactions from the steering, gearshift and throttle, the TT feels excitingly nimble in a set of bends. And that’s the front-wheel-drive cars. Some versions are available with four-wheel drive (and a twin-clutch gearbox), giving you even more traction out of bends. But to be honest, they’re no more enjoyable to drive, and we’d save the extra cash they cost unless you really need the extra grip.

All the conventional TTs also deliver a ride that’s impressively slick and smooth, and the lowered sports suspension that’s standard on S-Line and Black Edition models manages to increase the stiffness and cornering ability while stopping short of being crashy over rough surfaces.

We haven’t yet tried the revamped version of the sportier TTS, but as it too is unchanged when it comes to handling, we’re confident that it’ll mirror its predecessor. That version wasn’t anywhere near as smooth as the conventional cars, but we think that it’s be comfy enough for the hardcore buyers it’ll appeal to. That said, it’s neither as fun, nor as comfortable, as a Porsche 718 Cayman, which costs about the same. A revised version of the really hardcore TT RS will follow in the future.

How powerful is it? 5/5

The standard version of the TT comes with a choice of two petrol engines (there’s no diesel option), which have more power than before. Both are 2.0-litre turbocharged units, with one badged as the 40 TFSI and the other as the 45 TFSI. The former has 197 horsepower, which might not sound a lot, but it’s enough for the TT to hit 62mph in 6.6 seconds. If you want a bit more zip, then the 45 TFSI has 245 horsepower and will hit 62mph in 5.9 seconds. It’s an engine that’s often used in performance cars from Audi’s parent company, the Volkswagen Group, and it’s a cracker with plenty of grunt and smooth delivery that means punch whenever you need it.

Both engines come with a seven-speed, twin-clutch automatic gearbox that can run in full auto mode or manually via the gearstick or paddles behind the wheel. The 45 is also available with a six-speed manual gearbox if you prefer the extra involvement of a clutch pedal. The 45 is also available with all-wheel drive, which is labelled by Audi as Quattro.

The performance TTS model comes with 306 horsepower and all-wheel drive, giving it a very pacey 0-62mph sprint of 4.5 seconds, which is slightly quicker than the 2014 car.

How much will it cost me? 4/5

Identifying rivals for the TT is slightly tricky, as sports car fans will often throw a wide net. You could be looking at cars like Toyota’s GT86, Porsche’s Cayman, BMW’s 2 Series or even a hot hatch of some kind. Audi has a premium image and its cars are priced to reflect that, but the TT performs well in several different areas, from performance to interior quality, so you could argue that it’s worth the extra money over some other brands. It should have rock solid resale values as well. The deletion of a diesel option in the TT line-up means fuel costs might be higher than they used to be, but the petrol engines are pretty good on fuel considering their performance levels.

How reliable is it? 2/5

Despite a strong reputation for quality. Audi’s reliability has not been the best in recent years. In fact, it’s been pretty poor. The 2018 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study put Audi third from bottom when ranking all the main manufacturers, although that's one place higher than the 2017 study. Audi is similarly low-ranked in Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index, which looks at the reliability of older, out-of-warranty cars. Should anything go wrong with your TT, Audi offers a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, which is pretty standard for this type or car, but not as hot as Toyota’s five-year, 100,000-mile offer on the GT86.

How safe is it? 3/5

The latest TT is largely the same as the car that scored a disappointing four stars out of five in tests by safety organisation Euro NCAP back in 2015. In fairness, the tests had just been made harder when it was tested, but standards have improved again since then. Some modern technologies that you would expect from newer cars, such as automatic emergency braking, aren’t available, and lane assist is only available as an option. Still, there are front and side airbags and two Isofix child seat mounting points in the rear seats.

How much equipment do I get? 3/5

Audi isn’t renowned for including a lot of features as standard in its cars, but the offerings in the TT aren’t too bad. The Sport model includes Bluetooth and cruise control, as well as heated seats with an Alcantara and leather upholstery, as well as keyless start. Upgrade to the Sport and you’ll get more powerful LED lights and some cosmetic enhancements, but not much extra kit, while the Black Edition has bigger wheels and extra styling bits. The TTS has an upgraded magnetic suspension system, nicer leather on the seats and lane assist as standard.

Options include the Comfort and Sound pack, which features a Bang & Olufsen sound system and a reversing camera, and the Technology Pack, which adds satellite navigation (standard on the TTS), a wireless charging area for your phone and a 36-month subscription to various online infotainment options, including aerial pictures from Google Earth on the sat-nav.

Why buy? 5/5

If you want a small coupe that’s fun and comfortable to drive, dripping with quality and desirability, and that’s still affordable to run, then the TT is it. Sure, it’s not the cheapest option, but it’s still one of our favourite cars of its type.

Interested in buying an Audi TT?