Audi TT (2015) review: A smarter take on the sports coupe
Electronics substitute luxury in Audi's lighter TT sports coupe
- Involving engine that does not neglect economy
- Well equipped and advanced entertainment system
- Handles well in corners
- Intelligent headlamps
- Infotainment system is in the driver's field of view
- Even kids will struggle in the back seats
- Firm ride is harsh on worn roads
Price$ 82,450.00 (AUD)
Audi’s take on a bare-boned sports coupe remains luxurious. Clever electronics and some original thinking has helped the company eliminate redundant features and keep the weight down.
The Mk3 Audi TT has a shape that is more aggressive. The headlights no longer frown downwards, but are angularly cut and lead into a wide front grille. A low profile and flared wheel arches sell the illusion the petite TT has serious performance DNA.
Small touches build on this effect. There’s a retractable rear spoiler that automatically raises at speeds over 120km/h. It can be coaxed out with the press of the button, and its presence grants the soft rear some attitude.
As does the metallic fuel lid located on top of the car’s hind wheels. There’s no cap under the lip so that the nozzle slides in, quickly, just like that of a pit stop.
Making a coupe sporty is a negotiation between power and weight. Audi has a reputation for making luxury cars kitted with all the bells and whistles. The company has strived to keep the TT light by being selective with what it includes and by not including overlapping features.
There are rear parking sensors, for instance, but no rear camera. Then there’s the unorthodox take on the TT’s entertainment system.
The first time we slid behind the wheel, our eyes locked on the minimalist centre console. It was missing the trap door that concealed a 7-inch display common to all other Audis. Air conditioning vents and a few buttons were all we found — until we pressed the ‘start’ button.
A large, 12.5-inch antiglare display has replaced all of the dials found traditionally in the instrument cluster. The ‘infotainment’ system has been shifted into the field of view of the driver, including the navigation, media player and Bluetooth phone interface.
This is a powerful system, rich in animations and advanced in functionality. The sheer size alone impresses, and Audi makes good use of it. The digitised dials measuring speed can be minimised to the corners so that the rest of the screen can be used up by the navigation. Or the folder hierarchy of a USB thumb drive. Or to adjust some of the car’s granular settings.
Sports cars are designed to bring drivers closer to the road. Having a computer behind the steering wheel interrupts this pursuit.
Audi has gone to the effort of equipping the TT with Matrix LED headlights. These headlights are an assembly of LED lamps which individually turn off — and then back on again — at the sight of oncoming cars. The idea is to have the road illuminated as best as possible without blinding fellow drivers.
The headlights on the TT glean information from the navigation system and turn in anticipation of an upcoming corner. It works well, I discovered, during a late night drive on Old Pacific Highways en route to Newcastle.
There are no street lights on Old Pacific Highway. It is dark and can be unforgiving. At a rest stop were three cars: two sitting on bricks without wheels and another flipped on its roof.
A wide beam of light illuminated the narrow, single lane road, granting me periphery of foliage and ditches in anticipation. The headlamps illuminated the areas around oncoming cars without blinding their drivers. This meant I could pour all of my focus into the corners ahead.
And although I could, to great effect, there was something lingering in my field of view. It was the infotainment system, its own backlight shining brightly, and it was getting in the way of my drive.
Other parts of the TT stayed true to the ethos of a sports coupe. Driving it in traffic was surprisingly fun, with its off-the-line power and its small footprint letting it slice into tight breaks.
The engine is of the stop-start variety. Keep the feature enabled and time spent at the lights will be both quiet and petrol friendly. Audi quotes petrol consumption at 6.4-litres for every hundred kilometres; we averaged 11-litres with spirited driving in Dynamic mode.
Typical sports coupes skimp out on comfort. The TT has leather upholstery, electric bucket seats up front and a nine speaker sound system. All around visibility and a large boot could lean this car towards practical, though the rear seats make it only practical for two.
The comfortable ride takes a turn for the worse on worn roads. It clings to every dip and hole, and even though it never loses control, the shock is channeled through the cabin. This is the by-product of the TT’s light 1305kg body and its firm suspension, which come into their own on open roads.
Powering the TT TFSI is a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that hits all the right notes. It’s small at 2-litres, produces 169kW and dependending on the variant, will drive either the front or all four wheels.
Off the line it will reach 100 kilometres per hour in 6 seconds flat. The front wheels struggle to put the power down and momentarily slip as the car builds up speed. Acceleration is linear with maximum torque at 1600 - 4300rpm, and its 6500rpm redline is on the short side for a sports coupe.
Be sure to engage the ‘dynamic’ mode and the drive will be lively. The use of a turbo hasn’t hampered acceleration with power being delivered immediately. Nor has it soured the exhaust note.
The engine dominates the TT’s soundtrack, snarling as it approaches the redline and barking with a ‘puff’ at quick gear changes. A car like the VW Scirocco R will accent its engine note with the whine of the turbo. The turbo in the TT is barely audible when accelerating and even less so when shifting. After all, this is a gentleman’s car.
Top speed is 250km/h, but that alone is not what this car is about. The best parts of the TT are found in the way it accelerates, brakes, turns and accelerates. Older TTs felt too soft to be a sports coupe; ‘hairdresser cars’, they were called. The Mk3 better marries performance with comfort.
Three petrol versions of the Audi TT are available in Australia, including the TFSI manual from $71950, an S tronic automatic from $74,950 and an all wheel drive quattro S tronic version priced from $77,950.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- The 'Amazon effect' will drive autonomous vehicles, Nvidia CEO says
- Sony's clever image sensor helps autonomous cars see better
- Baidu to share autonomous vehicle technology
- Tesla to begin taking orders for its solar roof shingles
- Ford hires 400 mobile connectivity engineers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- TPAV Design Specialist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- CCSalesforce Marketing CloudNSW
- FTSenior Software EngineerACT
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - WintelVIC
- FTNetwork EngineerWA
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksACT
- FTPeopleSoft Campus Solution ConsultantNSW
- FTHCM Project Manager & Service Implementation Manager - SAP HRNSW
- FTApplication Support EngineerACT
- CCState-wide Business Transition Lead - BrisbaneNSW
- FTData Analyst - SASNSW
- FTJunior .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTCustomer Service OperatorVIC
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerACT
- CCProject Manager Information ManagementQLD
- CCManaging Architect - Satellite - TelcoVIC
- FTImplementation Engineer - Cisco UCSWA
- FTIntegration and Implementation SpecialistVIC
- FTProject Manager or Coordinator - Retail Store ProjectsNSW
- FTIntermediate Project ManagerQLD
- TPSoftware Engineer / DeveloperQLD
- FTClient Onboarding ManagerNSW
- FTData Analyst - BIQLD
- FTSenior Activations Performance Analyst | $700pdVIC