The beautiful Audi TT is great to look and good to drive, just don’t expect this 2+2 coupe to offer the last word in practicality

Styling

This second generation Audi TT was launched in 2008, but it still stands out from the crowd thanks to its clean, crisp lines. To our eyes, the elegant coupe is better looking than the roadster. All cars get a rear wing which pops up automatically at 80mph. The mid-range TTS gets a subtle bodykit and 18-inch alloys, while the flagship TT RS gets a fixed rear wing, huge exhausts and a 10mm lower ride height. Inside, the fit and finish is as good as anything offered by Porsche, while the optional leather interiors look and feel extremely luxurious.

Driving and Performance

There are four engines are on offer in the TT. Entry-level cars get a 1.8-litre turbo petrol, while the 2.0 TFSI is the next motor in the range. Both are punchy and refined, and even the larger engine will return 36mpg. The 2.5-litre five cylinder turbo is only available in the TT RS, and it offers a warbling, gutsy five-cylinder exhaust note. Diesel fans can choose a 168bhp 2.0-litre TDI, which promises fuel consumption of 53.3mpg. All TTs are poised and agile. However, the optional Magnetic Ride dampers are well worth the extra outlay. Offering a choice of Normal and Sport modes, the upgraded suspension automatically adapts to road conditions. The S tronic automatic gearbox should also be considered, as it is one of the slickest, smoothest and fastest-shifting automatics on the market. Only entry-level cars are two-wheel drive, all the rest get the firm’s grippy quattro four-wheel-drive transmission.

MPG and running costs

The TT is expensive to buy, and the 2.5-litre turbo petrol model is expensive to run. But few cars at any price hold their value better than the TT. Even today, the Coupe retains 60 per cent of its value after three years, meaning total ownership costs are low. If you’re a company car driver, go for the S tronic double clutch over the manual. It costs more to buy, but offers better fuel economy than the manual.

Practicality

Inside, the focus is on style ahead of practicality. However, the TT coupe is reasonably spacious, with plenty of room for front seat occupants. Space in the rear seats is extremely tight, and even small children will find conditions cramped. It’s better to use the space as an extra storage space, while the split folding rear seats mean you can increase boot space from 290 litres (which is already pretty good for a coupe) to 700 litres.

Safety and reliability

With two-stage driver and passenger airbags, ESP and Isofix child seat mountings, the TT is as safe as any other Audi in the range. The car was awarded a five-star rating by crash protection experts Euro NCAP, too. Owners tell us that the car is mostly reliable, although glitches have been reported with the automatic gearbox and electrics – particularly on cars that have been retro fitted with iPod docks.

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