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Audi TT 2.0 TDI Ultra review

Exterior design is slick and attractive

May 2015

picture of car from the front picture of car from the rear picture of car interior picture of car detail

Overall rating

4 out of 5 stars

Likes:

  • Exterior design is slick and attractive
  • Clever virtual cockpit creates clean and fuss-free cabin
  • Diesel engine is frugal but also powerful and even sounds good
  • High quality feel throughout

Gripes:

  • While attractive it could be mistaken for the outgoing version
  • Fun but not the last word in precision handling
  • Easy to inflate the price with option list
  • Rear seat space is poor

Few cars manage to be the universal sports car in the same way that the Audi TT has. Across three generations it has brought the typical Audi values of quality, desirability combined with a smooth driving experience whilst adding a sporty feel that appeals to a broad spectrum of customers. In its third generation the diesel powered version claims to be even more sporty than before.

Few cars have had such a dramatic impact as Audi's TT, beginning with the eye-popping concept that first appeared in 1999. Since then there have been two generations, both of which managed to provide a strong style statement for fashion-conscious buyers without sacrificing too much in the way of practicality or usability. In doing so Audi made rivals go back to the drawing board.

This third generation TT is a natural evolution from the previous model rather than a radical departure. As before it uses a mixture of high strength steels and aluminium in its construction in order to keep weight down, yet it manages to weigh 50kg less model-for-model than before. Add to that is an engine line up that features new or revised engines, giving a useful performance enhancement.

In terms of its design the TT at first glance looks quite similar to the previous models, but closer inspection reveals the subtle differences. Broader and squatter than before, the third generation TT has taken on a more aggressive appearance. The grille is now six-sided and more imposing while the LED daytime running lights are vertically stacked to echo the R15 Le Mans racer.

On the inside the biggest departure is the standard fitment of what Audi terms a 'virtual cockpit'. This means the instrument panel has been replaced by a high-definition display screen, allowing it to be configured in numerous ways including a giant map filling the whole area in navigation mode as well as a more sporty display for higher speed driving.

Our verdict on the Audi TT 2.0 TDI Ultra

More so than ever before the TT offers a satisfying sports car experience, even with front-wheel-drive and a diesel engine. The interior and exterior design are sharper and more appealing than ever, while the updated technology adds to the experience. The diesel version might have been the best option on paper, but now it makes great sense on the road.