Audi TT Roadster review
The drop-top TT is beautifully designed and a great car to own. With a grippy chassis and superb cabin, It's our class leader
The TT Roadster is offered with two engines. The range-topping V6 sounds superb, emitting a really raspy note hen you hit the throttle. That's just as well, as it doesn't pack as big a punch as you'd expect. It feels old - the superb 2.0 T is the better option. It's certainly almost as fast, and more low-down torque makes it easier to use - yet it's perfectly smooth too, with a characterful exhaust note of its own. Unlike the 3.2-litre V6, which has quattro four-wheel-drive, the 2.0 T FSI is available only with front-wheel-drive. That makes it lighter and more agile than the quattro – we would certainly opt for it over the dearer car. It turns in sharply and remains stable in corners, while delivering a degree of involvement that’s missing from the previous generation TT. The TT also isolates road imperfections well, courtesy of a smooth ride, and the bodyshell feels rigid – there’s no vibration or shake through the cabin.
The TT Roadster is undoubtedly one of the most stunning and best detailed cars in its sector. One or two of our testers actually thought it was better looking than the coupe, while everyone agreed the current TT shape lends itself better to being a convertible than the old one. The rear end is particularly successful, and is at its best with the roof down and the gorgeous chrome rollover hoops on display. That roof is easier too; before, you had to undo a central latch, but now the mechanism is entirely hands-free. Better still, it can be operated at up to 19mph. The car's key rivals include the Alfa Spider, BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster, Nissan 350Z and Mercedes SLK. Against these, the TT is priced competitively, but we'd recommend you choose one option on top of this - the Magnetic Ride dampers. They deliver a superior ride comfort, and also have a sharper Sport mode.
The TT’s powered fabric hood is quick and quiet, though there’s no tonneau cover, which leaves ugly gaps either side of the fabric when it’s stowed. It also leaves the cabin rather dark. The interior itself is superb - not simply in terms of build and material quality, but also in design and layout. Exciting and innovative, it's a wonderful place to spend time. The high dash and low-slung seats mean the TT isn't that easy to see out of, though, and the standard chairs could do with more under-thing support. But minor quibbles are offset by the sheer feelgood factor. The carefully blended mix of leather, metal and soft-touch plastics and the design of the controls all have an air of solidity. And the standard radio has no trouble in overcoming wind noise. Needless to say, retained values are simply exceptional, while the car’s lightweight design means economy figures are impressive.