Long-term tests

Audi TT

Read it and weep... the brochure will soon be the only reminder of the great service we’ve had from our TT as we bid the classy Audi coupé a sad goodbye

  • Image: The TT has been on our fleet for over a year now, and it still gets plenty of admiring glances. It looks and feels a very special car to own and drive. <BR><BR>Quality: Brilliant build, superb engineering, beautiful detailing... The TT’s interior is a masterclass in design, fit and finish.<BR><BR>Space: OK, so there’s no room in the back seats, but the hatch gives a more useful boot than you might imagine in a small coupé.<BR><BR>
  • Auto mode: The gearbox is hesitant and jerky through the ratios. It’s much better to use the manual paddleshifters.<BR><BR>Sloppy seats: Readers have complained about the durability of leather seats in their TTs – and ours are looking tired, too.<BR><BR>Service costs: While you get more miles between garage visits, boy, does the German maker sting you when you take the TT in for checks!<BR><BR>

IT’S a question I’ve been asked many times in my job as editor in chief of Britain’s biggest weekly motoring magazine: “If you were buying a car, what would it be?”

Usually, the person making the enquiry expects the stock motoring journalist’s answer – Porsche 911, BMW M3 or Mitsubishi Evo. But they don’t get that from me – because I don’t go along with the mantra that fast necessarily equals fun. So, go on, ask me the question again...

Well, there are two cars I’d pay to have on my drive. First, a MINI Cooper S, probably in Pepper White with a black chequered roof, bonnet stripes and chunky alloys.

Second – and probably my favourite of the two – the model you see here: the beautiful Audi TT. I’ve been incredibly lucky to be the keyholder of our long-term 3.2 quattro for the past 15 months. And believe me, Audi is going to have one helluva fight to wrench those keys from my grasp!

At this price, there are very, very few cars that come close to making you feel so special. Now, sadly, it is time to say farewell to the TT. All I am going to be left with is a brochure as a reminder of how good this model has been.

I commute around 100 miles a day, and I can honestly say that every single time I have climbed behind the steering wheel has been a memorable experience.

Highlights? A fantastic cabin with great styling and high-quality features. A terrific, rumbling engine note from the V6 unit nestling under the bonnet. The paddleshifters on the steering wheel that allow quick-slick manual gearchanges. A decent, practical boot for a car in this class.

Lowlights? Light-coloured leather seats which wear too quickly. The S tronic gearbox that struggles in ‘auto’ mode. And a rear three-quarter blindspot which makes parking tricky. And finally, the biggest blot on the TT’s copybook – overpriced servicing. Even allowing for the fact that variable intervals can let you go up to 18,000 miles between visits to your local Audi dealer, nearly £400 for a first service is bonkers!

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