Long-term tests

Audi TT TDI: 1,019 miles

FIRST REPORT: Read all about it: Just a week after we named the greatest quattro ever, a new one has joined our fleet!

  • The diesel engine is a real beauty. It’s got bags of torque and is very refined – and from inside the cabin, it doesn’t sound like an oil-burner at all. And what about those alloys? They look absolutely great – I just hope I can avoid kerbs over the months ahead. I’m also a big fan of the interior. It highlights why Audi has such a good reputation for its cabin designs.
  • It's too early to say, but one niggle to emerge is the fact that there’s no external release for the boot – only a switch in the cabin or button on the key. A conventional release can be very handy when your hands are full of shopping… At least the boot is of a reasonable size, though.
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Quattro-mania! It’s everywhere at the moment. Last week’s special issue included a free 24-page magazine in which our road test team selected their greatest Audi quattros of all-time.

And in just a few weeks, the firm will be celebrating 100 years with a huge public party at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex.

One model missing from our test team’s line-up was this – the TT diesel. Yet as an avowed Audi, and TT, fan I am absolutely adamant that it is worth inclusion in the ‘greatest’ list.

I took delivery of the 2.0-litre TDI coupé about a month ago. And I have to admit I had my doubts that a diesel engine would fit the TT’s image. How wrong I was! Okay, so you can (just about) hear outside that there’s a diesel under the bonnet. But inside Audi’s engineers have been very clever in making the TDI sound just as rorty and sporty as the petrol versions.

Not so long ago, I ran a 3.2 petrol quattro TT, and I have no doubt in saying that I’d choose the diesel over it any day of the week – and on Sundays, too! The 2.0-litre has bags of torque for a quick getaway and easy overtaking, and it’s also an extremely refined motorway cruiser. Helping things along is a six-speed manual gearbox which offers slick, direct changes.

But as I mentioned earlier, so much of the TT’s appeal is based around looks and image. And on that front our new long-termer doesn’t disappoint either. The optional Petrol Blue pearl effect paintwork is a constant head-turner both on the road and in the car park.

But it’s the 19-inch, seven-arm double-spoke alloy wheels which are the real stars of the show. They’re an expensive option at  £1,615, but boy do they look great! What’s more, so far
they haven’t appeared to compromise the Audi’s ride quality too much.

Other extra kit fitted to our car includes xenon plus adaptive headlights (£955), a Bose surround sound system (£465), radio symphony (£260) and iPod connection (£175).

All Audis have brilliantly designed and built interiors, and while the latest TT is missing some of the unique touches of the earlier model, it still oozes style. Our test car features lots of black nappa leather, with optional heated front seats. All these extras add more than £6,000 to the standard price, meaning that our car would set you back more than £32,000.

It’s a bit early yet to report on the diesel’s running costs, but I expect the TDI to comfortably beat my old 3.2-litre petrol model at the pumps. And the 2.0 TDI has CO2 emissions of 139g/km, which put it into the £120-a-year tax band E.

So, watch this space as I build up the miles over the coming weeks and months and report back on whether oil’s well living with a diesel TT.
 

Second Opinion

The idea of a diesel TT makes a lot of sense. Audi’s TDI engines have an excellent reputation, so it was only a matter of time before one found its way under the bonnet of the TT. The 2.0-litre unit is refined, smooth and punchy, making it the perfect match for the comfortable coupé. For high-mileage drivers, it’s the most logical TT choice.

- Ross Pinnock: Road test editor

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