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Long-term tests

Audi TT: 2,950 miles

Does sporty coupé measure up as family runaround?

  • The optional iPod connector, which sits in the glovebox, is a great way to have access to your favourite tunes while you’re on the move. I’m also a fan of our test car’s moody black rooflining which, combined with the narrow side windows, creates a cosy cabin.
  • IRRITATINGLY, there’s no boot release at the back, so you have to use the key or a button on the inside of the driver’s door. The reach adjust for the steering wheel doesn’t extend far enough for me, so it’s hard to get comfortable on long drives.
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As sporty coupés go, the Audi TT is one of the most practical, but even it struggles to accommodate a family!

The perceived wisdom is that once kids arrive, you trade in the racy two-door and buy something a bit more sensible. All the same, I wanted to see if I could fit a child seat into the back of our long-term coupé.

Would the TT be left on the driveway? Or would I be able to fit a proper, forward-facing child seat and pushchair? Much to my relief, I found I could – at a pinch!

I managed to squeeze my daughter Neve’s cumbersome chair in the back without too much grief. But to give her enough legroom, I had to slide the front passenger seat nearly all the way forward.

If I’m travelling alone with her, the passenger airbag can be switched off, so she can sit in the front instead, which avoids the issue. Should the whole Pinnock clan want to travel together, though, I’ll need the keys to something slightly bigger. And that’s a pity, because the stylish Audi really is a fantastic machine.

Head-turning looks, a high-class cabin and a strong engine make this TT seriously desirable. Even if you don’t have kids, the 290-litre boot and practical hatchback body provide welcome versatility. Flop the split-folding rear seats flat and there’s a reasonably shaped 700-litre luggage space.

Sharp looks and handling are what drive most coupé purchases, though, and the TT doesn’t disappoint. The motor provides a suitably gruff diesel soundtrack to match the car’s impressive agility and quattro four-wheel-drive traction.

Mind you, look at the options list of our car and you’ll see that it doesn’t take much to bump up the purchase price. It’s easy to find yourself getting carried away with the extras. Still, they do provide added appeal. I think our car’s leather upholstery, iPod connector and pearl-effect paintwork are all worth the money. I love the twin-spoke alloy wheels, too, but they are an expensive luxury.

Fuel economy of 36.9mpg does at least make the TT TDI a sensible everyday choice, although I won’t be able to sample this economy with the entire family on board.

It looks as if I’ll be forced to leave at least one of the Pinnock ladies behind for anything more testing than a trip to the paper shop…

Extra Info

I guess when Audi came up with the name TT for its brilliant coupé, it didn’t have Tiny Tots in mind! Seriously, though, I can only echo Ross’s comments about the Audi’s practicality.

As its previous keeper, I was amazed what I could fit in the boot with the seats folded.

David Johns
Editor in chief

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