Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Roadster 2016 review

This new TT 180 is the entry point into the Roadster range, and costs £3,185 less than the 2.0-litre petrol

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Despite being the entry-point into TT ownership, there’s nothing basic about this new 1.8 TFSI Audi TT Roadster. It drives beautifully, looks great, and has enough power to satisfy most requirements. It’s a nicely rounded package, and makes even recently refreshed rivals like the Mercedes SLC look incredibly out-of-date. A worthy addition to the TT range.

The TT Roadster launched last year with a 227bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine and a fast but frugal TDI diesel. Now, though, Audi has sliced £3,000 from the price of its drop-top sports car and launched this – a new 1.8 TFSI turbo.

Priced from £28,915, the new engine marks a fresh entry-point into TT Roadster ownership. It’s available in Sport or S Line spec and you can have a fixed-roof coupe, too. All cars come with the brilliant Virtual Cockpit digital display, xenon headlamps and 18-inch alloy wheels. Cosmetically, though, it’s identical to its more powerful siblings.

Under the bonnet, this TT 180 gets the 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine from the SEAT Leon FR. It sprints from 0-62mph in a respectable 7.2 seconds, and can hit 147mph flat out – meaning while it never feels fast, there’s more than enough grunt to put a smile on your face.

In fact, it’s easy to forget quite how good the TT Roadster is to drive. Even in front-wheel drive format, there’s loads of grip – and thanks to the sharp, reactive steering, the front-end handling is remarkably predictable. 

Audi TT Roadster long-term review

The 180 feels light and playful on its feet, but lacks the sportier sound of the larger capacity 2.0-litre engine. The manual gearbox is a joy to use, though you don’t get the same dramatic soundtrack on full-bore upshifts that makes the slick auto so entertaining. It’s a small complaint, however, and does little to detract from this compelling package.

Inside, it’s business as usual, with a class-leading interior that makes cars like the new Mercedes SLC look old hat. The standard-fit part-leather seats are comfortable and supportive and the driving position is spot on. As with other TTs, you can lower the roof at speeds of up to 31mph – meaning you can enjoy the delights of British summer in just 10 seconds flat.

Fuel economy is competitive, too. The Roadster will return 46.3mpg and emit 142g/km of CO2. While that’s some way off the TDI Ultra, it’s marginally better than the larger 2.0-litre petrol and almost 5mpg more than you’ll manage in a BMW Z4 sDrive18i. The TT is £780 cheaper, too.

Most Popular

Euro 7 standards: EU considers lifetime surveillance of every new car
UK Motorway
News

Euro 7 standards: EU considers lifetime surveillance of every new car

Cars could feed data to the EU every second they are being driven; rules could also force hybrids into EV mode, while MoT test results could be affect…
5 Mar 2021
UK-based Arrival reveals electric panel van with modular battery system
Arrival electric van
News

UK-based Arrival reveals electric panel van with modular battery system

Arrival’s electric van will hit UK roads this summer, with a modular battery pack and maximum payload of almost two tonnes
5 Mar 2021
Hyundai Tucson vs Lexus NX
Hyundai Tucson vs Lexus NX
Car group tests

Hyundai Tucson vs Lexus NX

Can the new Hyundai Tucson compete against the Lexus NX in the premium SUV sector?
6 Mar 2021