Coupe of the Year 2016: Audi TT

The Audi TT is the 2016 Auto Express Coupe of the Year, with the Ford Mustang and Porsche 911 commended

It’s often said that fashion fades and style is eternal – and no car sums up this sentiment better than the Audi TT. Over a year after making its debut, the eye-catching coupe still has what it takes to shade any new model around.

And it’s not just the way the TT looks that earns it the plaudits here – it’s also beautifully built, good to drive and surprisingly cost effective to run. There’s a wide range of engines, including frugal diesels and a storming turbocharged five-cylinder petrol.

This latest, third-generation TT sticks to the template set by the 1998 original, but continual evolution of the shape has kept it looking fresh. There’s a bold mix of curves and creases, while LED light signatures help the car stand out just as much after dark.

Audi hasn’t spared any expense on the interior, either; it’s one of the best in the business. Designed around its slick TFT Virtual Cockpit, the TT’s cabin is a masterclass in slick minimalist design. Almost every function is accessed by the intuitive MMI multimedia set-up, apart from the climate controls that are cleverly integrated into the air vents. High-grade materials are used throughout, while fit, finish and comfort are first rate.

Audi TT Coupe - front

Underpinning the TT is the brand’s light and strong MQB platform. Used on other models, it gives the Audi the sort of agile and engaging handling to match its racy looks. There’s even the option of quattro four-wheel drive for all-weather security, plus the brand’s excellent magnetic dampers that allow the TT to switch from a cosseting cruiser to a sharp-handling sports car at the touch of a button.

Buyers wanting the look for less can choose the TDI Ultra, which packs 181bhp and CO2 emissions of 117g/km. However, our pick of the engine line-up is the smooth and muscular 2.0-litre TFSI petrol, as it perfectly suits the TT’s sleek and sophisticated character.

While many coupe models fall foul of fickle fashion, the elegant and beautiful Audi continues to stand the test of time.

Our choice

Audi TT 2.0 TFSI Sport (£30,650)

Simple is best with the TT, so we’d recommend the entry-level Sport model, powered by the gutsy and surprisingly efficient 227bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre. All versions get the same head-turning looks, while standard kit includes Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, xenon lights and part-leather trim. 

Commended

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang - front

Those wanting to make an impact should look no further than the Ford Mustang. With retro styling cues, imposing size and a great value price, the Ford delivers plenty of bang for your buck. You might as well go the whole hog with the 5.0-litre V8.

Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S 2016 - front tracking

Not even the 911 can escape the trend for turbocharging to boost efficiency, but the iconic coupe’s controversial new 3.0-litre flat-six turbo adds even more flexibility. The car retains its beautiful balance and incredible traction, while the 2+2 layout sees it hold on to its practical USP, too.

Auto Express New Car Awards 2016 

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