Audi TT review - Interior, design and technology
The TT's iconic exterior design wraps around a beautifully executed cabin featuring a raft of gadgets
There’s no mistaking an Audi TT for anything else. In common with iconic models like the Porsche 911 and MINI, the unique shape has evolved while remaining instantly recognisable. The original two-seater was a breath of fresh air, but the TT has grown from a curvy, cute car into a more rakish, sharply-styled package.
The third-generation model is almost identical in length to the outgoing version, but as the wheelbase has grown by 37mm, it has shorter overhangs and tauter-looking proportions. At the front, the single-frame grille, tapered bonnet lines and razor-sharp headlights give a hint of the second-generation Audi R8.
However, with rounded wheelarches, curved windscreen pillars, a bold shoulder line and a sloping tailgate, all the unmistakable TT styling cues are there to see. And while the TT was updated in 2018, the car's looks were left relatively unchanged.
Sport models get 18-inch wheels as standard and come with Xenon headlamps and LED running lights, while S line versions benefit from a sportier look thanks to their 19-inch wheels, deeper side sills, unique bumpers and gloss black grille. The Black Edition adds further gloss black detailing, black 20-inch wheels and a rear wing. The top-of-the-range Vorsprung trim brings Matrix LED headlights, sport seats upholstered in Nappa leather and a Bang & Olufsen stereo.
However, for all the exterior’s familiar and classy looks, it’s the cabin that’s the real highlight. All cars come with DAB radio, heated front seats and multi-function steering wheel, while as you’d expect in a TT, material quality is superb throughout, with tactile and beautifully executed switchgear. Circular air vents integrating the control function and display for the air-conditioning are another highlight. The central trio feature the temperature, airflow and fan speed control, while the outer pair by the doors have the control for the heated seats. This really is a beautifully designed cockpit.
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As you’d expect from Audi, there’s also huge scope to add high-end options and personalise the leather, inlays and materials. But whichever trim you go for, the TT’s interior makes you feel special every time you get behind the wheel.
Stunningly designed and beautifully executed, the interior is focused around Audi’s superb Virtual Cockpit system. This 12.3-inch high-resolution LCD driver display replaces both the conventional dials and centre stack screen, allowing for a sleek minimalist dash design that’s both sporty and upmarket.
The screen itself is crystal clear and places all information in front of the driver. It can be switched between Classic View – with prominent speedo and rev counter – or Infotainment View, which brings functions like the navigation map to the fore.
Telephone, media, trip and car setting functions all appear on the Virtual Cockpit screen and can be controlled using the touch-sensitive MMI dial or the multifunction wheel. The clarity of the screen, combined with the dual-functionality of the controls, makes Audi’s Virtual Cockpit a real joy to use.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The TT’s infotainment forgoes a touchscreen – or even a standalone display. Instead, the system is integrated into the Virtual Cockpit digital panel. It’s unconventional but works well, and is controlled by a clickwheel on the centre console – a set-up that used to be common in Audis, but has since been superseded by newer arrangements.
Entering postcodes and addresses can be quite time- consuming, but scrolling through menus – even on the move – is easy, especially as you barely need to divert your eyes away from the road to read the screen. There are some physical shortcut buttons, too.
Loading times are slower than we'd like and the resolution isn’t as sharp as you'll find in some rivals, but overall the graphics look great. Of course, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also fitted; these minimise the size of the speedo and rev counter, and centre the smartphone apps between them.
In this review
- 1Audi TT reviewThe Audi TT backs up its head-turning looks with an engaging drive and plenty of tech
- 2Engines, performance and drivePunchy petrol models offer strong ability, especially with quattro four-wheel drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe TT is efficient to run, and holds its value well - familiar petrol engines deliver mix of performance and economy
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe TT's iconic exterior design wraps around a beautifully executed cabin featuring a raft of gadgets
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe back seats are of little practical use, but the Audi TT makes a surprisingly spacious two-seater
- 6Reliability and SafetyDriver Power feedback suggests owners aren't entirely happy with the Audi brand, while a full suite of safety kit will cost you extra