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Audi TT 2.0 TFSI S Tronic

High-quality coupé carries a hefty premium over the Scirocco.

When the original TT was first seen in 1995, its revolutionary shape changed the perception of how a stylish coupé should look.

It was a world away from the image of cars such as the original Scirocco, and the MkI TT is now regarded as a future classic. The second-generation model has developed the shape into a more modern package.

The Audi has the advantage of being a purpose built sports model from the outset, which means it has a head start over the Scirocco and 1-Series. Sitting in the sleek TT is a special experience. The low-slung seats are excellent, while the controls are well laid out and focused around the driver.

There’s a wide range of wheel and seat adjustment, and visibility is good. Material quality is first-class, too, while the flat-bottomed wheel is great to hold. But if you want usable rear seats, the TT isn’t the car for you – they are so tiny, even children will struggle to fit. The backs fold down to increase the 290-litre boot to 700 litres, but the load area isn’t as deep as the Scirocco’s.

The Audi is just as good to drive, though, and despite sharing the same engine and front-wheel-drive layout, there are distinct differences out on the road.

Thanks to its aluminium and steel chassis construction, the TT is the lightest car here, while the shortest wheelbase and a low centre of gravity mean it’s responsive. When cornering, the Audi feels more agile than the Scirocco, while the steering is sharp. However, its smaller 17-inch wheels lose grip earlier, and without the benefit of Audi’s optional £1,150 Magnetic Ride system, the damping isn’t as tightly controlled as the VW’s over bumpy roads.

Nevertheless, the conventionally sprung TT has the best ride of these four on the motorway, and it doesn’t suffer from the firm edge of the BMW’s set-up on country roads. The Audi’s dynamics are improved further when it’s fitted with the larger 18-inch alloy wheels, grippier tyres and magnetic dampers, but even our standard car was engaging to drive.

The TT also boasted the best brakes, and the optional six-speed S tronic dual clutch gearbox has a great shift action. This transmission fractionally improves acceleration times, and the TT was two-tenths of a second faster from 0-60mph than the VW, with a time of 6.5 seconds. But with identical power outputs, the punchy delivery of the turbo engine is the same in both cars, and straight-line performance feels all but identical. As a result, the Audi is more flexible than the BMW and Alfa.

Great to drive and look at, the TT is the very definition of a premium coupé. But is that enough to justify the £5,000 difference in price over the cheaper and better equipped Scirocco?

Details

Price: £26,610
Model tested: Audi TT 2.0 TFSI
Chart position: 1
WHY: It’s the priciest car here, yet the TT’s style and image help to justify its greater cost.

Economy

A strong 59 per cent residual means the TT will depreciate the least. It sits in tax bracket E, so buyers pay £170 a year compared to £210 for the Alfa or BMW. They also get three years’ RAC assistance. While the TT costs more to service than the VW, you should expect good customer care, because out of our quartet, only BMW’s dealers were ranked higher in our Driver Power survey. The TT sits two insurance groups above the Scirocco, though.

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