- Punchy and economical 2.0T engine
- S-tronic gearbox is an automatic without compromise
- Good driving position and great seats
- More upscale, understated interior outclasses the competition
- Tight, well-isolated soft top for roadster
- Cargo space isn’t compromised
- Doesn’t stand out in the crowd as much as the original TT
- MMI seems out of place in a small roadster
- V-6 model doesn’t feel much faster
The TT is a little more engaging to drive than before, but it doesn’t stand out in the crowd quite like the original one did when it was new.
For the original Audi TT coupe and roadster, which made their debut for 2000, their upside-down-bathtub profile, which brought unique Bauhaus and Art Deco-inspired styling, stole the show from the driving experience itself, which was respectable but not class-leading, and the Roadster version looked a little odd in profile with its roof up. For 2008, Audi gives the TT a new look, with more crisply styled sheetmetal for a more masculine outer stance (including the Roadster), a redesigned interior, and dialed-up performance that no longer takes second stage to its fashion statement.
The new TT coupe and roadster come in two different models: a turbocharged four-cylinder model with front-wheel drive, and a V-6 model with quattro all-wheel drive. Between the two, TheCarConnection.com gives our nod to the 2.0T (four-cylinder) model, which has plenty of power for a peppy roadster feel; the V-6 is just a little bit faster and a lot more expensive. Those trapped in traffic-clogged commutes will love the S tronic gearbox that's available with either engine; it functions fine as an automatic, or on a sporty drive, it revs the engine for improved control on downshifts. An available magnetic ride suspension is recommended for driving enthusiasts, as it helps provide even sharper handling responses without sacrificing the ride. Great fuel efficiency is another bonus of the four-cylinder, with figures of 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway. As is true across the Audi lineup, the interior upstages most of the competition, with a subdued but very upscale feel. An excellent navigation system is available; some might think, however, that Audi's MMI (MultiMedia Interface) screen-driven interface detracts from the back-to-basics feel that many shoppers look for in a roadster.
While many four-seat convertibles and some two-seat roadsters are instead offering retractable hardtop arrangements, the TT remains a soft top. The top used in the Audi TT Roadster is exceptionally tight and shuts out most road and wind noise, and a new wind deflector helps curb turbulence at speed with the top down. Also, the top doesn't cut into trunk space as much as most folding hardtops.
The 2008 Audi TT has not yet been tested by the federal government or by the insurance industry, but the TT comes with anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, plus roll hoops behind the front seats and side airbags that include head-protection extensions.