2014 Audi TT Review

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Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
January 31, 2014

The 2014 Audi TT is quick, fun, and stylish--but don't expect to bring the family along for the ride.

The Audi TT remains a unique, stylish, and fun-to-drive entry in the compact sports luxury class, but it's nearing the end of its run in its current form. A new TT is expected soon for the 2015 model year, but for now, the 2014 model continues largely unchanged from last year.

The Audi TT RS is no longer in the lineup, as planned from the super-performance model's launch. Otherwise, the TT and TTS models continue with their familiar and fun balance of charming looks, small footprint, reasonable efficiency, and sporty performance. A new TTS Competition special-edition version of the Roadster and Coupe marks production of the 500,000th TT to date, bringing special paint and accessories for a 500-unit run.

Base TT models get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Paired with the standard dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive, the TT is quick, hitting 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds.

Review continues below

The Audi TTS gets an upgraded version of the same engine, rated at 265 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The extra motivation gets the TTS to 60 mph in as little as 4.9 seconds. TTS models also get an upgraded Haldex version of the quattro AWD system.

Choosing between TT or TTS Coupe and Roadster models is easy, too: the difference is in the drop-top, not the handling, with both forms of the TT showing nimble and eager responses, its low-slung shape providing grip and cornering stability.

Comfortable for front-row passengers, the TT is nominally a two-plus-two, but effectively a two-seater with a package shelf behind the front seats. The cabin is well-built and handsome, despite showing more age than much of the Audi range--materials, fit and finish, and noise levels are all what you've come to expect from Audi.

No crash tests have been performed on the 2014 Audi TT, but its aluminum construction, nimble handling, and suite of standard safety equipment should stand the TT in good stead in an accident.

With the fuel-chugging TT RS model gone from the range this year, the TT and TTS offer fairly green sporty driving: all versions rate 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined according to the EPA.

8

2014 Audi TT

Styling

Sporty and sleek on the outside even sitting next to the R8, the 2014 Audi TT's interior is beginning to show some age.

Like the Porsche 911, but on a much shorter timeline, the Audi TT has kept its essence while changing most of the details. The result is a car that's instantly recognizable, but also still fresh.

Low-slung and sleek, with a squat, wide stance thanks to its flared fenders and taut coupe roofline, the Audi TT looks almost like it's mid-engined. That's a good thing.

The TT's cabin is a bit less up-to-date, and not quite in sync with the rest of Audi's lineup. Nevertheless, it's a simple, pleasing place to drive, and optional materials and finishes can add refined touches.

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2014 Audi TT

Performance

The 2014 Audi TT is spirited and quick in any form, but the TT RS is the real enthusiast's pick.

With the exit of the TT RS from the 2014 Audi TT range, there are just two engines offered: one for the TT coupe and TT Roadster, and one for the TTS coupe and TT Roadster.

The TT engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A paddle-shifted S tronic dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission is standard. All TT and TTS models also come standard with quattro all-wheel drive.

The Audi TT coupe hits 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, and the Roadster does the dash in 5.6 seconds.

Under the TTS's hood sits a hotter version of the same engine, tuned up to 265 horsepower and the same 258 pound-feet of torque.

The extra power helps the TTS hit 60 mph from a standstill in as little as 4.9 seconds.

Whichever model you're driving, the well-sorted suspension and rigid chassis are obvious; the TT handles well. With the magnetic ride suspension (standard on TTS models), Sport mode lowers the car by nearly four-tenths of an inch and stiffens the damping. Comfort mode relaxes the TTS for cruising.

The TTS also benefits from an upgraded Haldex version of the standard quattro all-wheel drive system.

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2014 Audi TT

Comfort & Quality

Well-made and tasteful, the 2014 Audi TT's interior is compact, efficient, and comfortable.

The 2014 Audi TT is compact and sleek, but that size and form brings with it a penalty: the back seat is little more than a package shelf.

It's a stark contrast to the front seat, which is both comfortable and spacious--even adults well over six feet tall will find plenty of head and leg room. There's a sense of width to the cabin, as well, thanks to a broad dash and open instrument panel layout. The TT and TTS Roadsters also share in the ample headroom.

Small-item storage in the cabin is limited to a smallish console and glove box. In the coupe, a stowage space beneath the hatch offers enough room for a weekend getaway for two, and even more space with the rear seats folded forward. Roadster models have about the same trunk space thanks to a smart soft top design.

Magnetic ride suspension is standard on TTS models, and optional on standard TTs. The adaptive suspension system makes for on-the-fly changes from comfortable cruising to sporty road-carving, broadening the range of the TT's capability.

Materials, quality, and construction are all very good, as is typical of Audi. The TT's cabin design is not the freshest in the Audi stable, but the overall feel remains luxurious yet simple.

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2014 Audi TT

Safety

The 2014 Audi TT hasn't been crash tested, but nimble handling, a strong, lightweight structure, and ample safety equipment are all built-in.

Expensive, low-volume performance and luxury cars are often left out of crash testing, and that's the case with the Audi TT range. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has yet crash-tested the 2014 Audi TT.

Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology underpins both coupe and roadster, using aluminum for stiffness and lightness to enhance structural rigidity. This results in not just a strong passenger compartment, but nimble handling.

Standard safety equipment includes front and side air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic traction and stability control, and hill-hold assist. All Audi TT models also come standard with all-wheel drive.

Rear parking sensors are available, and are useful in the Roadster, which lacks rearward visibility with the top up.

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2014 Audi TT

Features

Premium equipment and premium upgrades are the 2014 Audi TT's game, but they bring a premium price.

The 2014 Audi TT and TTS are no longer accompanied by their even hotter TT RS variant, and they're slimmed down to a single trim line as well.

All TT and TTS models now get last year's Premium plus trim as standard, including the Bose premium sound system and LED interior lighting. The 12-speaker, 255-watt Bose sound system in particular is welcome, as it was a notable improvement over the base system in 2013. Last year's Enhanced leather package, including leather-wrapped instrument cluster cover, armrests, and handbrake cover, is also standard this year. Roadster models get a quick-operating powered soft top.

Heated front seats are also standard on 2014 TTS models, and there's a new optional Black Optic package with Phantom Black interior inlays.

On the technology front, 2014 TTs and TTSs offer a Navigation package with Audi's parking system and music interface. The Navigation plus package upgrades to a DVD-based 6.5-inch LCD system with MMI infotainment and SiriusXM Radio, real-time traffic, and two SD card slots for MP3s.

To personalize exterior styling, a carbon package is available. All TT and TTS models get the S line exterior standard; the carbon package adds a front splitter and rear diffuser of carbon fiber. A new Black Optic package for the TTS range includes an Audi Singleframe grille in gloss black with matte inserts; 19-inch wheels in Titanium finish; carbon fiber optic side mirrors; and matte fog light surrounds.

TTS models also get standard Audi adaptive headlights, which helps improve visibility around corners.

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2014 Audi TT

Fuel Economy

The 2014 Audi TT is one of the more efficient choices in its performance class.

The 2014 Audi TT and TTS are both quick-accelerating sports cars, and their gas mileage ratings reflect that--though not to the degree you might expect.

At 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway for a combined score of 26 mpg, the Audi TT and TTS Coupe are about as efficient as many non-performance sedans. The Audi TT and TTS Roadster scores exactly the same figures, so there's no penalty for top-down driving.

The TT RS is no longer offered for the 2014 model year, taking its relative gas-guzzler 18/25 mpg out of the picture.

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