2015 Audi TT Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
July 7, 2015

The 2015 Audi TT is quick, fun, and stylish -- but it skips full sports-car credentials in favor of a little more practicality.

The 2015 Audi TT in either Coupe or Convertible form, manages to bridge performance and pragmatism in a way that doesn't dash expectations. The TT easily looks the part of a full-fledged sports car in profile, and measures up in practicality and fuel-efficiency by small-car standards, 

While we're waiting for an all-new 2016 Audi TT to arrive, with its lightweight structure and dramatically redesigned interior, the 2015 TT soldiers on for one more year. But it's absolutely not a lame duck; the current TT remains a unique, stylish, and fun-to-drive entry in the compact sports luxury class

Meanwhile, to sweeten the deal even further, Audi is this year adding the TTS Competition Package, In celebration of the production of its 500,000th TT sports car, this special edition gets unique Imola Yellow or Nimbus Gray paint schemes, five-spoke wheels, and a fixed rear spoiler, while inside it has leather trim with accent stitching that matches the exterior hue. 

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With the top Audi TT RS -- the car that truly brought the performance to a level that matched this model's exterior -- already two years on, the rest of the TT and TTS models continue with their familiar and fun balance of charming looks and sporty performance, matched with surprisingly good efficiency and maneuverability. 

With the base 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line four-cylinder engine, making 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the TT is quicker than you might think -- thanks in part to the standard dual-clutch transmission that ratchets through the gears, and to the quattro all-wheel drive, which supplies great traction. As such, the TT can dash to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds.

Step up to the Audi TTS, and you get a higher-output version of this engine making 265 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It bumps the 60-mph time down to 4.9 seconds, but overall responsiveness feels dialed up more significantly than those numbers indicate.

TTS versions get an upgraded Haldex version of the quattro AWD system that can more quickly send power to the rear wheels to help keep the car balanced in high-performance driving. And in both versions, you get nimble and eager handling responses, with a low center of mass aiding cornering stability. 

The TT and TTS also offer fairly green sporty driving: all versions rate 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined according to the EPA.

You can choose between either the Coupe or Roadster models whether you're interested in the TT or the TTS, and there's really not much of a difference in performance. With Roadsters, which are just a bit heavier, you get a snug, well-packaged soft top. Keep in mind that the TT is nominally a two-plus-two, but effectively a two-seater with a package shelf behind the front seats. Front-seat occupants (even taller folks) are going to be very comfortable. The cabin is well-built and handsome, but it simply doesn't show the degree of style, fit and finish, and level of detail that you'll find in most other Audi models.

Standard features on the TT have been upped the past couple of model years, although this remains a model where it's very easy to push the price upward. TT models include front heated seats for the first time, as well as a 12-speaker Bose stereo, and TTS models include adaptive headlamps. New options for 2015 include an exterior carbon package and a Navigation package that adds a nav system, MMI controller and parking sensors.

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2015 Audi TT

Styling

The 2015 Audi TT looks sporty and contemporary next to the R8, but its interior no longer fits in as well.

Pert is a good way to sum up the way that the TT finds its sporty, zippy look -- a perfect fit for its personality, really. A natural extension of the Bauhaus look kicked off with the original TT more than a decade ago, the 2015 Audi TT has kept its essence while evolving most of the details.

The result is a car that's instantly recognizable, but also still fresh on the outside. With a low-slung, sleek profile and a squat, wide stance thanks to its flared fenders and taut coupe roofline, the Audi TT looks almost like it's mid-engined -- and that's a good thing, as it looks like it belongs alongside the much pricier R8 flagship sports car.

As for the TT's cabin, it's a bit less up-to-date. Correction: In 2014, with all of the interiors in the A4, A5, A6, A7, and A8 families having been updated the past several years, and with a new A3 arriving, it looks a few years behind the rest of the lineup...and considerably less detail-oriented. It's a simple, pleasing place to be, however, and if you're willing to spend a little more money some of the optional materials and finishes do add a more refined note.

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2015 Audi TT

Performance

The Audi TT is quick and athletic; although the TT RS that delivered the true sports-car experience that the design promised has been cut from the lineup.

There are just two engines offered in the 2015 Audi TT range -- and you really can't go wrong with either of them. While neither has the true sports-car cred of the TT RS of a couple years ago, they both deliver quick, confident, athletic performance.

In the TT, the 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line four-cylinder engine makes 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the TT is quicker than you might think -- thanks in part to the standard dual-clutch transmission that ratchets through the gears (paddle-shifters are included), and to the quattro all-wheel drive, which supplies great traction. As such, the TT can dash to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds.

Step up to the Audi TTS, and you get a higher-output version of this engine making 265 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It bumps the 60-mph time down to 4.9 seconds, but overall responsiveness feels dialed up more significantly than those numbers indicate.

TTS versions get an upgraded Haldex version of the quattro AWD system that can more quickly send power to the rear wheels to help keep the car balanced in high-performance driving. And in both versions, you get nimble and eager handling responses, with a low center of mass aiding cornering stability.

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.

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2015 Audi TT

Comfort & Quality

The interior of the 2015 Audi TT is by no means spacious, but it's well-made, tasteful, and comfortable for two.

Whether you want the 2015 Audi TT or the TTS, you can choose between either the Coupe or Roadster models. There's really not much of a difference in performance or comfort, and it's mainly a matter of whether you're willing to sacrifice some cargo space (and add a little extra noise) in the name of drop-top fun.

With Roadsters, which are just a bit heavier, you get a snug, well-packaged soft top at the expense of no rear seats.

Keep in mind that the TT coupe 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, but it simply doesn't show the degree of style, fit and finish, and level of detail that you'll find in most other Audi models.

In front, the TT is 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.

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2015 Audi TT

Safety

American crash-test ratings for the Audi TT don't exist; but a strong, lightweight structure and nimble handling go a long way to keep you out of trouble.

No crash tests have been performed on the 2015 Audi TT, but its aluminum construction, nimble handling, and suite of standard safety equipment should stand the TT in good stead in an accident. 

It's often the case that lower-production sporty models don't get tested in the major U.S. crash programs, and so it is with the Audi TT range. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crashed a current-generation TT.

But we see plenty of reasons not to be worried. 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.

Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology underpins both coupe and roadster, using aluminum for stiffness and lightness, with impressive structural rigidity. This keeps handling nimble and results in a strong passenger compartment.

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2015 Audi TT

Features

The Audi TT lineup teases you with plenty of premium equipment and premium upgrades -- but it all comes at a substantial price premium.

Last year the Audi TT got some significant improvements in its standard-feature set; and for 2015 it gets even better. Although you still need to add options with car, as this remains a model where it's very easy to push the price upward.

2015 TT models include front heated seats, as well as a 12-speaker Bose stereo, and TTS models include adaptive headlamps and cornering lamps. Both models include 12-way power seats, and a flat-bottom steering wheel, as well as a leather-wrapped instrument cluster cover, armrests, and handbrake cover.

New options for 2015 include an exterior carbon package and a Navigation package that adds a nav system, MMI controller and parking sensors. The 6.5-inch LCD system has SiriusXM Radio, real-time traffic, and two SD card slots for MP3s.

Also new for 2015 is a Competition Package, that gets unique Imola Yellow or Nimbus Gray paint schemes, five-spoke wheels, and a fixed rear spoiler, while inside it has leather trim with accent stitching that matches the exterior hue.

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.

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2015 Audi TT

Fuel Economy

Compared to most performance-oriented models, the 2015 Audi TT manages impressive fuel efficiency.

The TT and TTS also offer fairly green sporty driving: all versions rate 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined according to the EPA. And that, we think, isn't bad at all considering the strong acceleration offered up by these two models. 

They're about as fuel-efficient as non-performance mid-size sedans, at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway for a combined score of 26 mpg; those mirror what we've seen in real-world driving, too. And in Roadster models, there's no significant penalty -- at least not enough to change the ratings -- so enjoy that top-down driving.

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Styling 8
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety 8
Features 8
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