2018 Audi TT review with video


The basics:
Starting price: $53,100
As tested: $66,210
Average fuel economy over a week: 8.6 L/100 kms (27 US MPG)
Competition: BMW Z4, Mercedes SLC, Porsche Cayman, etc

OK, OK… this week’s vehicle isn’t exactly a family car. But the Audi TT does have a back seat…ish. And the hatchback-style trunk is deceptively useful. It’s a car that’s been around since 1998 and the first generation became known as a fun and funky car to drive. And when the third generation was released in 2014, the company decided to crank up the quirky factor again. It’s a beautiful, clean-looking car to gaze at and it’s pretty entertaining to drive, too. We’ve partnered up with Glenmore Audi in Calgary to bring you four back-to-back Audi reviews this month. Make sure to check-out our full video review above and then scroll through the pros and cons below.

Pros:

– The TT has three major features that make it stand alone in its class: the fact that it has a back seat, its large and usable trunk and a capable all wheel drive system that could make this car a four season driver
– Granted, this system isn’t the traditional full-time Quattro all wheel drive that we’ve seen from Audis in the past. It’s more front wheel drive biassed under ideal driving conditions, which makes it far more fuel efficient. This week, for example, despite driving the TT hard a lot of the time, we’re still averaging a miserly 8.6 L/100 kms. That’s impressive for a car that, in the base engine, can still kick you up to 100 kms/hr in 5.6 seconds
– And if you do want a more connected driving feel, there’s the drive select function – shift it from comfort to dynamic mode and more power gets sent to the rear wheels. At which point, the TT becomes a bit of a jack russell terrier in the corners
– This car’s base 2-litre engine is most at home on a curvy mountain road. It’s not a high speed rocket but gear down with the standard paddle shifters and there’s a subtle, satisfying burble out of the exhaust. It squats down into the corners and gives me some of that joy of ripping around on a motorcycle, which is exactly what Audi was going for. The name TT is an homage to a famed motorcycle race on the Isle of Man
– The but if the base engine isn’t enough for you, there are two ways to get more juice out of your TT. For just over $10,000 more, you can crank it up to the TTS. That gives you 72 more horses and slightly more torque. And then, there’s the TTRS with 180 more horsepower than the base engine. 400 of them, coming out of a rally inspired 5 cylinder. And a 0 to 100 km/hr time of 3.7 seconds! I’ve driven that engine in the RS3 earlier this year and it is a screamer. The TTRS starts at $72,900 up here in Canada
– Jump inside the TT and its a bit of a treat. I’m told that the dashboard, to the right of the steering wheel, was designed to look like an airplane wing – with the air vents mimicking the jet engines. All the heated seat inputs and climate control functions are built into the centre of each of those vents, to keep the cabin as uncluttered as possible
– Meanwhile, you might be wondering where the infotainment system screen is. There isn’t one… at least, not in the traditional sense. Again, in Audi’s effort to streamline this car, all that information is displayed in the virtual cockpit  in front of the driver. So if you have a passenger who always like to be your DJ, that might drive them nuts
– The back seat is a borderline token gesture. With my driver’s seat where I need it, for a guy over 6 foot tall, there is literally zero legroom back there. But with Roger in front facing mode – and he’s a pretty big four year old – my wife could still sit up front quite comfortably
– In terms of the trunk, there are some major surprises! It’s more of a hatchback trunk with a huge opening that can fit, believe it or not, ALL of our standardized trunk test: a stroller, diaper bag, backpack, two bags of groceries and a soccer ball
– Flip that second row down, and I could even squeeze our 80 lb dog in there. The TT has some shockingly good utility. But if you opt for the TT Roadster convertible, you lose almost all of your trunk space and there is no back seat at all
– Despite all this unexpected trunk space, there’s still a spare tire in the TT – something that many of its competitors are foregoing, in favour of run flats (which can be much noisier and harsher to drive)

Cons:
– While the base engine on this car is still quite zippy, I found the A5 Sportback that we were driving last week to be just a bit more eager under heavy acceleration. Despite both engines being turbocharged 2-litre 4 cylinders, that A5 engine pumps out 32 more horsepower AND it has Audi’s more modern 7 speed dual clutch transmission. Meanwhile, the TT puts out 220 horsepower and has a more old school 6 speed dual clutch. The result is a car that seems just a little less responsive off the line – there’s definitely a hit of turbo lag there
– One way that this car could come off the page more would be a 6 speed manual transmission. And while you can still get the TT in Europe with a stick – it’s not an option on this side of the ocean anymore
– As we see in many Audis, there are a lot of options and packages that can drive up the price. Our tester had the $2,500 S Line competition package, the LED lighting package for $1,100, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available but you’ll have to splash out on the $2,200 navigation package to get them. As I said with the A5 last week, these are pretty mainstream features at this point but they’re still options here in the TT and that drives our as tested price up to $66,210 pre tax
– The suspension in our S Line competition equipped tester was very harsh for daily driving. But the payoff is that amazing cornering feel
– The TT’s seat belts aren’t height adjustable, so if you’re tall, they sit in a spot that’s not quite right and pretty uncomfortable
– Rear facing car seats are not going to work for you in this car. I tried. No dice. No surprise

Family Wheels report card:
Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 3.5/5 (68 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 4/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 2/5
Family Wheels trunk score: 5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 4/5
Family Wheels overall score: 39.5/50= 79%

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