Much as we car enthusiasts like to whine about being underappreciated and underserved by profit-driven automakers, there are a ton of really good sports cars to choose from these days. That's good for enthusiasts but might be a problem for the Audi TTS.
We can make academic arguments all day long about whether this sports car or that sports car is more hard-edged, more affordable, or more this or less that than the Audi TT, but they are largely immaterial discussions. People buy the TT, and hence the TTS, based solely on its looks. You either want this car, or you don't. The three members of the University of Michigan mens rowing team whom I hired to do some yard work last weekend were among those who seem to want it; they were all drooling over the TTS and were using that clichéd but accurate adjective to describe it: "sweet." And that was without even the privilege of sitting in it, let alone driving it.
My opinions align closely with David Zenlea's; there are many cars at or below this price that beat the Audi TTS in terms of style, performance, or both. Still, the TTS has the formula down for fun driving with its lively 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, sporty dual-clutch transmission, and competent all-wheel drive. The TT also reminded me that Audi once had steering setups that were tuned to provide linear, natural assist unlike those found in the S4 and the Q5. It may not have at-the-limit behavior like some of the best sports cars, but the TTS is pretty darn fun blasting down a highway on-ramp or around a cloverleaf exit. Of course, one Audi that's far more compelling than the TT is the rumored mid-engine R4 that everyone has been talking about....
As with all Audis, the cabin of this TTS is a very nice place to sit, not only because it is beautifully designed and well-executed but because the TTS is entertaining to drive. While it's not as finely honed as a Porsche Boxster, you can have plenty of fun in the TTS when blasting down a long, deserted stretch of two-lane, taking a sweeping curve, or accelerating on a freeway on-ramp. Sure, the main reason people buy the TT is because of its style, which is undeniably eye-catching, but you can certainly have some fun while you're strutting your stuff.
Design may be a strong selling point of the TTS, but I can think of two others. The large hatchback gives access to a fair amount of cargo room, especially if you happen to fold those useless rear jump seats flat. Better yet, the TTS is fitted with Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Having spent a weekend this past winter in a TTS roadster, the drivetrain (especially when paired with winter tires) is virtually invincible, no matter how much snow Mother Nature decides to throw at you.
The TTS coupe is no Porsche Cayman S (arguably its nearest competitor), but the Audi is still a very enjoyable car to drive. The TTS has more than enough power, and listening to and feeling that DSG dual-clutch transmission snap off near-instantaneous shifts is incredibly addictive, particularly on deserted country roads.
2010 Audi TTS Coupe Premium