Perhaps the TTS coupe and roadster that graced our fleet before this regular TT coupe have altered my expectations of the TT and its DSG transmission, but I was disappointed in this car. I found the power to be a bit lower than I remembered, and the DSG seemed to be sluggish on downshifts as well as unrefined when leaving a stop. Is the TTS that much better than the TT, or is this not a typical example of the base TT?
I’ve always enjoyed my time in the various TTs I’ve driven over the years, and other than the DSG/power issues in this car, it was the same experience as before. The radio sounds great, even with the windows down, and this TT provided me with my first windows-down commute of 2009, so it holds a special place in my heart for that alone. Everyone loves an Audi interior, and this exterior is just as pleasant. Another item Audi has really been getting right lately is its choice in wheels. The TTs have some very sharp looking wheels and the TTS goes a step beyond.
Overall the TT is one of those unfortunate cars that I’m fond of driving and would happily recommend to a friend more concerned with style and refinement than driving excitement, but I don’t have a burning desire to hang on to the keys for more than a weekend. The mix of price, design, and performance just doesn’t quite hit the sweet spot for me in this class of vehicle. But I’d never look down on anyone who decided to purchase a TT for any of those reasons.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor
Lucky me – this is the third flavor of Audi TT I’ve sampled in a month, each for a weekend at a time. Interestingly, they’ve all been equipped in a similar fashion. 2.0T? Check. Quattro? Yep. DSG? You betcha.
And though that may suggest that all three-this TT and two TTS models – drove the same, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, the TTS models seem much more dynamic than the TT, which is utterly stupefying.
I suppose part of the magic lies with the TTS’s engine tuning. In TTS guise, the turbocharged 2.0-liter pumps out a respectable 265 hp. In a normal TT, that figure drops down to a scant 200 hp. Power comes on strong once the turbo spools, but not as strongly as in the TTS, and peak torque is 207 lb-ft, down considerably from the TTS’s 258 lb-ft.
The behavior of the DSG transmission didn’t help change my impression, either. This car’s gearbox felt sluggish, and gear changes were executed in a harsh manner. Neither TTS gearbox felt this way, which is odd, given Audi doesn’t retune the S tronic transmission for TTS duty.
On the plus side, the TT’s Bose stereo produces a rich, ample sound, leaving me thinking that the TTS coupe I drove had a few blown amplifier channels. I also didn’t experience the Bluetooth connection quirks the last car exhibited, and the S-line sport seats proved themselves quite comfortable and supportive.
Still, I look at the $48,750 price tag and note to myself that a similar figure can also purchase a TTS. Sure, you’ll sacrifice the nav system and LED reading lights, but you’ll also be buying a TT that is more enjoyable on the open road.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer
This is a beautifully wrought car, inside and out, but the performance ultimately is not the equal of the beauty, if you know what I mean. Which is a shame. And, as others have noted, our fully loaded car was frightfully expensive. I’ll admit, though, that the S-Line package’s 19-inch, 14-spoke (7 sets of 2) wheels are gorgeous. They’re almost worth the $3000!
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor
I know it’s not very quick, but I actually think this turbocharged 2.0-liter TT works better than the more potent TTSs that I’ve driven recently. This slower car isn’t trying to pretend that it’s a Porsche Boxster-fighter. It’s just trying to be a sexy, sporty, luxurious two-plus-two. Which it does quite well. The atypical blue paint is a nice touch, too.
The interior feels very nice and looks sharp, not surprising in an Audi. It does, however, call attention to how used our Four Seasons R8 is starting to feel, particularly in the MMI switchgear. This brand-new TT’s controls feel wonderfully crisp. (I’m sure if the R8 weren’t a press car, it’d be in better shape.)
My comments on the TTS coupe also translate to this non-S TT: this car would be a blast to take on a cross-country trip, thanks mostly to its sleek looks and its significant amount of luggage space.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
The Audi TT looks like a sports car, but it’s really more about style. It looks like nothing else on the road, so you’re sure to get noticed when you drive one, and the interior, like all Audi interiors, is beautifully designed and executed. It doesn’t have the sharp-edged handling of a sports car, but the TT is reasonably fast, reasonably nimble, and reasonably fun to drive. It is also, however, quite expensive, the example we drove coming in a little below $50,000, with more than $10,000 worth of options, which is just one indication that looking good is never cheap.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
It’s quick but not nose-bleed fast, chic but definitely not worth $48,750. Audi’s newest TT has outgrown the 200 horsepower provided by its long-serving, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. And the S tronic dual clutch gearbox upon which we bestowed our Tech of the Year award when it debuted years ago is falling behind as well: it’s a sin to upshift at the redline without permission from the driver. I tried the back seat expecting pain and received exactly what I bargained for. The mouse-driven nav system guided me faithfully on a complicated Sunday shopping stint. The magnetically variable dampers – another Tech of the Year award recipient – help handling but they’re much too firm to smooth out Michigan’s cratered roads. What impressed me most was the TT’s new spaceframe that’s two-thirds aluminum and one-third steel, saving 220 pounds over the previous (smaller) design. Rivets and adhesives join the dissimilar metals together.
Don Sherman, Technical Editor
2009 Audi TT Coupe 2.0 Quattro
Base Price (with destination): $38,125
Price as tested: $48,750
Aruba Blue Pearl Effect – $475
Prestige Model – $5300
Audi Navigation System Plus, Interior Led Lighting, Audi Parking System, Bluetooth, Leather Elements with Armrest, Storage Package, Power Front Seats
S Line Sport Package – $3000
Black Fine Nappa Leather S Line Seats, 19-inch Alloy Wheels, S Line Bumpers and Steering Wheel, Headlight Washers
Audi Magnetic Ride Suspension – $1400
Heated Front Seats – $825
Fuel Economy: 21 / 29 / 24 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Size: 2.0L DOHC Turbocharged 4-Cylinder
Horsepower: 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
6-speed dual-clutch automatic
Weight: 3142 lb
19-inch aluminum wheels