2009 Audi TTS Roadster

The logical side of my brain is telling me that not only is $57,125 a good chunk of change, it's also enough to get me into the more dynamic Porsche Boxster S. And while that would normally be enough to move me toward the Porsche, I can't help but think I'd still consider the TTS.

Design, I think, has a lot to do with it. I fell head over heels when I first saw the original TT concepts back in 1995 - they were slick, seemingly well crafted, and looked unlike anything else in Audi's lineup. While the current car is less unique than its forebears, it's still plenty sporty - something only amplified by the TTS model's special front and rear valences. Design also reigns inside, where the baseball-glove seats were both supportive and comfortable, and I where I noticed many forms borrowed from its big brother, the R8. I loved the sound of the Bose audio system, but I can't believe Audi gives us a six-disc CD changer but no iPod interface.

Perhaps I was most surprised at how usable this car proved to be. As can be expected, mixing Quattro with winter tires helped in snow. I don't expect trunks on roadsters to be huge (indeed, my backpack could be described as "fitted luggage"), but the TTS still offered a fair amount of cargo room and nifty pouches to store my odds and ends. One neat feature: the cubby between the seats also doubles as a trunk pass-through for longer items. I don't anticipate the need to haul skis or lumber in a TT anytime soon, but it's nice to know there's a practical side to a car that's supposed to be anything but.

It's fast (once the turbo spools up), semi-usable, and damn good-looking. Shame it drives more like a Golf R32 than a Boxster. Maybe I'll take that Porsche after all...

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

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