2011 Audi TTS

Our test car had royal blue paint over a black and gray interior. It's a beautiful car, with great details, especially on the front end, with many fine chrome lines in the grille and air dam. They're all very symmetrical and very nicely integrated. The TTS is a very capable car that lacks that final raw edge that the Porsche Boxster/Cayman chassis has, but for many people, this is all the performance they might want. Great powertrain, very crisp shifting, whether you are in drive or in the sport mode and using the steering wheel paddles. Shifts happen quickly and smoothly. Interior ambience is absolutely lovely. The nominal rear seats are barely fit for adults but when folded down there's a lot of space. We were able to do a pretty big Costco run and fit it all in with no problems. The steering is reasonably precise and communicative. I like the automatically deploying and retracting rear wing, which is subtle.

With Quattro and snow tires, the TTS made for a nice winter weekend car. With the short wheelbase and fairly stiff suspension, it rides a bit stiffly, but I wasn't bothered by that.
- Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor

Joe DeMatio calls the TTS a "nice winter weekend car," but I'd venture to say that it's a fabulous year-round, any-day-of-the-week car. For those in northern climes jealous of Californians making their daily commute in a Porsche Boxster, the Audi TT makes a damn good consolation prize. From a performance perspective, the TT's front-wheel-biased Haldex all-wheel-drive system isn't nearly as desirable as the torque-sensing system used in most of Audi's other cars (like the A5, S4, Q5, and others), but it does a fine job of managing wheel slip in winter conditions. With arctic-like temperatures and penniless local governments, Michigan's usual plow-and-salt response to the first snowfall ceded to a wait-for-it-to-melt plan. The next day, my well-traveled backroads commute showed just four narrow stripes of exposed pavement from the passing traffic, with miniature mountain ranges of snow in between. And while even those in heavy four-wheel-drive SUVs toddled along well below the speed limit, the TTS wandered freely between the two lanes to execute confident passes.
- Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor

The real problem with the TTS is that in the not too distant future, VW is unleashing its Golf R on the U.S., a car that packs the same powertrain (engine, transmission, and AWD) into a much more affordable package. Buy a Golf R and you'll be saving about $14k since the base MSRP of the Golf R is expected to hover around $34k.

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