Audi TT Roadster Special Edition Leasing

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Audi TT

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Whatcar? Review

For

Fabulous interior design and quality, plus brilliant handling and strong performance. The TT Roadster will also hold its value extremely well.

Against

You’ll want to add a few optional extras, not least the wind deflector. Rear visibility isn’t great, and the hot TTS isn’t as much fun as the similarly priced Porsche Boxster.

Summary

The Audi TT Roadster is brilliant to drive and easy to live with. Cheaper versions are the best everyday two-seat roadsters you can buy.

Performance

The TT's all-turbocharged engine range includes a 2.0-litre petrol with 227bhp, or 306bhp in the TTS, and a 181bhp 2.0 diesel. The lower-powered petrol is a great engine that revs keenly and delivers its power without any sudden surges, so it's our pick of the range. The manual-only TDI is punchy, whereas the TTS is explosively fast.

Ride & Handling

Turn in to a corner and the TT's light, accurate steering gives you a good sense of what the front wheels are doing, so it's easy to judge whether you need to back off a bit. The car also feels nimble and there's plenty of grip and little body lean. Quattro four-wheel-drive models have excellent traction, too. The standard suspension provides a firm but well controlled ride, so while the optional sports set-up doesn't make things too uncomfortable, it doesn't bring any real benefits.

Refinement

The TT is really refined by convertible standards. Wind noise is noticeable but well suppressed, even at motorway speeds, and tyre noise is a distant burr. Every model gets an adaptive exhaust, which lets you enjoy the rasp if you want or turn it down to an easily ignored hum. The six-speed manual gearbox has a slightly long action that feels odd for a sporty convertible, but the shift is positive and light. The optional S tronic automatic 'box is slick, but the manual is still more engaging.

Buying & Owning

The TT Roadster looks fairly expensive next to some drop-tops, including the more practical, four-seat BMW 2 Series Convertible. However, it is competitively priced against more direct rivals such as the BMZ Z4 and Mercedes SLK, it's predicted to hold its value extremely well and it'll also be relatively cheap to fuel and tax. Company car buyers will be especially tempted by the diesel model, which has impressively low CO2 emissions.

Quality & Reliability

The cabin really is something to behold, with wonderfully solid-feeling, high-quality materials throughout. Reliability is much harder to assess; the latest TT Roadster was too new to appear in our most recent ownership satisfaction survey. Many of the TT's oily bits are shared with other models in the Audi line-up, however, so they're at least tried and tested.

Safety & Security

Four airbags and twin roll-over bars are fitted as standard, along with a tyre pressure-monitoring system, which alerts you early if you get a puncture. A 'secondary collision assist' system, which helps to stop the car as soon as possible after an initial impact, is also included, and you can add optional items such as blindspot monitoring. Security experts Thatcham awarded the car five out of five for its resistance to being stolen and four out of five for its resistance to being broken into.

Behind The Wheel

The dashboard is delightfully simple, with just a handful of buttons set neatly into the fascia. This minimalism is possible because the main screen – which displays everything from the stereo to the instrument dials – is behind the steering wheel. Drivers of all shapes and sizes will be able to get comfortable, thanks to plenty of adjustment to the steering wheel and the supportive seat. However, as with many roadsters, there’s a big blind spot if you look over your shoulder.

Space & Practicality

The Roadster loses the TT coupe’s fairly useless rear seats in favour of an enclosed cubby where the roof is stored when it’s retracted. This means there’s not much storage space in the cabin, but losing the seats has left plenty of room in the boot, which is only slightly smaller than the coupe's, at 280 litres. The boot will easily take a couple of holdalls, although the narrow opening makes loading anything bulkier pretty awkward.

Equipment

We'd go for entry-level Sport trim, which gets air-conditioning, Alcantara and leather upholstery, xenon headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, a USB socket and a DAB radio. S line trim adds automatic LED headlights and rain-sensing wipers, along with 19-inch wheels and a more aggressive bodykit. On both trims, however, it costs extra to add parking sensors, climate and cruise controls and a wind deflector, while sat-nav is an expensive optional extra.