2016 Audi TT 2.0 T Review

The latest TT ups the high-tech ante for Audi's roadster.

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September 24, 2015

2016 Audi TT 2.0 T Review

This degree of stylistic minimalism is often confused for blandness, when in fact it's the opposite: the few obvious design touches are as dramatic on this car as are the hood lines on a BMW 6-Series.

Introduction
Audi, the luxury arm of VW, has a unique problem. As the base brand, Volkswagen, has stepped up the niceness of its interiors and available options, Audi needs to find ways to make it seem less like the same brand with a different logo. With the 2016, Audi has made the leap into a different class.

2016 Audi TT Exterior To say that Audi's approach to design is minimal is a massive understatement, the TT looks like it was carved out of a bar of soap with a shoehorn. The way its lines and creases blend into the shape gives the TT a sense of wholeness that very few cars are able to pull off.

In fact, this degree of minimalism is often confused for blandness, when in fact it's the opposite: the few obvious touches - the extruded arches around the wheel wells, the small panel next to the headlights that is over-bitten by the hood line - are as dramatic on this car as are the hood lines on a BMW 6-Series. Audi's singleframe grille provides enough menace to the front end to hopefully quell any 'chick car' comments.
2016 Audi TT Interior Audi's interiors can sometimes be bothersomely minimal (especially the extremely VW-feeling A3), but, perhaps due to its small cabin, this look pays dividends in the TT. Its best feature, as you probably already know, is its super-high-tech in-front-of-the-wheel infotainment screen.

Happily, this replaces the clunky-looking propped-up screen that currently sullies other Audi interiors, and it's a pretty great bit of auto tech as well. The screen has two modes: one in which the virtual gauges are dominant, and one in which the navigation/infotainment display is prominent.

Audi/VW already has the most user-friendly interface on the market, but its graphical presentation tends to leave a bit to be desired. The screen in the TT, however, really makes you feel like you're living in the future.

In addition to its technical presentational novelty, the screen, which is mostly obscured from the passenger's view, is definitive proof that the TT is a driver's car. Not only are you, the driver, the only one who needs access to any of the screen's information, you shouldn't have to glance to your side to see it. Next to an HUD, this is the most distraction-free infotainment setup yet, except that its sheer beauty makes it plenty distracting anyway.
2016 Audi TT On the Road Built on the VW MQB platform, along with the A3 and the VW Golf, the TT delivers the exact same sensible/sporty ride as the 2015 COTY winning Golf. That's both the TT's strength and one of its weaknesses.

It's a remarkable platform that's suited for sensible as well as aggressive driving, but the TT is a car that deserves a bit more oomph, for lack of a better cliché. Fortunately, you can buy the TT S, which more or less addresses that issue, but that's not the car we're reviewing.

And while the TT does deliver solid steering, handling, and acceleration, so does the Golf, which is way more practical and way cheaper. For $50,000 (fully optioned), the TT is remarkable in every way except how it drives. And isn't that really what you buy a car like this for?
2016 Audi TT Conclusion We loved everything about the 2016 TT, except that it isn't the TT S, which is the car this one really should be. Unfortunately, you'll have to shell out an extra ten-to-fifteen grand for the S, so if real sports car performance doesn't matter to you, stick with the TT.
2016 Audi TT Specs & Prices Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive

Power Output: 230 hp / 273 lb-ft

Fuel Economy (mpg): 22 city / 31 highway

Base Price: $42,900

As Tested: $47,7254 (includes $925 destination charge)

Available Features:

Technology Package: Audi MM navigation plus, Audi connect with online services,Audi side assist, auto-dimming, power folding exterior mirrors, parking system plus with rearview camera

Other Options:Tango red metallic paint, 19-inch wheels, S Sport seat package, Bang & Olefson sound system


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