New car review

Audi TT Roadster test drive

The Audi TT Roadster has been a contender in the convertible segment for some time. How does the updated version get on?

What’s the Audi TT Roadster like inside?

The cabin of the TT is largely focused around the driver; all of the main displays are located where the traditional dials would be as part of the car’s Virtual Cockpit system. It does mean that the interior of the Audi feels a little bit sparse, but you can’t fault the quality of it. The buttons which do remain have a solid, tactile feel to them and the aluminium-fringed air vents are classy both in terms of looks and operation.

The sports seats are heated (a handy feature for when the roof is down) and our test car came with heated blowers just below the headrests – again, a welcome touch on cooler days when you want to recline the roof.

What’s under the bonnet?

One of the biggest changes to the TT was the removal of a 1.8-litre engine on base cars in favour of a larger, more powerful 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit. Entry-level ‘40’ cars produce 195hp, while ‘45’ versions like we have here push out 245hp. Opt for the range-topping TT S version and you’ll find 306hp under the bonnet.

Here, power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. A manual is available, albeit only on the lower-powered TT models. Getting from 0-60mph takes 5.3 seconds, and flat-out the TT will do 155mph. Efficiency-wise, Audi claims that the TT 45 will return up to 34.4mpg combined and emit 164g/km of CO2. All cars in the TT range now get a particulate filter, too.

What’s the Audi TT Roadster like to drive?

The TT has historically returned a brisk, if not overtly rewarding, driving experience – and it’s the same story with this latest one. The engine provides plenty of shove, while the seven-speed gearbox shifts smoothly when in full auto mode and accurately in manual mode – it can be a touch dim-witted when moving away from a dead stop, however.

There’s plenty of accuracy to the steering, and though the ride on the 19-inch alloy wheels is quite sharp, it means there’s little in the way of body roll. Plus, thanks to the all-wheel-drive system, the TT remains unflappable in the wet, and stable and composed in the dry. It may not be the most involving of experiences, but it’s assured and predictable at all times.

Verdict

The Audi TT Roadster remains a reliable, well-made and reasonably punchy sports car. It may not be able to offer the same driver involvement as rivals, but that’s not to say it’s devoid of fun – it just doesn’t come alive in the way cars like the Porsche Boxster do.

The Roadster version certainly broadens the appeal of the Audi TT, and with so many soft-tops snapped up each year in the UK, we can imagine this updated TT Roadster experiencing a fair amount of popularity.

Similar cars

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BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLC, Porsche 718 Boxster

Key specifications

Model as tested: Audi TT 45 TFSI
Price (on-road): £47,460
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol
Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic
Power: 245 hp
Torque: 370 Nm
Top speed: 155 mph
0-60mph: 5.3 seconds
Fuel economy (combined): 33.6-34.4 (WLTP)
CO2 emissions: 164 g/km (NEDC)

Jack Evans
Jack Evans
Articles by Jack Evans are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.

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