2020 Audi TT review: 45 TFSI
IN A NUTSHELL: The Audi TT sports car has been given a mid-life refresh with a minor nip and tuck as well as some extra equipment.
Audi TT review
The future is uncertain for the Audi TT. While some sports cars seem to have an indefinite lifespan (think Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette) others live more inconsistent lives (think Toyota Supra and Holden Monaro). The TT, while undoubtedly now an icon of the four-ring brand, looks uncertain to get a fourth-generation as Audi looks to a more electrified future.
So we should enjoy the current version while we can, and which is now even better in this third-gen that recently received some changes to keep it fresh into 2020; five-years after it first arrived.
What does the Audi TT cost and what do you get?
The MY20 TT features some subtle changes to the grille and front bumper, but the bigger news is the extra equipment Audi Australia has now included as standard.
Priced from $79,990 (plus on-road costs) it comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, new LED headlights with dynamic rear indicators, auto-folding exterior mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, leather trim, an eight-speaker sound system and a new wireless smartphone charging pad.
Our test car was also fitted with the optional $7990 S Line Sport package that adds 19-inch alloys, S Line exterior body elements, S sport front seats, aluminium interior trim accents and a premium nine-speaker sound system.
What’s the Audi TT interior like?
Without exaggeration, the TT has one of the best interiors on the market today, at least in this reviewer’s opinion. A fantastic blend of technology and style, the TT’s cabin is focused on the driver with all the infotainment systems managed through a 12.3-inch digital screen that doubles as the instrument panel. There’s a rotary dial with touchpad and menu buttons between the front seats but the driver can control all major features without taking their hand off the wheel.
The climate control is perhaps the highlight, with the various functions controlled via dials with small digital screens integrated into the central air vent runner. It both looks great but is extremely intuitive and simple to use. Just like a sports car cabin should be.
How much space is there in the Audi TT?
Being a compact sports car the TT isn’t spacious but it does have enough room for two adults to comfortably enjoy themselves. The optional S sports seats look nice and offer power adjustment for both driver and passenger, so you can find your ideal seating position.
There are two small rear seats in the back, but there’s little in the way of room and they’re only practical for children for short trips.
The boot is shallow but wide and deep, measuring 305-litres, and is accessed via a liftback so it’s a surprisingly practical sports coupe.
What’s the Audi TT’s infotainment like?
As mentioned above it’s integrated seamlessly into the cabin design which makes it look great, but also makes it user-friendly; at least for the driver. Because there’s no central screen the passenger can’t clearly adjust the stereo or enter something into the navigation without some assistance from the driver; or at the very least leaning over to see what’s on the dashboard.
The optional nine-speaker premium sound system offers up 155-watts of power but lacks some clarity at times.
What engine is in the Audi TT?
The Volkswagen Group’s venerable 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol does service in the TT 45 TFSI, this time tuned to pump out 169kW of power and 370Nm of torque. It sends that grunt to the road via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive system.
While Audi offers the sportier TTS this standard model is arguably the pick, striking a nice balance between everyday usability and its dynamic character. There’s plenty of punch when you put your foot down, with good pulling power through the mid-range thanks to that turbocharged torque. The dual-clutch transmission is slick through its changes, complete with a sporty crackle from the exhaust with each cog swapped.
When you don’t want that sportiness though, you can switch the Drive Select mode to ‘Comfort’ and happily cruise around town as easily as you would in an A3.
It also returns impressive fuel economy for a sports car (at least when driven carefully) with a claimed combined cycle figure of 6.6-litres per 100km. Naturally, if you unleash all of its performance you can nudge that into double-digits.
Is the Audi TT good to drive?
There’s a certain family resemblance to how the TT drives because it’s based on the same ‘MQB’ vehicle architecture as so many Audi and Volkswagen models. That means it feels polished and refined but lacks a feeling of being special.
Make no mistake, it’s a responsive and dynamic car with a well-sorted chassis and direct steering, but there’s something about it that just feels too familiar to the S3 (or dare I say, VW Golf R) to sell it on its driving character.
The flip side of that is it has the same everyday user-friendliness of a hot hatch, rather than too many compromises so common among sports coupes.
How safe is the Audi TT?
Safety was another area where the MY20 model received some updates, with more active safety aids. So in addition to full airbag protection for the front seat occupants the TT 45 TFSI also comes equipped with Audi side assist, active lane assist, Audi parking system with front and rear sensors and rear view camera and cruise control with speed limited (but not active cruise) as standard.
What are the Audi TT alternatives?
You could argue the Audi S3 (from $64,200) and VW Golf R (from $54,990) are mechanically very similar and offer the same kind of driving thrills in a more practical body. But that would be under-valuing the role that the dramatic styling plays in the appeal of the TT, it may have elements of hot hatch underneath but on the surface, this is a sports coupe.
So you could look at the mid-engine Alfa Romeo 4C (from $89,000), Alpine A110 (from $97,00) and Lotus Elise (from $74,990); but all three are more hardcore sports cars. The sporty BMW M240i (from $79,100) has a similar blend of style and dynamics as the TT, while the Lexus RC300 (from $66,174) is a larger two-door alternative.
2020 Audi TT pricing and specs
Price From $79,990 plus ORCs Warranty 3 years/unlimited km Engine 2.0L turbo petrol Power 169kW at 4500-6200rpm Torque 370Nm at 1600-4300rpm Transmission 6-speed dual-clutch auto Drive all-wheel-drive Body 4191mm (l); 18032mm (w); 1353mm (h) Kerb weight 1410kg Seats 4 Thirst 6.6L/100km Spare Repair kit