Looking for a cut-price Coupe? The iconic Audi TT Diesel Coupe is back and it’s just as likeable as ever. Affordable, stylish, fun and cheap to drive, what’s there not to like about it?
With just the two doors, the TT Coupe might lack a bit of practicality but its interior is one of the best around. If you want a comfortable, no-nonsense, easygoing sports car that’s not going to break the bank, it should be a must on your short list.
OSV takes a closer at what it’s all about with our 2018 Audi TT Diesel Coupe review.
Audi’s are not exactly well-known for their drivability but the TT has always been one of their most entertaining cars and it’s now ramped up the fun factor. It’s comfortable on the motorway and easy to drive in the town.
Audi has added their progressive steering system to each model this time around and it sharpens the steering up so that there’s now more driver enjoyment. It improves the way the TT slinks around tight urban turns and it also improves its sense of fun at high speeds.
That said, as fun as the TT is, it isn’t the one to go for if you’re a purist who wants the best driving experience possible. There’s a good amount of communication but, once again, rivals like BMW are able to offer even more.
Stick to the standard 18” alloys and you’ll find that ride quality is better than its predecease. Sports suspension is standard throughout the range but S Line models get a harsher suspension setup. That might be fine in the Montenegro countryside but it will come undone over Britain’s broken roads.
However, all models get the brands magnetic ride adaptive dampers which do a good job of keeping body lean in check.
In terms of the engines, the TDI Ultra diesel is our top pick. It’s affordable to run and feels fairly nippy with its 0-62 time of 7.1 seconds. Acceleration is good from low speeds but this model comes with front-wheel-drive as standard.
If you want a diesel with Quattro four-wheel-drive, you’ll need to pay a bit extra for the 2.0-litre 181bhp unit. Running costs will go up but its 0-62 time changes to 6.7 seconds, which is pretty rapid for a car of this type.
The S Line is the most uncomfortable model in the range but if you stick to the standard variants, you’ll find that the TT Coupe does a good job of mixing driving fun with comfort.
That said if you do buy the S Line model you can specify the standard suspension setup at no extra cost if you wish. We think it suits the car a lot more and just makes it easier to live with.
Audi also added their excellent Magnetic Ride suspension as an optional extra. We definitely think it’s worth adding as it smooths over the worst lumps and bumps. It comes with the TTS S as standard but costs extra for the rest of the range.
Other than that, the seats should be comfortable enough, while the steering wheel and driver’s seat are adjustable. Insulation is good and the TT Coupe is a fine long-distance cruiser.
In terms of the interior design, Audi has gone for elegant but tasteful. Build quality is brilliant as usual and their useful Virtual Cockpit system is standard on all models. This system relays all kinds of handy driving information to you and it also clears space on the dashboard, with no need for conventional dashboard dials.
Is the Audi TT Diesel Coupe practical? It doesn’t fare too badly on this front. It gets rear seats but they’re really suitable for children, and even then only for short distances. And because the car is no longer than last time, interior space hasn’t changed much.
That said, while children and adults will struggle in the rear (especially with headroom), those in the front should be just fine. There are lots of smart storage spaces in the car, including a few cup holders and a decent-sized glovebox, while the boot measures 305-litres. For a car of this type, that’s pretty good and if you fold the rear seats you can extend it to 712-litres.
Standard kit is good across the range, though there are just two models to choose from – Sport or S Line. The Sport model gets the brands’ Virtual Cockpit system, climate control, leather seats, a digital radio, 18” alloys, LED daytime running lights and bright xenon headlamps.
The S Line adds a gloss-black grille, unique bodywork, LED headlights and bigger wheels.
There’s also the option of a Black Edition which gets a Bang and Olufsen stereo with 12 speakers, black exterior trim and 19” alloys.
Where safety is concerned, it might be a slight concern that the TT Coupe only scored four stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP. However, it was the first guinea pig to be tested under the new rules in 2015 with Euro NCAP saying it missed out on a fifth star because, among other reasons, it doesn’t come with autonomous emergency braking and other cutting-edge safety technologies.
Its standard safety kit includes ISOFIX child seat mounts, airbags and electronic stability control but traffic sign recognition and blind spot monitoring are optional.
Prices for the new car start out from £28,850 and rise to £44,270. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the TT Ultra TDI diesel engine is the one to go for if you want to own an Audi TT but don’t want to be saddled by expensive costs. It returns 60.1mpg economy while emitting 124g/km of CO2. And because it’s paired up with a 6-speed manual ‘box, it’s pretty efficient on the motorway.
The Quattro 2.0-litre 181bhp diesel offers more grip but it returns 52.3mpg at best and emits as much as 142g/km of CO2. Both diesels will probably occupy insurance group 35.
Virtual Cockpit Is Standard
It isn’t usual for Audi to offer their excellent Virtual Cockpit system as standard on all models, but they’ve been generous here.
The TT wouldn’t be a TT if it wasn’t fun to drive, and it’s as enjoyable as ever in 2018.
Especially if you pay extra for the Quattro diesel, there’s a lot of power and performance on offer.
It’s entertaining enough but we feel driver involvement could – and probably should – be better.
With the smaller alloys, the ride quality isn’t too bad but it gets pretty firm if you specify the bigger alloys.
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Audi TT Diesel Coupe review.
The new Nissan 370Z is a muscular Coupe determined to raise Hell. For not a lot of cash, you get a whole load of performance and it’s a fun car to drive.
Cut-price Coupes like the Audi and the Nissan are getting harder and harder to find but the 370Z feels as modern as anything else out there right now, and despite a starting price of under £30,000 Nissan haven’t held much back. Its 3.7-litre V6 engine throbs with power, and if you upgrade to the Nismo version you get as much as 339bhp.
That said, it’s a better idea to stick to the standard version as the Nismo model is significantly more expensive and, truth be told, you don’t really notice that extra power.
The engine is paired up with a 6-speed manual ‘box that’s slick but not quite as precise as the TT. And while we love the V6 engine it lacks a bit of finesse and will make a noise that not everyone will find agreeable.
On the other hand, as functional as the engine is, some buyers will love its straightforward nature. What buyers might not appreciate, however, is a suspension setup that doesn’t deal with Britain’s broken roads. Strap up, as you’ll be in for a bumpy ride.
Running costs? They were never going to be pretty and the Nissan 370Z returns 26mpg at best if you stick to the manual gearbox. If you swap it for the automatic, you can probably change that figure to around 28mpg economy.
Emissions are also not nice to look at, and the car will emit as much as 245g/km of CO2.
Inside, the Nissan’s seats are comfortable but because the steering wheel can’t adjust in and out, finding the perfect driving position might be difficult. Insulation is not as good as it is inside the TT but surely some buyers won’t mind hearing the engines guttural, industrial bellow?
However, we are less sure that buyers will be happy with the overall functional design of the cabin. Where the TT is nice to look at, the Nissan is less so and looks kinda like an aircraft’s cockpit.
Is the Nissan 370Z practical? It has just the two seats, interior storage space is restricted and the boot measures just 235-litres. Worse still, it has a high lip and is not as usable as the TT’s.
Audi – £28,850 – £44,270
Nissan – £29,185 – £39,375
The new Peugeot RCZ looks like a concept car but it’s very much a Coupe. Like the Audi, it boasts powerful engines that are also affordable to run.
The best thing about the Peugeot is its keen sense of fun. This easily remains the brands most entertaining car; body lean is minimal and the steering is super accurate.
A manual gearbox perfectly complements the way the RCZ drives but the clutch pedal can give you a bit of leg ache from time to time as it has such a high biting point. We’d argue that there are more involving cars than the Peugeot – but not many, and certainly not the TT Coupe.
In terms of its engines, the Peugeot has the option of a diesel unit. It develops 163bhp and can get you from rest to 62mph in 8.7 seconds. It’s noisy and, although it’s economical, it isn’t exactly fast.
If you want more speed, the turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine is a better shout. It’s available in two power guises, with the 156bhp variant able to cover the 0-62 sprint in 8.3 seconds and the 200bhp variant able to do it in 7.6 seconds.
Running costs? The 2.0-litre diesel engine returns as much as 54.3mpg, which is great for a car like this. It also emits just 130g/km of CO2. The petrol engines are naturally more expensive to run but the smaller version can return an impressive 44.1mpg, while the bigger version is good for 42.2mpg. These are decent figures.
Inside, front seat occupants will be just fine in the Peugeot as there’s a decent amount of space on offer. The pedals are a tad high, however, but the low-slung seating position makes the RCZ feels very sporty.
The dashboard looks attractive enough and gets some nice touches, such as the circular air vents, the analogue clock and the deep-set chrome-ringed dials.
Is the Peugeot RCZ practical? It has rear seats but they’re tiny, and moreover, its curvy roofline will limit headroom in the back. Legroom is also cramped, as are storage spaces (the glovebox is way too small). Visibility is good while the boot measures 384-litres, which makes it the biggest in this review by a long distance.
Peugeot – £24,200 – £27,500
The TT has always been an exciting car but it’s never been this much fun to drive. Now in its third generation, it looks as good as ever but offers more entertainment behind the wheel. Its interior is clutter-free, thanks to the Virtual Cockpit, the entry-level diesel is remarkably efficient and adding Quattro will make you feel safe and secure. The 2018 Audi TT Diesel Coupe is, once again, impossible to ignore.