Road Test: Audi TT TDI Ultra S Line
Sector: Coupe Price: £32,320 Fuel: 67.3mpg CO2: 110g/km
I’ve always thought that a diesel Audi TT was a bit of a cop-out. If you really want to save tax, don’t choose an iconic sports car – go for something a little less sporty and more suited to the role.
But with the new TT, my opinion has been revised. Of course, this has to be placed in context: it is not as good as the high-revving petrol versions. But they are utterly brilliant, a huge leap forward from the last model. So on that basis, the overall progress of the model makes this new diesel version really quite excellent.
From the outside, the TT looks sharper, while retaining a whiff of that three-lump silhouette that has made it so distinctive, and it’s a good looking, stylish machine. But it is inside and underneath where the real talent lies.
For a start, the TDI version is part of Audi’s Ultra range, meaning it has low emissions, with its 182bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine rated at just 110g/km of CO2. So the on-paper figures are pretty impressive. This model comes only with a manual gear and front-wheel drive, and I thought missing the DSG auto gearbox might be a weakness. It isn’t.
That’s because the engine revs surprisingly keenly for a diesel, it handles with plenty of agility, the gearbox has a wonderfully positive feel, and the off-beat thrum from the exhaust sounds pretty fruity. In fact, under acceleration, it is very much a sports car.
Then, when you are just cruising about in day-to-day mode, it will easily hit mid-50s mpg and rides quite comfortably. In the cabin, you will be comfortable too, because it is a masterpiece. The standard of materials and the fit is as good as there is, while the high definition screen that produces dials, sat nav and all other functions is the best in any car on sale today.
Clearly, a £32,000 coupe isn’t going to be the ideal choice for everyone, but with ridiculously strong residual values, low running costs due to its Volkswagen Group running gear, and a multitude of talents, this is a fabulous company car in the right hands.