2016 Audi TTS new car reviews

The Audi TT first emerged in 1998. They were bulbous, relatively high-maintenance, and weren't great driving cars. Still, we tended to like them. We wanted to like them. Now in its third generation, Audi has massaged their sports coupe into very capable car. The example we drove was the TTS quattro, which shares the 2.0-liter engine with the base TT, but churns out 292 horsepower—72 horsepower more than a base TT. Match that with a complex all-wheel drive system and we have a good performer on paper. So how does it fare in real life?

Other staff views

Joe Gearin Joe Gearin
Associate Publisher

To be honest, I've never really cared for Audi's super suave TT. When the TT was introduced, I was blown away by the baseball glove stitching on the seats, and the Bauhaus exterior styling, but driving the car left me cold.

This TTS has changed my opinion, and made me a fan.

I'm generally the office troglodyte in that I usually don't like tech for tech's sake. I can't stand starter buttons, electronic nannies, or manumatic gearboxes where a true manual should be. This Audi, however, manages to include a ton of tech--- including the novel electronic dashboard-- into a package that is totally friendly and usable. Heck...I even kind of like the dashboard, although it is a bit distracting. The entire car is so well integrated, that the tech just seems to fit.

Of course none of the tech would matter if the car drove like crap. It doesn't. This TTS is quick. The turbo four produces fun sounds, and the grip from the Quattro system is impressive. Like many new performance cars, the TTS has limits that can only truly be explored on the track. As our sampling was limited to public roads I was unable to probe the adhesion limits of this German---- but suffice to say it's a handler, and a fun car to pitch around.

Not only is this TTS a fun car to drive, it's also an extremely nice place to spend time. Audi has long been a world leader in interior design, and this car continues that trend. The seats in particular are wonderful---supportive, multi-adjustable and supremely comfortable. Couple this comfort, with perhaps the best sound system I've ever heard in a car (thanks Bang & Olufsen) and you have a real winner of a machine.

I'm still not crazy about the exterior styling, but if you are, chances are you'll love the car.

Tom Suddard Tom Suddard
Director of Marketing & Digital Assets

I loved this thing, but I really didn't like how much it cost. Yeah, it was nice, but was it really six-figures nice?

Wait, it's only $52k? At that price, this thing was a total steal, at least in the world of personal luxury coupes.

First: the technology. Yes, it's weird. There's no center display. This is a driver's car, so everything is in the instrument cluster. Except, of course, the a/c settings. Those are on nifty displays inside each individual vent. I loved this system, though it did take me a few minutes to figure out.

Next: driving. It drives great! Does it feel like it has 292 horsepower? Absolutely–and then some. VW's DSG is still the best in the business, though I do think that your average soccer mom would complain about the harshness of this box at stop-and-go traffic speeds. No, it doesn't have a torque converter. Get used to it. It handles way better than time on our public roads can discover, so I'll hold off on answering that question.

This thing made me feel like James bond, and I'd buy one in a heartbeat... once it rapidly depreciated for a year or so. Hey–it is an Audi, after all.

Ed Higginbotham Ed Higginbotham

I've always had a special spot in my heart for TTs, even when they were all recalled in 2000 for being unstable at speed. Yeah, a sports coupe that is unsafe to drive at speed. Not good. Sure, the first generation wasn't the best driver, but I liked where it was heading. And now farther down the road I really like where the TT has ended up.

The 2016 TTS features a good mix of luxury and performance. While not supercar status, 292 horsepower is enough to give you a good kick in the pants. I typically am not a fan of automated manuals, but the TT's dual-clutch transmission may have won me over. It's extremely smooth.

As for the handling, you aren't going to approach this car's limits on the street—without some serious bad behavior. It should make a great track day car.

Also, as small a point as this may be, I thought the HVAC controls—built into the center of the vents—were some of the cleanest and best I've seen in modern cars. And it really cleans up the center console, button-wise.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Stefan (Not Bruce)
Stefan (Not Bruce) MegaDork
3/25/16 9:24 a.m.

I still giggle at the name.


racerdave600 SuperDork
3/29/16 1:57 p.m.

I love the interior. Audi makes the nicest interiors of any of the Germans.

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