Full 2014 Audi TTS Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Audi TTS returns in a single trim level, with a number of former options added to the standard equipment list.
"Please, Sir, can I have some more?" may be one of the best known lines ever to emerge from a Dickens novel, and it's also a fair summation of the thinking behind the 2014 Audi TTS.
Available in both coupe and convertible body styles, the TTS takes the stylish but not so sporty TT base model (reviewed separately) to the next level, with a number of upgrades that boost its fun-to-drive factor. These improvements start with a more potent version of the standard TT's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces an additional 54 horsepower. A six-speed automated manual transmission and a standard all-wheel-drive system help make the most of that extra oomph. Larger 19-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, beefier brakes and an adaptive suspension complete the package, making the Audi TTS much more satisfying to hustle along a winding stretch of road than the TT.
But the reality, at least for performance cars in this price range, is that having "more" with the TTS still might not be enough. Consider that the performance you get with the all-new 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray is completely dominating in comparison, and that base models of the Porsche Boxster convertible and Cayman coupe are far more involving to drive than the TTS. Granted, these sports cars don't have all-wheel drive or a backseat, but if those are qualities you want, consider the newer and roomier 2014 BMW 4 Series or even Audi's S5. In the end, we find the 2014 Audi TTS likeable enough, but there are simply better choices out there for the money.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Audi TTS is available in four-seat coupe or two-seat convertible body styles, both of which are offered in a single trim level.
Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, performance summer tires, an adaptive magnetic ride control suspension, xenon headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, eight-way power front sport seats (with four-way lumbar), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth and a 12-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and auxiliary audio input jack. The convertible features a power retractable soft top.
Options include a navigation system (bundled with rear parking sensors), upgraded leather upholstery and a Black Optic package that adds a number of distinctive exterior and interior trim pieces.
Powertrains and Performance
Power for the 2014 Audi TTS comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 265 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automated manual transmission and all-wheel-drive system are standard.
In Edmunds performance testing, the TTS coupe went from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. That's a respectable time, but many competing cars are quicker still. EPA-estimated fuel economy, though, is excellent at 26 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway).
Standard safety features on the 2014 Audi TTS include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags that protect the head and thorax, and front knee airbags. Rear parking sensors come with the optional navigation system.
In Edmunds brake testing, a TTS came to a stop from 60 mph in 113 feet, an average distance for this type of car with summer tires.
Interior Design and Special Features
Like other Audis, the 2014 TTS offers an interior that blends clean, modern design with top-quality materials. Available two-tone trim gives the cabin a distinctive look that sets it apart from the base model.
In general, gauges and controls are well laid out and straightforward to operate. The one exception is the optional navigation system's dash-mounted control knob, a placement that can make it a bit awkward to use. Both coupe and convertible models are remarkably quiet inside, the latter surprisingly so thanks to a multi-layer soft top with a glass rear window that can be lowered in about 15 seconds with the push of a button.
With their substantial side bolsters, the front seats offer good comfort and support in spirited driving. A severe shortage of legroom, makes the coupe's rear seats generally unfit for human habitation, though they do make a fine place to stash appointment books, work files and laptop bags.
In terms of cargo capacity, the coupe is the more practical of the two by virtue of its 13.1 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and 24.7 cubic feet with them folded down. The convertible's trunk is a good bit smaller at 8.8 cubic feet. However, that's actually a very good number for this class, especially compared with rivals that have retractable hardtops (which take up a substantial portion of the trunk when folded down).
While the base model TT has its good qualities, the 2014 Audi TTS is the clear choice for buyers wanting a TT with a more engaging driving experience. The more powerful 2.0-liter engine delivers snappier performance, and it's ably assisted by the quick-shifting automated-manual transmission. This upgraded engine isn't as responsive at low speeds as the regular TT's, however.
Audi's magnetic ride control suspension now comes standard on the TTS. Normally, this type of suspension offers a best-of-both-worlds balance of handling and ride quality, but on the TTS, the two driver-selectable modes don't change the car's demeanor much. And even in Normal mode, the ride quality is overly stiff at times.
To its credit, the TTS does provide plenty of AWD traction and grip around turns, and it feels confident when driven at a brisk clip on a curvy road. However, more serious driving enthusiasts will likely take issue with the steering, which although quick, is disappointingly uncommunicative for a sports car.