Used 2016 Audi TT Coupe Review
Remember when the original Audi TT was getting all the headlines back in the late 1990s? Here was an irresistibly sporty coupe or convertible with head-turning style, turbocharged acceleration and an exquisite interior that included creative options like baseball-glove leather upholstery. It was so cool that heartthrob Hugh Grant drove one in a movie. In the years that followed, however, the TT began to lose its mojo, relegated to also-ran status by its increasingly capable rivals.
That's where the all-new 2016 Audi TT comes in. The force is strong with this one. No, it doesn't offer baseball leather (though last year's TT still did), but it does give you chiseled, mini-R8 styling that hints at sharper driving performance. On the road, that's exactly what the all-wheel-drive TT delivers, gripping tenaciously thanks to its standard summer performance tires and sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. It also lunges forward on an urgent wave of torque that makes the 220-horsepower four-cylinder engine seem seriously underrated. We're prepared to call the TT a real sports car now, even without the TT-S model's extra speed. It's a driver's car like no TT before it.
The 2016 Audi TT has been redesigned, but its new styling is still instantly familiar.
But this Audi shines in more sedate scenarios, too, thanks in large part to its truly cutting-edge cabin. The centerpiece is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster known as the "Audi virtual cockpit," which combines gauges and infotainment functions into one dynamic interface behind the steering wheel. There's no longer a central display screen as in previous TT models (or in any other car, for that matter); all of that stuff now shares virtual space with the speedometer and tachometer, which slide seamlessly from center stage to the periphery depending on how you're using the interface. The TT's pioneering use of this technology makes it feel like a car ahead of its time, as do other features like the rakishly styled center console, LED ambient cabin lighting and standard full LED headlights.
The 2016 TT's dramatic improvements are bound to shake things up for shoppers. We used to mention the Nissan 370Z as an appealing alternative, but now the Z just seems old and unrefined by comparison. The Ford Mustang and the redesigned 2016 Chevy Camaro are less expensive and faster (in basso-profondo V8 form) than the TT, but they're not as nimble around turns and they can't match the Audi's interior sophistication. Other alternatives can be found within German borders, including the BMW 2 Series and Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, but their fashion sense is far more subdued. Of course, the Porsche Boxster and Cayman siblings are great to drive, but they cost more and feel less contemporary inside.
In sum, there's nothing quite like the 2016 Audi TT, and we mean that in the very best way. It's hard to make a splash in today's saturated marketplace, but just like the original TT, this new one stands apart.
The Audi TT coupe comes up short in regard to practicality, but the convertible further compounds this issue with two fewer seats and an even smaller trunk. If you value convenience over open-air fun, get the coupe.
performance & mpg
Every 2016 Audi TT is motivated by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 220 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. Also standard are a six-speed automated manual transmission and all-wheel drive.
In Edmunds performance testing, a 2016 TT coupe zipped from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, beating the base (manual-transmission) Porsche Cayman by 0.3 second but trailing the BMW 228i coupe by 0.4 second.
According to the EPA, the 2016 TT should return 26 mpg combined (23 city/30 highway) in either coupe or roadster form. On the diverse 120-mile Edmunds evaluation loop, a TT coupe achieved a laudable 28.8 mpg.
Standard safety features on the 2016 Audi TT include traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front knee airbags and front side airbags that protect occupants' heads and abdomens. The coupe also includes side curtain airbags for additional head protection.
Rear parking sensors are standard on every TT, while the optional Technology package brings front parking sensors, a rearview camera and a blind-spot monitor.
In Edmunds brake testing, the 2016 Audi TT stopped from 60 mph in 103 feet. Although this is the same as a base Cayman, it is still an extremely short distance for any car.
Effectively splitting the difference between a base Cayman and a BMW 228i in our acceleration tests, the 2016 Audi TT coupe proves it's worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as such luminaries. More proof can be found in our handling tests, where the TT coupe pulled an eye-popping 0.99g on the skid pad -- that's near-supercar grip -- and snaked through the slalom cones at 70.7 mph, quicker than both the Cayman and the 228i. Looking at the historical records, the TT also out-slalomed superstars like the 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Edition. This isn't just a "numbers car," either; on the contrary, it's quite rewarding to drive on a winding road, delivering its grip and thrust in a highly responsive, yet user-friendly manner that instills confidence at the helm.
In day-to-day driving, the TT is no less impressive. The turbo engine is ultra-smooth and nearly silent by default, though selecting the transmission's Sport mode (or the Drive Select system's Dynamic mode) produces an audibly louder engine note. Road noise is held to reasonable levels on most surfaces, while ride comfort is more than satisfactory given the TT's high-performance envelope.
The 2016 TT's cabin is a triumph of contemporary style and technology, lacking only an obvious place to put your contemporary smartphone (we used either the too-small cupholder or the deep covered bin ahead of the shift lever). As per Audi's norm, materials quality is exemplary, but that only begins to tell the story. The LED ambient lighting evokes a trendy cocktail lounge, while the optional Bang & Olufsen audio system (very much worth the extra cost) pumps vividly clear sound until your ears cry uncle. Delightful details are everywhere, such as the rotary bezel that controls each vent's airflow direction, rotating around the vent itself with what feels like machine-grade precision.
Note the lack of a center display screen for the 2016 Audi TT. The configurable gauge cluster display takes its place.
On the electronics front, the headline news is clearly the standard 12.3-inch "virtual cockpit" digital gauge cluster that doubles as the infotainment screen, obviating the need for a separate central screen on the dashboard. When you're accessing infotainment functions, the middle area of the display dynamically expands, while the speedometer and tachometer shrink to the margins (though they never disappear). If you're worried about obsolescence down the road, don't be; the graphics are video-game crisp, and for that matter, the processing times and frame rates are video-game quick. There's a learning curve, to be sure, even though Audi still includes the familiar MMI control knob (and puts it on the center console this time, trumping the previous TT's annoying dash-mounted knob). But we got the hang of it before too long, and in case you suddenly need to bring the speedometer and tachometer back to full size, there's a handy "VIEW" button on the steering wheel that does just that. One downside, however, is that the driver is now responsible for everything regarding infotainment. If you have a passenger along with you, he or she can do little more than fiddle with the volume.
In terms of comfort, the TT's cabin feels surprisingly airy and spacious, with plenty of room in all dimensions for taller folks. Well, in the front row, at least; the coupe's backseat is strictly for personal items, or perhaps very small children in a very tight pinch. If it were our TT coupe, we'd likely leave the rear seatbacks folded flat, which opens up significantly more cargo space than the standard 12.0 cubic feet. To wit, we couldn't fit a golf bag behind the rear seats unless we removed the driver and put it up front, and the bag had to be wedged in diagonally at that. But with the seatbacks folded, the bag fit without issue, driver and all.
As for the convertible, we've yet to subject its trunk to real-world testing, but Audi says it measures a modest 7.5 cubic feet.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.