Review: Audi TT Roadster (2015)
Impressive levels of grip. Good to drive. Efficient diesel model. Quality cabin with excellent 'Virtual Cockpit' as standard.
Still not a sports car. Jittery ride over broken British backroads. Numerous reports of water from roof unable to drain, filling battery tray and fusing MMI system.
Audi TT Roadster (2015): At A Glance
- New prices start from £35,410, brokers can source from £28,620
- Contract hire deals from £242.04 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 34–43
- On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure
Open-top motoring is part of the Audi TT’s DNA. The original 1998 car appeared as a concept in both coupe and roadster forms before production started, so a soft-top variant of the third generation model was something of an inevitability. No doubt it will be as popular as its predecessors.
And it deserves to be popular. The latest TT Roadster is every bit as good to drive as the coupe model, with masses of grip and impressive body control. It also shares its fantastic cabin with the coupe, complete with the high-tech virtual cockpit instrument binnacle. This is a large digital display incorporating navigation, speedo, rev counter and connectivity.
The party-piece of the TT Roadster is, of course, the folding fabric roof. It can be operated at speeds up to 30mph and takes 10 seconds. Audi elected not to install a multi-piece metal roof in order to keep the proportions correct and the weight down – which means less to go wrong, but poorer security when parked up.
Refinement with the roof down is good even at high speeds, with little in the way of buffeting thanks in part to an optional retractable wind break that keeps turbulence from forming behind the seats. For those cool but dry days buyers can specify a pack that includes heated seats and ventilation that blows warm air on the your neck.
The folding roof does mean there are no rear seats in the TT Roadster, but the rear seats in the coupe are so small you can barely use them anyway. There is also an impact on the boot, which at 280 litres is okay for shopping or a weekend away, but is too shallow for anything particularly bulky.
The engine range is the same as the coupe, with a 184PS 2.0 TDI and a 230PS petrol forming the mainstay with a 310PS TTS quattro petrol at the top of the range. The petrol engines suit that TT Roadster best thanks to a great exhaust note and linear, strong power delivery. The diesel is fine too, but with the roof down it lacks the aural drama of the petrol models.
The TT isn’t quite as exciting to drive as the more expensive Porsche Boxster and it can get a bit jittery on poor roads, but it is still a tremendously impressive car. It is solidly made, good to drive and features plenty of neat, high-tech features. For those seeking a premium soft top it ticks all the right boxes.
What does a Audi TT Roadster (2015) cost?
Audi TT Roadster (2015): What's It Like Inside?
From the driver’s seat the cabin of the TT Roadster is exactly the same as that of the coupe – which is a very good thing. The digital instrument binnacle is the centrepiece, incorporating the rev counter, speedometer, navigation, audio display, trip computer and connectivity into one clear, crisp, colour display.
It works really well and it doesn't take too long to get used to. There is a large control dial mounted behind the gear selector with a touch sensitive pad for inputting letters, plus there are controls on the steering wheel for changing the display when on the move. You can even minimise the rev counter and speedo, filling the screen with a large, clear map.
The placement of the infotainment screen means the rest of the cabin is uncluttered and classily laid out. The switches in the centre of the turbine-style air vents are used to set the climate control which keeps the rest of the centre dash clear and neat. It looks great and everything feels very well made, as you would expect from Audi.
The folding fabric roof can be operated when moving at speeds up to 30mph and takes 10 seconds to extend or retract, so you ought not to get caught out in a rain shower. There is an optional pack that includes an electronically controlled windbreak to keep cabin noise down at speed, along with heated seats and a neck warmer for cold days.
The fitment of the soft top means there are no rear seats in the Roadster, but they were so small in the coupe it isn’t a huge loss. The boot is less practical, however. It has a decent volume of 280 litres with the roof up or down, but it is quite shallow, so bulky items won’t fit properly.
Standard equipment includes the nifty ‘virtual cockpit’, along with useful features like DAB radio and Bluetooth, but there are also plenty of optional extras including full LED headlights and various safety gear like collision mitigating brakes.
Sport gets 18-inch 10 spoke alloy wheels, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, heated door mirrors, manual air con, a retractable rear spoiler, Audi drive select with five driving modes, Audi virtual cockpit, MMI control system for infotainment, keyless start, sport seats finished in part leather and a first aid kit.
S line has 19-inch five arm design alloy wheels, light and rain sensors, sports seats finished in black leather, S line badges, LED headlights, LED indicator lights and S line bumpers.
Child seats that fit a Audi TT Roadster (2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Audi TT Roadster (2015) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.8 TFSI 180 to TTS 2.0 TFSI quattro Roadster
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 28–54 mpg
Audi is offering the same range of engines for the TT Roadster as it is for the Coupe, meaning a choice of 2.0-litre TFSI petrol or 2.0-litre TDI diesel. The petrol produces 230PS and is offered with either a six-speed manual and front-wheel drive or a six-speed S Tronic automatic with quattro all-wheel drive.
The diesel is only available with a six-speed manual and front wheel drive and – as you would expect – it is the most economical option. Official economy is 65.7mpg and emissions are 114g/km, so tax is cheap. Performance is still impressive though, especially when on the move thanks to a hefty 380Nm of torque.
If you go for a manual, whether petrol or diesel, you’ll get a slick and precise gear change. Despite being front-wheel drive only, there’s plenty of grip thorough corners. The diesel really suits the coupe, but with the roof down in the Roadster it doesn’t sound very good.
The 2.0-litre TFSI can be paired to a six-speed S Tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. This set up really helps the TT Roadster get all its power down, improving traction when cornering or when accelerating hard – plus there is a wonderful pop from the exhaust on upshifts.
The top-of-the range TTS gets the same 2.0-litre TFSI engine, S Tronic transmission and quattro system but with power boosted to 310PS. Performance is impressive, but it is perhaps a bit much for UK roads – we’d recommend the less powerful 230PS model since it's more useable in everyday situations.
The TT Roadster gets a Drive Mode Selector, which allows the driver to set up the steering weight, throttle response and, in the S Tronic, the shifting pattern to suit different situations.
There are five driving modes - Comfort for town driving, dynamic for a twisting route, an efficiency mode for saving fuel on a long journey, an automatic mode that adapts to the situation plus a customisable ‘Individual’ mode. This allows the driver to tune various options to suit personal preferences.
Find a twisting road and the TT Roadster can be a lot of fun. Performance is good and there is plenty of grip, but broken British road surfaces upset the overly firm suspension, which can sometimes make the car jittery or even uncomfortable over partiuclarly large potholes and bumps
In fact the firm suspension doesn't do much for your confidence when pressing on at pace. In fact, though the TT Roadster is certainly fun, it would be a stretch to call it a genuine sports car – it lacks the nimbleness, agiity and composure of the admittedly more expensive Porsche Boxster.
Nonetheless it is very good fun to drive on the right road. But it is also easy to live with in town thanks to the selectable driving modes and steering that can change its weighting – it’s light when parking or in town and heavier when driving hard. For an everyday car that is fun when you want it to be there is plenty to like about the TT Roadster.
|1.8 TFSI 180||46 mpg||7.2 s||142 g/km|
|1.8 TFSI 180 S tronic||47 mpg||7.3 s||136 g/km|
|2.0 TDI||59–61 mpg||7.3 s||114–121 g/km|
|2.0 TDI quattro S tronic||50 mpg||7.0 s||147 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI||46 mpg||6.2 s||140–144 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic||41 mpg||5.6 s||154–158 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI S tronic||42 mpg||6.1 s||151–155 g/km|
|40 TFSI S tronic||45 mpg||6.9 s||144–145 g/km|
|45 TFSI||42–42 mpg||6.1 s||154 g/km|
|45 TFSI quattro S tronic||39–39 mpg||5.5 s||166 g/km|
|45 TFSI S tronic||39–42 mpg||5.5–6.0 s||152–166 g/km|
|46 TFSI quattro S tronic||39 mpg||5.5 s||165 g/km|
|TTS 2.0 TFSI quattro||38 mpg||5.2 s||169–173 g/km|
|TTS 2.0 TFSI quattro Roadster||38 mpg||5.2 s||173 g/km|
|TTS 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic||40 mpg||4.9 s||129–163 g/km|
|TTS 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic Roadster||39–40 mpg||4.8–4.9 s||163–166 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Audi TT Roadster (2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Audi TT Roadster (2015)?
Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.
I bought a used TT that turned out to have a water leak - is the dealer liable?
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