Our Cars: Audi TT 2.0 TFSI quattro

6 March 2015: Warning: You are about to be distracted

The Details

Current mileage 3507
Claimed economy 44.1mpg
Actual economy 33.8mpg

In-car connectivity has come on a long way from the rubbish handsfree systems of the past. These days you can usually pair your car and phone in under a minute. It’s a far cry from the old days of plastic leads and headsets.

I always had a personal hatred of the Bluetooth headsets. They were awful. In fact, I think zoologists had more luck breeding giant pandas than I did pairing mobile phones with those stupid little Bluetooth earpieces. And even when they did work, which wasn't often, you could never hear what the person on the other end was saying. 

Thankfully my Audi TT has brilliant in-car connectivity. Simply activate the Bluetooth on your phone, select pairing on the infotainment menu and you're done. It takes about 30 seconds and you only have to do it once, because both the car and phone remember the pairing settings and connect automatically each time you enter the car. 

In addition to the Bluetooth phone connectivity (which is fitted as standard) my TT also has mobile internet. The system is called Audi Connect and is part of the optional navigation package, which adds a rather substantial £1795 to the list price. However, Audi Connect is a swish piece of kit, with traffic updates, parking information and weather reports. It can also find the cheapest fuel prices in your local area and lets you update Facebook and Twitter with a speech to text function.


Online weather reports are handy, but sometimes Audi Connect can be a little distracting

Simple to use, Audi Connect is great for getting data on the move. It also gives the cabin its own dedicated wifi service, which lets your passengers use the internet. On the downside, all of that data comes from your mobile phone signal, which means it can punish your phone bill as the TT (and your friends) download apps, news and music. 

There's also another problem, in the sense that Audi Connect is a bit too simple to use. Indeed, with streaming news and weather maps, it's all too easy to become distracted as all of that information is delivered right into the instrument binnacle. 

Infotainment systems are usually found in the centre of the dashboard, which means you have to make to look down to read them. However, with the TT's virtual cockpit, you don't have to do anything. Now this might sound perfect for keeping your eyes on the road, but the opposite happens and you can spend a bit too long looking away from the road. 

Perhaps I'm being harsh, but I really can't quite get my head around why I would want to update my Facebook account while driving along. Likewise, do I really want to read about David Cameron's economy update as I potter along the M25? If the system was restricted to when the car was stationary, I'd probably agree with its brilliance, but I've found it all a bit distracting. 

« Earlier: Audi TT or Porsche Cayman?     Later: It's time to talk about the economy »

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