2014 Audi TT
The Audi press update for the 2014 TT reads like an obituary. There are actually a couple things to celebrate with this run-out special roadster and 2+2 coupe. Basically everything is included on the 2014 TT twins as standard: S-line trim, DSG, MRC and Quattro to name a few. The combo can still hustle the little Audi to 60 mph in just over five seconds.
So why all the doom and gloom? The second-generation TT is very old at this point and really needs the facelift that is coming next year. Audi has also promised the car will be lighter and more performance-focused than ever before.
The TT needs a new style because it is already pretty sophisticated and lightweight. It drives with the old inert Audi style that some do not enjoy as much as rear-drive competitors. Mostly, however, the problems with this car are image-based.
The TT has competition from more-focused cars, like the BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK and even the forthcoming Scion FR-S convertible. Apart from the Scion, all are actually far more expensive than this little rocket’s $38,000 price.
Is this year the best time to jump into the Audi TT with all the equipment and a few discounts as well?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 changes and equipment highlights.
2014 Audi TT
Transmission:6-speed S-tronic Dual-Clutch Automatic
Horsepower @ RPM:220 @ 4300
Torque @ RPM:258 @ 1600
Energy:Direct Gasoline Injection, Turbocharged
0-60 time:5.3 sec.
Top Speed:130 mph
Layout:Front Engine, All-Wheel Drive
The exterior of the second-gen TT is still striking but loses points based on extreme familiarity. If this car just arrived from the moon as a Ford, people would love it and say it looked current. As it stands, this design is looking every day of its age since debuting in 2006 as one of the first sporty Audi’s to adopt the single frame grille. The LED running lights were also a novelty at a time when only the top A6 and A8 W12 sedans ran them.
In the light of present day, the TT still has some dramatic flair about its coupe roofline and the U-shaped roll hoops on the roadster. There is something inherently appealing about the styling features.
Even in S-line trim, however, the TT is only offered with rental-car wheels that leave the car looking bloated and deformed. The fender flares are a sore spot. From some angles they butch up the shape, but from others they cheapen the appearance down to Daihatsu Copen levels. The adaptive rear spoiler is the coolest part about the TT – drivers should leave it up all the time in normal driving for max style.
The overhang up front still protrudes forward from the front fenders and seems unbalanced versus the curt tail and roofline. If Audi fixes anything about the new TT, it will be the long front overhang.
There is still some grace in the headlight and taillight shapes but not their dated internal graphics. More than anything, the TT seems starved for the updates that Audi lavishes on its top models every two years like clockwork.
2014 Audi TT Exterior Dimensions:
|Overall length||164.5 in.|
|Overall width||72.5 in.|
|Overall height||53.2 in.|
|Track (front/rear)||61.5/60.9 in.|
2014 Audi TT Exterior Features:
- Audi Singleframe grille
- Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running light technology
- Automatic headlights
- Power-adjustable heated exterior side mirrors
- Front fog lights
- Dual exhaust outlets
- Adaptive rear spoiler
- LED turn indicator light technology integrated into the exterior side mirrors
- Heated windshield washer nozzles
Audi interiors are tough to criticize because of their quality design and execution. The TT still uses luxurious materials and a gorgeous flat-bottom steering wheel with a small airbag pod in the center. The TT roadster is still offered with the baseball-glove stitched leather that created such a stir on the original. This is available in tan for $1,000 extra.
There’s none of the structural aluminum or laser-etched TT radio faceplate in this generation, which is a real step backward versus the innovative original.
To give you a sense of how dated the TT’s infotainment and navigation are: there is a photo of the $70 optional media aux-in cord connected to an iPod nano. Enough said.
For a model that was once on the pulse of cool technology and trends to a tired old car trying to stay hip with the kids.
Sports leather seats are standard as well as the Nav system and upgraded Bose audio. AudiConnect is not available.
2014 Audi TT Interior Dimensions:
|Headroom (Front/Rear)||37.7/32.6 in.|
|Legroom (Front/Rear)||41.1/29.3 in.|
|Shoulder Room (Front/Rear)||53.2/47.5 in.|
|EPA Cargo Volume||13.1 cubic-feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume (Rear Seats Folded)||24.7 cubic-feet|
2014 Audi TT Interior Features:
- Automatic climate control
- Three-spoke flat-bottom multifunction sport steering wheel with shift paddles
- LED interior ambient lighting technology
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror with compass
- Ten-way power sport front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment
- Audi Navigation plus with traffic information
- BOSE sound system with twelve speakers and AudioPilot noise compensation
- Driver information system with lap timer
- Six-disc CD changer (not available with Audi music interface)
- BLUETOOTH wireless technology preparation for mobile phone
- Parking system with rear sensors
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The TT coupe and roadster come in one trim for 2014, and this includes a turbo four-cylinder with DSG and AWD. This is not a bad combination, thanks to the robust power from the 2.0-liter that now makes 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
Through the six-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic, the power goes to all four wheels via a Haldex Traction LSC system. The engine is mounted transversely and runs less-sophisticated belts versus chains that last the life of the car.
Here is the root of the TT’s problem with car fans. This is a terrible, on-demand AWD system that defaults to front drive. There is no equal torque split or permanent four-wheel-drive as in nearly all other quattro models.
This is basically a Honda CR-V roadster in terms of late and jerky attempts to become AWD.
In other news, the TT does feature first-generation magnetic ride control that offers adjustable settings.
2014 Audi TT Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||2.0-liter Turbocharged 16-valve I-6 with TFSI Direct Injection and Belt-Driven DOHC|
|Peak power||220 horsepower|
|Peak torque||258 pound-feet|
|Transmission||6-Speed S-tronic DSG Automatic|
|0-to-60 mph (Coupe/Roadster)||5.3 seconds/5.6 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)||22/31/26|
The TT has not been tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA but is overall a very safe vehicle with benign handling and enough equipment to keep you safe. The convertible’s fix roll bars are a structural element of the car and help in crash scenarios.
The TT is missing the latest Audi driver assistance items including adaptive cruise and blind-spot assist. That is ironic because the TT coupe has huge blind spots and really needs the system.
- Driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags, head/thorax side airbags, and knee airbags
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and brake assist
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with traction control (ASR)
- Anti-theft alarm system with panic function
- Tire-pressure monitoring system
- Hill hold assist
The TT makes the most sense with zero options near the base price. As the price climbs, it becomes clear that the TT is no longer good value.
|Trim Name||Premium Plus||Prestige|
|Audi TT Coupe||$38,650||$44,750|
|Audi TT Roadster||$41,650||$41,750|
The TT competes with the SLK and the Z4 in theory but none are selling well at all. As with the TT, these roadsters make zero sense with tons of options and a $50,000-plus sticker price.
The BMW Z4 roadster also languishes behind the rest of the BMW range in terms of interior technology. It actually looks pretty good in these photos but is dull and grey on the road. The Z4 handles with more purity than the TT but also rides like a truck. Because drivers sit so low and so far back in the chassis, every hit from the rear suspension goes right up your spine.
The Z4 sDrive28i comes in with a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that sprints the roadster to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and a 130 mph top speed. The Z4 sDrive35i features a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 engine with 300 horsepower, a 5.1-second run to 60 mph and a 130 mph top speed. The Z4 sDrive35is is the top-level model and it features a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 335 horsepower, which will sprint the Z4 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and up to a 155 mph top speed. The three Z4 trims start at $47,950, $55,950 and $64,800, respectively.
The SLK is another remnant of the brief period when ridiculously small and overpriced German roadsters were popular. The SLK is vastly better and more modern than the other two. The SLK keeps its folding hardtop but is no longer cursed with its original supercharged tractor engine.
The SLK250 packs a 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder with 201 horsepower that allows it to hit 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and it comes in at $42,900. The SLK350 carries a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 302 horsepower that affords it a 5.4-second run to 60 mph for $55,400. The top-line SLK55 AMG comes in at $67,990 and includes a 415-horsepower, 5.5-liter V-8 engine that springs the roadster to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The TT’s problems are not some kind of inexplicable riddle of the universe. It is too expensive, looks ancient and lacks interior technology updates. There is little incentive to buy a new TT when the 2009 model is literally the exact same car.
The terrible AWD system is the culprit for making this TT drive like a certain hatchback that wishes to remain anonymous, as it is not authorized to speak to the media.
The TT Quattro defaults to 97 percent front-drive but can transfer big power to the back in dragstrip launches.
Not even a 50:50 split, the Haldex is to be avoided at all costs among keen drivers. The next Audi TT will hopefully default to 40:60 or, even better, 30:70 like the R8.
As for this year’s model, it’s a fun and robust cruising roadster. Without the TTS upgrade, the coupe is so much less inviting as to be avoided altogether.
And to think, some people remember where they were the first time a silver TT coupe rolled down the street.
Seasons change… and the next TT needs big changes as well.
|Driving||C-||A Quattro Only In Name|
|Performance||B||Quick With DSG Box And Big Turbo Torque|
|Look||C-||It Is Hard To Get Excited About How The TT Looks|
|Value||C||Avoid Options, The Base Roadster Is The Only Reasonable Choice|
|Overall||C+||Once The Audi Flagship, Now Bastard Step-Child|