We’ve talked a great deal about the Audi TT and TTS Coupe, as the coupe version is generally the enthusiast’s version. However, the Roadster is probably the more popular car between the two and is the one most people will buy. Plus, the TT Roadster is in a very competitive segment, with such challengers as the Porsche Boxter, Mercedes-Benz SLK and the BMW Z4.
The issue with the Audi TT Roadster is that it’s gained a bit of a reputation for being a hairdresser’s car and not a real sports car. So car enthusiasts generally dismiss the TT when discussing sporty roadsters. And up until now, to be honest, most of those enthusiasts have been right. The original Audi TT Roadster wasn’t much more than a glorified VW Golf with a pretty body on it. The second-gen wasn’t much better, though it was an improvement. This new TT, however, is actually a very good sports car in its own right.
This Car Buyer review pretty much hits the nail on the head. The new Audi TT Roadster is actually fun to drive, has a good chassis and a good engine. It’s especially fun when mated to a six-speed auto like it is in the video, though an excellent six-speed dual-clutch automatic is available. However, the TT is a flawed machine. With the top up, it has awful blind spots, there isn’t much luggage space and it’s a very expensive machine. In fact, to have it as nicely equipped as Car Buyer did in the video, the TT Roadster was into Porsche Boxster territory and the Boxster is the far better driving vehicle.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom for the TT. It’s actually a damn good sports car. The 2.0 liter turbocharged engine pulls hard and makes the right noises. The steering, unlike the TTs before it, is communicative and properly weighted. The steering is also quite accurate and it steers quite sharply. It’s downright fun to drive, as evident in our lastest test drive of the TT Coupe. One of the surprising things about the roadster is that it doesn’t lose much handling prowess from the Coupe.
All in all, the TT Roadster is a fun, fast and attractive roadster that has its flaws. If you’re in the market for a roadster, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not testing out the TT. Just beware of the options list as it can put the TT into Boxster territory which, to be honest, is the only better roadster on the market.