Seat Time: 2016 Audi TTS – Flawed and We Love It!

July 30th, 2016 at 3:00pm

Audi TTS Coupé

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Sean McElroy
Vehicle: 2016 Audi TTS
Price: $57,600 (as tested)

Final Impression:

The Audi TTS is the biggest and baddest TT you can buy. The 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder kicks out 72 more horsepower (292hp) and 22 more lb.-ft. of torque (280 lb.-ft.) than the standard TT. That’s good for a 0-60 MPH time of 4.6-seconds. The TTS is also upgraded with magnetic ride suspension and unique wheels. The car rides on VW’s modular architecture, called MQB and despite sharing similar underpinnings with other cars, like the Golf, the TTS both earns and deserves its “sports car” moniker.

This car is just waiting for you to tap the Drive Mode button into “Dynamic” and mash on the gas. It seems to want you to push it harder each and every turn. But even if you do push a little too hard the brakes are more than adequate to bring you back into reality. And the TTS is so well balanced that if the back end does want to creep out, you never really feel out of control. It could make even a novice driver feel like a real racer. I’m sure a lot of that forgiveness has to do with the AWD system but a good set of 19-inch summer tires doesn’t hurt either. Actually, I would have loved to slap a set of race tires on this thing and thrashed it out on a track or autocross. With race tires this thing has got to be a whole lot of fun.

But all this love I have been spewing for the TTS is about to switch to the other side of the equation. Like any TRUE sports car, the TTS is flawed. And in its case, it comes down to normal, everyday driving. The set of roads I take on a daily basis are a fantastic way to test NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) in any vehicle. While the TTS does an OK job of limiting that Harshness factor, a big thanks to its magnetic ride suspension, and is not the worst I’ve ever been in, I’m pretty sure you can guess how a small sports car with 35-series tires feels to ride around in. It’s not a car I would want to be in for any long period of time. But I will say, the seats are very comfortable and have lots of adjustments for lots of body types.

So if you’re looking at getting into an Audi TTS as a daily driver I really hope you don’t have a very far commute and have access to a track or to the kinds of roads befitting a REAL sports car.

But before I sign off, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of very unique technologies Audi stuffed into the TT’s interior. Somewhat like the new Carmaro, all of the HVAC controls have been incorporated into the center of the vents. They feature little analog screens to display what each function is. It’s a great way to de-clutter and open up space on the dash.

Audi TTS Coupé

But most notably, Audi has completely removed the center infotainment screen. It has been integrated with the driver’s instrument cluster. The display screen starts out nestled between the speedo and tach and is somewhat small, which can make reading the radio and navigation kind of hard. But one of the trickiest parts of this new setup is the ability to change the screen layout. With a simple click of the view button, the speedo and tach jump out of the way and the infotainment screen takes center stage. The great part is you no longer get a minimized version of the screen. It’s nice and big. But despite resulting in what I believe to be the cleanest looking dash on the market, there are a couple of drawbacks to this setup. First, the passenger gets kind of screwed and has to peek over the driver’s shoulder just to see the screen. And if you have the navigation screen up and want to change the radio station, you HAVE to switch over to the radio screen. While not a huge inconvenience, it could prove to be annoying if you’re getting directions from the navigation and want to see where you’re at. (Here’s a link to a video featured in Autoline Daily that shows how both new technologies work and in much further detail. Skip ahead to 5:00 to watch the feature.)

But overall the Audi TTS is a great little car and was the most fun I’ve had behind the wheel recently.

Audi TTS Coupé

One Comment to “Seat Time: 2016 Audi TTS – Flawed and We Love It!”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    The Audi TT is cool but for some reason I always find other vehicles I prefer just a little more…

    The AWD and DCT are cool as is the little plus 2 capability in an emergency…still just wouldn’t be my first choice

    The Cayman s is faster and more of a sports car….

    The m2 is about the same price and would most probably be a better track rat and probably has bigger rear seats…

    Still neither of these compares to the gt350 or the upcoming camaro v8 1LE for track performance…

    Still the uniquely German Audi TT does offer a level of individuality and style that some must find undeniable. The TT has been around a long time…

    Not sure if my favorite TT is the latest generation…..but then again…I’m not a TT fan all the same