Audi TT Roadster Review
The Audi TT Roadster is a stylish two-seater sports car that’s great for driving every day
Strengths & weaknesses
The Audi TT Roadster is the convertible version of the popular small Audi TT sports car. It’s very similar to the Coupe model (reviewed separately) in many ways, but unlike its sibling the Roadster is a two-seater only and has a folding fabric roof and separate boot rather than a hatchback rear end.
There are plenty of engines to choose from, including both petrol and diesel options, plus there’s also the TTS and TT RS high-performance models that offer sportier handling and more powerful engines.
The Audi TT Roadster is a sports car but it’s based on parts shared with models such as the Volkswagen Golf, which means it’s really easy and pleasant to drive every day. It’s comfy and the interior is very high quality, so it works well as an everyday car that just happens to have a convertible roof.
Rivals that you might also consider include the Mazda MX-5, BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster, depending on which engine and trim level of Audi TT you are looking at. The Porsche only really rivals higher-spec, faster versions of the TT, for example.
The current TT Roadster came out in 2015 initially, and then in 2019 an updated model arrived with different engines and some differences to the equipment level you get. The earlier model is notable for featuring a diesel engine, which is unusual for a sports car but offers low running costs thanks to its impressive fuel economy.
Should I get an Audi TT Roadster?
✔ Easy and comfortable to drive every day
✔ Plenty of engines including efficient diesel
✔ Looks stylish inside and out
✘ Rivals are more fun to drive
✘ Can be expensive to buy
✘ Not as practical as the Coupe
The Audi TT Roadster is a great option for people who want a car they can drive to work and in which they can enjoy sunny days out with the roof down. It’s not as fun to drive as most of its rivals, but it’s very well equipped, has a high-quality interior and is as easy to drive as a VW Golf, so it certainly has plenty of appeal.
If you’re looking for a convertible car that’s really cheap to run, then there is even a diesel model available second-hand. This version isn’t ideal for local trips but if you use your car for lots of long motorway journeys then it could make sense. There are plenty of petrol options too. One of the biggest reasons to choose the TT Roadster is that you love the way it looks - after all, this isn’t a practical family car but something to own because you really want it.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Best Audi TT Roadster for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
Audi TT Roadster
The Audi TT Roadster is the convertible model in the TT range, as opposed to the Coupe, which is the hard-top version. The Roadster has two seats and a smaller boot than the Coupe model, so it’s quite a bit less practical - the trade-off you make for the enjoyable experience of driving with the roof down.
The engine range is wide for a sports car, as there are both petrol and diesel models available. Most of the engines are relatively small four-cylinder units but in the top-spec TT RS model there’s a very distinctive sounding five-cylinder engine with astonishing performance, though that’s not covered here.
The trim levels to look out for are Sport, Sport Edition, S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung. The car came out in 2014 but in 2019 there was an update that saw a few small changes to the looks and which engines and equipment were available - most notably the diesel ‘Ultra’ model was discontinued.
Other Audi TT models
There are several other versions of the Audi TT that we have covered in separate articles. There’s the TT Coupe, which is the fixed-roof model, and this is the only other distinct body style.
However, there are also two performance variants of the TT that are available in both body styles - the TTS and the top-of-the-line TT RS, which is the model with a five-cylinder petrol engine. It’s very fast and much more of a hardcore sports car than other versions of the TT.
|From £12,900: The base version here is the Sport model, which gets 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, digital dials (Audi calls this 'Virtual Cockpit'), cruise control and a retractable spoiler on the back.
|Limited stock: Move up to this version and you get 19-inch alloy wheels, extra black trim pieces on the outside and smartphone connectivity for the media system. The black styling details mean it looks sportier than the base model.
|From £13,495: The TT in S line trim comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and sports seats with mixed suede and leather coverings. Thanks to different bumpers and side skirts, it looks sportier than the lesser models.
|From £18,671: If you choose the Black Edition model, the TT comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows and a racy-looking fixed rear spoiler. It’s not great value and the huge wheels mean it’s less comfortable than the cheaper models.
|Limited stock: The Vorsprung is even more expensive and also comes on huge 20-inch alloy wheels. It does get plenty of other kit, though, including adaptive LED lights, blind spot assist and an upgraded sound system.
The Audi TT Roadster is available with a wide range of engines, but the most popular are likely to be the 2.0-litre petrol motors. These four-cylinder engines are turbocharged and have plenty of power - there’s a 197hp model and a 245hp model - so they are fun to use and even reasonably economical.
Pre-2019 cars were available with the 2.0 TDI Ultra - a four-cylinder diesel focused on fuel economy. It’s very unusual - roadsters are mostly petrol-only - and could be worth a look for high-mileage drivers, though as the convertible model isn’t as quiet and composed on the motorway as the Coupe model, we don’t think it makes a lot of sense here.
Our pick of the range is the 40 TFSI petrol version, as its 197hp is plenty for most drivers to have fun with and it’s cheaper to buy and run than the more powerful 245hp ‘45’ model. It’s quiet and smooth when you need it to be, too.
Your first decision with the Audi TT will be whether you want the Coupe or the Roadster version. The former is better for long trips and for its improved insulation, which is particularly valuable in the winter, or if you need a big boot and some rear seats, while the latter is more of a ‘for fun’ purchase that excels on sunny days and holidays.
Then you can decide whether you want the normal TT or the high-performance TTS - or even the TT RS if you really want to enjoy a sporty drive with a warbling engine note. These models are very fast but also less economical and are much more expensive, though. Read on to find out our picks from the normal TT Roadster range.
|Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI Sport: Stick with the entry-level model for the best value for money. It doesn’t look as sporty as some higher-spec models but it’s just as good to drive, and the engine still has nearly 200hp so it’s fast enough for most drivers.
|Audi TT Roadster 2.0 TDI Ultra Sport: Don’t buy a TT Roadster as a family car - it doesn’t have back seats. If you’re travelling long distances to see family, though, the diesel model might be the best choice as it’s really economical.
|Audi TT Roadster 45 TFSI quattro S line: If you want the fastest TT but don’t want the TTS or TT RS high-performance models, the 45 TFSI quattro model is the one to choose. It has 245hp, so it’s able to go from 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds.
|Audi TT Roadster 45 TFSI Black Edition: The Black Edition trim level isn’t worth going for. The larger wheels reduce comfort on the road and it hardly gets any kit over the S line trim. It looks racy but it’s all cosmetic.
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There are plenty of rivals for the Audi TT Roadster, depending on which version you are looking at. A lower-spec TT will be a rival for the Mazda MX-5, which is another two-seater convertible that works really well as an everyday car. It’s much more fun to drive than the Audi but not as pleasant to sit in.
Higher-spec and faster TT models rival the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z4, which are both better to drive than the TT as well. They are also a bit more expensive to run, though, and we prefer the Audi’s interior to these models.
Audi TT Roadster practicality: dimensions and boot space
The TT Roadster is 4.2m long, 1.8m wide and 1.4m tall, which means it’s wider, longer and taller than the Mazda MX-5. It’s about the same size and shape as the Coupe model, but only has two seats and the boot is separate from the cabin.
There’s plenty of room in the cabin for you and a passenger, with a few storage spots for drinks and phones.
|Length 4,191mm - 4,201mm
|Height 1,345mm - 1,355mm
|Weight 1,370kg - 1,540kg
Although the TT Roadster isn’t as practical as the Coupe model, it’s still relatively good for a sports car with only two seats. There’s 280 litres of boot space, which isn’t affected by the roof folding mechanism - you can load up and then raise and lower the roof without worrying about crushing anything in the storage area, which isn't always the case with convertibles.
The Mazda MX-5 only has 130 litres of boot space, so the Audi has more than twice as much room. It’s plenty for carrying luggage for two people for most occasions.
|Boot size 280 litres
The Audi TT uses technology, engines and gearboxes that are shared with loads of other models including the VW Golf, Skoda Karoq and Seat Leon, among many others. This means it should be as dependable as any of its rivals.
However, Audi finished poorly in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, recording a 23rd place finish out of 29 manufacturers. The ownership experience might not be fully up to scratch, although other premium car makers such as BMW also finished poorly, reflecting the fact that drivers of upmarket cars often have higher expectations from ownership.
The factory warranty on all TT models covers them for three years and 60,000 miles. The first two years of that period has an unlimited mileage, while the third year is limited to 60,000 miles. This is typical of virtually any modern car - it’s unremarkable.
Usefully, Audi does offer extended warranty packages for new cars to extend that to four years or 75,000 miles and five years or 90,000 miles. You can check the prices for these on the Audi website, but they’re quite reasonable for the added cover. As with all used cars, though, it is possible to purchase warranty cover separately.
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £643
The Audi TT Roadster is an ideal choice for people who want a sports car with a convertible roof but who don’t want to deal with the compromises of driving a sports car every day. It’s quieter, easier to drive, more comfortable and better-equipped than most other two-seater sports cars, plus it’s available with a wide range of engines that should be affordable to run.
It’s not the ultimate in driving fun, as nearly all its key rivals are more enjoyable to drive on a twisty road. Yet the TT is great for just enjoying your drive to work on a sunny day, especially as it’s quite practical for a roadster and comes with all the kit you need for daily driving in comfort.
Avoid the higher-spec models as they are expensive and worse to drive than the lower-spec cars, and consider the diesel if you don’t mind the rougher-sounding engine note and cover lots of miles, as it’s really economical on long trips.
The Audi TT Roadster 40 TFSI Sport is the best value model. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s the entry-level model, as it has plenty of kit for the money and the engine is still pretty powerful - it has almost 200hp, and it feels very punchy on the road. It’s a great all-rounder.
The older 2.0 TDI Ultra diesel model works well for those doing longer trips, as it can return around 60mpg under the right conditions. It’s not the most pleasant-sounding engine but it’s fairly quiet overall and if you aren’t interested in working the engine hard then it does the job.
The TT Roadster 45 TFSI S line is the middle ground between the normal TT Roadster range and the more hardcore TTS and TT RS models. It has 245hp so performance is good, plus it’s a bit more comfortable than those higher-spec versions, so it could be a better everyday car for you, even though it’s not quite as fast.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example
|APR rates available
|Cash price £12,000
|Value of loan
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12
|Annual mileage of 8,000pa
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55
|Term 48 months
|Optional final payment £4,285.79
|Loan value £12,000
|Total amount payable £14,755.55
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