KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
- Updated Date: 3/1/2012
You'll Like This Car If...
One-of-a-kind styling, stirring driving performance and solid craftsmanship are the hallmarks of a respectable luxury sports car, and the
2012 Audi TT possesses these qualities in a marked degree. The TT’s 2012 roster features standard all-wheel drive for every trim level as well as a new high-performance TT RS model, which boasts a 360-horsepower turbocharged engine, improved aerodynamics and distinctive design cues. While the Audi TT
Coupe, Roadster and more stirring TTS toe the fine line between sport and luxury, competitors like the
BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK and the
Porsche Cayman tend to offer a more focused approach. With such a broad mixture of capability, style and performance, the 2012 Audi TT ranks among the most versatile luxury sports cars ever assembled.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you’re on the hunt for a 2+2 coupe or a 2-seat roadster, chances are your ideal pick delivers a wholesome dose of performance, style and fun. In the
Audi TT, you’ll find equal measures of all three, plus the multi-seasonal security of Quattro all-wheel-drive.
What's New for 2012
Enthusiasts who value involving dynamics and visceral feedback over refined athleticism will find the Porsche Cayman or Boxster more accommodating to their particular requirements.
For 2012, the range-topping TT RS is added to the lineup along with a handful of feature content revisions.
Our first impression of Audi’s latest TT was formed while behind the wheel of the Roadster, navigating a winding coastal road near the San Francisco airport. Top was down, sun was shining – and a driver in MG’s classic TC was approaching in the opposite lane. The juxtaposition of two classic shapes in an environment tailor-made for the driving enthusiast capsulized the appeal of the TT platform. It may lack the overt communication of Porsche’s Boxster or the evolving nostalgia of BMW’s Z4, but behind the wheel, the TT inspires on any number of levels, and through any number of seasons. Add the crisp gear changes of standard dual-clutch transmission and you have a capable weekday tool and a potent weekend toy.
POWER RETRACTABLE SOFT TOP
Concerns regarding a conventional soft top’s inability to maintain acceptable interior noise levels have convinced some carmakers to substitute cloth roofs for heavier, more robust hardtop systems. The Audi TT’s triple layer soft top suppresses wind noise like a hard top, yet without the added weight.
S TRONIC DUAL-CLUTCH AUTOMATIC GEARBOX
In congested city traffic, it’s a smooth-shifting automatic. On the track, it’s a swift-shifting, pedal-free manual gearbox. The standard S tronic transmission is another example of the Audi TT’s remarkable ability to adapt to a variety of driving situations.
Whether you step inside the 4-passenger Coupe or the 2-seat Roadster, the 2012 Audi TT’s cabin is beautifully built and elegantly designed. The flat-bottomed steering wheel and driver-intensive dashboard project a sporty feel, while the Coupe’s
hatchback design provides a high level of practicality and adequate cargo space. Moreover, the TT Coupe’s rear seat folds flat for extra luggage room, but its passenger carrying ability is best suited for small children or professional contortionists. Most of the TT’s controls are straightforward and intuitive, though the optional navigation system’s dash-mounted control dial feels ergonomically incorrect.
Notable Standard Equipment
While some might compare its shape to an overturned bathtub, there’s no denying that the Audi TT’s innovative design makes a striking visual statement. To help maintain the Roadster’s sleek appearance, the multi-layer soft top folds flat into the rear shelf. Generous use of aluminum helps reduce overall weight and increase structural rigidity, which yields improvements in both handling and safety. S and RS models receive unique bodywork and standard 19-inch alloy wheels, while all models benefit from Audi’s signature LED daytime running lights and a rear spoiler that automatically retracts and extends when supplemental downforce is necessary.
Notable Optional Equipment
Audi’s renowned Quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard issue on every 2012 TT model, a key distinguishing feature in a class predominantly occupied by rear-wheel-drive sports cars. Additional standard equipment includes a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel with integrated paddle shifters, 10-way power front seats with pseudo-suede inserts and a 9-speaker audio system. Surprisingly, a basic USB port with iPod connectivity requires the optional MMI Navigation system. Passenger protection is comprised of six airbags, Audi’s backguard seats, which are designed to reduce the severity of whiplash-related injuries, and hill-hold assist to keep the TT from rolling backwards on an incline when switching from the brake to the accelerator.
Under the Hood
The top-level Prestige trim bumps the Audi TT’s base price by some $6K, but it includes body-hugging sport seats, a Bose premium sound system, navigation, and a host of additional comfort and convenience amenities. If you dread the characteristically harsh ride of traditional sport-tuned suspension setups, we suggest you opt for the TT’s available magnetic ride system, which automatically adjusts suspension damping based on road conditions and driving style. Finally, those looking to add a touch of exclusivity to their TT will appreciate the available Baseball Optic package, which lines the cabin with premium leather and seam stitches resembling those of a baseball glove. Batter up!
Under the hood, you have your choice between two torque-rich inline-4 powerplants or a new, low-displacement 5-cylinder engine that whips out a staggering 360 horsepower. A 6-speed manual is the only transmission available for the TT RS, though TT and TTS models send power to the wheels via a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. And despite its lack of catchy consonants, the standard TT model will propel you from 0-60 in well under six seconds.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
211 horsepower @ 4,300-6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
265 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg
2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5
360 horsepower @ 5,500-6,700 rpm
343 lb-ft of torque @ 1,650-5,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg
Given the 2012 Audi TT’s relative rarity, all-weather capability and innate desirability, we’re inclined to perceive the sports car’s well-equipped base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail price (MSRP) of just over $39,000 as a good value. Elevate yourself to the Prestige trim and the MSRP jumps closer to $45,000, but that’s still well south of a similarly-equipped BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK or a Porsche Cayman. The Roadster tacks approximately $3K to the bottom line, while the high-performance TT RS model tops out around $65,000. To ensure you get the best deal, be sure to take a look at our Fair Purchase Price tool at the bottom of this page to see what consumers in your area are actually paying for their 2012 Audi TTs. Projected resale value for the TT is slightly higher than the Z4 and Porsche’s entry-level offerings, and significantly better than the SLK following five years of ownership.