By Cars.com EditorsJuly 8, 2011
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder reviews the 2011 Audi TT.
<v Announcer>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with cars.com. Taking a look at the 2011 Audi TT. Now, this is a car I loved when it came out in 2000, I have to say driving the second generation version, I'm a little disappointed.
And I was trying to figure out what's the difference. I think it has to do with styling features and the driving experience. Don't get me wrong, it's a terrific-looking car. Differences in 2000, when the original came out, I drove it. People had never seen anything like it; unfortunately, so much else on the market has been influenced by this car. So you look at other vehicles that have the rounded shapes. Lots of Audis have taken on some of that look. So basically, 10 years later, even though it's still a cool-looking car, it just doesn't stand out as much. It's not getting as much attention. Then there's the issue of power. The original generation had a turbocharged four-cylinder as does this one. The original power options were 180 horsepower or 225. Now the regular TT splits the difference with 207 horsepower. Now that's up from 200 last year. More important than that, the torque rating is now 258, up from 211 last year. And it also comes at lower RPM. So you would think it must be a rocket off the line. Actually doesn't quite feel that way. If you want more power, then you have to move to the TTS. It gets 265 horsepower and also 258-pound-feet of torque. Now, this kind of dual-clutch automated manual is extremely fast and up-shifting. And to some extent, in downshifting, unfortunately, what's not as good as there's some indecision in this thing. Sometimes you hit the gas and you want to go and it's trying to figure out what gear kicking down. Now, I don't want it to sound like the TT has no upsides. It has plenty, actually. I still enjoy driving it. One of the big improvements over the previous generation is the all-wheel drive system called Quatro. Now sends 40% of the torque to the front wheels and 60 to the rear instead of 50 50 in the previous generation. And that gives it more of a rear-wheel drive feel much better balanced, excellent road holding, great grip. Overall I don't want to sell the car short for how fun it is to drive. Now one big advantage to the TT is that it has a back seat. Granted, it's not a very big back seat. You can put your kids back there briefly, but that's not the true advantage. It is that you can fold the seats down. And once you do, you get a real lot of space for a car of this size, compare this to some Roadster like the BMW Z four, not even close. To the big payoff for modest acceleration and the regular TT is mileage of 22 miles per gallon, city and 31 highways. Even though I love the heck out of this thing, when it was new, it seems like there are a lot more things that you can choose among now. It's not the standout that it used to be. <v Announcer>For more car-related news, go to cars.com or our blog kicking tires.net.