Driven – Audi TT Coupe
Looking for a car that’s safe yet sporty is a bit like trying to do the minute mile in 4.4 seconds, but the Audi TT Coupe is looking to buck the trend. The original in 1998 wasn’t the most beautiful car to look at, but safety is not meant to be sexy, and back then, if you wanted sexy, you would just go for a Ferrari, depending on the size of your wallet. The next model was an improvement, but the most recent model bridges the gap between sexy and sporty and safety in spades.
The Audi TT was the only sports car in its class to undergo the Euro NCAP safety tests, which are very strict indeed! The TT’s most prominent safety points are down to the Volkswagen Group input and methods in construction. The car comes with airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and traction control, both will stop you losing control of the car. It also has a lane departure warning system on the petrol models and blind spot monitoring. Accidents are hard to come by with this amount of safety tech, but you can find a law firm online to deal with this. With over 13,000 deaths on South African roads in the last year, you need to make sure you get yourself clued up and safe. For the parents out there, the car comes with the now obligatory Isofix seat mounting points so you can secure the little ones in safely. The front airbag can be switched off if you need to place your child in the front.
The range of engines starts with 178bhp 1.8 litre, ranging up to 2.0-litre petrol engines. There are two, one is 227bhp and the other with 306bhp. For diesel heads, there is an 181bhp 2.0 litre. The 1.8 is the cheapest, and the best, option. Besides the value, the engine lends itself well to some great acceleration and can hit 60mph in less than 6 seconds. You can get front wheel drive and 4-wheel, but the 2.0 litre model in 227bhp is a bit heavier, and really only makes an impact when you’re driving in wet weather. The handling really makes itself apparent when you’re turning a sharp corner. The very light handling gives you a very good idea of when you need to back off with the steering. The 4-wheel drive versions are the ones where you really feel the stability of the TT.
For comfort, the ride is firm but generally pleasing, and even when opting for the sports setup, the ride isn’t so bumpy. You can add bigger wheels up to 20-inch alloys, but you will feel the bumps more, but if you’re going for safe, you can easily stick with the ones you’re given. For a whole safe and sporty package, the TT is a good bet. And with the TT passing the NCAP tests with a 4 out of 5-star rating, it’s a good balance if you need some style to go with your substance.