Watching kids growing up can make you feel old – but with me it’s cars.
I’d swear the Audi TT was about five years old but, incredibly, the little coupe hit 20 last year.
Well over half a million have been sold in that time, and I suspect most owners have loved them.
The TT isn’t a hardcore sports car that would have stolen too many sales from Porsche’s Cayman or Boxster, but it’s an extremely easy motor to live with and looks great.
All of which explains why Audi has wisely decided to not mess too much with it over its lifetime.
We’re now onto generation three of the TT and the model above is a mild facelift of it.
You’ll need to be a keen-eyed Audiphile to spot the differences.
At the front the design of the grille has been changed, new wheels and colours are available and S Line spec models (like our test car) have slightly bigger bumpers than those lower down the food chain.
A bigger change is to the engines offered – or rather one that isn’t.
As you might have guessed the diesel has been given the chop for the simple reason demand has dropped.
We Brits bought more diesel TTs than mainland Europeans, but the demonisation of the fuel has made it not worth building at all.
Pity, as it was both frugal and pleasant to drive.
This leaves a choice of four petrol engines.
The first three are four cylinder 2.0-litre motors with 197bhp, 242bhp and a 302bhp version that’s fitted to the four-wheel drive only (the less powerful motors are available in 2wd and 4wd TTs).
A fourth engine is Audi’s famous 2.5-litre five cylinder that produces almost 400bhp and one of the most dramatic sounds of any modern car engine.
This wonderful motor goes into the TT RS which we’ll test separately.
Engine talk brings us to Audi’s daft naming strategy.
Our S Line test car has the 242bhp motor, so it fits into the 45 naming bracket for Audis with between 230bhp and 252bhp.
This creates the full name of Audi TT Coupe TFSI 45 S Line.
This mouthful will cost you £37,405 or £44,765 if you add as many options as our car has.
Glacier white paint at £575 and very sexy RS style wheels at £795 are the items I’d have as they add a lot of style for the money.
Inside, we have the highlight of Audi’s now five-year-old digital instrument pack aka Virtual Cockpit.
It’s a wonderful system, especially when you’ve got the navigation function on it at night.
But the one drawback is your passenger can’t see it.
It’s a boon to safety if you can get your companion to manage the infotainment while you drive.
A bit like a pilot and co-pilot in an airliner if we stick to Audi’s aviation terminology.
If you want a proper sports car driving experience you should stop here and head to your local Porsche dealer for a Cayman 718 or to Renault for an Alpine A110.
The TT is fine to drive – quick with fantastic road holding and traction through Quattro 4wd – but it hasn’t got the connection with the road you get in those two rivals.
What the TT does offer that they don’t are two rear seats; they’re very small and useful only for kids, and that’s a game changer if you have a family.
And then there’s the boot. Drop the folding rear seats and you have 712 litres of luggage space.
Audi has accidentally invented the coupe pick-up.
There you go: a new niche we’ve discovered.
Audi TT TFSI 45 S Line
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, 242bhp
Fuel consumption: 35.3mpg
Porsche Cayman 718
Great to drive but engine sounds awful.
No rear seats and half the luggage capacity of the TT.
Terrific handling and great to drive.
An everyday car for the committed petrolhead.
BMW 230i M Sport coupe
Practical and a good drive.
Keen entry level price, but then you need to spec it up to the Audi’s level.
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