The paint seemed barely dry on launch versions of the Audi TT when Autocar secured a long-term test of one.
That was excellent for two reasons. One, because although our testers are brilliant at what they do, to me there’s nothing quite like running a car over an extended period to really unearth what it’s like. And two, because I’m running it and I rather like it.
Of the myriad TT variants, this is fairly comprehensively equipped. It’s a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol model, making 227bhp and driving through all four wheels. It’s equipped with the S line trim and S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. Thus equipped, it costs £35,335, a considerable amount for a small coupé, but Audi knows how to charge. Strong residual values and the fact that buyers tend to pay by the month, rather than up front, is what keeps cars like this affordable.
And then there are options. The TT feels relatively plush as it comes, with a digital dashboard display and exceptionally solid-feeling interior. But Audi knows how to charge for options, too - similarly because they’re not usually just bought outright, but add a few quid a month.
So if you don’t want black or white paint, it’ll cost £545 at least. The 20-inch wheels on this test car, which cause our road testers to wince when they see them and which will cause me to be livid when somebody first kerbs them, cost £850. But, still, don’t they look the part? (Ditto the S-line’s more aggressive body styling.)
I won’t mention all of the other options, because they’re lots fitted to our car. But a few notables have caught my eye - the LED headlights (£945) quite literally, because they do a fancy diagnostics check on start-up, lighting and un-lighting in sequence. They’re fairly sensational on the road, too: incredibly bright but with so many individual bulbs, managed by a front-facing camera in the windscreen, that some are dimmed so they don’t dazzle oncoming traffic. I like neat touches like that.