If you’re in the market for a TT Roadster, then you’re probably considering it against lower-end versions of the Mercedes-Benz SLC or BMW 2 Series, and on this evidence we’d say the TT’s the better package.
Given the choice we would still take the 2.0 TFSI petrol over the TDI because it’s ultimately smoother, quicker and remains the more pertinent choice for a soft-top package.
But if you hanker after something different that'll make you smile, but need a diesel because you cover lots of miles or you’re enslaved by company car tax regulations, then the 2.0 TDI Roadster retains nearly all that's good about the TT.
Purists might find the Roadster a little too easy and unchallenging to drive, but short of chucking in another £10k for a Porsche 718 Boxster, it’s hard to think of where else you’d go to better it.
On the subject of the range-topping TTS, a four-wheel-drive 2.0 TFSI TT Roadster is cheaper and yet is still enticingly rapid, offers the same all-weather peace of mind and in anything but track use (hardly the natural playground of the soft-top TT) will be just as much fun. While the TT RS is simply ludicrous and not as compelling as you may think.
It’s not the last word in dynamic zing, but then neither are its rivals, and the Audi’s fluid handling and zesty petrol TFSI motor make it good fun when you want it to be and easy-going the rest of the time.