User-chooser car of the year - Audi TT
24 January 2007
The thing about the User-chooser car of the year is that it has to be aspirational. Yet somewhere, way in the back of the mind, something says a little bit of common sense should be involved, because at the end of the day it's a business tool.
Of all the cars launched in 2006, nothing encompasses the above criteria better than Audi's new TT.
Replacing a car that's frequently and accurately described as iconic or even legendary was never going to be easy, but Audi has managed it. The second-generation TT is a significantly more masculine design, yet instantly recognisable as Audi's hugely popular coupe.
The TT makes more business sense than ever before too, although not, admittedly, in range-topping 3.2-litre V6 form. It's the other engine in the launch range, the 200PS 2.0 turbo, that offers good levels of economy and, vitally for business, impressive emissions of 183g/km, leaving the coupe in the 23% BIK banding. Economy is also wallet-friendly at an average 36.7mpg, significantly better than the car's main rivals.
It's also refreshing to report that the best car in the range is the cheaper of the two engines. Despite being 50PS down on power against the 3.2, the 2.0-litre doesn't feel it because it doesn't have to carry around the extra weight of the four-wheel drive system - although the downsize of that is occasional traction problems on wet roads.
Kit levels are great, too, with sports seats, climate control and decent stereo all standard, while the small two rear seats fold flat for a decent load space - for a coupe.
Audi has successfully reinvented what is probably the most talked-about car in its history, and done it well. That's why BusinessCar readers have voted it User-chooser car of the year.