Our Fleet Test Drive: Audi TT TDI - 1st Report
01 December 2008
 Heated seats
As soon as Audi UK boss Jeremy Hicks told us the new TT diesel would give him a "significant opportunity" in the corporate market, the justification for BusinessCar adding one to our long-term test fleet was in place.
On paper, the TT TDI makes a ridiculous amount of sense for the business user, hence its top score in our test drive earlier this year.
If anyone has said a couple of years back it would be possible to get a desirable, prestige brand coupe that falls below 140g/km - and offers stunning and iconic looks and an excellent and most un-diesel-like performance - I'd have been licking my lips, but been equally sceptical. However, Audi has managed it. Admittedly, BMW has the 1-series Coupe, but, be honest, which would you rather have parked on the driveway?
The 18% BIK banding is coupled with spectacularly strong residual values of 52.9% retained after three years and 60,000 miles, according to costs expert KwikCarcost, which means the TT has a cost per mile equivalent to our long-term Mazda 6 or Subaru Legacy, both cars that retail for about £6000 less on the P11D front.
There's only one trim level for the TT TDI, which means all models are equipped with the 170PS 2.0-litre diesel engine and a reasonable level of standard equipment including climate control, sports seats, ESP anti-skid control and an aux input socket.
To beat the queue, we agreed to take a new model from Audi's existing stock order, which meant the Deep Sea Blue pearl effect model that landed in the office car park last month is loaded with more than £7000-worth of optional kit. The full list is in the table to the right, but highlights include satnav  for £1650, Audi's adjustable magnetic ride system (£1150) and Xenon headlamps  worth £975. Given a clean piece of paper, we'd have specced it significantly lower, opting for just the cruise control (given the miles we expect to cover), iPod connection, Bluetooth phone kit, metallic paint and possibly the heated seats  if we were feeling extravagant. It'll be interesting to see if any of the other £5500-worth of options will have proved their worth by the time we relinquish the keys next year.
The frustrating running-in period is almost over, so we should have a better idea of whether the diesel TT is as good as we're expecting by the time the next report comes around.