I don't mean to brag, but I’m rather musical. I can play the trumpet, you see. At one point I was even performing brassy tunes on my gleaming horn at least once a week.
Impressive, yes? Sure is, if you ignore the fact that I am and will continue to be quite shite at playing the trumpet. Like many kids, I learned to play as a teenager, discovered I was terrible and then ditched it the instant I could drop music as a school subject.
But even though I suck at it, I can still legitimately say I can play the trumpet. Just like Audi can claim the TT is a four-seater.
It has four seats, therefore it can fit four people. Right?
At 5’8” I’m not a tall guy, but even being of below-average height isn’t enough to allow any degree of comfort in the back of an Audi TT. The rear backrests are bolt-upright and legroom is almost non-existent unless the front seats are pushed all the way forward. Acceptable if you’re a double-amputee, not so great if you have a regular number of limbs.
Rear headroom? Plenty, if you remove the rear hatch glass first.
Sitting right under the glass also means your backseaters will get red necks on a sunny day – better slot some tubes of SPF30+ into the rear cabin storage cubbies.
I tried to sit back there, I really did. In the end, sitting side-saddle was the only way to keep deep-vein thrombosis at bay, so the other rear seat must be kept vacant. A few weeks ago I made a 6’1” colleague sit back there for a trip across town; he’s still not talking to me.
I pity those who decide to travel four-up in a TT unless they’re little kids.
And Audi knows the TT’s back seat has tremendous shortcomings. Why else would the company slap a sticker on the inside of the hatch, warning you not to slam it into the craniums of those unfortunate enough to be sitting in the back? That’s a tacit admission that the TT’s back seat could do with a smidge more room.
But sports cars are selfish by design. They’re built for the driver, nobody else. Audi didn’t put a regular infotainment screen in the TT for that very reason. All of those functions are controlled through the instrument panel. Can the passengers see what’s on the screen? Not really, but that doesn’t matter because this car is not built for them.
So here’s a better idea; turf those back seats, expand the TT’s (already useful) boot and forget about accommodating those +2 passengers in miserable discomfort.
This article was originally published in Wheels magazine December 2016.