Audi TTS: Judging for 2016 Wards 10 Best Interiors

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Audi has a reputation for doing fantastic interiors, and we had three excellent candidates in serious contention for 2016 Wards 10 Best Interiors: the TTS 2+2 sports coupe, the A4 sedan and the Q7 cross/utility vehicle.

After a lengthy discussion, the WardsAuto editors decided the TTS delivered the most groundbreaking interior among the three Audis, perhaps among the entire field.

There’s not a lot of space in this car powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo. And yet, the front row feels unusually roomy. That’s because the designers did away with a lot of knobs and switches, or hid them in clever places. For instance, the climate-control buttons are embedded in a perfectly intuitive place: within the vents on the instrument panel.

And this interior is easy on the eyes, from the luscious Express Red diamond-stitched leather and the red contrast stitching on the black shifter boot to the glistening satin-finish aluminum trim and the expertly finished flat-bottom steering wheel.

Despite being such a small car, the cargo hold is generously proportioned when second-row seats are folded, and the front-row seats have bold wing-back shoulders that wrap around occupants like a super-hero’s cape.

Overall, we think the TTS represents significant achievements in layout, ergonomics and the human-machine interface.

Audi calls it the Multi Media Interface, which consists of a large metallic knob in the center console and two adjoining toggle switches that let the driver cycle through menus for navigation, phone, radio and media.

It’s so simple, the driver doesn’t even have to look down at the center console. Instead, you look straight ahead at the massive 12-in. reconfigurable display screen that occupies the gauge cluster behind the steering wheel. There’s also buttons on the steering wheel that are user-friendly.

Audi calls this the “virtual cockpit,” and arguably it’s the pinnacle of a spectacular interior.

-- Tom Murphy

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