Full 2013 Audi TT Review
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Audi TT is pretty much unchanged, the main addition being a new S line Competition package for the TT coupe.
Based purely on bang for the buck, the 2013 Audi TT is a hard sell. Compared to a lot of other sport coupes and convertibles, the TT can seem overpriced. Yet there's a reason some people are willing to spend more money on a product that accomplishes nothing more than a less expensive alternative: attractive design.
Of course, there's the TT's exterior styling, which still cuts a very distinctive shape on the road. But there's more to the TT than just beauty. Thanks to its strong and efficient turbocharged engine, slick automated dual-clutch manual transmission and standard all-wheel drive, it's an appealing car to drive, especially in places that have a lot of bad weather. Feature-rich content and an impeccably built and presented interior are other appealing attributes.
The TT comes as a coupe with two vestigial rear seats and a strictly two-seat TT convertible. Buyers may supplement the dramatic exterior style with available two-tone color schemes and Audi's "S line" appearance and performance upgrades. Finally, for those who lust for more power, there are also higher-performance TTS and TT RS variants with between 50 and 150 horsepower more under their domed hoods.
Nevertheless, the slick Audi TT can seem pricey for what you get. For example, the Nissan 370Z is more powerful and handles more adeptly, even though the Z isn't as well equipped or as tastefully styled as the 2013 Audi TT. For similar money as the TT, though, you can get a coupe with a more usable backseat or a sportier driving experience, examples being the BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G. The TT convertible matches up very well with the more expensive BMW Z4 and Mercedes-Benz SLK, although its competitors are more dynamically gifted.
Overall, the 2013 TT manages to be fun but not frenetic; versatile, but not boring. If design and refinement are near the top of your list, the TT is worth a look. But we suggest taking a look at the aforementioned competitors as we think they're better cars overall.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Audi TT is available as a 2+2 coupe or a two-seat convertible. There is just one trim level, known as Premium Plus. Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, performance summer tires, xenon headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, cruise control, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, eight-way power sport front seats, leather upholstery, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and auxiliary audio jack. The convertible features a fully powered soft top.
Opting for the Prestige package gets you rear parking sensors, upgraded leather upholstery, heated front seats, interior LED accent lighting, a navigation system and a 12-speaker Bose sound system with the choice of either a six-CD changer or a USB/iPod interface. Most of these items are optional on the Premium Plus.
The optional S line package adds 19-inch wheels and revised exterior and interior trim. The TT Coupe S line Competition package includes all the above plus distinct wheels, firmer suspension tuning and additional exterior styling elements. Other options include special leather upholstery and a Magnetic Ride suspension option that includes adaptive suspension dampers, a lower ride height and a sport button program for revised throttle, suspension and exhaust note settings.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering the 2013 Audi TT is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is also standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy for both Coupe and Roadster is 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. The only transmission available is a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual.
In Edmunds performance testing, a TT Roadster sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. That's a reasonable time, but most competing models are certainly quicker. Fuel economy is quite good at 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.
Standard safety features on the 2013 Audi TT include antilock disc brakes, hill-hold assist, traction and stability control, front side airbags (to protect the head and thorax) and front knee airbags.
In Edmunds brake testing, a TT came to a stop from 60 mph in 111 feet, an average distance for a car of this type with summer tires.
Interior Design and Special Features
As we've come to expect from all Audi models, the 2013 TT features a tastefully designed, well-assembled interior that makes use of genuine top-notch materials. Aside from colors/inserts and optional upholstery upgrades, the standard leather front seats are the same from base TT up to the top-shelf TT RS, and they're both comfortable and supportive. The coupe's rear seats, however, are better suited to trunk overflow than accommodating actual people. Folding them flat expands the trunk's ample 13-cubic-foot capacity to a capacious 24 cubes.
Most controls are straightforward and within easy reach, but the navigation system's dash-mounted controller placement isn't ideal, nor is its operation as intuitive as those from other manufacturers.
The roadster's folding cloth top might seem a bit outdated compared to the slick retractable hardtops found on some of its rivals, but it does retain the TT's distinctive lines and folds flat into the rear bodywork in less than 15 seconds. Its multilayer headliner and glass window also manage to keep the cabin quiet and well-insulated. Without the hatchback or backseats, the convertible's cargo capacity is significantly less. Its 8.8 cubic feet is actually decent for a roadster and it features a pass-through door with removable ski bag.
The 2013 Audi TT's turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 isn't the most stirring engine to listen to, but its power delivery is quite broad, its generous torque plateau begins at a very low rpm, and the dual-clutch automated manual gearbox works brilliantly in both automatic and manual modes.
The Audi TT has more than enough power for a daily driver and just enough to have some fun on twisting back roads. The entertainment quotient is further enhanced by the standard shift paddles and all-wheel-drive system, not to mention the confidence those provide while driving on slick pavement. Even so, some enthusiastic drivers might prefer a do-it-yourself manual transmission, a quick-revving naturally aspirated engine and rear-wheel drive.
Nevertheless, the aging little Audi is no match for a new BMW Z4 or especially a Porsche Cayman or Boxster when it comes to performance and driving dynamics. The TT Coupe's optional adaptive suspension also includes revised throttle calibration and a louder exhaust note, slightly improving the TT's capabilities without making the ride unbearable, but we doubt many buyers will feel it is worth the price premium.