Full 2013 Audi TTS Review
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Audi TTS is unchanged from last year.
In terms of price and performance, the 2013 Audi TTS stands as the middle ground choice in the TT family. Bracketed by the TT and TT RS, the TTS is arguably the best pick of the bunch. It's both more powerful and more engaging than the TT, but it's not hard-core like the RS. A more pressing matter, however, is how the TTS stacks up against other similarly priced sport coupes and convertibles.
The all-wheel-drive 2013 Audi TTS uses the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as the standard TT, but revised engine components increase output from the TT's 211 horsepower to a more invigorating 265 hp. But it's not just the engine that makes the TTS attractive to those who have performance-oriented tendencies. The TTS's standard adaptive suspension sharpens its reflexes while visually lowering the car by almost a half-inch.
Like the whole TT line, the TTS also has standard all-wheel drive, an impeccably built interior, high-quality materials and a lengthy list of standard features. But in terms of price, there are some other worthy models available. One might also consider the BMW Z4 sDrive28i or the recently re-mastered 2013 Porsche Boxster. The Z4 is pretty similar in terms of price and performance. The Boxster is unquestionably a better handling sports car, but it does come at a higher price. It would also serve shoppers to broaden their gaze and think about the Infiniti G or BMW 135i as alternatives, since both pack more power and practicality for less money.
As such, the 2013 Audi TTS represents a solid sport coupe and convertible. However, unless you're absolutely enamored with its distinctive and admittedly fetching style, any one of those above choices would likely be a wiser choice.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Audi TTS is available as a 2+2 coupe or a two-seat roadster. There is just one Premium Plus trim level. Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, performance summer tires, adaptive suspension dampers, 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 power retractable soft top.
The optional Prestige package adds rear parking sensors, heated seats, a navigation system and an upgraded 12-speaker Bose sound system with the choice of either a six-CD changer or USB/iPod interface. Special leather upholstery is also available.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2013 Audi TTS is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 265 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. This power is transmitted to all four wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.
In Edmunds performance testing, the TTS coupe went from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined -- pretty good given the car's potential performance.
Standard safety features on the 2013 Audi TTS include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags (to protect the head and thorax) and front knee airbags.
In Edmunds brake testing, a TTS came to a stop from 60 mph in 113 feet, an average distance for this type of car with summer tires.
Interior Design and Special Features
As we've come to expect from all Audi models, the 2013 TTS features a tastefully designed interior that makes use of top-notch materials. The TTS differs slightly from the standard TT by offering two-tone color schemes in silver, orange and red for some added visual interest.
The navigation system's dash-mounted controller placement isn't ideal, nor is its operation as intuitive as those from other manufacturers, but most other controls are straightforward and within easy reach. The sporty front seats are both comfortable and supportive, but the coupe's rear seats are better suited to trunk overflow than accommodating actual people.
The coupe's rear seats do fold flat to expand the trunk's ample 13-cubic-foot capacity to a capacious 24 cubes. The two-seat convertible's cargo capacity is significantly less at 8.8 cubic feet, but that's actually decent for a roadster and it does feature a pass-through door with removable ski bag.
The roadster's folding cloth top might seem a bit outdated compared to the slick retractable hardtops that can be found on some of its rivals, but it does retain the TT's clean lines and folds flat into the rear bodywork. Its multilayer headliner and glass window also manage to keep the cabin quiet and well-insulated.
The 2013 Audi TTS boasts considerable performance improvements over the standard TT. The 2.0-liter inline-4 doesn't stir the soul with the way it sounds, but it delivers plenty of power across a broad range of rpm for good drivability, and the dual-clutch automated manual gearbox works brilliantly in both automatic and manual modes. Even so, some enthusiastic drivers might miss a do-it-yourself manual transmission.
The TTS devours curvy roads at a rapid clip, responding with a level of agility missing in the regular TT. Nevertheless, there's a certain level of passion missing from the Audi TTS, much of which can be attributed to its uncommunicative steering. On the whole, this is a sport coupe, stylish and friendly, but it doesn't quite deliver the sports-car performance to which this model seems to aspire.