Audi TTS and TT RS review (2015-present): models and trim levels

The Audi TTS and TT RS are fast, luxurious and stylish sports cars available in coupe and convertible forms

The Audi TT is a popular small sports car available as a three-door coupe or a two-door Roadster convertible, and the TTS version is what Audi calls its high-performance model. It has a tuned-up version of the 2.0-litre petrol engine available in the lesser TT models as well as sportier suspension for sharper handling around corners.

The turbocharged petrol engine produces a substantial 320hp, which means the TT S can go from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds in Coupe form and 4.8 seconds as a Roadster. While the TT S is sportier to drive than the lesser models, it still has plenty of appeal as an everyday car, because it’s almost as quiet and smooth - and just as practical.

If the TT S isn’t enough for you, there’s also the TT RS, which is more hardcore and aimed at enthusiast drivers. It has a very powerful five-cylinder petrol engine that produces 400hp and emits a dramatic warbling sound when worked hard and enables it to blast from 0-62mph in as little as 3.7 seconds. You could even consider the TT RS as a mini-supercar because it’s so fast - and it sounds as good as a supercar as well thanks to that very special engine under the bonnet.

Rivals for the TTS include the BMW M235i and M240i (these are very similar models with slightly different names and engines, depending on the age of car you’re considering), the Nissan 370Z and four-cylinder versions of the Porsche 718 Cayman. The TTS Roadster is a rival for the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster.

The TT RS is more expensive and rivals more focused sports cars such as the BMW M2, Alpine A110, Toyota Supra and six-cylinder versions of the Porsche Cayman. The TT RS Roadster is a rival for some versions of the Porsche Boxster and the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43.

Read on to find out more about the Audi TTS and TT RS and see whether one of these models is right for you.

Should I get an Audi TTS or TT RS?

Very fast and powerful, especially the TT RS
Easy to live with day-to-day and quite practical
High-quality cabin with lots of equipment

Not as fun to drive as many of its rivals
Expensive to buy and run
Uncomfortable on badly-surfaced roads

The Audi TTS and TT RS have a different kind of appeal, and it’s the more expensive and faster RS model that we think makes the most sense. The TTS is great in isolation - it’s very fast and grips the road brilliantly, plus it’s practical, easy to drive, well-equipped and has a fantastic interior. Yet the lesser versions lower in the Audi TT range offer 80% of its ability for a lot less cash, and it’s not as much fun as many of its rivals from other car makers.

The TT RS is a different animal, though, thanks to the unique five-cylinder engine that provides supercar-like performance and sounds at a fraction of the price of a real supercar. It’s not as good to drive as some of its rivals but its blend of practicality, driving enjoyment, everyday usability and interior quality mean it has plenty of appeal.

There are Coupe and Roadster versions of both, and the former makes more sense from a pragmatic point of view - it’s far more practical - but if you really want a drop-top car then the Roadster is a fine choice.

Audi TTS and TT RS (2015-present): models explained

Audi TTS Coupe

Audi TTS Coupe front three quarters view

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Audi TTS Roadster

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Audi TT RS Coupe

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Audi TT RS Roadster

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Audi TTS Coupe

The Audi TTS Coupe is a three-door sports car with four seats and a hatchback boot. Since it’s the TTS, it has a four-cylinder petrol engine with 320hp, so it’s able to sprint from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds.

Like all the models here, it has four-wheel-drive to maximise traction when accelerating and an automatic gearbox as standard. This helps to make the car easy to drive but also really fast, both around bends and in a straight line. It’s tuned to be good to use every day rather than the ultimate in fun handling.

There are some different trim levels including Black Edition and Vorsprung that add different kit, but in general the TTS is really well equipped because it sits at the top of the Audi TT range. In 2019 there was an update that changed the look slightly as well as which kit was available.

Audi TTS Roadster

The Audi TTS Roadster has the same engine as the Coupe model, but there are no rear seats, a smaller boot and since it’s a bit heavier, it takes 4.8 seconds to go from 0-62mph.

The TTS Roadster drives very much like the TTS Coupe, but with the convertible roof it’s great for sunny days and not quite as quiet on the motorway.

Audi TT RS Coupe

The Audi TT RS Coupe is very similar to the TTS Coupe in size and shape, but it has a bigger five-cylinder engine with 400hp, so it can go from 0-62mph in a mere 3.7 seconds and it sounds a whole lot more dramatic with its musical engine.

There’s more equipment as standard so it feels even more luxurious inside, but you’ll pay for that - it’s quite a bit more expensive than the TTS.

Audi TT RS Roadster

The Audi TT RS Roadster uses the same setup as the TT RS Coupe, so it has 400hp and a brilliant-sounding five-cylinder engine. With the roof down you can enjoy the engine noise even more.

It’s heavier than the Coupe, so 0-62mph takes 3.9 seconds. This is still faster than the vast majority of other cars on the road, so the TT RS Roadster is a very special car to drive even if it’s not as much fun as the Porsche Boxster.

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Which Audi TTS or TT RS to buy: trim levels

Audi TT Roadster interior view
TrimEquipment
Audi TTSEven the basic TTS is really well equipped and you don’t need to go any further than this for the best value for money. It comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension, ambient lighting, smartphone connectivity and a brilliant digital dial display behind the steering wheel.
Audi TTS Black EditionBlack Edition adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a fixed rear spoiler for a racier look and black trim pieces around the exterior to make it look more sporty - as it’s mostly cosmetic, we don’t think it’s worth upgrading.
Audi TTS VorsprungThe Vorsprung version comes with 20-inch alloys that are different to the ones on the Black Edition model, plus adaptive LED headlights and extra safety kit including side assist and parking assist.
Audi TT RSThe basic TT RS comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, special sports suspension, an RS-specific look for the digital dials and LED headlights and taillights.
Audi TT RS Audi Sport EditionThe Sport Edition model adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a sports exhaust, carbon trim and some black styling pieces. The sports exhaust is nice to have with the brilliant-sounding engine in the RS models.
Audi TT RS VorsprungThe top-spec TT RS Vorsprung comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension, adaptive LED headlights and extra assistance functions including side assist and parking assist.

 
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Best engine: TTS vs TT RS

Choosing between the TTS and TT RS, no matter whether you want a Coupe or Roadster, is all about the engine. Budget will be the main factor, as the RS model is quite a lot more expensive than the TTS, but if you can afford it, we’d say go for the TT RS every time.

The TT RS engine is one of the best performance engines around - not only does it sound brilliant, it’s very powerful and fun to use. It transforms the TT from a fast but slightly dull sports car into a mini-supercar.

The TTS engine is powerful and fast, but it doesn’t feel particularly special and doesn't justify its higher running costs over a normal Audi TT with the 245hp engine. That model is plenty fast enough, so we think it’s better value than the TTS.

Best Audi TTS or TT RS model for…

Audi TTS Coupe rear view

There are four main models to choose from here: the TTS, TTS Roadster, TT RS and TT RS Roadster. Then once you’ve chosen from that list, you can decide on which trim level to go for. In order to help you make your decision about the TTS or TT RS, we’ve picked out some choices for a range of typical situations below.

Audi TTS Coupe: The basic TTS Coupe is the best value choice here. It’s essentially a top-spec TT Coupe despite the different model name, so it comes with loads of kit as standard, including clever adaptive suspension.  
Audi TTS Coupe: The TTS Coupe is also the best option for families, as the Coupe body means it has rear seats and a pretty big boot for a sports car. It’s not an ideal family car because the rear seats are cramped, but it works for occasional trips.
Audi TT RS Coupe Vorsprung: The TT RS in Vorsprung trim has 400hp and adaptive suspension as standard, so it’s the ultimate version of the TT. It has the performance and noise of a much more expensive car, so despite the high price tag, for some people it’s worth the money.
Audi TTS Roadster Vorsprung: The TTS Roadster is our one to avoid because it’s not as good to drive as most of its rivals, is pretty expensive in Vorsprung trim and less practical than the Coupe model. A normal TT Roadster makes more sense as a comfy but sporty car with good performance.

 

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Audi TTS and TT RS rivals

BMW M240i Coupe

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Nissan 370Z

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Porsche Cayman

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There is quite a broad spread of rivals for the TTS and TT RS. The TTS Coupe is a rival for the BMW M240i and Nissan 370Z, although it’s not as good to drive as either of those and both have more enjoyable six-cylinder engines. The Audi is easier to live with every day, though.

The TTS Roadster is a rival for the BMW Z4, which is better to drive but perhaps not as stylish. The TT RS Roadster rivals more powerful and sporty models such as the Porsche Boxster and Mercedes-AMG SLC 43.

The Audi TT RS Coupe is a rival for driver-focused sports cars such as the Porsche Cayman, Alpine A110, Toyota Supra and BMW M2. All of those alternatives are better to drive on a twisty road, but not as practical as the Audi.

Porsche Boxster

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Mercedes SLC

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BMW Z4

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Monthly finance from £412*

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Audi TTS practicality: dimensions and boot space

Audi TTS Coupe boot view

Audi TTS and TT RS dimensions

All versions of the TT are approximately 4.2m long, 1.8m wide and 1.4m tall. It’s quite a small car overall - the BMW 2 Series (and high-performance M2 version) is bigger, yet the Audi is more practical in Coupe form with its wide-opening hatchback.

The Coupe model has rear seats, and while they’re pretty cramped, they can come in handy for short trips. The hatchback boot door also means the TT is more practical for carrying luggage than many other similarly-priced sports cars.

CLICK TO READ OUR FULL STORY ON AUDI TT COUPE DIMENSIONS
CLICK TO READ OUR FULL STORY ON AUDI TT ROADSTER DIMENSIONS

Length 4,199mm - 4,201mmWidth 1,832mm
Height 1,343mm - 1,346mmWeight 1,420kg - 1,540kg

 

Audi TTS and TT RS boot space

The TT Coupe has 305 litres of space in the boot and the Roadster has 280 litres - that’s true no matter which version you pick. This means it’s one of the roomiest sports cars of its type, and you don’t actually lose too much space by choosing the convertible model.

Yet the real difference in practicality comes thanks to the Coupe version’s hatchback boot and folding rear seats, which allow a total space of around 715 litres. This is really useful and far more than in most sports cars - it could be a big selling point for the TTS and TT RS Coupe. The hatchback opening is nice and big, although there’s quite a big loading lip to lift objects over.

CLICK TO READ OUR FULL STORY ON AUDI TT COUPE BOOT SPACE
CLICK TO READ OUR FULL STORY ON AUDI TT ROADSTER BOOT SPACE

Seats up 280-305 litresSeats down (Coupe only) 712 litres

 

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Audi TTS and TT RS reliability

The Audi TT is based on a set of parts shared with lots of other models - for example the TTS uses a very similar engine to the Volkswagen Golf R. This means it should be just as reliable as that model, though the TT RS’s special five-cylinder engine is likely to cost more to maintain in the long run.

In the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey Audi finished in 23rd place out of 29 manufacturers, which was a pretty disappointing result for the premium brand. Yet rival car makers such as BMW and Mercedes also came in the bottom half of the rankings as well.

 

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Audi TTS and TT RS warranty

You get a three-year warranty as standard with the TTS and TT RS, which is very typical for a new car. Most car makers offer this level of cover (which lasts for up to 60,000 miles), though the Toyota Supra benefits from up to 10 years of warranty if you service it using Toyota dealers.

There are extended warranty packs available from Audi for new cars at pretty decent prices - you can get four years of cover (or up to 75,000 miles) and five-year cover (up to 90,000 miles) if you want the extra peace of mind from those.

3 years60,000 miles

AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £643 

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Used Audi TTS and TT RS: should I buy one?

The Audi TTS falls into a middle ground between the better-value Audi TT range and the high-performance TT RS models, so it’s tough to recommend to most people. If you really want the most powerful Audi TT you can get, then the TT RS is the one to go for, especially as it has a brilliant engine.

The TTS isn’t significantly faster than the TT 45 TFSI model, which is better value for money, but it does retain all of that car’s best traits: it’s practical, easy to drive, has an excellent cabin with lots of standard kit and is very stylish.

The Roadster models are great for wind-in-the-hair driving and are much more practical than other two-seater convertible options, so despite not being as fun to drive as some of their rivals, the TTS and TT RS Roadsters are appealing for plenty of buyers.

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Best Audi TTS and TT RS deals

Audi TTS

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Audi TTS Roadster

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The Audi TTS in its base trim level is the best-value model and in Coupe form it’s surprisingly practical. There’s really no need to move up to the higher-spec Black Edition version because even the entry-level TTS has adaptive suspension and 19-inch alloy wheels.

The TT RS is also perhaps at its best in base form, as it’s more affordable and isn’t quite as imposing as the higher-spec versions on huge 20-inch alloy wheels. The TT RS is our pick of all the cars covered above, because it feels more special to drive and has its own unique character.

If you want a high-performance TT Roadster, choose the TT RS version. It’s all about the engine with this car, which is a delight to drive with, and since you can get the roof down on sunny days, you can hear it sing all the more clearly.

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*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:

PCP representative exampleAPR rates available
Cash price £12,000APR 7.90%Value of loanFrom
Fixed monthly payment £218.12Annual mileage of 8,000pa£25,000+6.9%
Total cost of credit £2,755.55Term 48 months£12,000-£24,9997.9%
Optional final payment £4,285.79Loan value £12,000£8,000-£11,9998.9%
Total amount payable £14,755.55Deposit £0<8,0009.9%

 

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.
 

Last Updated 

Monday, January 10, 2022 - 14:00

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