by Michael Butler
The Audi TT Coupe, now in its third generation, has been around since 1998 and revived Audi's sports car efforts in a big way. This car has come a long way since its Bauhaus roots and has followed an evolutionary road to where it finds itself today. The 2023 Audi TT Coupe remains a good-looking car and has become even better to drive thanks to a finely balanced chassis and a range of potent turbocharged engines. The base model gets a 228-horsepower mill, but there's also a more powerful TTS, but we review this particular Audi TT separately. This places it squarely in the sights of the Toyota GR Supra and Porsche 718 Cayman, and both of these Audi TT competitors are great to drive. The TT comes standard with Audi's excellent quattro AWD system, dual-clutch transmission, and a refined cabin that oozes build quality. Yes, the back seats are mostly there for show, the technology is now behind the best, and some rivals are more exciting to drive. All that being said, we're glad to see that the posh TT is back for another year.
The new Audi TT Coupe remains largely unchanged for the 2023 model year in the USA. The base model gets a new set of 18-inch 5-Y-design wheels, and that's it.
There aren't many configurations to choose from here as there's just one trim, but that makes it easy to decide if you can afford the cost of the Audi TT. The base price of the car is $51,200 before a $1,095 destination charge. For a fully loaded model, you can easily spend over $55k, depending on how much customization you like.
See trim levels and configurations:
|45 TFSI quattro||
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Other than the now-defunct TT RS, the TT has never been marketed as a track-ready sports car. This compact sports coupe has always been seen as a car for the driver that likes to have a good time but also expects daily drivability. This personality suits the TT perfectly: it's a car you can have fun in, but it's not overly hardcore and can be enjoyed daily. Push the TT through a set of corners, and you'll be surprised at what this little car can handle. There's lots of grip on offer, but as can be expected, the quattro AWD system eventually gives way to subtle understeer. As a daily driver, the TT can feel stiff to the most sensitive of behinds, but it is a well-rounded machine that can do the city run and feels comfy on the highway. With 228 horsepower, the turbo-four isn't powerful enough to overwhelm the chassis, but it's got just enough grunt to make enjoyable, swift progress.
There are two ways you can go in this class: the relaxed or all-out sporty route. The Porsche 718 Boxster or Cayman offer you a supremely engaging drive and a more track-ready package, while cars like the Audi TT take a laid-back approach that focuses more on style and comfort. The exterior styling of the TT is still sharp, and we think it looks great. The same goes for the minimalist yet elegant interior styling that oozes premium comfort. Yes, the rear seats are basically useless, but you don't buy the TT to cart the family around, do you? The lack of driver assistance kit is our biggest concern regarding the features list. On the road, the TT is entertaining but by no means a focused sports car. The quattro AWD system will give in to understeer, and the base turbocharged engine will run out of puff at higher revs, but as a day-to-day car with sporty attributes, it's a great package.
Since the latest edition of the TT is well-equipped, we wouldn't change a thing. Sure, the S line package with its sporty accents and accessories would be a nice-to-have, but bigger wheels and a less subtle exterior appearance won't necessarily enhance a car like this. If anything, you want as little attention from Supra and Z4 drivers as possible, unless you're lucky enough to line up next to someone with a 2.0-liter motor under the hood. No, we like the standard TT and its long list of standard features. If anything, we'd splash out on some fancy paint, but that's nothing more than another attention-seeking option.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Audi TT Coupe: