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The Audi TT has been a staple of the brand since 1998, and on the surface, hasn’t changed much. The simple exterior design has stood the test of time. It sports little differences like narrower headlights and sharp edges lining the body panels. It still offers a 1.8-liter engine; however, it now only comes with an automatic transmission, at least in the U.S. It’s light as ever, but as is evidenced by the TT’s perceived weaknesses, that might not be a good thing. If you’re having trouble deciding which Audi TT to get, maybe this can clear some things up. 

2022 Audi TT: simple and standard

Audi tt on display in Bangkok
Audi tt on display in Bangkok | Guillaume Payen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Next year’s TT starts at $49,800 and offers a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four sending 228 horsepower to all four wheels. It’s mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission with seven gears—all of this cumulates into a rather satisfying and capable yet aged sports car. Car and Driver described it as responsive yet lacking power against its competitors. It also has an extremely minimalistic interior. There isn’t even room enough in the back seat for people, just groceries and luggage. 

It also lacks certain driving-assistance features, including forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, and drowsy-driver monitoring. The TT appears to be a viable option for the driving enthusiast who wants to be connected to their sports car and not much else. However, $50,000 sounds like a lot of money to pay for an underpowered sports car with about as much cargo space as a shoebox.

2021 Audi TTS: worth the extra $10,000?

Audi TTs parked outside
Audi TTs parked outside | Audi

The Audi TT Is Even More Stylish for 2021

For another $10,000, Audi offers the TTS, a more powerful version of the TT. It makes 288 horsepower, so the increase is substantial, but that’s about all there is. It’s $10,000 extra for 60 horsepower. Both cars come with seven-speed automatic transmissions and all-wheel-drive. 

Like its cheaper counterpart, the TTS is missing the same few technological advances in the way of safety and driver assistance. However, it keeps parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring. Since the car hasn’t been tested by the NHTSA nor the IIHS, it seems Audi is really counting on drivers resorting to their own habits to stay safe.

Which one is better?

If the price is too intimidating, then the base TT is probably the better option. Only 60 more horsepower is hardly worth the extra $10,000. The Audi TTS nevertheless enjoys steep depreciation. If you’re willing to shop just a few years back to 2016, you can get a TTS for less than half of the current model year. 

If buying new is an absolute must, the base model provides a proper ride for the enthusiast who wants a more raw experience. That said, it’s a bit too expensive for what you get. For a little perspective, the new BMW M240xi gets 335 horsepower from a 3.0-liter inline-six, has an 8-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive, and starts at $45,000.