Audi TT Alternatives

6 minutes Published: 26/03/2020
Rowan Harris

The Audi TT is fast, affordable and great to look at. It’s a household name, and it’s probably one of the first cars you’ll think of if you’re looking for a bit of fun on the side (don’t worry, we won’t tell your family saloon). The

Available in two models, the Audi TT Coupe is a carbon copy of the Audi TT Roadster bar the Roadster's convertible roof.

It’s not the only flash set of wheels by any means - which is exactly why we’ve served up this list of titillating alternatives to the TT.

If you’re looking for sports cars in general, why not check out our best sports cars list? For more premium interiors, check out our best luxury cars. Or if you’re just browsing through the different Audi models, check out our Audi A3 alternatives, Audi S3 alternatives, and Audi Q3 alternatives.

1. BMW M2

RRP: £45,175 - £76,095
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 3.0
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 185 - 238g/km

Pros

  • Super fast.

  • Fun to drive.

Cons

  • Cheaper alternatives.

  • Back seats are a bit cramped.

We don’t like to perpetuate old stereotypes, but when we look at the Audi TT with it’s smooth curves and rounded rump, we sometimes can’t help but feel that it looks a little, well… soft. You know, more like a Fiat 500 than an actual sports car…

The BMW M2 on the other hand is 1.6 tonnes of pure, lean muscle. There’s no lumpy wheel arches like on the TT. It’s basically what happens when you take a BMW 2 Series and pump it full of steroids. It’s not just for show, either. The BMW M2’s engine packs 404bhp, which beats the 395bhp of both the Audi TTS and the Audi TT RS.

There’s even a hint of practicality about this car, which packs in some rear seats and a 390 litre boot.

2. Porsche 718 Cayman

RRP: £39,878 - £75,348
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 2.5
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 180 - 249g/km

Pros

  • Top handling.

  • Gorgeous interior.

Cons

  • Engine noise isn't terribly exciting.

  • Average fuel economy.

Porsche’s entry level sports car, the Cayman, has for a long time been the one to beat.

While die-hard Cayman fans will no doubt be disappointed with the sound output from the latest iteration which ditched the six cylinder engine for something a little less polluting, there’s no getting round the fact that the Cayman is still untouchable when it comes to handling. 

Body roll is practically non-existent and the car sticks to corners like gum to your shoe. Steering is accurate and precise, and there’s no doubt as to who is in charge when driving this car. 

3. Mercedes SLC

RRP: £30,295 - £52,741
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 3.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Roadster
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 114 - 185g/km

Pros

  • Lively engine.

  • Great cornering.

Cons

  • Not great on bumpy roads.

  • No more V8 engine.

Let’s face it. Most of the TT alternatives on this list are going to be German cars. But if you’re looking for a car that’s REALLY German, you’ll want a Mercedes AMG. That’s A-M-G for Aufrecht, Melcher and Großaspach - about as German sounding as you can get...

Mercedes’ reputation, like that of many other German car manufacturers, was made in the world of motorsport. While Mercedes has gone on to produce many brilliant family friendly saloons and SUVs, AMG has only ever had one purpose - to produce high performance engines that win races.

The SLC Roadster may be slightly slower when it comes to straight line acceleration (0-60mph in 4.7 seconds) but the V6 engine makes all the right noises and tackles corners with ease.

4. BMW Z4

RRP: £36,730 - £54,940
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 3.0
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Roadster
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 139 - 231g/km

Pros

  • Powerful engines.

  • Lovely interior.

Cons

  • Less exciting on corners.

  • Braking feels inconsistent.

The BMW Z4 Roadster is another undeniably muscular looking car. BMW’s trademark kidney grilles are particularly large and wide set on the Z4 Roadster - more like a bull flaring its nostrils at the sight of the matador’s red cape. And that’s not the only thing bullish about the Z4.

The M40i 3.0 litre six-cylinder engine manages 0-60mph in just 4.5 seconds - just fractionally slower than the Audi TT RS Roadster. But if it’s a smooth driving experience you’re looking for, the Z4’s seamless gear changing from its eight-speed automatic gearbox trounces the TT Roadster’s much jerkier unit.

5. Jaguar F-type Coupe

RRP: £49,345 - £111,630
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 5.0
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 163 - 269g/km

Pros

  • Slick new styling.

  • Solid V8 offering.

Cons

  • Handling could be better.

  • Sub-par infotainment.

Finally! A TT alternative that isn’t German.

When Jaguar’s design director Julian Thomson was asked about his original mission for the F Type, he said it was to create ‘the most beautiful sports car’. The latest model, he believes, is ‘more dramatic than ever, with even greater clarity of purpose’.

The latest design, while not a complete overhaul, looks noticeably sharper. The all-new ‘fox-eye’ razor-sharp headlights are the most noticeable difference on the outside, but there have been changes under the hood as well.

Gone is the old V6 - Jaguar’s 3-tier engine model now consists of two carnivorous 5.0 litre V8s and a leaner 2.0 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine. Don’t be fooled though, the entry level engine is no tame tabby - it’s significantly cheaper but just as feisty as its big cat brethren, with 300bhp and 0-60 in a respectable 5.4 seconds.

6. Porsche 718 Boxster

RRP: £41,739 - £65,949
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 2.5
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Roadster
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 180 - 246g/km

Pros

  • Great handling.

  • Very comfortable.

Cons

  • Still not hugely economical.

  • Expensive.

Like the Cayman, the Boxster has had fans up in arms after it made a switch back to the apparently less sprightly four-cylinder engines. But those that do complain are forgetting some crucial facts - it was a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol/electric which bagged Porsche victories at both the 2015 World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours competition.

On top of this, the latest Boxster has taken the 911 Turbo’s steering rack, which is 10% more direct than the old one. Steering feels perfectly weighted and the mid-engined layout gives the Boxster equanimity in tight corners.

In spite of the shift from 6 to 4 cylinders, the Boxster’s peak torque has actually increased and 0-60mph is quicker too. Best of all, thanks to the new 4 cylinder engines, you’ll get improved mpg, lower emissions and lower overall running costs. It’s not quite as quick as a range-topping Audi TT RS Roadster with quattro all wheel drive, but there’s no denying that the Boxster is still the king of cornering.

7. Mazda Mx-5 Convertible

RRP: £18,310 - £29,310
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 2.0
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Convertible
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 229g/km

Pros

  • Peppy engines

  • Fantastic value

Cons

  • Tall people might struggle.

  • Basic engine only.

There’s a good reason why the Mx5 is one of the most instantly recognisable cars on the planet. For a great alternative to the Audi TT Coupe on a budget, this is the one to beat. Other budget coupes like the Lexus RC, the Peugeot RCZ and Nissan 370Z don’t even come close. 

That’s because it's a pure, unadulterated sports car with a simple rear wheel drive and a good old manual gearbox. No messing about with driving modes, no complex on-board systems - no more weight than is necessary. No AWD option either, we’re afraid - but that doesn’t really matter. The Mx5 is exceptionally lightweight, and this is clear when you’re steering and accelerating. 

Summary

There’s no denying the Audi TT is a great car. It’s sold over a half a million since its launch in 1998 and it’s one of the first cars you’ll think of when you hear the name “Audi”. But while “TT” brings to mind the death-defying stunts of the Isle of Man motorcycle race, the Audi TT is an altogether much safer affair - in both its looks and how it feels to drive. These are just a small selection of the great TT alternatives you should consider before you take the plunge. 

For round-ups of our other favourite fast or luxury cars, check our picks for the best sports cars and best luxury cars. If you’re just window shopping, or you think you might need something a little more practical after all, why not check out our Audi Q3 alternatives? Or for some seriously speedy hot-hatches, check out our Audi A3 alternatives post.