This new third-generation Audi TT has been a very refreshing surprise for fans of the four-ringed brand. The first-generation car was a bit of a disappointment, as it looked sporty and fun but didn’t drive the same way. The second-gen was better but still not the driver’s car that its looks had promised. However, this third car has moves that match its looks as it’s one of the best sports cars in its price range.
But there are two other very good sports cars in that price range as well, two cars that could seriously challenge it, maybe even beat it — the BMW M235i and Ford Mustang V8. Carwow recently got all three cars together to see which car is best.
In this video, Mat Watson tests the Audi TT Quattro, BMW M235i and the Ford Mustang V8 back to back in a variety of different tests. Watson tests everything from their technology, to their practicality to their performance. Each car has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s interesting to see how it plays out.
First, Watson tests their technology and deems the Audi TT to have the best tech. Its new MMI system and Virtual Cockpit are just too advanced for the Bimmer or the Mustang. However, BMW’s iDrive system is better than Audi’s MMI and is more intuitive, but the Audi’s Virtual Cockpit and awesome climate controls push it over its Bavarian neighbor. The Mustang’s touch screen infotainment system is deemed the worst by far and doesn’t even compete with the other two.
In terms of practicality, the Audi TT is sadly the worst car of the bunch. While its hatchback-style trunk can actually hold a decent amount of gear, especially with the rear seats folded down, that’s about all it can do. The back seat is unusable for humans and it’s the smallest car all around. The BMW M235i actually had a decent back seat, best of the bunch, and a great trunk and was deemed the most practical car in the test. The Mustang was somewhere in the middle, with a decent backseat and trunk even though it’s by far the largest car here.
To test their performance, Watson drag races all three cars and then puts them through their paces on twisty roads. In the drag race, the Mustang was the fastest, with its 416 hp 5.0 liter V8, the BMW M235i was second, with its 320 3.0 liter turbocharged I6, and the Audi TT came in a close third despite being the weakest car of the bunch, with its 220 hp 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cyldiner. Thank the Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive and launch control to allow it to stay in the race, but it’s too underpowered to keep up.
On some twisty backroads, the Audi TT was fantastic to drive. Its steering is excellent and accurate, though a bit numb, its engine is peppy and makes a good noise and its Quattro all-wheel drive grip is tenacious. The BMW M235i was deemed to be the best car to drive on twisty roads. Its combination of a brilliant I6 engine, rear-wheel drive and superb dynamics make it the most fun car overall to drive. The Mustang is good old fashioned fun, with its burly V8, incredible engine noise and six-speed manual. However, it’s a bit overwhelming and difficult to drive.
Watson claimed that the Mustang V8 is the most exciting car to drive, but also the most tiring. The Audi TT was said to be excellent to drive and very fun, but a bit too safe and easy. The BMW M235i blends both so well and is both fun and practical that it wins the test, with the Audi TT in second and the Mustang in third. We’ve driven all three cars and we must agree with the results as they’re al great cars but the BMW M235i is the best combination of everything.