I love theoretical car shopping. I still get a little giddy when friends ask me what to buy, at a certain price with additional parameters. It feels like spending someone else’s money … until they ignore me and buy a Toyota RAV4. Then it doesn’t feel as great.
But this time I had the chance to choose the parameters and the comparison. I decided it was time to turn to Audi’s lineup of smaller RS vehicles, the RS 3 sedan and TT RS coupe, to see which one comes out on top when it comes to drivability, performance and fun. There are obvious differences between the two, including body style, ability to fit passengers and price (the 2018 TT RS starts at $65,875 including a destination charge, $10,000 more than the 2018 RS 3’s starting MSRP of $55,875). Let’s throw all those out and just talk about how they drive.
Part of the reason that these two felt ripe for comparison is the symmetry of their powertrains. Both vehicles have mirrored powertrains with the same turbocharged, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that makes 400 horsepower and 354 pounds-feet of torque, along with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.