2019 Audi TT vs. 2019 Lexus RC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The TT has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RC doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the TT. But it costs extra on the RC.

Both the TT and the RC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The TT’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RC’s (12 vs. 6 years).

There are over 26 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the TT’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the TT’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the RC 300 RWD’s camshafts. If the RC’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The battery on the TT is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the TT’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The RC’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

The TT has more powerful engines than the RC:

 

Horsepower

Torque

TTS 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

288 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

TT RS Coupe 2.5 turbo 5 cyl.

400 HP

354 lbs.-ft.

RC 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

RC 300 AWD 3.5 DOHC V6

260 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

RC 350 3.5 DOHC V6

311 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi TT is faster than the RC 350:

 

TT 45 TFSI

TTS

RC

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

1.5 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

4.2 sec

6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.1 sec

10.7 sec

14.5 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4 sec

3.1 sec

4.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

12.8 sec

14.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the TT gets better fuel mileage than the RC:

 

 

 

MPG

TT

 

AWD

45 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

 

 

TTS 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

 

 

RS 2.5 turbo 5 cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

RC

 

RWD

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

 

 

350 3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/28 hwy

 

AWD

300 3.5 DOHC V6

18 city/24 hwy

 

 

350 3.5 DOHC V6

18 city/24 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Audi TT at emission levels ranging from “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Lexus RC is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission

The TT offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The RC doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The TT RS’ launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The RC doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the TT’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the RC:

 

TTS

TT RS

RC

RC F Sport

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

14.6 inches

13.2 inches

14 inches

The TT RS offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The RC doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The TT stops much shorter than the RC:

 

TT

RC

 

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the TT has larger standard tires than the RC (245/40R18 vs. 235/40R19). The TTS/RS’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RC (255/30R20 vs. 235/40R19).

The TT 45 TSFI’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RC’s standard 45 series tires. The TTS/RS’ optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the RC’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the TTS/RS offers optional 20-inch wheels. The RC’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Chassis

The Audi TT may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 550 pounds less than the Lexus RC.

The TT is 1 foot, 8 inches shorter than the RC, making the TT easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The TT Coupe has a much larger trunk than the RC (12 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The TT has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The RC doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The TT’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RC’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the TT to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RC doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Model Availability

The Audi TT comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Lexus RC isn’t available as a convertible.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi TT, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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