2020 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet vs. 2020 Audi TT

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The C-Class Cabriolet’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The TT doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The C-Class Cabriolet has a standard Active Brake Assist, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The TT doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The TT doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The TT only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the C-Class Cabriolet’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The TT doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The TT doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Cabriolet and the TT 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 all wheel drive.

The Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet weighs 474 to 815 pounds more than the Audi TT. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the C-Class Cabriolet’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Engine

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The C-Class Cabriolet’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 27 more horsepower (255 vs. 228) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the TT 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The C-Class Cabriolet has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the TT (17.4 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the TT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the C-Class Cabriolet’s brake rotors are larger than those standard on the TT:

C-Class

TT

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.3 inches

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the TT 45 TSFI are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the C-Class Cabriolet can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The TT doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The C-Class Cabriolet’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The TT doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-Class Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 13.2 inches longer than on the TT (111.8 inches vs. 98.6 inches).

The C-Class Cabriolet’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.1% to 48.9%) than the TT’s (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the C-Class Cabriolet more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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The design of the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet amounts to more than styling. The C-Class Cabriolet has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is lower than the TT (.32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the C-Class Cabriolet get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the C-Class Cabriolet uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The TT doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the C-Class Cabriolet a Subcompact car, while the TT Roadster is rated a Two Seater.

The C-Class Cabriolet has standard seating for 4 passengers; the TT Roadster can only carry up to 2.

The C-Class Cabriolet has 7.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the TT (81.3 vs. 74).

Cargo Capacity

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With its convertible body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C-Class offers cargo security. The TT’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The C-Class Cabriolet has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The TT doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the C-Class Cabriolet, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat (memory seat optional for the front passenger), steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The TT doesn’t offer a memory system.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The TT doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The TT doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the TT’s standard power windows.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the C-Class Cabriolet has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The TT doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the C-Class Cabriolet detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The TT doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The TT’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The C-Class Cabriolet’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C-Class Cabriolet has standard extendable sun visors. The TT doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the C-Class Cabriolet keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The TT doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the C-Class Cabriolet’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The TT doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The TT doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the C-Class Cabriolet has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The TT doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The TT doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, stopping and changing direction automatically. The TT doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Audi TT isn’t available as a sedan.

The C-Class Cabriolet is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The TT doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/29

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet and the Audi TT, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the C-Class Cabriolet first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The TT isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Audi TT by over 50 to one during the 2019 model year.

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