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Audi TT Roadster vs Mercedes-Benz SLC

Are a new name and a thorough refresh enough for the Mercedes-Benz SLC to take the lead from Audi's drop-top TT?

Words ByWhat Car? team

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Audi TT Roadster vs Mercedes-Benz SLC

What will they cost?

The SLC is neither as good to drive as the TT nor as nice inside, but it is at least cheaper to buy. It’ll cost you Β£2319 less of your hard-earned cash if you’re prepared to haggle. Of course, it isn’t just upfront costs you need to worry about, and over a three-year period it’s the TT that works out cheaper. That’s mainly because of its slower depreciation, but also because it’s cheaper to insure and service.

Looking at official fuel economy claims, the SLC will average almost 5.0mpg more than the TT. That difference tots up to around Β£500 in fuel over 36,000 miles. For those who prefer to buy their car with finance, Audi charges Β£347 a month on a 30,000-mile, three-year PCP agreement with a Β£5000 deposit. Mercedes demands Β£370 a month on the same terms.

The SLC is the more appealing car for company car drivers. The combination of its lower CO2 emissions and cheaper list price mean you’ll sacrifice around Β£2200 less of your salary in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax over three years, assuming you’re a 40% rate tax payer. Meanwhile, straightforward leasing costs are similar on both cars, at around Β£400 per month.

Both of these drop-tops come with alloys, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and cruise control; beyond that their specifications are surprisingly miserly. You need to pay extra for automatic lights and wipers, metallic paint and climate control. Mercedes charges Β£250 for Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, but this isn’t available on the TT.

The small rear screens on both cars badly restrict rear visibility, so we’d certainly suggest adding a reversing camera or parking sensors. Audi charges Β£430 for rear sensors alone, while Mercedes bundles them in a package with front sensors and a self-parking system for Β£675.

Only the TT has been crash tested by Euro NCAP, scoring four stars out of a possible five. Both cars come with six airbags, but you also get automatic emergency braking on the SLC. Disappointingly, this isn’t available as on option on the TT.

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