When Audi pulled the TT out of the hat in 1998, it really was magic. Here was a car based on the contemporary Volkswagen Golf yet it could be considered in the same breath as Porsche and BMW sports cars. Much of this was down to the sensational looks of the TT, which the company has cleverly evolved and preserved over the subsequent generations.
Each new generation of TT has stuck to the same formula, refusing to become larger or more practical. This has helped the Audi retain a loyal following. It’s not stopped the German firm from broadening the range, though, and the TT Roadster adds open-top fun. There have also been TTS and TT RS versions to add more performance since the second-generation TT arrived in 2006.
As an all-round, everyday sport car, the Audi TT is hard to beat and easy to like.
If you want a sporting car with more than its fair share of style and good looks, the Audi TT is the car for you. In either coupe or roadster forms, it’s looks are backed up by a fine drive and classy cabin, and it’s also a very reliable car, so you can have your sporty fun any time you like.
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Early Audi TTs can suffer from their digital dashes losing pixels, which can be expensive to put right. Make sure the suspension of any TT is in fine fettle as any misalignment will spoil the way the car drives and your enjoyment of it.
The faster versions of the TT, such as the TTS and RS, can add significantly to the price you pay. Luckily, the more common petrol and diesel models are still swift and entertaining to drive yet are also very affordable when compared with many of their rivals from other premium makes.
The third-generation TT carries the flame for Audi’s sleek coupe and roadster range. It’s lighter, faster and more efficient than its predecessors, and it’s even better to drive. It also has Audi offers 1.8-, 2.0-, and contemporary 2.5-litre turbo petrol engines, as well as a 2.0-litre turbodiesel. In 2019, the names changed to reflect Audi’s new naming policy and changes in power outputs for the 2.0-litre petrols. The diesel was dropped in 2019.
£13,000 is starting money for the 2.0-litre petrol Coupe model of the Mk2 TT, while a Roadster convertible will cost a further £2000. Go for the TTS and you’ll shell out from £20,000, while the all-singing RS starts at £38,000 for either the coupe or drop-top.
Find a third-generation Audi TT with the 230hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and either the six-speed manual or DSG automatic gearbox and you’re on to a winner. It mixes superb performance with low running costs and a generous level of standard equipment.
There’s not a great deal to worry about with the third-generation of Audi TT. Look for signs of neglect such as scratches or scuffed leather interiors, and insist on a full service history with any car. Watch for tyre wear on the RS model as replacements are expensive.
On the surface, the second-generation Audi TT looks like a successful, if a little safely styled, update on the original. However, underneath the handsome skin of this coupe and roadster range lies a sophisticated and mostly aluminium base. This gives the Mk2 TT far better handling and the ability to cope with the added power of the TTS and TT RS models that arrived in 2009.
A high mileage, early Mk2 TT can be had for £3000, but a much safer option is a car with average miles on the clock from £4500. That gets you a 2.0-litre Coupe, while a Roadster will add £500 to the price tag. The TTS begins at £8500 and the supercar quick TT RS goes from £16,000
Audi offered the Mk2 TT with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines, a 3.2-litre V6, and the RS model’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine. The diesel is decently refined, frugal and punchy, but the 200hp petrol is more enjoyable. Quick as the RS is, the sweet spot in the second-generation TT range is the S model with its 270hp and standard all-wheel drive.
During the test drive, keep your ears open for any squeaks from the front brakes. This doesn’t affect the stopping power of the brakes, but it is annoying and can be tricky to solve. Also listen out for rattles from inside the cabin from loose trim, especially around the glovebox.
Jaws dropped and tongues wagged when the first Audi TT broke cover in 1998. Here was a radical sports coupe from a company more noted for its solid and sensible saloons and estates. Yet the TT invoked the spirit of the Quattro coupe from the 1980s with its all-wheel drive and focus on performance over practicality. Buyers loved it and the TT was an instant hit.
Due to the sheer number of first-generation TTs Audi sold when new, there are plenty on the used market. This means prices can start from as little as £1500 for a coupe or roadster. These cars will be a little frayed around the edges, so it’s wider to spend from £3000 on a car that’s been properly maintained and kept tidy.
Audi offered the first generation with two- and four-wheel drive, as well as with a variety of 1.8-litre turbocharged engines, plus a 3.2-litre V6. The V6 is quick but its DSG twin-clutch automatic gearbox is not the most reliable, so the best choice is the all-wheel drive coupe with manual gearbox and the 225hp engine for the most driving thrills.
Make sure the car feels planted and stable on the test drive as the suspension components wear with age and are expensive to replace if it all needs to be done. Engines are reliable, but watch for the DSG twin-clutch gearbox in the 3.2-litre model that can fail to select gears and is pricey to sort. Digital displays in the dash lose pixels but can be fixed.
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