What's the used Audi TT coupe like?
Although it’s not always true that things improve with age, the Audi TT seems to prove that some cars actually do. It’s been consistently ahead of its rivals for many years now and is a serial winner of many of our group tests and new and used car awards.
Its continued success is not surprising. It has a great range of engines to suit all budgets and tastes, maintains a level of practicality often missing in coupés, and you can pick an early one for significantly less than it was new and nobody would know the difference because the styling has barely altered since this generation first arrived in 2014. There's even an open-top version, too, called the Audi TT Roadster.
The TT’s all-turbocharged engine range is pretty straightforward. Initially, the TT came with a 178bhp 1.8 TFSI petrol engine, a 227bhp 2.0 TFSI petrol (306bhp in the TTS), a 395bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol exclusive to the TT RS, or a 181bhp 2.0 TDI diesel with or without four-wheel drive. In 2019 the range was updated, with the diesel being dropped and a new nomenclature introduced. Now, the line-up consists of three 2.0-litre petrols – one with 194bhp badged as 40 TFSI, another with 241bhp called 45 TFSI, with the TTS name remaining but with a drop in output to 302bhp. The TT RS carried on much as before.
Trims for the standard models are either Sport or sporty S line. Sport gets air-con, Alcantara seats, xenon headlights, Bluetooth and a DAB radio. S line adds LED headlights. Whichever trim you find, try to find a car that’s had climate control, front parking sensors or sat-nav added, as these were optional when new.
This third-gen car merely builds on the sound foundations established by the first two: it’s amazingly agile, with some strong engine options, and is fast in a straight line and quick in corners. It’s easy to drive, too, and refined at low speeds, and the whole car feels solid and durable; indeed, it’s the classy feel of the TT that really separates it from its nearest rivals.
Of the earlier engine options, even the smallest 1.8 TFSI engine has very lively performance and is great value for money. The next one up, the 2.0-litre TFSI, provides a great blend of effortless performance, refinement and economy, being able to crack the 0-60mph sprint in less than 6.0sec. The higher-powered 2.0-litre TFSI engine in the TTS is a belter, but it’s pricey to buy and run. The TT RS gives truly sensational performance – think 0-60mph in 3.7sec – but it's actually very heavy for what it is and isn't much fun in the corners. Alternatively, the 2.0 TDI engine is punchy, economical and surprisingly refined, and makes a good used buy.
Its interior has a high-tech and user-friendly layout, even if it doesn’t seem quite as ground-breaking now as the original TT’s did back in 1999, and it’s made from sumptuous materials that wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury car.
It’s even pretty practical with plenty of space for those up front and a decent number of storage cubbies. Adults won't be able to fit in the back without those in front moving their seats forward and even then, they won't be able to sit up straight due to the low roofline. The boot, however, is easy to access boot via a large rear hatch door and the back seats fold flat to increase capacity.
What used Audi TT coupe will I get for my budget?
Prices for the third-generation Audi TT currently start at around £10,000 for something with lots of miles or previous history of accident damage. Up the money to around £14,000 and you should find a clean 2016 or 2017 model bought from a franchised dealer. Expect to spend about £18,000 to £25,000 on a good 2018 or 2019 TT with minimal mileage bought from a main dealer and between £22,000 and £28,000 on a 2020 or 2021 model. Four-wheel-drive ‘quattro’ versions carry a slight premium over two-wheel drive examples.
Nearly new 2023 TT models tend to go for upwards of £30,000.
Check the value of a used Audi TT with What Car? Valuations
How much does it cost to run a Audi TT coupe?
The 1.8-litre TFSI engine is the entry-level petrol unit in the TT and combines excellent performance with an average claimed fuel consumption of 47.1mpg, according to the older NEDC tests. The 2.0-litre TFSI engine is not that far behind it, or at least the 230 version of it; the more powerful 2.0 TFSI 310 model is super-quick but not terribly efficient, and the same can be said for the 2.5-litre in the storming TT RS.
In later form, the 40 TFSI claims an official 46.3mpg, according to the later WLTP test, and the 45 TFSI does 43.5mpg.
For the economy-minded, there is a 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine available. This provides good performance with an excellent claimed average fuel consumption figure of 60.1mpg NEDC.
Annual road tax (VED) will be based on CO2 emissions levels for cars registered before April 2017, while those registered after that date will be charged at the current flat rate. Beware though – if your TT cost over £40,000 new it will be charged a supplementary luxury car tax that is charged for five years between the second year and sixth years of the vehicle's age, then it goes back to the flat rate fee. The current fee is £180 per year and the luxury tax is £390 per year.
Servicing and insurance
Considering the sporty nature of the car, the insurance groupings are reasonable – generally they waver around 35 to 45 (out of 50). Servicing costs are reasonable, too, and you can opt for Audi fixed price servicing for cars over three years old. At the time of writing, a regular TT with an engine of 2.0-litres or smaller costs £200 for an interim service and £345 for a major one, while the TT RS is the most costly at £260 and £395.
Make sure that if you're buying an TT equipped with an S Tronic automatic gearbox that the fluid has been changed at the recommended 38,000 mile limit, otherwise you could be looking at an expensive gearbox replacement in the future.
Which used Audi TT coupe should I buy?
Our favourite engine is the 2.0-litre TFSI with 227bhp. This provides a great blend of effortless performance, refinement and economy.
Sport is our favourite trim, but try to find a car that’s had climate control, front parking sensors or sat-nav added, as these were optional when new.
Our favourite Audi TT: 2.0 TFSI Sport
What alternatives should I consider to a used Audi TT coupe?
In many ways, the TT is in a class of its own, but over the years there have been many contenders for the crown.
The BMW 2 Series Coupé rides and handles well, and even has a punchy and economical diesel in the 220d version. It’s a larger car than the TT and, as a result, feels – especially in its entry-level forms – slightly less agile and responsive. The flip side is that its rear-seat accommodation is much better than the TT’s.
The old Seat Leon SC is a very impressive car and behind its sober-suited appearance hides a surprisingly sporty car. It’s quick, agile, economical and excellent value for money, especially as a used buy. There’s also plenty of space for people and luggage. It doesn’t have the low-down sporty feel of the TT, however, and it can’t match the TT’s smart interior.
It’s worth considering the Toyota GT86 and its near-identical sibling, the Subaru BRZ, too. These are low-slung, rear-wheel-drive coupés and share with the TT its minimal rear seating. First and foremost, they are about driving pleasure, with handling ranking above everything, especially comfort. They are relatively cheap and tremendous fun to drive, if not quite as refined as the TT.
In some ways, the Peugeot RCZ was the car that most fitted the TT’s distinctive silhouette. A low, tight-fitting two plus two, the RCZ's base models were never really that exciting to drive. The RCZ R, a high-performance variant, was more exciting, but its relatively expensive price tag rules it out as a direct competition for all but the TT RS.