What's the used Audi TT sports like?
Remember that kid at school who was annoyingly good at everything, like a Usain Bolt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Albert Einstein rolled into one? Well, you might experience some déjà vu when reading about the Audi TT Roadster.
This is the third-generation model, following on from the 2006-2014 Audi TT Roadster and 1999-2006 Audi TT Roadster. As well as the convertible version we're focusing on here, the TT is also available as a coupé, simply known as the Audi TT.
Engines & Performance: There's a lot of engines to choose from, ranging from a 178bhp 1.8-litre petrol to a 242bhp 2.0-litre petrol – that's discounting the 306bhp (upped to 316bhp for 2021) 2.0-litre petrol in the TT S and the 395bhp 2.5-litre petrol in the Audi TT RS. A 181bhp 2.0-litre diesel option is also available, if you must.
Even that entry-level petrol provides good performance, with 0-62mph taking 7.0sec. There is a 227bhp 2.0-litre petrol that'll scare hot hatches with its 6.2sec time, while the S does it in 4.5sec and the RS in 3.8sec, making them seriously quick.
Ride & Handling: Under the skin, the TT Roadster (and TT coupé) is essentially a highly modified 2013-2020 Audi A3 and, as a result, the model is either front or four-wheel drive, the latter being given given the 'Quattro' name.
Whichever version you choose, the TT excels in corners, feeling taught, precise and light on its feet. It's good fun, with plenty of grip – more so the four-wheel-drivers – and composure to give you confidence. Slow steering stunts agility to a certain extent, but there's little else to fault.
True, some keen drivers will remain unsatisfied and understandably so, because even the S and RS lack a final ounce of driver engagement – the more old-school, rear-wheel-drive kind present in the rival Mazda MX-5 and Toyota GT86/Toyota GR86. Just know you won't see the TT's effortless performance from those models – you'll need to rev out their engines to get the best from them. They're a step down in luxury, too. An excellent compromise is the Porsche Boxster, but you'll need a sizeable budget to acquire one of those.
The TT's ride is another feather in its cap. It’s as firm as you’d expect from a sports car, but you'd struggle to call it uncomfortable, making it perfectly usable both around town and on longer journeys. Of course, you'll be dealing with more wind and road noise than the vast majority of coupés, but that's to be expected of this kind of car.
Interior & Practicality: Inside, there’s the sort of beautiful interior we’ve come to expect from a TT. Large, round vents house the heating controls; there’s no central screen, because everything’s controlled using the beautiful Virtual Cockpit display – a huge screen located where you’d normally find the dials that can be customised to give you all the information you want to see.
It works beautifully and is easy to find your way around; the same goes for the rest of the interior, which is very well laid out and feels top notch in terms of quality. What’s more, there’s plenty of space for two people, a decent amount of space for their oddments and one of the largest boots you’ll find in any two-seat drop-top. It all adds up to a great all-round package.
Trims & Equipment: All but the most powerful of these engines can be teamed with your choice of three main trims. Sport is the most basic but still gets air conditioning, part-Alcantara seats and xenon headlights. S line, meanwhile, adds automatic LED headlights, automatic wipers, bigger wheels and a more aggressive bodykit, while Black Edition adds, as its name suggests, black styling accents. The TT S, meanwhile, features adaptive suspension, heated front seats and leather upholstery. Keep in mind, though, that none of these models got sat-nav or climate control as standard; original owners had to pay extra for those.
What used Audi TT sports will I get for my budget?
Prices for the third-generation Audi TT Roadster currently start at around £10,000 for one 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 £20,000 to £24,000 on a good 2018 or 2019 TT with minimal mileage bought from a main dealer and between £24,000 and £28,000 on a 2020 car, or a little more on a 2021 model. Four-wheel-drive ‘quattro’ versions carry a slight premium over two-wheel drive examples.
The TT S starts at around £18,000, while the RS shoots up to around £30,000.
Check the value of a used Audi TT with What Car? Valuations
How much does it cost to run a Audi TT sports?
MPG: Every version of the TT offers either competitive or class-leading fuel consumption figures, with the cheapest 1.8-litre petrol unit, in particular, being very efficient: officially, it'll average 46.3mpg.
Road tax: TTs are cheap to tax, too. Examples registered after 1 April 2017 will all cost £180 per year in road tax, unless they cost more than £40,000 when new (a caveat reserved only for high-end versions or cars laden with options), in which case a £390 surcharge applies for year's two to six of the car's life.
Examples registered before 1 April 2017 will be under the old tax regime, meaning they're generally quite affordable; even the 2.0 turbo shouldn’t set you back more than £200 per year, while diesel versions can be taxed for as little as £35 per year.
Insurance and servicing: Audi servicing is more expensive than more mainstream manufacturers’, but among the TT’s rivals it should actually work out one of the cheapest. What’s more, when your TT hits three years old, it’ll be eligible for Audi’s fixed-price service scheme for older cars – prices for which are very competitive.
Insurance groups vary depending on your chosen engine and trim, ranging from the low 30s (out of 50) for entry-level cars to low 40s for RS models.
Which used Audi TT sports should I buy?
Although the 1.8-litre petrol engine is great, 2.0-litre petrol cars are much more common and available for the same price. The 2.0 (of which our favourite is the punchy 227bhp variant) is barely any less fuel efficient than the 1.8, plus it's both quicker and more fun to drive. It’s the one we’d go for.
Pair that with entry-level Sport trim and you’ll have an amazing bargain on your hands.
Our favourite Audi TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI Sport
What alternatives should I consider to a used Audi TT sports?
The BMW Z4 is a little more sedate, meanwhile, and not quite as crisp or taut as the TT to drive. Nevertheless, its prices are attractive and if you like the design, it's worth a good look.
As we mentioned, the TT isn't an old-school sports car, so you should turn to the Mazda MX-5 and (coupé-only) Toyota GT86/Toyota GR86 if rear-wheel drive, satisfying manual gearboxes and truly engaging handling is your thing. The Abarth 124 Spider is a similar proposition, too.