What's the used Audi TT sports like?
Remember that kid at school who was annoyingly good at everything? Top marks, brilliant at sports, the lead role in the school play and even a musical virtuoso? Well, that rather sums up what the Audi TT Roadster is like.
Of course, mention a TT and lots of people will think immediately of the first-generation model, which became famous for its wonderfully geometric looks, beautiful interior and ultra-trendiness.
This third-generation model is a natural evolution of that first groundbreaking car – one that is arguably less distinctive now that the rest of the world’s caught up, but which still looks stylish and feels just as high-quality – if not more so – than the original.
There’s a wide selection of engines available in this drop-top version, ranging from the cheapest 178bhp 1.8-litre turbo, right up to a potent 306bhp 2.0-litre turbo in the TT S; there’s even a 181bhp 2.0-litre diesel variant, should you wish to combine open-air motoring with high-mile fuel economy. The most popular engine of the lot, though, is the 227bhp 2.0-litre turbo, which offers a splendid balance of power and efficiency.
All but the most powerful of these engines can be teamed with your choice of three 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 gets sat-nav or climate control as standard; you have to pay extra for those.
Whichever engine you plump for, you’ll find the TT is a delight to drive. The steering is crisp and precise, there’s plenty of grip and there isn’t a hint of lean from the body unless you really grab it by the scruff of the neck and throw it around. What’s more, if you choose one of the quattro four-wheel-drive models, you get immense traction away from the line, especially in more slippery conditions. True, the TT isn’t quite as exciting to drive as a Porsche Boxster, but it’s still great fun and very rewarding.
Yet, for all its poise, the TT still manages to ride extremely well. It’s as firm as you’d expect from a sports car but never uncomfortable, making it perfectly usable both around town and on longer journeys. Of course, you get a little more wind and road noise than you would with the folding hard top of the BMW Z4, but not so much that it becomes intrusive.
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 TFT 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.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Audi TT sports?
Most Audi TT Roadsters won’t have been driven too hard, but the odd few will have been, so watch out for examples that feel slack to drive, with knocking or otherwise noisy suspension, squeaky brakes, a clutch that bites high up the travel of the pedal or manual examples with an imprecise gearchange.
Also be sure to check all the alloy wheels carefully for kerb marks. Light grazes aren’t too much to worry about, but more significant damage or chunks taken out of a wheel suggest it’s hit a kerb quite hard, and that could cause damage to the suspension and require expensive repairs.
What are the most common problems with a used Audi TT sports?
There have been quite a few reports of TTs suffering from water leaks, usually caused by the drainage tubes for the roof blocking up and overflowing. These can lead to flooding inside the car that, if severe enough, can cause serious problems with the electrics. It’s therefore imperative to check for signs of water in the car; this could include damp carpets or upholstery, or water stains on the carpets or seats. It’s also vital to check that all the electrics work as they should – including the infotainment system.
Some owners have also reported rattles and squeaks from some parts of the interior trim, so make sure you drive the car you’re thinking of buying with the radio off and the roof up to listen out for any such issues.
The fuel tank could be damaged in the event of a collision, the fuel tank can be damaged on examples manufactured between 29 April 2014 and 24 May 2019. Find out from your local Audi dealer if your example is affected because it'll need to have a shield installed between the bracket and the tank itself to prevent it from being damaged.
Is a used Audi TT sports reliable?
Reported problems are few, although it should be noted that the previous model got a below-average overall score for reliability.
However, in our most recent reliability survey, this present TT finished first in the coupe class, with most reported faults being minor and relating to interior trim and non-engine electricals. Most cars were fixed in less than a week.
Audi as a brand finished in a disappointing 18th place out of 30 manufacturers in the same survey.
If you would like to see the full reliability list, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.
What used Audi TT sports will I get for my budget?
Prices for the third-generation Audi TT Roadster currently start at around £15,000 for something with lots of miles or previous history of accident damage. Up the money to around £16,000 and you should find a clean 2016 or 2017 model bought from a franchised dealer. Expect to spend about £20,000 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 car, or a little more on a 2021 model. Four-wheel-drive ‘quattro’ versions carry a slight premium over two-wheel drive examples.
Check the value of a used Audi TT with What Car? Valuations
How much does it cost to run a Audi TT sports?
By the standards of a two-seat sports car, very little, actually. Every version of the TT offers either competitive or class-leading fuel consumption figures; the cheapest 1.8 unit, in particular, looks very efficient.
As you’d expect, TTs are cheap to tax, too. Examples registered after 1 April 2017 will all cost £155 a year to 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 £335 surcharge applies.
Cars registered before 1 April 2017, under the old tax regime, are generally quite affordable; even the 2.0 turbo shouldn’t set you back more than £155 a year, while diesel versions can be taxed for as little as £124 a year.
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.
Which used Audi TT sports should I buy?
Keep it simple – that’s our advice. As a new buy, we prefer the 1.8 engine, but it’s easier to find the 2.0 version second hand since there are more examples around. It’s also barely any less fuel efficient and is both faster and more fun, so it’s the one we’d go for if we were buying used.
Pair that with entry-level Sport trim and you’ll have the best of the Audi TT range.
Our favourite Audi TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI Sport
What alternatives should I consider to a used Audi TT sports?
If what you really want is an out-and-out sports car, then you’d have to go for the Porsche Boxster. Trouble is, it’s a heck of a lot more expensive to buy, meaning you’ll have to settle for an older, higher-mileage example for a similar budget.
The BMW Z4 is a little more sedate, meanwhile, and not quite as crisp or taut as the TT to drive. Nevertheless, it’s priced quite low, so it's worth a look as a value option.
Also worth a look is the Abarth 124 Spider. It's smaller and a little more hardcore than the TT, but the interior's almost as smart, so if you want a sportier option on a budget, it could be the one for you.