Few cars have defined their sector of the market so well or for so long as the Audi TT.
In the coupe market this is THE car, the most searched for on used car websites and the most sought after on the forecourts. Find out what Motoring Journalist John Swift thinks about the second generation of this popular Audi.
Second generation Audi TT
It is perhaps the textbook case of how to take the mechanical base of a relatively humble hatchback – the VW Golf – and sprinkle stardust on it with a sleek two door body and a sports interior.
Done well, a coupe is a car for the head and the heart, one that is practical as well as exciting and we would argue that none have done it so well as the TT.
The car has been around since 1999 through three generations and has won too many awards in the used car industry to list here but the judges’ basis for their verdict are always the same. The Audi has the performance, the looks, brilliant interior and a reasonable boot, the brand image and reliable mechanicals.
Here we’re going to look at the second generation Audi TT model which came in 2006 and is instantly recognisable by its much sharper styling and a more flowing roofline replacing the slightly dumpy looks of the original and is a lot nicer to drive. Whatever else the first generation had in its favour, other coupes had much sharper handling.
It is available as either a hard top coupe or a soft top convertible, is powered by a choice of a 1.8 turbo (from 2012 models), a 2.0 litre four cylinder of 3.2 V6 petrol or a diesel (2.0 litre and 50-plus mpg) and front or four wheel drive, depending on the model. If you want the ultimate performance version go for the TT RS which gives a Porsche Cayman a good run for its money.
A budget of around £15,000 onwards should get you a good example with less than 50,000 miles. There are three trim levels and our choice would be for a 1.8 turbo or a 2.0 petrol in the mid-range S spec and with either the six-speed manual or semi-automatic gearbox which has a paddle shift behind the steering wheel for finger-tip changes.
Some versions have adjustable `magnetic ride’ suspension allowing you to stiffen the dampers but the standard set-up is just fine. One thing to be aware of is that many owners specified bigger alloy wheels and while they look good and fill the arches the low profile tyres don’t do a lot for the ride quality on our roads.
One of the TT’s big attractions is the interior and as you slide down behind the wheel you get an instant feel-good factor. The quality of the materials, the layout and the driving position put it several notches ahead of many price rivals and for a sports car it’s quite roomy. This is a 2+2 which means two front seats and two rears but in fairness, and as you would expect in a car like this, the ones in the rear are best used either for shopping or as a child-only zone. The S Line does have Isofix child seat anchor points included as standard. The hatchback lifts to reveal a decent sized boot space, especially with the back seats lowered when you have 700 litres to fill, helping the TT live up to its reputation as being a car for the head and the heart.
Running costs are reasonable. With sensible driving high-30 to 40 mpg should easily be on the cards, servicing costs are OK and you have to factor in that the TT has tiny depreciation and so looks after the money you’ve spent buying it.
Full service history and background check essential.
The TT has been recalled for gearbox and some electrical problems so make sure the fixes have been done.
Second generation Audi TT (2006 to 2015) has fantastic interior, excellent driving, good running costs, strong residuals.