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Audi TT Mk1: Buying guide and review (1998-2006)

Audi TT Mk1: Buying guide and review (1998-2006) Classic and Performance Car
Audi TT Mk1 Audi TT Mk1 Audi TT Mk1 Audi TT Mk1 Audi TT V6 Mk1 Audi TT Sport Mk1 Audi TT Mk1 interior
When Audi first unveiled the Audi TT concept car in the mid-1990s, nobody ever thought that the production car could look as brave or forward thinking. How wrong they were. Even today, more than 20 years after the design study was first seen, the Mk1 Audi TT still looks absolutely stunning. Some would say evem better than it’s successors. 
 
So what if you’re already sold on the looks? The TT is not only gorgeous, but is also surprisingly practical, and as a two-seater its one of the most usable on the market. And that counts for the convertible or ‘hatchback’ coupe. Thanks to many of the car’s the mechanical components being shared with other Volkswagen Group cars, there is plenty of specialist knowledge around, meaning you are generally well catered for when it comes to affordable servicing. A lot of the basic servicing can also be carried out at home.
 
If you’re looking for a sportscar that you can use all year round, none is better than the TT, with its four-wheel drive security for most editions, relative practicality (especially in coupé form) and a full suite of safety systems. But if you want something for summer drives out only, the TT can deliver thrills aplenty, with even the 1.8T engine capable of providing a decent turn of speed.
 
Which one to buy?
 
The TT’s ubiquity means values are low, so abused cars are far from a rarity. There are loads of really good TTs to choose from though, so you don’t have to settle for anything ropey.
The vast majority of UK Audi TTs feature the excellent quattro four-wheel drive transmission, which is generally reliable and makes TT unstoppable in wet weather conditions. You might find the odd front-wheel drive ‘150’ Roadster (although these are rare), and there were some FWD coupés built for Europe too, so keep an eye out if you’re looking at a left-hand drive import for any reason.
 
The most valueable mk1 TT today is the limited edition Sport model. Thanks to an uprated version of the 1.8-litre turbo engine, and a stripped out interior dropping 75kg, it’s the most focused of all the Mk1 TTs. Only available as as a coupe, Recaro seats, a rear strut brace and sportier suspension also mark it out as something very special. It’s also 75kg lighter and comes as a two-seater only (the rear seats are removed). 
 
If you like your sportscar with a slightly more sonorous exhaust note, then the 3.2-litre V6 might be a good option. Although this version is costlier to run, it does offer something a bit more special. This was also one of the first cars to use the dual-clutch DSG transmission, although the manual is generally considered to be the sweeter car. 
 
For most, the value offered by a standard TT 1.8T with a manual gearbox is enough to win any argument. A Roadster is fine for everyday use too if you don’t need to cart lots of stuff about, but it does come with two seats only. The Coupé has occasional rear seats but they’re for children only.
 
Performance and specs
 
Audi TT Sport
Engine 1781cc, in-line four-cylinder turbo
Power 237bhp @ 5700rpm
Torque 236lb ft @ 2300rpm
Top speed 155mph
0-60mph 5.9sec
Fuel consumption 28mpg
Gearbox Six-speed manual
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2429mm
Length 4041mm
Width 1764mm
Height 1343mm
Kerb weight 1390kg
 
Common problems
 
• Any rusty TT has almost certainly been crashed then poorly repaired. These cars were galvanised from the factory. There may be signs of corrosion on the underside of high-mileage cars that have been driven through the UK’s many harsh (and salt-ridden) winters though. 

• Good news if you want to repair a damaged TT is that most of the body panels are readily available, and at the front at least, bolt straight on. Sills are tricky, as they were screwed and glued onto the car at the factory. Rear wing panels are also difficult to align.

• The 1.8T engine is well-known among specialists, and will regularly go on for more than 200,000 miles if it’s properly looked after. Oil changes should be carried out every 10,000 miles or at least annually. Variable servicing intervals should really be ignored today.

• Always ask to see proof of the last cam belt change. This should be done every 60,000 miles (although Audi originally recommended 80,000). This should include tensioners and water pump at the same time. 

• Any misfires or hesitation from the engine can usually be traced to a duff air mass sensor, or failing ignition coil packs.

• The 3.2 V6 has a timing chain, which has been known to rattle from around the 40,000mile mark. This is bad news, because the engine will have to be removed to replace the chain and tensioners, which have most likely worn. A session on a diagnostics machine will reveal any problems. 

• Manual gearboxes are generally bulletproof, with clutches lasting between 50-100,000 miles, depending on driving style.

• DSG ‘boxes aren’t as reliable. An illuminated or flashing red gear indicator on the dashboard means that there is trouble ahead. Again, diagnostics will reveal the fault.

• Problems are generally limited to the Mechatronic control unit, which fails and causes jerky gearchanges and an occasional lack of drive. New or reconditioned Mechatronic units are available.

• The quattro drivetrain is generally very reliable, and it’s a haldex-based system used across a multitude of cars. Problems are generally limited to the electronic side of the system, with a dead control unit the cause of most faults. The Haldex unit also needs its oil replacing every 20,000 miles, something that is often neglected in cars not looked after by a specialist.  

• The suspension bushes all wear out, and will probably need replacing if not already done by now. Springs and dampers also take quite a pounding – especially if the car has been driven over speed bumps regularly. Check the anti-roll bar links, as they also corrode and eventually snap.

• Some find the TT underbraked, perhaps due to the car’s ample weight. There are plenty of aftermarket options out there, with harder front pads a popular option. A Brembo upgrade is the best option for improved feel and power, while some choose the cheaper option of V6 calipers.
 
Model history
 
1995: TT concept debuts; two  months later the open-topped TTS is shown. 
1998: TT enters production in LHD form. None of these cars officially come to the UK – some are personally imported though. 
1999: TT Coupé introduced in the UK in February, in 178bhp (TT 180) and 222bhp (TT 225) forms, with standard quattro 4WD. TT Roadster appears in August, mechanically as coupé. 2000: TT 180 gets six-speed gearbox from September.
2001: TT 225 S line edition launched in July, with 7.5x18 spoked alloys and lowered sports suspension. 
2002: From January all TTs get S line equipment levels. 
2003: TT 150 Roadster debuts in March, with 148bhp 1.8T engine and FWD. A 3.2 V6 Coupé and Roadster arrive in July, with DSG only. Four-cylinder TTs get DSG auto option too. 
2004: TT 3.2 V6 gets six-speed manual option from January. 
2005: TT 150 is boosted to 161bhp in September; TT 180 gets a power increase to 187bhp.
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.audiownersclub.com
• www.ttforum.co.uk
• www.ttoc.co.uk
 
Summary and prices
 
As a modern classic, values of the TT have never been cheaper, and due to the number of cars still on the road are likely to remain low for some time. Early 1.8 Turbo models are the cheapest, starting from around £1500. Projects can even be found for less than this. You’ll need closer to £3500 for car in healthy running order, but there is still a significant premium on clean and low mileage cars, which can go for £6500. Convertible models are worth slightly more. V6 examples generally sell for between £3000-£6500. 
 
Quattro Sport models are rare, and are the most valuable of all mk1 TTs. They start from around £4000, but are considered to be quite collectable, meaning low mileage example still sell for more than £10,000. 
Audi TT Mk1 Audi TT Mk1 Audi TT Mk1 Audi TT Mk1 Audi TT V6 Mk1 Audi TT Sport Mk1 Audi TT Mk1 interior
Last updated: 3rd Mar 2016
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Audi TT cars for sale

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Audi TT
3995 33990 GBP
  • Audi TT

    £8,800 £8,800

    One owner from new, Full Audi main dealer service history, Two remote keys, Full Black Leather Interior, Air Conditioning, 17'' Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels, Six Speed Gearbox , ISOFIX Fittings , Multi-function steering wheel, Front Fog Lights, Power Steering, Front and rear electric windows, Remote Central Locking, Electric Mirrors, Front Air Bags With De-activation Switch , Side Air Bags, Folding Rear Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Adjustable Steering Column, Excellent condition throughout ** All our cars are AA approved **

    • Mileage: 108000 mi
    • Engine size: 1798
    For sale
    Fareham Car Sales Ltd
  • Audi TT

    £13,000 £13,000

    Half Leather, Alcantara Leather, Electric Convertible Roof, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Power Steering, Electric Windows, ABS, Traction Control, Electric Mirrors, CD Player, Radio, Colour Coded Body, Multiple Airbags, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Remote Central Locking, Height Adjustable Seat, Adjustable Steering Column, UK Specification, UK Supplied, 17'' Alloys, Full main dealer service history Very low mileage Full Audi service history, Electric Convertible Roof. This Vehicle is available to view at any one of our RAC Approved branches. For more information and to arrange a test drive please contact the Bishops Stortford branch on 01279 656000 or alternatively Kings Langley on 01923 270000. Part exchange welcome, Finance available regardless of your credit rating, all our cars are Hpi checked and are supplied with upto 3 years RAC Platinum Warranty and RAC GAP Insurance Available, We are a private company with over 30 years experience within the motor trade. Situated in Bishop's Stortford only 15 mins from JCT 27 on the M25 or 5 mins from JCT 8 on the M11 all of our cars are hpi checked and come with a comprehensive warranty., www.totallytradedirect.co.uk

    • Mileage: 22000 mi
    • Engine size: 1798
    For sale
  • Audi TT

    £3,995 £3,995

    Climate Control, Full Leather, Xenon Headlamps, Alarm, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Remote Central Locking, Head Restraints, Height Adjustable Seat, Sports Seats, Adjustable Steering Column, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, ABS, Brake Assist, Twin Air Bags, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Rear Spoiler, Electric Front Windows, Electric Mirrors, Bose, CD Player, Radio, Sports Suspension, UK Specification, 17'' Alloys, Full service history Audi TT Quattro Coupe 1.8 (6), Full Service History, Locally Owned & Genuine Mileage Of 121,700 with 17'' Alloys, Full Valcona Leather Upholstery, Xenon Head Lights, Ultrasonic Alarm, Permanent 4 Wheel Drive & Bose Sound System. Great Value Coupe

    • Mileage: 121700 mi
    • Engine size: 1781
    For sale
  • Audi TT

    £16,495 £16,495

    Variant name:Diesel Coupe S Line ,Derivative:S Line ,Variant: 2.0 TDI quattro S-Line (170PS) Audi TT Coupe 2.0 TDI quattro S-line (170PS) finished in Phantom Black, pearl effect. Specification includes Audi exclusive iPod preparation, cruise control, Audi exclusive cast Aluminium alloy wheels - 5-spoke design, sports front seats, Symphony radio, headlight washers, preparation for mobile phone (bluetooth), alcantara perforated/leather with embossed s line logo in t, s line exterior package, xenon Plus including headlight washer system, SE package for united kingdom, sound package for united kingdom, s line sports package, s line sports suspension, leather-covered multifunction sports steering wheel - 3-spo, reinforced bumpers, seat heating for front seats, windshield in heat-insulating glass withsunshield and viewi, inlays - matt brushed Aluminium, exterior mirrors - electrically adjustable/folding/heated w, tyre pressure monitoring display, rear parking aid, automatic headlight-range adjustment dynamic (self-adjustin, BOSE surround sound and lights styling package.

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 29594 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • Audi TT

    £28,500 £28,500

    Variant name:TFSI QUATTRO SPORT ,Derivative:TFSI QUATTRO SPORT ,Variant: 2.0 T FSI (230 PS) quattro Sport S Tronic

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 950 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • Audi TT 2004

    £6,995 £6,995

    Great colour combination - silver with grey leather, Lady owner for the last 5 years, Great as a retirement toy to attend summer cream tea and SAGA events on Sunday afternoons....Hence i have SORN during winter months - Previous MOT certificates - No advisories - TLC overload - drives like a dream   Private sale

    • Mileage: 72000 mi
    • Engine size: 1781
    For sale
  • Audi TT RS ON SALE NOW

    £31,995 £31,995

    Audi TTRS S-Tronic presented in Suzuka Grey comes with a full Audi history and the following specifcation; black Nappa leather with white stitch, heated seats, multi-function flat bottom steering wheel, climate control, Audi Navigation Plus, bluetooth phone connectivity, Bose sound, cruise control, privacy glass, rear park assist, stage two remap 442BHP with printout, Forge intercooler, MSS lowering kit, switchable sports exhaust, automatic Xenon headlights, rain sensor and 19" Five Arm Rotors with green brake calipers. Part exchange welcome, competitive finance available. Viewings welcome by appointment only. Body: Convertible Transmission: Automatic Mileage: 30,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2014 (14) Doors: 2 Engine Size: 2.5 Finished in: Suzuka Grey

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 30000 mi
    For sale
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