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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 2.0 TDI quattro Black Edition

    £11,000 £11,000

    Type: Used Year: 2011 Make: AUDI Model: TT Trim: 2.0 TDI quattro Black Edition Body: Coupe Trans: Manual Mileage: 68500 Engine Size: 1968 Ext Color: Blue

    • Mileage: 68500 mi
    • Engine size: 1968
    For sale
    £11,000 £11,000
    West Way Nissan Birmingham South
    01215147424 View contact number
  • Audi TT sport TFSI 211 BHP PERFECT condition 62 plate LOW MILAGE

    £7,199 £7,199

    up for reluctant sale is my very nice audi tt sports tfsi which is in stunning condition inside and out, has a genuine low 24k on clock, mot till November, has no mechanical problems and is fully HPI clear, , lovely black leather, semi auto gearbox, has all the extras you would expect, i have all the paperwork present, full logbook and 3 keys present, this is just a quick write up so i have probably missed a few bits, feel free to call any time with any questions, i have priced it fairly cheap due to wanting a quick cash sale any inspection welcome, genuine reason for sale 

    • Mileage: 24000 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    £7,199 £7,199
  • Audi Tt 2006

    £2,800 £2,800

    Audi TT mk1 2006 full mot till jan 2019  Part service history 102k miles 3 previous owners including myself  never had any major issues with it   

    • Engine size: 1781
    For sale
    £2,800 £2,800
  • Audi TT 2.0tdi S-Line **SAT NAV**

    £7,995 £7,995

    Audi TT Quattro 2.0 TDI S-Line (170)In ‘Brilliant Black’2010, 3 Door, Manual107k miles. * MOT: 05/05/2018 with NO advisories * Full Service history (Mostly done by Audi dealer) *Remote Central locking *Electric windows with full closure*Electric heated mirrors *Leather & suede interior *S-Line embossed seats*S-Line Flat bottom steering wheel*18" Alloy wheels with nearly new tyres all round*Rear parking sensors*Climate control *Power isted steering *Electronic stability program (ESP)*Satellite navigation *Audi Bluetooth handsfree system*CD player MP3 with AUX socket*Electronically retractable spoiler*Alarm & Immobiliser*Front fog lights *Isofix seat anchor points *4 Wheel drive Quattro*Multiple airbags *Audi safety & first aid kit 9 service stamps with last service just been completed in April 2017 by Audi costing £853 Cambelt, water pump and Haldex pump replaced Sep 2015 by Audi costing £1,163 Starts & drives perfectly, Clutch and 6 speed gearbox is nice and smooth.Bodywork and interior is in good condition.Brakes are good all round. Engine pulls as it should and has amazing power delivery. All electrics work as they should. 2 Full remote key fobs, V5 log book, Service book & Receipts. Great on fuel (Ave 53 mpg)Cheap road tax £135 per year Any test drives/inspections welcome. (AA/RAC inspections also welcome) St Leonards on Sea (TN38)

    • Mileage: 107000 mi
    • Engine size: 1968
    For sale
    £7,995 £7,995
  • Audi TT

    £14,695 £14,695

    Black Edition, Bose Surround Sound, Privacy Glass, Bluetooth, Sports Seats, 6 cd Changer, iPod connection, Black Styling Package, Sports Suspension, LED Running Lights, Headlamp Wash, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Metallic Paintwork, 19'' Alloys, 4x4, Full service history We are delighted to offer for sale this stunning September 2013 63 reg Audi TT 2.0 TDi 170bhp S-Line Quattro Black Edition Coupe 6 speed manual finished in Phantom Black Pearl. This particular TT Quattro Black Edition really is a lovely example having had just two private owners from new and benefits from having two service visits carried out under the Audi long life service plan alongside an Audi multi point check when sold to the previous owner back in 2016. Fabulous specification with many additional factory options fitted, including: Black Edition Styling Package, rear park distance control, Audi Symphony stereo system with an integrated 6 cd changer and iPod connection. BOSE Surround Sound System, 19 inch anthracite 7 arm double spoke alloy wheels, privacy glass, factory Bluetooth telephone, S-Line Package, Sports suspension, Quattro all-wheel drive, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and headlamp wash, Climatronic air conditioning, fully adjustable S Line embossed Sports seats, flat bottomed 3 spoke Sports multi function leather steering wheel, anthracite headlining, short shift 6 speed manual gearbox, brushed aluminium laser interior trim, retractable rear spoiler, DIS Driver Information System with multi function display and on board info computer, multiple airbags with passenger airbag deactivation switch, over mats and supplied with 2x keys. A stunning example fitted with some lovely additional extras, viewing is without a doubt highly recommended. The

    • Mileage: 48000 mi
    • Engine size: 1968
    For sale
    £14,695 £14,695