What is the Audi TT (Mk2)?
Once the must-have coupé, the original TT was a hot fashion object with its German military helmet-looks, and the second-generation sportster still enjoys a strong following even if it is less striking as the first.
It’s also popular as a Roadster. The second generation TT is better finished, better equipped than the first and better to drive, too particularly since model updates in 2010. The 2.0 TDI diesel is the most sensible choice, and Quattro four-wheel drive is an option but if you’re buying this car for a bit of measured frivolity, the front-wheel drive is faster and more fun.
The good news is that there’s no need buy higher up the range because weirdly, the more money you spend on a TT, the less impressive it gets. And that’s especially true of the speedy — and speedily disappointing — TT RS.
Alternatives include the equally distinctive VW Scirocco from the same Volkswagen Group stable (both cars are derived from the VW Golf), the gruffer Nissan 370Z, the more practical BMW 1-series coupé, the doppelganger similar Peugeot RCZ and the superb Porsche Cayman. Roadster rivals include the BMW Z4 and 1-series, the Mercedes SLK, the Mini Roadster, the Nissan 370Z and against the RS Roadster, Porsche’s distinctly superior Boxster. TT prices range from £24,075 to £47,840 for the RS Convertible.
The TT range starts with a 1.8 petrol, but for the best mix of performance and economy you need the 2.0 TFSI, whose frisky 211bhp makes for an entertaining open road drive. The TT is not quite as accomplished as Porsche’s pricier Cayman, but it costs usefully less and provides the same low-slung seating and racy cockpit ambience.
It’s also easy to drive, and provides pleasure simply with its satisfyingly high-precision finish. For the most part it has the manners to match, although the TT turns slightly noisy at a high-speed cruise, the source mainly tyre roar. Those living in snow-threatened zones might opt for the all-wheel-drive quattro, which trades a little nimbleness for superb stability in testing conditions.
The diesel is brisk but not so much fun, although the possibility of over 50mpg certainly appeals. The TT RS ought to be brilliant, its 3.2-litre V6 delivering memorable performance, but its crude road manners undo the engine’s good work. The intermediate TTS, with 286bhp, is better, but the 211bhp makes the best all-rounder. The Roadster trades cabin space for a folding roof — it has no rear seats — but is just as satisfying a drive with the lower-powered engines.
The original TT not only scored wows with its exterior but its high-class interior, too, and this second-generation version successfully adds to that with a cabin so finely furnished that you’ll wish Audi made high-end furniture. A get-to-it driving position and decent visibility help too.
The TT’s interior finish is excellent, and there’s scope for customising the cabin with two-tone colour schemes to impress — or startle — your friends.
The coupé provides quite a spacious cabin if you regard its rear seats as extra luggage space, but the Roadster is less practical, having only two seats. Accept this, however, and it’s no less convenient or easy to live with.
What to look out for when buying a used Audi TT M2
This TT is well built and scores well on MoT pass rates, but the rear hatch collects water in wet weather and it can pour onto the rear seats when it is opened, so watch out for signs of water damage inside. Owners with the DSG and S-matic transmissions have reported software glitches that could cause car to shut off shortly after releasing the brakes, which is a problem when pulling away from junctions. TTs fitted with 2.0 TDI engine have been recalled for problems with the fuel injectors, so check service history to make sure the work was carried out. Problems with the steering rack rattling and whining have also been reported. As always, take the car for a test drive before buying.
The one to buy
Audi TT 2.0 TFSI
- 1984cc, in-line petrol turbo four
- 211bhp @ 4300rpm
- 258 lb ft @ 1600rpm
- 6-speed manual (S Tronic automatic available)
- 0-62mph in 6.1sec
- Top Speed:
- 42.8mpg combined
- Road Tax Band:
- L 4187mm, W 1842mm, H 1353mm