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2000-2006 Audi TT
USED CAR REVIEW
Styling, exceptional road manners and a cosy, comfortable cabin
Maintenance will most likely be on the high side.
Volkswagen’s premium Audi division bolstered its popular sedan line-up by adding the sporty four-seat TT coupe and two-passenger roadster that arrived in the spring of 1999 as year 2000 models.
Available in front- or Quattro all-wheel drive, the Audi TT featured radically unique sheet metal attached to a platform that was initially developed for the Volkswagen Golf hatchback.
The original 180-horsepower 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine (initially available in front-drive roadsters only) was joined by a 225-horse version in 2001 and a 250-horsepower 3.2-litre V6 for 2004. Both four-cylinder engines came with manual transmissions (a six-speed for the 225- horse motor), while the 3.2 used a six-speed automatic with shifter paddles for manual operation.
The first-generation TT remained in service for seven seasons before being replaced by an all-new 2008-designated model.
THE GOOD STUFF
The TT carried plenty of spring in its step due to a low curb weight and a generous dose of power. Even the base 180-horsepower front-drive roadster provided sufficient thrust for most drivers, although it was handily outgunned by the optional powerplant(s). Audi’s Quattro AWD system helped the car stick like glue in the corners and offered added safety in slick conditions.
The beautifully designed interior was both pampering and fashionable with bright- trimmed round gauges, switches and vent openings reminiscent of the rings on the Audi logo. Overall fit and finish of this German car was awesome.
Tall folks will quickly discover that entering or exiting the TT can be a difficult (and painful) proposition, due to the low roofline. Drivers must also be skilled in the fine art of shifting and clutch work, since all but the higher-priced V6 units came only with manual gearboxes.
As well, brace yourself for a less than supple ride, which apparently is the penalty to be paid for the car’s impressive handling. Back seats (coupe) should be reserved for children or small pets only.
Note that first-year TTs were recalled to have a small rear spoiler attached to help keep the car under control at high speeds.
If styling, exceptional road manners and a cosy, comfortable cabin are important, the TT is certainly worthy of consideration. Maintenance will most likely be on the high side, so hunt for a model with a bit of warranty remaining. Alternatives include the BMW Z3/Z4, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Honda S2000 and Nissan 350Z.
Engines: 1.8-litre DOHC four-cylinder (180-225 hp); 3.2-litre DOHC V6 (250 hp) Transmissions: Five- or six-speed manual; six-speed automatic (V6 only)
Layout: Front-engine, front- /all-wheel-drive.
PRICES AT A GLANCE
TTs have depreciated at a rate that seems fair for both buyers and sellers. V6 coupes and roadsters typically sell for just $1,000-$2,000 more than top-end four-cylinder cars, which is a steal of a deal.
Model year Approx. price range*
*The low end of a given price range represents higher-mileage, low- option vehicles. Prices as of March 2011.
©CarTest.ca. Posted June 14, 2011. Source: Wheelbase Communications.