Audi TT specialists and owners refer to the 1.8-litre turbo engine as ‘bombproof’ and there are several 200,000-milers knocking around to attest to that claim. But they must be well tended. The cam-belt and associated tensioners need replacing after 80,000 miles or five years at the very latest: if the engine goes pop because they’ve failed, it’s a £2500 rebuild. It’s important to see receipts to back up the stamp in the service book, particularly if the car’s on its third or fourth owner who may have scrimped with the car’s care. TT specialist Dave Mahony of The TT Shop advises a ‘comprehensive’ cam-belt change that includes more tensioners and dampers than a typical main dealer service. Replace the frail OE water pump at the same time, for one with a metal impeller. If it’s a V6, listen for a rattly cam-chain – some develop it at as low as 40,000 miles – as replacing it is a £1000 engine-out job.
The TT’s manual transmissions are pretty robust, and a clutch should last anything between 50,000 and 100,000 miles, depending on driving style.
There are more hiccups with the fancy DSG unit. If it’s reluctant to engage a gear, or the shifts aren’t super-smooth, then it’s likely to mean the gearbox’s mechatronic unit is failing. Fortunately specialists such as The TT Shop can now provide reconditioned units with prices starting at about £1200.
Suspension and brakes
An area of potentially large expenditure. The TT is a relatively heavy car and the suspension suffers for it. If your potential purchase bangs and knocks as the front end encounters small bumps then it’s possibly a sign of tired front wishbones and a shot front anti-roll bar. The TT is generally considered under-braked – upgraded pads start from £100, while a £1200 Brembo front discs and pads set-up is a popular aftermarket option.
Bodywork and interior
Rust is a rarity, scuffed alloys common. The cabin is tough, but ‘dashpod’ failure is an issue; clues are inaccurate fuel tank and water temp readings, and missing pixels from the data panel. Specialists can now supply recon units for £300 fitted.
2005-2006 TT quattro Sport
Engine In-line 4-cyl, 1781cc, 20v, turbocharged
Max power 237bhp @ 5700rpm
Max torque 236lb ft @ 2300-5000rpm
Transmission Six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Tyres F: 235/40 R18. R: 235/40 R18
Weight (kerb) 1390kg
Power-to-weight 173bhp per ton
0-60mph 5.7sec (claimed)
Top speed 155mph (limited)
Price when new (2005) £29,355
Supplied by Audi TT specialist The TT Shop (www.thettshop.co.uk). Tyre prices from blackcircles.com. All prices include VAT at 20 per cent
Tyres £183.12 each (Continental Sport Contact 3, fitted)
Brake pads (front set) £126.97 (uprated, Ferodo DS)
Brake discs (front pair) £254.29 (uprated, Tarox)
Clutch kit £649.00
Oil filter £11.18
Air filter £58.27 pair
Exhaust cat-back £692.24 (Milltek, specific to Sport)
Prices from The TT Shop
Oil service £95.00
10,000 miles £149.00
20,000 miles £199.00
Gearbox oil change (inc filter) £90.00
What to pay
If you’re just after a trackday hack, you can pick up a scruffy, 100,000-mile 225 coupe for as little as £2800; less than £4000 sees you in an 80,000-miler, while stretching to £4500 widens your choice of examples with sensible mileage.
With £5.5K in your pocket you can start looking at 100,000-mile V6 DSGs, but if you want to expand your options and get the mileage down substantially then you’ll want to spend £7000-8000.
The limited number of quattro Sports in the UK (just 800 were sold here) helps keeps prices high: even so, £9000 or less will buy you a 50-60,000-miler.