Depreciation Station: 2008–’14 Audi TT

Photograph Courtesy Audi

[Editor's Note: this article originally ran in the July 2018 issue of Classic Motorsports. Some information may be different today.]

Distinctive looks? A premium German nameplate? And prices now starting in the low teens?

But wait, there’s even more to love, like the availability of a convertible and all-wheel drive.

Just what is this mythical creature that sounds like some sort of bargain Porsche? Meet the Audi TT-specifically the second-generation model.

We first saw the Audi TT concept back in 1995, with cars appearing for sale in 1998. While the styling was distinctive and cutting-edge, the underpinnings came from the Volkswagen Golf. Too pedestrian? Think of it as a modern interpretation of the Scirocco, and maybe you’ll feel better about it.

That original TT ran through 2006, with the totally revamped, second-generation car debuting for the 2008 model year. The look had gone from rounded to chiseled, and the TT had grown in size, but the generous use of aluminum meant the new model weighed about 200 pounds less than its predecessor.

Where the original TT was based on the A4-chassis Volkswagen Golf, this new one shared much DNA with Volkswagen’s later A5 Golf chassis. This meant that the TT continued to feature a transversely mounted engine along with front-or all-wheel drive.

Two engines were again available, with the 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo-four being standard. Looking for more torque and horsepower? A 250-horsepower, 3.2-liter V6 could also be ordered.

More choices: a six-speed manual transmission or Audi’s clever S tronic gearbox. The latter is Audi’s version of the DSG twin-clutch gearbox found in so many Volkswagen products. Even though cars so equipped have only two pedals-go and stop-internally the gearbox functions more like a manual box. Here’s what you really need to know: Pulling the lever all the way back to the S position means lightning-quick shifts along with assorted pops and gurgles. Trust us, it’s a fun gearbox despite the lack of a clutch pedal.

Which leaves just one more decision: hardtop or power-operated convertible?

The TT fits an interesting niche. As an Audi, it’s as nice inside as you’d expect. The switches and levers deliver that satisfying feel. Most cars are going to be well equipped. The TT’s size makes it just right for two; we have found it comfortable for long trips, and perfectly sized for daily use. Add in the drivetrain layout, including the availability of quattro all-wheel drive, and you have a unique, four-season sportster that’s hard to match at this price point.

Care & Feeding

APR specializes in Audis and Volkswagens. Paul Brooker, from their R&D department, shared some tips.

The 2-liters run a timing chain instead of a belt. The big thing is to make sure that the tensioners are updated. Any legitimate shop will be able to inspect the engine and tell you if it has the new ones.

As far as the 3.2 goes, those motors are bulletproof. Same thing: Find one that’s had the chains done.

Doing the service on the quattro is not a big deal.

If you don’t have any proof that the DSG service has been done, have them do a quick service. Using the OEM fluid is totally fine. The clutches in the cars will take anything you can throw at them.

Make sure you do the maintenance. Call your local dealer and see what the maintenance interval is. These cars have no problem going more than 150,000 miles.

A lot of people put off doing the plugs. These plugs need to be in top-notch condition all the time.

Convertibles are a totally different animal. The cables that run the soft tops can have issues, and top repairs can get a little expensive.

The tunes for these cars make a big difference. Nowadays we plug it in, we take 15 minutes to flash your car, and you leave with 30 more horsepower.

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wspohn Dork
7/2/20 1:35 p.m.

Nice drivers, though the styling leaves me pretty cold.

And some tasteless options (or let's say aspects that are a matter of personal taste). I had a client who was a dealer and he was keen to show me one of these when they came in. He went on about a really cool option - lether seats laced like a pretend baseball glove. I thought he was making a joke and actually laughed.   Sadly he wasn't - Audi had perpetrated the joke and presumably convinced some customers that it was a fine idea.

Ironically, it might actually enhance value on the second hand market as most customers would have had the good taste to not order them so they are fairly rare today.

Friends that have owned them regarded TTs as fun and reliable.

ttq New Reader
7/4/20 7:48 p.m.

From the article's title, I thought you'd give a range of what TT's are going for.  Not that I'm ready to sell. My 2009 quattro coupe, purchased new, has less than 60k on the clock.  It has been a joy to drive and I still smile each time I look at those stylish lines. It replaced a 2000 TTQ, also red.  I look foward to many more miles behind the wheel of this modern classic.  

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