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Used Audi TT Coupe review: 1999-2003

It's hard to believe it's 10 years since Audi unveiled its TT Coupe as a concept.  It remains a standout design.

MODEL WATCH

The Audi TT Coupe's no-nonsense lines could have been carved from granite. Crisp and clean, they were a break from the then common soft edges and rounded shapes.

The TT Coupe's body was fully galvanised steel, though aluminium doors, bonnet and boot lid helped keep down the weight of the 2+2 coupes to a lean 1220kg.  At first the TT Coupe was available only in front-wheel-drive, joined a few months after its 1999 launch by an all-wheel drive Quattro. 

Audi used its considerable experience in turbocharging to great affect on the TT Coupe's engines. The base engine was a 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit with five valves per cylinder, which developed 132kW and 235Nm over a broad band between 1950 and 5000 revs.

The more powerful version had uprated pistons, connecting rods and big-end bearings to withstand the extra induction pressure of the bigger turbocharger needed to boost its output to 165kW and 280Nm, which flowed from 2200 to 5500 revs.

Performance of both was brisk, the front-wheel-drive TT able to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 7.4 seconds, while its Quattro cousin required a second less for the same sprint. Top speeds were more than 220km/h.  A five-speed gearbox was linked to the 132kW engine; the more powerful 165kW engine was backed by a six-speed unit.

Inside, the TT Coupe was equipped with climate-control air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, six-stacker CD, leather trim and remote central locking.

IN THE SHOP

The earliest TT Coupes are fast approaching the time for a cam-belt change, so it's crucial to check for a service record to confirm the belt service has been done on cars that have done more than 100,000km.

Regular servicing is important on any engine, but even more so today with the tight tolerances manufacturers use. Missed oil changes can result in clogged oil galleries as sludge builds up. Left long enough, it can cause major internal damage when the oil can no longer get to where it's meant to be.  A service record can be reassuring that the correct servicing has been done, but it's worth looking inside the oil cap to check for sludge.

Make sure the clutch is smooth as you depress and release the pedal, and that the gearbox shifts smoothly.  When driving, listen intently for any clunks or noises going over bumps or when making turns, and investigate any noise.

CRUNCH TIME

With its sports-car handling, the TT Coupe is well equipped to avoid collisions, particularly the Quattro, with its all-wheel-drive system. It has the considerable protection of dual front airbags and front side airbags.

OWNER'S VIEW

Monty Stephens' TT Coupe has done 60,000km. During the warranty period one headlight blew twice, the battery died at six months and the entire $2000 instrument pack died the day before the warranty expired. Since then the driver's-side power window has failed ($600 to fix). He gets 9-10 litres per 100km around town and averages around 7.5 litres per 100km on a trip.

RATING

15/20 The TT Coupe is a fashion statement on wheels. It's good looking, has good performance and handles well.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2003 $7,800 $15,620
2002 $8,000 $15,620
2001 $8,000 $15,620
2000 $8,000 $15,620
1999 $8,000 $14,300

View all Audi TT pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$11,150
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$8,000
Highest Price
$14,300

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 1.8L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $8,000 – 12,430 1999 Audi TT 1999 (base) Pricing and Specs
Quattro 1.8L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $9,500 – 14,300 1999 Audi TT 1999 Quattro Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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