The current Audi TT was launched in 2014 so, if its forebears are anything to go by, it still has another three years to go before it’s replaced. Except that there are worrying noises that it may be the last of the line as Audi turns its attention to electric cars and SUVs.
That would be a tragedy because, in the 21 years that the TT has been on sale, it has carved out a special place in the used car market as an exciting but affordable motor built on solid foundations. Fiery versions of the Mk1 can’t be far off classic status now. It’s unlikely that the Mk2 and this Mk3 will be quite so revered but that only means they’ll be even better bargains as used cars in years to come.
In fact, already you can pick up a 2015-reg Mk3 TT with 75,000 miles from as little as £13,500. It’ll be a 182bhp 2.0 TDI Ultra Sport diesel, which means that, happily, such mileage is only average. Audi build quality being what it is, it should be free of squeaks and rattles, too. If petrol’s more your thing, there’s the underrated but impressive 1.8 TFSI. A 2016-reg one of these with 20,000 miles is around £18,000.
Either way, it’s not a lot for a stylish-looking coupé (there’s a roadster, too) that’s built on Audi’s aluminium-intensive MQB architecture and, as standard, comes with the car maker’s 12.3in virtual cockpit display.
The sweet spot in the line-up is the 227bhp 2.0 TFSI petrol. It’s spot on in front-wheel-drive form but the optional quattro four-wheel drive system brings extra security in the wet. Then there’s the deeply impressive 305bhp 2.0 TFSI TT S quattro, which shares many of its major mechanicals with the Volkswagen Golf R. Topping the lot is the 394bhp 2.5 TFSI TT RS quattro, which, in the hands of Autocar’s road test team, dispatched 0-60mph in just 3.6sec.
A facelift came in 2018. Major styling tweaks (reworked bumpers and new alloy wheels) were limited to the S line and TT S models but all versions got software updates to the virtual cockpit display. The 20 Years Edition also arrived. More dramatic, Audi took a knife to the range, lopping off the diesel and the 1.8 TFSI.
The line-up now opens with the front-wheel-drive 194bhp 40 TFSI (note Audi’s new badging), followed by the 242bhp 45 TFSI quattro, the 302bhp TT S and the 395bhp RS.
S line, Sport and, from 2016, Black Edition are the major trims but S line, with its larger alloy wheels, LED lights, sweeping indicators and special styling, strikes the best balance between price and kit.
The cheapest approved used TTs, backed by a 12-month warranty, begin at £15,500 for a 55,000-mile 2015-reg 2.0 TDI Ultra Sport coupé. We’d go for one of the petrols but, if you do the mileage and fancy a deal, there are enough diesel TTs out there that you may just have dealers eating out of your hand.
Need to know
The TT marked its 20th anniversary in 2018 and, to celebrate, Audi released the imaginatively named TT 20 Years. Only 150 were made available and, new, it cost from £45,345. However, you can find nearly new ones from £39,000.
Depending on condition, options and ownership history, a quattro TT can actually be cheaper than a front-wheel-drive model. For example, we found a black 2015/15-reg 2.0 TFSI S line auto with 50,000 miles for £19,490 and a quattro version of the same age and colour, and with the same mileage, for £19,000.
Try TTs with and without larger wheels and with and without the optional Magnetic Ride dampers to see what works best for you.
Audi TT 2.0 TFSI 230PS S Line Coupé: It can do 0-62mph in 6.0sec and is plenty powerful enough for the TT’s middling chassis. A 45,000-mile 2015-reg example will cost around £18,000.
Audi TT 1.8 TFSI 180PS Sport Roadster: The 1.8 TFSI is not that much slower than the 2.0 TFSI but is usefully cheaper and the roadster puts another element in the mix. An approved used 2016-reg with 32,000 miles is around £19,000.
Ones we found
2015 2.0 TDI Ultra Sport, 79,000 miles, £13,785
2016 1.8 TFSI Sport, 40,000 miles, £16,990
2017 2.0 TFSI Sport auto, 20,000 miles, £20,995
2018 2.0 TDI Ultra Black Edition, 6000 miles, £22,950