Thursday, November 14, 2013

Used Car Review - Audi TT (1999-2006)

On the first day of Christmas Myk Belmonte gave to me... this stylish coupe. One of it for the first day.

1999-2006 Audi TT

Last June 7, ran an article titled "Why The Audi TT Is The Next Great Future Classic". And at some point, I agree to several arguments: eye catching exterior, well-thought interior, and fun to drive. Weak points are its economy car roots, patchy reliability, and does not loved to be pushed hard.

The TT name came from NSU's Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) motorcycle race, which the previous automaker (NSU, the evolution of Audi) participates. Under the designation Typ 8N, the coupe was first marketed in September 1998 with the roadster in August 1999. You'll be shocked, as the TT shares its platform with the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3, and Skoda Octavia of the late 90s. A recall done in late 1999 to the early part of 2000 to fix the vehicle's handling in high speeds, as incidents of crashes occurred prior. The last Typ 8N TT rolled out the assembly was on June 2006.

Auto Prominence offered the TT in coupe guise in 1999, with PGA Cars taking the remainder of the vehicle's life span. One can buy this in either front wheel drive or with Quattro but with only one transmission choice, a manual.

Value and Costs
One can attain this roadster for below a million bucks, considering the fact this is pricey when brand new. Where else can you find something that looks good and at the same time handles well for less?

Running costs can be slightly on the high side given the fact it has a turbo engine standard. Since the Quattro is AWD in Audi's vocabulary, it is prudent to change all four tires together. Reliability is a weak point, so check out the following things when buying: gauges for the fuel or temperature if they function or light, knocking sound from the suspension due to front and rear anti-roll bars, and importantly the engine is its overworked.

Exterior and Interior
Based on the TT concept car shown in 1995, you may dismiss it as something acquired. But as you see one in person, you will appreciate it more since it is like a ballerina that works as a rock star at night. Designed well, it has circular flanks and clean angles that complete the vehicle. It is a treat for the looker and the driver; with the design not getting old rapidly.

Balanced is the word that applies to the TT's cabin. With a mix of aluminum, stainless steel, and leather bits, the interior looks pricey without being tagged as something traditional luxurious. It is definitely eye catching but do not be distracted while driving. With this being a hatchback body, loading cargoes when needed is easy. While this is a four seater, two can be placed inside comfortably as the rear isn't habitable.

While there is one engine configuration available, horsepower and torque figures differ. The 1,781cc turbo 4-cylinder can be had with the following configurations: front wheel drive models have 180hp at 5,500rpm and 235Nm at 1,950rpm while those equipped with the Quattro get 225hp at 5,900rpm and 280Nm at 2,200-5,500rpm. Either the engines mated to FWD or AWD are punchy at best but go for the latter since it has more.

Driving Impressions
While it looks good, driving one would be a great moment. It will respond to your desires by offering you secure yet enjoyable cornering. Those who want to speed-up aren't welcome here, especially this is more of a cruiser than a bruiser.

It was no surprise that this vehicle will be a classic someday. Tidy yet presentable looks and a fun to drive persona, you get them in the TT. And best of all, prices are now cheaper; means you can have one for less.

The Good:
  • Classic looks
  • Great drive
  • Now a future collectible
The Bad:
  • Impractical (duh)
  • Not that reliable
  • More cruiser than bruiser
The Pick: 1.8 T Quattro

Engines: 1,781cc turbo I4 gasoline
Power: 180hp @ 5,500rpm (1.8 FWD), 225hp @ 5,900rpm (1.8 Quattro)
Torque: 235Nm @ 1,950rpm (1.8 FWD), 280Nm @ 2,200-5,500rpm (1.8 Quattro)
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual (1.8 FWD), 6-speed manual (1.8 Quattro)
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear torsion crank axle (1.8 FWD)/trail link and double wishbone (1.8 Quattro)

Price (New): P2,900,000-P3,600,000
Price (Now): P700,000-P1,300,000
Rival: Nissan 350z
On Sale: 1999-2006

PGA Cars Mandaluyong - (02) 727-0145
Audi Alabang - (02) 771-2210

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