2001 Audi TT

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2001 Audi TT

Key specs

Base trim shown


4 trims

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2001 Audi TT review: Our expert's take


The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

So who wants to be a race car driver? Or a professional ballplayer? You conceivably could fulfill both those fantasies in a single set of wheels – Audi’s 2001 TT Roadster with the optional “baseball optic” seats. We tested the tamer version of the soft top TT earlier this summer and couldn’t find much to complain about. This time around, we’ve sampled the more aggressive 225-horsepower variant with all the bells and whistles. The penalty for all this performance is a stiff $42,725. But, oh, the places you’ll go …

She: Wow, those seats are the coolest in the industry, bar none. They’re amber red leather with so-called “baseball glove” stitching. The seats are a great conversation piece, of course, but they’re also an excellent example of the trend toward more personalization in cars. I don’t think they’re gimmicky at all, they’re wonderful. With those seats and all that power, the Audi TT Roadster has to be one of the top 10 vehicles of 2001.

He: Good thing you’re not prone to hyperbole. You were beginning to gush like Roger Ebert.

She: Hey, we’ve seen the cult of the TT springing up since the coupe was first introduced in mid-1999. Owners are almost rabid about these cars. I talked to a woman in Colorado who owns a black TT coupe that she named Merlin. She said it’s better than any boyfriend she’s ever had.

He: This test drive is taking an ugly turn. For the record, dear, I just want to say that you’re definitely better than any car I’ve ever had. Of course, I’ve owned some clunkers. But I’m really starting to warm up to the TT, even though I still have trouble fitting into the darn thing. Features like all-wheel drive, a six-speed gearbox and a slick turbocharged twin-cam engine are starting to make a believer out of me. You just can’t help but have fun in this car, with the top up or down.

She: That’s what I’m trying to say. Audi has really cemented that emotional involvement that people have with the TT. It’s the type of relationship you tend to have only once in a lifetime with a man or an automobile.

He: How existential. Let’s talk some more about esthetics. Compared to some of the pricier convertibles in this segment, like the Honda S2000 and the BMW Z3, the TT is just plain sensuous. That gorgeous nimbus gray pearl exterior paint scheme just accentuates the car’s curves. In fact, it’s hard to believe that the TT started life on the same basic platform as the Volkswagen Beetle. It’s truly amazing how Audi has created this beautiful shape, then pumped it full of steroids.

She: You’re paying the price, however. For about the same money, you can get a Porsche Boxster, if that particular brand name turns you on. And the TT does have its downside. During the week that we drove it, there were at least two times I left the car sitting in the driveway while I drove something else. When I did some major grocery shopping for the first time in two weeks, I wasn’t sure I could fit everything into that tiny trunk. And when I went to the airport to pick you up, I didn’t think I could squeeze you and all your luggage into the TT.

He: Squeeze is the operative word. You don’t feel the pinch so badly when the top is down, and the whole driving experience feels like pure magic. But snap that top back into place, and you begin to get a tad claustrophobic. Visibility really suffers then, although headroom wasn’t as much of a problem as I thought it would be.

She: With the top up, I had trouble backing out of a tight parking space, where I was hemmed in by a pickup truck and a big SUV. That’s an issue that you’re going to have to deal with. From a practical point of view, you probably are going to need a second car, just to run all your weekly errands.

He: I suspect someone who can afford the TT Roadster probably is considering this as a second, third or fourth car. Just make sure you have enough room in your garage next to the Suburban the F-150.

Anita’s rating: World class

Paul’s rating: Above average

Likes: Visually stunning. Intense performance. Fashionably fun to drive. One of the safest sports cars on the road. Wonderful $1,000 “baseball optic” seats.

Dislikes: Cramped for six-footers. Visibility is a problem with the top up. As with most ragtops, not much storage space. Not very practical as an everyday car. Rarified $40,000-plus price tag.

Type: Front-engine, all-wheel drive, two-passenger convertible.

Price: Base, $38,550; as tested, $42,725 (incl. $525 destination charge)

Engine: 1.8-liter I-4; 225-hp; 207 lb-ft torque

EPA fuel economy: 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway

12-month insurance cost, according to AAA Michigan: $1,516 (Estimate. Rates may vary, depending on coverage and driving record.)

Where built: Gyor, Hungary

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.3
  • Interior design 4.6
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.2
  • Exterior styling 4.9
  • Reliability 3.7

Most recent consumer reviews


Short of expectations

Be advised... I have owned 2 (two) 2001 Audi TT Quattros. First one was a 5spd 180 hp coupe.Many issues with electrical problems and even with a Borla cat-back dual exhaust and a REVO chip reflash, power was short of exciting. Handling was excellent but acceleration left much to be desired. Without a tech who thoroughly grasps "AUDI-ISMS" you will likely be disappointed with this automobile... 2nd 2001 TT was a roadster 225 up 6 spd. Slightly more power but still left me short of the response I hoped for. Plenty of electrical issues with the roadster. COM crapped out and was Unavailable as a factory part. Had to purchase a used module for an astronomical $700. Fortunately it has been reliable this far. Also installed a Borla cat-back dual exhaust and opted for an APR Stage 1 reflash. 0-60 times struggle to find 6 seconds. hp is supposedly 254 now with torque @ 264 ft lbs. At age 70, the performance of this car leaves much to be desired. The road holding is pretty good but expect understeer. If you are considering an AUDI TT ----- I recommend you look into a TTS or TTRS for performance that justifies this automobile.


Fun but too many reliability issues

Car is a ton of fun to drive, holds the road well, good performance and good gas mileage. My biggest issue with it is reliability of support systems. I've had seemingly endless issues with the various components of the electrical system. CCM (Comfort Control Module) went south due to water intrusion. Get this, module is beneath where the convertible top is stored, and it is totally unprotected. I love german engineering in general but this is inexcusable. Cost to replace is $1200 and then if you have plug damage its multiplied by 3-5 times. New Alternator was $1100. Anything breaks, assume it will start at $1000 and go up from there...


Keep up w/ maintenance & this car won't let u down

Its a very reliable car in terms of anything breaking or going wrong. If you keep up regular scheduled maintenance like oil changes then you will never run into any mechanical problems.

See all 49 consumer reviews


New car program benefits
48 months/50,000 miles
144 months/unlimited distance
48 months/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/unlimited distance

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