It’s become something of a novelty to run a car this long, since we’re normally chopping and changing cars every year, but there’s something about Audi’s TT that makes it feel both timeless and unbreakable.
Part of the reason why our TT still looks so fresh is down to the Ventureshield paint protection it received when new. This covers the front-bumper, wing-mirrors, front-wings and half of the bonnet and remains virtually untainted five-and-a-half years later.
Of course we’ve had our fair share of problems – the odd bit of squeaking trim, the near-side front speaker which buzzed at certain frequencies and of course the TT’s infamous faux par – the failure of its window regulator mechanism – which Audi continue to drag their feet on and let customers suffer away in silence (customers aren’t really silent, but like the tree that falls in the woods, if nobody hears it, then perhaps it didn’t really happen…)
Model: Audi TT 2.0 TFSi (197 bhp)
Age: 2007 (5.5 years)
Colour: Brilliant Red
Price when new: £31,250
Value now: £11,200
Fuel economy: 29-34mpg (average)
If you’ve come across this post without discovering our previous running reports, then you can catch up on the TT’s most bothersome issue here.
In the 12 months since our driver-side window regulator failed it hasn’t let us down again, while the passenger-side has thus far remained glitch free. In the interim we’ve been contacted by more than 60 owners who’ve all experienced the same issue, so if you own a TT (or are considering buying one) make sure you read up on the issue and set your expectations accordingly.
During the last year, our TT has received a fresh set of Michelin Pilot 2 Sports (the OEM fitment) received a new set of front-brake pads (the third set in its lifetime) and is currently in the custody of Vindis Audi Huntingdon having its cam belts replaced.
We’ve also experienced a Xenon light failure (last October) – cost to replace £154 (parts) plus £12 (fitting) and finally got around to replacing the near-side DRL – cost to replace £20 (parts) plus some DIY finger-gymnastics. I’ll outline the main steps for changing the TT’s sidelights (below).
Otherwise as we near 65,000 miles, the rear suspension bushes need replacing as do the rear brake pads.
I’m sure some of you might dismiss the TT as a non-drivers car, but in its favour is a light kerb weight (1315kg) and incredibly well balanced controls. Provided you drive within its limits, it remains eager to turn-in, surprisingly quick (for a mere 200bhp) and reasonably economical (with a best run of 40.9 mpg on a long motorway journey).
Nearly six years on and the TT remains beautifully built (apart from a few glitches), easy to live with and a regular recipient of admiring glances. As a driver’s car it falls short of any comparable BMW, but it does nothing badly and feels just as well screwed together as it did when new.
There’s a new TT coming in 2014 (likely to make its first appearance at the Frankfurt show in September) which I suspect will tempt us to buy another. The third-generation TT will be lighter (built on VW Group’s MQB platform), faster and inspired by the design of the Audi quattro concept.
It might even drive like a sportscar, which is the one thing missing from the current generation model.
Change a (DRL) light bulb – the easy way..
As with most DIY jobs on the TT, you’ll need to remove a section of the car in order to gain access. In this case you’ll be removing the complete headlight unit, which is the only way to gain access to the side-light and main Xenon headlight unit. Ensure the ignition is off, and if you’re feeling really cautious disconnect the battery too.
Now fit the replacement bulb and reassemble the headlight unit in reverse order, making sure you’ve fitted it back in the same position.
Congratulations, you’ve just replaced your sidelight bulb like a champ..