Across the generations, the Audi TT has never really been known as a reliable sports car. Pretty, fun and exciting, sure. Never reliable. It’s not that the TT is unreliable per say, it’s just that most of them had the famed 1.8 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. While a good engine, it was a pain to work on and require timing belt, tensioner pulley and water pump replacement every 100k miles, all of which require the whole front end to be taken off. However, according to ISeeCars.com, the Audi TT has more examples with 150,000 miles or more on the road in the US than another other sports car.
That’s a remarkable stat, as the Audi TT has more 150,000-plus models on the road than even the very simple, very reliable, Japanese-made Mazda MX-5. It also goes to show that Audis are not as unreliable as their reputations would suggest. If friends hear you’re buying an old Audi, you’re going to hear a lot of negativity and concern. Though, if that happens, you can point to this study to prove them wrong.
Now, this doesn’t tell us which engine/transmission combo was the largest portion of the high-mileage TTs. Though, we’re going to assume that the combo featuring the 1.8T and manual transmission has to be the best bet. The 1.8T is a simple and reliable engine if you know how to maintain it and manuals typically last longer than automatics. If that’s the case, it should excite enthusiasts, as that’s the most popular enthusiast combination.
So if you’re looking for a used sports car, the Audi TT could be the car for you. Also, if you find an Audi TT and it has, say, 120k miles, no sweat. You know it can last to past 150k no problem. Numbers don’t lie.