A car with problems, but if you can live with them
written on 07-21-2015
The 2001 TT had numerous electrical problems, and mine is no exception. I blame it on the used car dealer I bought it from, who messed up quite a number of things... seems like I have run into a series of issues that are annoying, but not debilitating. Due to turbo lag and AWD it is a bit slow off the line (compared to my old Z car and 79 Trans Am), but the car is very strong in the mountains and on the highway. It is a great cruising car on the open road, and handles well up to about 110 mph. My wife and I got silly while out on the plains of eastern Colorado and tried to find out how fast it was... at 115 it was still accelerating smoothly, but the car started to feel kind of like it was floating, and we lost our nerve. My goal is to actually FIX all the minor problems I have on this car and figure out how it goes when I've got those sorted out... I refuse to be beaten by this car. It looks terrific, you don't see too many of them any more, and (when it's not driving me nuts with a minor problem) is a pleasure to drive. Experience tells me though, there aren't any "just okay" versions of this model year... you either got a good one and are among the huge fans of the car, or you got a money pit you can't wait to get rid of... have a mechanic you trust check the car out carefully, and you can get one heck of a car.
Problems too numerous to list but Audi 1.8T motors have well known timing belt failure issues that cause major engine damage. Failure typically occurs well before 90,000 service interval. research A4 class action lawsuit. Expensive to buy, insure, maintain and, most of all, repair. Too many computer chips and sensors that fail regularly. I have been left stranded on the roadside twice in 6 months by serious mechanical failures that were expensive to repair. Don't buy one as a primary vehicle. Definitely don't buy one used. Better yet, don't buy one at all. I have owned mine for two years and it has had 5 or 6 significant repairs that required me to drive a loaner or rental car for a few days
Great car, however before buying make sure that the electronics for the odometer, fuel tank, speedometer have been replaced. Original uses an Italian chip that costs almost $1800 for a dealer replacement. Also, the glass wind screen on the convertible has a binding problem on the track that means the entire unit must be replaced at a cost of more than a thousand dollars! Oh yes, and if the glass is broken there is no replacement, you gotta buy the whole unit. Aside from the above, it is a great car, great performance, holds the road equally well in rain or snow due to the AWD. I would buy another one for sure. Get the 225hp, not the 180hp. The extra horses make a big difference.
I'm very surprised by most of these reviews. I've owned mine since 2008 and it was my very first car with 93,000 miles on it. Paid 11,000 for it. It's now at 174,000. Over the course of 7 years I've replaced the computer, water pump, all hoses, all belts, 1 ball joint and a great deal of the rear suspension. Most of these things I replaced just to do it. The water pump did fail and I've had many issues with the rear suspension. Over all this car has ran great for me and has been very reliable over all these years. I plan on driving this car until the motor blows up.
Bought it new, had it services on schedule every time. Once off warranty, started servicing myself, delving into the car. Problems in build and engine design quality too many to mention, and expensive to repair. Once you fix something, something else fails. Those of you having bought it used wondering if the problem was the "previous owner" - nope, we bought it new, meticulously had it maintained under warranty, and it started going to hell in a hand basket nonetheless. Audi's real motto is "Vorsprung durch SCHLECHTE Technik! (Advancement through BAD technology!)" Total miles: 36,000 (I'm not kidding!)