Used 2005 Audi TT Convertible Review

For buyers seeking the ultimate performance sport coupe or roadster, the TT may disappoint, but if you're willing to give up a little performance in the name of style, the 2005 Audi TT is a real head-turner.




what's new

Satellite radio is now available on the 2005 Audi TT coupe and roadster.

vehicle overview

Audi's TT was introduced for the 2000 model year as a coupe, followed by a roadster in 2001; both cars are based on Volkswagen's versatile Golf platform. Now several years into its model cycle, the TT is no longer among the hottest draws on the market, but from an aesthetic standpoint, it remains one of the most distinctive cars on the road. In person, the car looks just right, appearing aggressive and graceful at the same time. The rear boasts rounded flanks and, in coupe form, a cleanly arced roofline. Purposeful styling details are executed with ice-cold precision; it is an instant classic -- a shape that will be a topic of discussion for years. Based on our experience, the TT has never been an exceptional performance car, but last year's introduction of the 250-hp 3.2 model and its innovative Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) helped to change that perception somewhat. With more power coming from a 3.2-liter V6, standard 17-inch wheels and larger brakes, the 3.2 has more of the ingredients you would expect in a luxury performance coupe. The DSG provides an excellent accompaniment to the V6, as it provides the convenience and smoothness of an automatic, along with near-instantaneous downshifts (complete with rev matching) in its manual mode. Handling for the standard coupe is on the soft side, and in roadster form, the car feels a bit heavy for a two-seater. Certainly, it has more real-world practicality than some competitors, not to mention fantastic interior trimmings and a full load of features that we find desirable in a high-dollar roadster. Driving enthusiasts should zero in on the 3.2 version, since the standard four-cylinders tend to disappoint when pushed hard. Even with the addition of the 250-hp 3.2 model, the TT coupe and roadster have a decidedly more relaxed personality than cars like the BMW Z4, Infiniti G35, Honda S2000 or Nissan 350Z. Will this be a disappointment to you? So long as you're not of the pedal-to-the-metal ilk, probably not. If carefree days on coastal highways and year-round use are in your forecast and you dream of driving a car that's as fashionable as you are, a 2005 Audi TT could be a nice addition to your garage.

trim levels & features

Coupe and roadster body styles are offered in three levels of trim based on engine output. Base 180-horsepower models come standard with a long list of features that includes automatic climate control, leather seats, a CD player, 16-inch wheels, xenon headlights and a manual top on roadster versions. Midgrade 225-hp models add 17-inch wheels and a power-operated top on roadsters. Top-of-the-line 250-hp versions add a firmer suspension, minor exterior enhancements, a modified exhaust system and an aluminum shifter cover. Options include a Bose sound system, heated seats, a navigation system and 18-inch wheels and tires.

performance & mpg

Three engines are available on the 2005 Audi TT. Front-wheel-drive coupes and roadsters get a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline four that generates 180 hp and 173 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard; a six-speed manual is optional. Quattro all-wheel-drive models come with one of two engines. The first is a 225-hp version of the 1.8-liter four; it comes with a standard six-speed manual but a six-speed automatic is optional. The other choice is a 3.2-liter V6 that delivers 250 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque; it's coupled to Audi's six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). This electronically controlled manual transmission provides the smoothness and convenience of an automatic along with the ability to perform quick manual shifts via steering wheel-mounted paddles.

safety

All TTs come with four-wheel antilock disc brakes and electronic stability control. Side and head airbags are standard, and Audi contends that the protection level of the roadster in a rollover is equal to that of the coupe. In government side-impact crash testing, the TT received a perfect five stars for protection of front occupants.

driving

Driven back-to-back with its competitors, the TT's hefty curb weight and soft suspension are immediately evident, though the added horsepower and advanced transmission of the 250-hp, 3.2-liter model help the 2005 Audi TT keep up with peers like the Infiniti G35 and BMW Z4 when it comes to straight-line acceleration. The compliant suspension yields a blissfully secure ride, but pick up the pace and the TT tends to wallow through dips and turns. Overall, Audi has engineered an excellent compromise between comfort and performance, but for the most part, this is a cruiser not a bruiser.

interior

Aluminum and leather dominate a decidedly industrial theme that blends retro and modern design elements into one enticing package. A standard power glass windblocker ensures that chilly nights along the beach are pleasant for roadster owners. Trunk capacity ranges from 6.4 cubic feet in quattro roadsters to 13.8 cubes in front-drive coupes.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.