How was the tt? I was looking at an 01
Honestly one of the worst cars I've had the misfortune to work on as heavily as I had.
I've got a 500hp capable hybrid turbo in mine, upgraded rods, tuned, bigger injectors, pod filter. But the engine bay is deceptively more cramped than it seems, everything is modular to come out before you can access other bits... There's a few proprietory tools I've had to get, made only for this car. Like the wrench for changing haldex filters, or the loooong T45 for the head bolts (at least that's 1.8T 06A block standard).
The 2001 isn't any better or worse off than my 2003 for most purposes. If you can find a 225 model you'll get one with the reinforced block. Those blocks are worth about a thousand dollars on their own, so at least that's something to pad your chances with. The 225 have 20mm wrist pins as well, which leaves you more room for upgrades.
Mines a 12 second car, it's smooth to row the gears, but it just doesn't make me feel special like my eclipses do. They're fun for a while, but I outgrew mine, and it has sat undriven in my driveway since November.
As an investment car, not bad, the value has sharply been rising and continues to do so. Makes me reluctant to sell mine, but at the same time, I don't want it to rot.
As a track toy, a bit laggy and high maintenance.
As a daily, pretty fuel efficient and annoying to maintain. I get about 5.5L/100 on mine with 91. Was better on the stock K04.
Everything is there in the recipe for a fun enjoyable car. Turbo, AWD, makes good power, fuel efficient... But it doesn't feel special when I drive it. And I've got $8000 in mods wrapped up in there.