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Thread: Test drive feedback

  1. #1
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    Test drive feedback

    I managed to get a test drive in a 1.4 sportback sport model yesterday and on the whole was very impressed in the overall drive, very quiet and compliant ride from the sports suspension, interior is well laid out my only niggle is the radio/ mmi controls via the rotary control knob. They are quite difficult to navigate but I presume with use become more intuitive.

    The only thing that I did not try was the drive select switch I think it's called - what does this do? Does it change the characteristics of the engine/ gearbox/ suspension or steering and if so is it noticeable or just a gimmick?

    The main downside though is the minimum 6/7 month wait which they currently cannot guarantee will not get pushed back.

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    Chester Draws's Avatar
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    Hi ,

    i think most controls can be operated via the steering wheel but you do soon get used to the operation of the MMI . The drive select does alter things which are noticeable even on the my 1.6 TDI. You can also programme your own settings somewhat. How often you will chop and change once the new car halo effect has worn of though would depend on your own preferences I suppose. The drive select is standard on Sport models upwards

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    selar's Avatar
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    It flips between Economy (slower to pull off - quite comfy in stop/start traffic, actually), Comfort (steering is as light as a feather and I swear I thought I'd accidentally missed the potholes I'd deliberately tried to hit to test out the suspension), Auto, Dynamic (shoots off like a rocket) and Individual (you can adjust the acceleration and the steering).

    Other than the gadget-y extras I added, it's my absolute favourite part of my new A3. Definitely recommend getting in one for another half an hour and testing it out for yourself.

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    selar's Avatar
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    The buttons are different, but I just found this video and it's really great:


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    Selar, thanks for the video and explanation helps me to understand the system better.

    The reason I was asking is that when I first pulled out of the dealership into the main road I tried to accelerate but the car was quite sluggish and not what I was expecting, my wife has the same engine in her A1 so was expecting better, the only thing else might have been in wrong gear as it didn't happen again. According to the video posted it defaults to auto as standard if this is the same system on the a3. Do the different driving modes come up on the central colour display, there was a green E on it at the time or is this just the prompt for changing gear to improve economy?

    Thanks for the replies.

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    selar's Avatar
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    The E is for economy, so I think that'll have been your issue. I get an E before the gear number when I'm in economy mode and it disappears when I'm in any other mode. It's white, though, not green for me...

    Mine didn't default to auto when I was stopping and starting out on the country roads yesterday - it stayed on Dynamic for the whole day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selar View Post
    It flips between Economy (slower to pull off - quite comfy in stop/start traffic, actually), Comfort (steering is as light as a feather and I swear I thought I'd accidentally missed the potholes I'd deliberately tried to hit to test out the suspension), Auto, Dynamic (shoots off like a rocket) and Individual (you can adjust the acceleration and the steering).

    Other than the gadget-y extras I added, it's my absolute favourite part of my new A3. Definitely recommend getting in one for another half an hour and testing it out for yourself.
    i didn't think the drive select could adjust the suspension? I thought it was just steering and throttle response on a manual?
    A3 Sportback 2.0TDI S-Line 150ps, Daytona Grey, Comfort Pack, Privacy Glass, SD Sat Nav, Through Load, Aluminium Pedals.

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    selar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squiretolley View Post
    i didn't think the drive select could adjust the suspension? I thought it was just steering and throttle response on a manual?
    Your honour, the defense directs the court's attention to exhibit A.
    7PastShilton likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selar View Post
    Your honour, the defense directs the court's attention to exhibit A.
    Yes but that's an A4 probably with adaptive suspension. There's no mention of it in the brochure and I'd be amazed if they didn't make a big fuss about it. I don't see how they can change the suspension if its not adaptive.
    A3 Sportback 2.0TDI S-Line 150ps, Daytona Grey, Comfort Pack, Privacy Glass, SD Sat Nav, Through Load, Aluminium Pedals.

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    selar's Avatar
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    I've been out in it since I posted last time and it's hard to tell since no two bits of the road are the same and I didn't have time to re-drive over the same areas, but I'm almost​ convinced that it feels softer.

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    MT3 - the A3 1.4/122 ps engine is not the same as the one in the A1 - it's part of VAG's new EA211 modular line up, it's 1395cc vs 1390 for the A1, it's aluminium instead of iron and it uses belt driven cams whereas the one in the A1 has chains.

    It's a very lively engine and achieves the main design aims of lightness and getting up to optimum temperature very quickly.

    Drive select on the current A3 range does not alter suspension, just steering and throttle response on the manuals plus gearshift on the S-tronic models (Selecting Dynamic puts gearbox into S mode for example)
    A3 1.4 Sport, S-tronic, Monsoon Grey, Comfort Pack, DAB radio, Interior lighting pack, Front Rubber Mats, Model / Engine badge deletion, Service

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    selar's Avatar
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    Not that I doubt you, but could you please share the source of your info on the suspension just so we can distinguish the hearsay from the official stuff on the boards?

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    Straight out of the brochure....

    Audi drive select. Changes vehicle characteristics by adapting power steering assistance, accelerator and the gearshift characteristics of the S tronic transmission. The system also influences other optional equipment through 5 available modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual. The efficiency mode adapts the engine characteristics, enables free-wheeling mode with the S tronic transmission and engages the climate control and the optional adaptive cruise control into an efficient fuel-saving setting (efficiency mode unavailable on the 1.2 TFSI manual and S tronic)
    A3 Sportback 2.0TDI S-Line 150ps, Daytona Grey, Comfort Pack, Privacy Glass, SD Sat Nav, Through Load, Aluminium Pedals.

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    Exactly, but you can also add that there is no mention of the standard car being fitted with adaptive suspension (Audi Magnetic Ride as they like to call it) or that adaptive suspension is available as an option - I guess that will come with the S3.

    If you then go to the car handbook it says you can adjust steering and throttle response. It also adds that if the Magnetic Ride option is available you can adjust that as well.

    Finally if you look at the Drive Select menu on the MMI it only allows you to set steering and throttle in the 'Custom' setting
    A3 1.4 Sport, S-tronic, Monsoon Grey, Comfort Pack, DAB radio, Interior lighting pack, Front Rubber Mats, Model / Engine badge deletion, Service

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    selar's Avatar
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    The brochure seems to have missed the bit about the suspension that it mentions in the actual manual - though that itself is a bit vague about whether Audi Magnetic Ride is additional to the Drive Select enhancements, or if you only get them if you go for Magnetic Ride. It's all just bundled under the same section heading of Drive Select.

    I'll take some MMI photos when I'm out today.

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    I think you are trying to read things that aren't there, as far as I'm aware there has never been any suggestion of Drive Select affecting the suspension.
    The brochure doesn't mention Drive Select affecting the suspension because that option i.e. Audi magnetic ride, is not available on current A3 models in this country.
    When that option becomes available it will no doubt be added to the brochure.
    The manual clearly states that engine and steering control are always part of Drive Select and goes on to say that other things depend on what options are fitted to the car. Nowhere does it say that suspension control is always part of Drive Select
    The manual makes it clear that Suspension control is only available with the Audi magnetic ride option. It's listed under the Drive Select heading and has the same type of settings - there are many things in the manual that apply only if options are fitted- they are marked with a '*' which is the case with 'suspension control'
    If the suspension was able to be adjusted with the standard fit then there would be a menu item for it, which there isn't.
    What could be clearer?
    A3 1.4 Sport, S-tronic, Monsoon Grey, Comfort Pack, DAB radio, Interior lighting pack, Front Rubber Mats, Model / Engine badge deletion, Service

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    selar's Avatar
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    I'm sorry my confusion seems to have upset you, mate - I wish I had your insight. The bit of text that the asterisks relate to aren't always clear - if we're looking at the same manual then it's on page 128 - it's formatted like this:

    Suspension control (Audi Magnetic Ride) *

    It's not clear to a first time owner like me whether those are the same feature, and if they are, why have they given it two different names? And since the asterisk is outside the bracket, does it relate to just to AMI or to the entire line? If the brackets mean that you'll only have Suspension control if you've specced Audi Magnetic Ride, then why doesn't the manual have an explanation of the necessary spec option like this at every other asterisk? There's an equivalent example where it would be nice, for example, two sections down where the cornering light is explained in relation to Drive Select but it doesn't mention its alternate / spec option name. I think the asterisk system is vaguely written throughout but I certainly don't mean to piss anyone off by asking if you guys can help me figure it out.

    As regards your "What could be clearer?" comment, other than everything I've said already and the video that we now know doesn't apply to our market, you'll also see that I'd already mentioned I hadn't looked at the MMI menu for the Individual Drive Select setting yet. I did today, and I've reached the same conclusion.

    Just... wish people would keep a clearer head when they're explaining things about this new car that we're all trying to figure out rather trying to make intelligent folk look dumb.

 

 

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