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In the process of ordering a new A3

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Mr_P, May 11, 2007.

  1. Mr_P
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    Mr_P New Member

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    So - I'm pretty much decided on getting an A3 2.0T Sport FWD from new.

    There's a few things I'd be interested in getting your valued opinions on:
    • What sort of maximum discount have you been able to get from UK approved stealers?
    • For the '225/45 R17 Y' tyres, do the dealers fit whatever brand they can get away with, or can I expect Audi to factory-fit & deliver a specific brand?
    • Although the looks of 18" rim options are tempting, I'm sticking with 17inchers for better ride comfort. Trying to decide which I prefer between the "7.5J x 17 5-spoke" standard rims and "7.5J x 17 5-spoke Star". Sales guy has referred me to the tiny thumbnails in the brochure and expects me to decide from that! Anyone seen any larger pics of these rims (online) so I can get a better idea of what they look like?
    • A bit confused about the whole GSM mobile phone preparation kit (bluetooth) option. I might be upgrading my trusty Nokia 6310i over the course of the next year or so. The audi sales rep I was dealing with is ambiguous, saying that there are various flavours of bluetooth so it could be possible that my new phone might not be compatible with the specific unit I go fo. Anyone have any clarity on this?? Or perhaps where I can get technical specs of this accessory & bluetooth phone compatibility list?
    • Going to go with the standard Concert III stereo & separate CD changer. I don't have an iPod (no real intention of getting one either really) but do have a very capable mp3 player. Sadly there doesn't seem to be a 3.5mm jack input option (like there is as standard in the Seat Leon/Altea.) If necessary I'll resort to an FM tuner type gadget, but I'd prefer the hardwired option. Anyone have any tips on solving the jack input problem? (Is that iPod preparation convertable to a 3.5mm stereo input?)
    Thoughts & ideas much appreciated ...
    #1
  2. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Can't help with discounts, mine was a lease vehicle.

    Regards tyres, you have no control over the brand. They usually have two or three brands of tyres and you'll get whichever they have in stock at build time. The current ones appear to be Conti Sport Contact 2s and Pirelli P-Zero Rossos, for the 18s at least - not sure about 17s.

    Regards wheels, make sure you test drive a car with the 18s as I've heard they don't make that much difference to the ride comfort compared to the 17s. The suspension itself is a far bigger factor.

    The GSM kit is a difficult area. Some phones work fully, synchronising their phonebooks and call lists with the system, others will connect and work but won't synchronise their contents so you'll have to dial by number or store voice tags in the system. Some phones just won't work at all or will have connection problems. Generally the more modern phones, especially Symbian based models, have issues. The mount can be specified on the dash or the front armrest but it's optional whether to use it. To make use of it you'll need a cradle but the range of phones for which these are available is limited and there isn't much support for newer models. Use of the cradle charges the handset, connects it to the sharkfin for better reception and uses a hardwired connection to the GSM kit, disabling the bluetooth. Best place for discussion of these issues is the Multimedia forum on navplus.us and this thread in particular: http://www.navplus.us/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1196

    As for the MP3 issue, have you considered the USB connection option? You could then just get a large USB storage device or two like a "pendrive" and chuck a load of MP3s on that.
    #2
  3. Covenant
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    Covenant Member

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    Discount will to large extent depend on when you order it and who you deal with. In my experience you will only get close to internet prices when it suits the dealer to bump up their figures e.g. just before the new registrations come out or just before Christmas etc.

    As a guide I got about 11.5% off list on my 2.0T quattro last year, but it wasn't a factory order so I had to compromise a bit on which extras I were on it. I ordered at start of July and took delivery at the end of the month so that the dealer could fit it into his dealership volume bonus.

    Regards the wheels, the suspension is a far bigger factor in comfort terms. S-Line suspension is very firm compared to the lower specs.
    #3
  4. Mr_P
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    Mr_P New Member

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    Haven't heard anything about a USB connection option... is that something that the Concert III is compatible with and has a lead for? Do you know where I can get more details on that? Thanks
    #4
  5. MarcQuinlivan
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    MarcQuinlivan Active Member

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    you can buy a lead which connects to the CD changer port on the back of the head unit and the other end is a 3.5mm jack. You should be able to get one from your local car accessories place - or Halfords, etc. You can then run the lead to a spot of your choosing - ashtray, the drinks holder under the armrest or the glovebox. You'll probably want to put it somewhere you can get easy acccess to change tracks, etc.

    Not sure of the price, but shouldn't be that expensive.

    Rather than the portable MP3 player route, have you considered the PhatNoise Jukebox? Runs off the standard head unit for changing tracks, albums, etc.
    #5
  6. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    I changed my A3 3-door 2.0TDI-140 SE DSG (July 2004) for my current Sportback on 1st May 2007. I negotiated a 9.5% discount with my local dealer on the new car and got a very reasonable trade-in figure for my old A3.
    #6
  7. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    My apologies, there appears to be no such thing listed on the price list. Could have sworn I read about this a while back but maybe I was imagining things. Sorry.
    #7
  8. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    There is this available for the new TT so perhaps it will be available for the A3 at some stage, possibly even in the changes for the 2008 MY.

    " USB Connection, for playing your USB stick in your TT, located in the glovebox and controlled via radio or multi-function steering wheel (if fitted). Cannot be combined with CD changer, iPod connection or Satellite Navigation system." (Available from Spring 2007)

    As the TT seems to use the same radio as the A3 it may well be possible to add one to an A3 as well.


    #8
  9. normski
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    normski Member

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    IIRC the external CD changer doesn't support ID3 tags from MP3's, or CD text. If you are planning on having an MP3 player wired into the stereo, you can't have the CD hcnager as well, so surely you would be better off with the Symphony with the six changer built in.

    As for tyres, don't think 17's to 18's makes any difference really, more the suspension as mentioned before.
    #9
  10. a3norwich
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    a3norwich Not anymore - Back 2 BMW (shh)

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    Managed a 10.6% discount on factory order last March for 2.0T Q S-line Special Edition!
    #10
  11. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    I have just looked at a German price list for the A3 dated 26 April 2007 and the USB Connection is listed as an option for EUR205.00, so perhaps it will be an option for the 2008 model year in the UK.
    #11
  12. steve184
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    steve184 Active Member

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    having had two A3 sports - one with 17s and one with 18s i can confirm that there is absolutely no differnce in ride comfort - where there is a difference however is to the look of the car - 17s look good but 18s look even better - the sline wheels are good value now too since the price was reduced and they are super duper easy to keep clean. A bright well looked after simple design wheel looks far better than an overly complex spoky doky wheel which has gone dull and stained due to the fact they are harder to clean. Mind you i found the old 17 sport wheels (now optional were very easy to clean too)
    #12
  13. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    Maximum discount available to UK dealers is 15.25% - No Profit. Audi has now segmented cars into push and pull categories so an A3, being a push car, will now be open for more negotiation, than say last year.

    Tyres will almost certainly be Conti's.

    An A3 sport now has three options for 17" wheels. The original sport "Blade" alloys are better than the 5 Star, but the new alloys look alot better.

    Audi's bluetooth compatibility list has not been updated since November 2006, as far as I am aware. functionality varies from phone to phone but I've not yet encountered a phone that doesn't at least provide handsfree function. On an A3 the only addition bluetooth provides is access to your phonebook, missed calls etc through the DIS

    C
    #13
  14. Mr_P
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    Mr_P New Member

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    Impressive discount ... do you think it was anything to do with the changeover of registration, or any other factor?
    #14
  15. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    Audi dealer sales strategy. This 15.25% margin is made up of front end and back end margins dependent on Customer Satisfaction Index, Mystery Shop results, Volume targeting, model mix and data capture components. If a dealership is doing well in these areas, they can afford to give bigger discounts, so a dealership with a good reputation and level of service may be able to give greater discounts as they have more margin to negotiate.
    #15
  16. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    My new Sportback came with 225/45 R17 91W Michelin Pilot Primacy XSE tyres with Made in Germany on the side walls.
    #16
  17. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    Is it an SE with upgraded wheels? Unless its an 8P with the new 17" wheels standard to the SE.
    #17
  18. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    It's a 2007 A3 Sportback in SE trim with the now standard 7.5Jx17" '16-spoke' design alloys. These were changed from the original 16" alloys on all SEs ordered after 1 November 2006.
    #18
  19. unkle
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    unkle Beer God

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    Try to get 18"'s as the A3 has large wheel arches and they fill it better than the 17"'s which look a bit lost. I'd recommend reverse parking sensors and the head unit option with the built in 6 disk changer for long drives, probably better than the disk changer option. (and cheaper too)
    #19
  20. smee
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    smee Member

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    My standard 18" wheels on the SE Sportback came with Pirellis.
    #20
  21. Mr_P
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    Mr_P New Member

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    Sport models seem a bit thin on the ground (let alone ones with 18"s!) but after so many comments about this I'll endeavour to locate that combo for a rough road test. Until your replies today, the salesperson had me convinced that S-Line suspension was only half the story and that ride comfort was half attributed to 17" rims ... though no-one's really endorsed that idea so far here, so maybe I should keep an open mind still? At the end of the day comfort is actually more important than vanity but if there's no truth in the 17"s contributing ride improvement then I'll probably just opt for the nicer look.

    Actually the only reason for dismissing the 6-disc head unit (Symphony?) for the Chorus + glovebox CD changer was purely for reliability reasons (separates) - just imagined the possibility of a hot day, long drive, unit jams up. I'm trying to think why else anyone would choose the external CD changer rather than the integrated head unit, though now am unsure... Wonder if there are any feature merits at all in choosing the Chorus III over the Symphony, or perhaps it is simply a cost issue?

    On the subject of USB, I did give Audi Cust Services a call today but the agent wasn't particularly useful - after a spell on hold he told me his technical dept had just referred him to the general website, which I'd already had a hunt around for info. (BTW apparently A4 also has that USB accessory as well as the TT.)

    For 3rd party options I did a quick general web search and saw a "Connects 2: CTAADUSB003 - Universal USB interface for Audi" accessory which is half the price at £70 (not including fitting obviously) but seems a fair option (includes SD/MMC card reader too!) I've sent an email enquiry to the supplier checking compatibility & asking if ID3 tag info is relayed to the head unit display (although I'd be surprised if they said yes...)
    #21
  22. rowansbank
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    rowansbank Member

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    We went for 17s after a test drive in a similar car with 18s, on the basis that it would improve the ride. On reflection, I really wouldn't want to live on the difference on proper roads - but I didn't have the nerve/sense to insist on driving the demo car on the sort of roads we have round here!
    #22
  23. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    Don't be afraid to go with 18', my S3 is not that unconfortable... sure bet!

    Another must have is GSM phone prep on arm rest with multifunction steering wheel (you will thank me later on this one...)

    If you do not plan to get aftermarket upgrades BOSE is a must have, sound clarity and power compared to standard is notorious...

    Pedro
    #23
  24. Mr_P
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    Mr_P New Member

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    Sorry I'm not quite clear on what you mean - do you mean you're glad you went with the 17s decision, or unsure whether 18s might not have been a bad idea after all?
    #24
  25. a3norwich
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    a3norwich Not anymore - Back 2 BMW (shh)

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    I think I was just lucky! They needed to do some business; right place at the right time I guess! Sweet! :)

    [Although it WASN'T my local stealer - useless bunch :mad: ]
    #25
  26. normski
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    normski Member

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    I invariably drive lots of different cars at work, and change the wheels around size wise to evaluate handling, grip, noise etc. and for me there is never any discernable difference between 17's and 18's on the same car (16's to 18's either), unless of course you go between two totally different qualities of tyre, or one set are run-flats.

    My wife's GTi has 17 inch reps on it usually, and I took them of last week for a refurb and put on the original 15's, and they are noisier and the ride is still pretty similar except when cornering...

    The first A3 I drove was a 2.0T Sport on 17's, I drove a 2.0T SB s-line on 18's and then the S3 on 18's straight afterwards and that did make a difference, but purely because of the suspension. I actually found the ride/bounce etc. of the harder suspension better on **** roads which suprised me...to soft and the 17's with softer suspension bounced to much for my taste.
    #26
  27. Mr_P
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    Mr_P New Member

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    Rung a couple of local dealers today, though no joy as yet locating a Sportback Sport with 18's to test for spine-friendliness. Just to check context - a question to those chaps who say there's no real diff between 17"s and 18"s in terms of ride comfort, would you also agree that there is a definite tangible ride difference between the S-Line suspension and the Sport suspension? Or that there's no difference at all?

    Also, just going back to the subject of sales negotiation, what does everyone think when it comes to choosing to go with a certain dealer? From the customer's perspective, should it make any difference, or if not is it therefore all down to the best price you can find? Are some dealers going to be ultimately better to form relationships with than others, particularly in terms of after-sales care? Or - like so many other things in life - do some care less than others once they've secured your cash?
    #27
  28. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    On the subject of dealers and building a good relationship with them, I bought my first A3 in April 1998 and I'm now on my 6th. All of them have been purchased from the same salesman at the same dealer. All the service work I have done is also done by the same dealer. I usually trade-in my existing car for a new one and the salesman does not even bother to have a look at the car. He always says I know yours will be excellent condition, and he gives me a good trade-in price compared with other dealers.

    Before each purchase I have shopped around other dealers but none have come up with a better deal so I've stuck with the same guy. My last change in March I even shopped around on the internet and did actually get a slightly better quote through one of the online brokers with a different Audi dealer. So I took a copy along with me and my sales guy said - OK far enough, I'll match it.

    It has it's advantages. If I call in at any time he will often say would you like to try such and such as car when he knows full well I have no intention of changing at that time. On the service side I know the service team well and if there are any small items that need doing I never get charged for them. They are also quite happy for me to discuss things with either of there two Master Technicians.

    So personally I think it is worth building a good relationship with a dealer. Especially if you think you may be buying more Audis in the future.
    #28
  29. grimsa
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    grimsa New Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm in a similar position - thinking about ordering an A3 3-door 170 tdi s-line s-tronic.

    Had a 3 hour test drove in a sportback (did'nt have a 3 door demo) 170 s-line with 18's today.....it is a VERY firm ride and at one point i thought too harsh....but once i got on the twisty roads i forgot all about the ride and just started grinning.

    Tested on all road types and came to the conclusion it is right on the limit (for me anyway - i do 500 miles a week) of what is acceptable in terms of ride comfort. The handling was incredible....i can only imagine what the quattro must be like!

    In terms of performance i got my bro to come out with his golf mk4 1.8T petrol - chipped to 200bhp and running low on 19" rims....we had a good burn. Up to about 65mph absolutely nothing in it. Above that speed the golf pulled away...slowly. Handling was virtually identical.

    Overall the 170 tdi s-line is an impressive bit of kit.

    Only disappointment was the indicated MPG - a low 29mpg....but then i was on it most of the time.

    Does anyone know about chipping the 170 tdi? In particular if it's better to go with a manual gearbox when planning to chip? And chip it i will!!!

    Cheers.
    #29
  30. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently getting around 43-44mpg from my 2.0TDI-170 Sportback. That includes some fast motorway driving, some town driving a lot of hacking though the lanes for pure enjoyment!
    #30
  31. grimsa
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    grimsa New Member

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    The demo car had 980 miles on the clock....do you think the low mpg i saw could be due to the low mileage? Have you noticed any improvement over time?

    Are you glad you chose the s-tronic or do you have moments where you wish you had a manual?

    Grimsa.
    #31
  32. Mr_P
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    Mr_P New Member

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    Sorry Grimsa, hope you don't think me out of line but would you mind opening a new thread for these questions as they are off topic. Thanks in advance.
    #32
  33. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    Also if you plan to chip it really think about the quattro option! Cannot recommend more. OK it was standard on my S3 but the traction losses on the 170 TDI with all that torque more than require quattro and you will thank me on the roundabouts, corners, etc...

    Pedro
    #33
  34. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    170PS engine is definitely thirstier than the 140PS, to the tune of 10mpg in my experience - Had 3 or 4 as demos.
    #34
  35. grimsa
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    grimsa New Member

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    Sure. NP. Apologies.
    #35
  36. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    I used to get around the 47-48mpg from my 140PS whereas I am now getting around 43-44mpg out of my 170PS. My car has done 3300 miles. They definetely improve as they get more miles on the clock up to around 10k. New demo models will always be a bit on the low side. The 170PS 3-door that I had for a day before I bought mine was only showing 29mpg overall since new, but it only had around 1000 miles when I tried it.
    #36
  37. smee
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    smee Member

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    Was that Robinsons? I have not had to have a service yet but they were pants when I went in to spec the car. got the impression that they were not interested because we were only looking at an A3!
    #37
  38. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    There's a difference. The S-Line is definitely harder than the Sport but not by a huge margin. Some passengers have commented how solid mine is but frankly I barely notice it. If you test drive one when you're used to softer suspension then it'll be a bit of a shock but once you've lived with it for a while it's fine. The only time it really become noticable is when you're on a particularly badly surfaced bit of road, when the car tents to jiggle about a fair bit. As has been said, the payoff is much better body control when you start pushing it - my old SE used to roll like an ocean liner in the corners compared to this one.
    #38
  39. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    I agree, 18's the way to go for a better commited driving, in fact, this might sound silly, but in some bends I think my S3 could use use a more stiff suspension setup...

    Pedro
    #39
  40. rowansbank
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    rowansbank Member

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    To be honest, I just erred on the side of caution! What we should have done (and what you should do, I suggest) is insist on taking the demo car on 18s on some really carp roads - lots of potholes, truck grooves etc. and see if it's bearable. I didn't because the car was 'really' for my wife as main user and I didn't want to put her off it by shaking the fillings loose! On 17s ours is bearable on bad roads but not for too long!
    Hope that makes sense.
    #40

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