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New A3 sportback S-Line ride too firm & noisy

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by bobwilson, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Feb 22, 2013]
    I'm totally into comfort and refinement as opposed to firm rides, but I like the sporty look and want a fully loaded car (i.e. with all the £10k of tech options).

    I'm looking to buy an a3 s-line but the test drive I took was too firm on the road, and too noisy on the motorway.

    I understand it's partly because of the 18" wheels and firm suspension.

    I therefore want to get the sline with the standard suspension, and 16" or 17" wheels instead of the 18" wheels that have thinner tyres.

    Is it at all possible? Because it doesn't look like it from the audi website..

    Quite frustrating to not be able to choose wheel size on the S-line

    Can't seem to even find any dealers offering a test drive of the s-line without sports suspension. Has anyone tried an s-line with standard suspension vs. an s-line with sports suspension? What's the ride like in comparison to the SE (which I understand is more comfortable)?
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
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  3. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 22, 2013]
    You can have an S-Line with the standard suspension, it's in the brochure as option 2UA.

    Unfortunately there's no option to change the S-Line 18" wheels, at least from the factory. What I'd do is talk to the dealer and make changing them for some smaller wheels a condition of the sale. I'm sure they'd be happy to switch them for different wheels and tyres when they receive the car and before they deliver it to you, especially as they could then use the wheels to upgrade someone else's car instead.
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  4. Ruthus_1
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    Ruthus_1 Member

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    [Feb 23, 2013]
    The no option to change wheels from standard is really annoying would have loved darker alloy wheels!
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  5. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    [Feb 23, 2013]
    If money isn't necessarily an object (judging by the £10k options), have you considered just buying a wheel and tyre set from the audi accessories catalogue. Keep the 18" wheels until you sell or it's likely you may have difficulty at resale time with 17" wheels. Most buyers I think would steer clear of an S-Line with smaller wheels on the used market, so an Audi dealer would want to put a new set of 18s back on.

    The 17" wheels will still make good money on eBay when youve finished with them as people are always looking for smaller wheels to run with winter tyres.
    #4
  6. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    [Feb 23, 2013]
    I agree. I'm not a lover of the standard wheel so would probably have upgraded if the option had been there. When the S-Line was first launched, the five arm RS6 style wheel was lovely. Since then, they've gone downhill in my opinion. Shame they didn't have a black edition out or I'd have gone for that.
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  7. Ruthus_1
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    Ruthus_1 Member

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    [Feb 23, 2013]
    I would have definitely gone for the black edition and i will probably kick myself for not waiting when it comes out lol!
    #6
  8. s33nyboy12
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    s33nyboy12 Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    I have already spoken to a well known after Market tuner about creating my version of a black edition ! Iv had a quote for £1800 Inc vat to replicate a black edition. We have based it on a 2013 a5 black edition.......

    Sean
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  9. Ruthus_1
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    Ruthus_1 Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]



    sounds good but not sure altering a new car is good especially when it comes to resale trade in when 3 years is up! Shame I'm not willing to take the risk lol or be bothered fafing about lol! You'll have to put pics up when you've done it!
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  10. s33nyboy12
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    s33nyboy12 Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    I will put pics up and I have to add that includes putting it back to standard when I want within a 3 year period of the conversion. I don't keep my cars long so I did factor this in for resale values ect.

    Be a few months yet though as I don't take delivery until April - may 2013.......

    Sean
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  11. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    How is talking about the black edition in a thread about the A3 S-Line being too noisy & firm, relevant? Will the black edition be more comfortable?
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  12. Ruthus_1
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    Ruthus_1 Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]

    To be honest if you can't see how it got onto black edition then I'd seriously question you own intellect, then again you are the person who started this thread! Who would pay a premium for the s-line to turn it into an SE!
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  13. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    No need to be rude.
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  14. Ruthus_1
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    Ruthus_1 Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    Just felt agreeved that we had shown a common interest I.e no wheel option and then cos Sean made a comment about black edition you took your bat and ball home!
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  15. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    Attack the argument not the person please
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  16. Ruthus_1
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    Ruthus_1 Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]

    fair comment! My apologies!
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  17. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    If I was in your position, I'd call Audi Customer Services to see what they'd come up with in terms of demonstrators. There was a time they'd send cars to the dealer, although I'm not sure how much of this goes on nowadays.

    The standard suspension option will have far more of an impact than downgrading an inch on the alloys. They may be able to sort an S-Line with standard suspension, although I'd hazard a guess there aren't many of these around. Next best option would be an SE or Sport with standard suspension.

    On a more personal note though, Audis have never been renowned for good ride quality. I think they're better than they've ever been, but if it was a prime consideration in my purchase, I'd probably be looking towards Mercedes or even the Golf.
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  18. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    For what it's worth, I have ordered an S-line with downgraded SE Suspension. I live on the Isle of Wight, and the roads around here are.... agricultural....at best. I borrowed a demonstrator with Sport suspension and it was acceptable, took the decision that downgrading the suspension would more than counteract the change from 17 to 18 inch wheels on the S-line, this was mainly on advice from two seperate dealers.
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  19. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    When do u get ur car? would like to know what u think of the ride when u get it!
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  20. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    If we have shown a common interest, why attack me on it? I didn't take any bat or ball home!
    #19
  21. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    Interesting, I didn't know this. Thanks :thumbsup:

    The golf GT and SE are the same price as the audi A3 with the same options (£30k), so we were thinking Audi, hoping we could spec one as comfy as the golf. We want all the tech options (e.g. heated seats, keyless entry, adaptive cruise, perpendicular & parallel park assist, auto kerb view mirror, seat memory, auto hill hold, automatic gearbox etc and most of the rest). It's these options that attracted us to the Golf and A3.

    We've also test driven a BMW 3 series but it can't do the options we want, they even don't have hill hold according to the BMW dealer (we have a *very* steep driveway and would find it extremely useful!).

    We test drove an a3 s-line and a golf gt and a golf se. So far the golfs seemed quieter and more comfortable. The A3 had tremendous road noise on the motorway, and was far too firm. I realise we can deselect the sports suspension, but it's not clear if that increases it from s-line to SE suspension (+25mm) or just from s-line to sports suspension (+15mm). I'm not sure if we'd also need to decrease the wheel size in addition to this to make is as comfrotable as we want. The 18" wheels look nice but from what I hear reading about others, it looks like we might have to decrease the size as well, which would be a bummer.

    I checked out mercedes briefly but we really wanted a small-ish car as we live in London. Didn't want to pay more than £30k either.

    The tech options on the new audis and golf mk7 would in theory *really* make our lives easier both when in London and on the motorway.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  22. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    Should have it 16/17th March depending on if it makes it out of the factory early this week. I will let you know how it rides and handles. I had the previous a3 on Sport suspension and 17" wheels so I should be able to notice any major differences.
    #21
  23. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    Funny I have been thinking about this recently. My wife has a Mk5 Golf with 15 inch tyres. The ride in her car is a lot more comfortable than my Mk6 GTD. Even though I have ACC and the car is always in comfort mode. Also, I currently have 16 inch alloys with winter tyres fitted. The car is noticebly quieter and more comfortable than with the 17 inch alloys and tyres. Though it could be the tyre. The tyres that come as standard are definitely hard and noisy.

    I guess it depends on what roads you use and what journeys you do. But the roads round us are terrible. So the one thing we don't need is a firm setup.
    #22
  24. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 25, 2013]
    Not the new A3, but I have been driving previous model SE A3s on 17" wheels and 225/45 tyres for eight years and find the ride and noise level fine. It is soft enough to be comfortable, especially on the long runs I have done to Scotland, Germany and Austria, but controlled enough to cope with fast driving, even in country lanes. I have also driven a number of Sport models as loan cars and have never really enjoyed the experience. I did drive a new Golf GT spec car a couple of weeks ago and found that acceptable and much better than the previous Sport A3s.

    The type of tyres can make a difference, especially to noise levels. I've had Dunlop SP Sports on most of my previous A3s but my current 1 year old A3 still has the factory fitted Hankook Ventus S1 Evo K107 tyres and the grip from these is as good if not better than the Dunlops but they are quite a bit quieter.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  25. Kingfisher
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    [Feb 27, 2013]
    Alternative -- take delivery of the S Line/Black Edition and then change to an aftermarket set up, often a bit lower and invariably better riding than factory S Line..... S line is very hard/harsh ( on the A4)... I got use to it after 20 k, or so ,and I was use to GmbH on a B5 A4 .... but the roads are only getting worse..........
    #24
  26. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 5, 2013]
    hi,

    as I understand it, the s line comes with sport suspension (15mm lower than SE trim) and you can "downgrade" to SE or "upgrade" to s line which is a further 10 mm lower. All the expert reviews suggest taking the downgrade to SE suspension levels, which s what I am going to do.

    dave
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  27. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    You'll still have the 18" wheels though dave. Some people say wheel size makes a big difference to noise & comfort, I've not test driven one with smaller wheels yet.
    #26
  28. noidea
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    noidea Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    I found the ability to spec the S line too restrictive too (my issue was not wanting black seats). ended up going with the sport version and more options
    #27
  29. pluves1
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    pluves1 Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Audi ride on our S3 is quite firm. I don't think changing the size of the wheel will help.

    I know I'll get flamed for this but, if you are in the market for a £30k car then you need to go and test drive a BMW 3 series. I drive an M Sport 335d with 18" run flat tyres and even this sounds quieter in the cabin than our S3 and the ride whilst firm is a lot more comfortable for a sport model. Sounds like you're in the market for a 5 door so check out the touring which is the same length as the saloon. And if you're worried about hill starts get an automatic. One piece of advice for winter - when buying your car negotiate winter wheels and tyres package when buying as the are useless in snow without.
    #28
  30. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Thanks, but bmw 3 series was our first choice (although it's too big to park it in our area easily) but it doesn't have the electromagnetic hand break, auto hill hold, adaptive cruise, park assist, keyless entry, high-beam assist, and all the other options we wanted. It actually seemed like quite an out of date car. The design on the inside also seemed a bit odd (although having said that, the A3 dashboard looks like something from a ford pinto). That aside, it really was too big on the outside to squeeze into the tight parking spots in our area. We really are looking for a smaller car while we still live in the city.

    We also checked out the new BMW 1 series which was just too ugly for us to part with cash. I always wanted a BMW ever since a kid, so it's a shame, but it looks like we've whittled it down to golf mk7 vs A3.

    PS- automatic gearbox isn't the same thing as auto hill hold. We will be going for an s tronic gearbox, but want the auto hill hold as well.
    #29
  31. Kingfisher
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    Kingfisher Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    I've been an Audi man for the last 28 years, and I have to say that the current 'face' of Audis does nothing for me.
    The Golf 6 and now 7 are, imo, much nicer, cleaner looking designs, and underneath they are A3/Skoda/Seat anyway. It will be a hard choice for me in the next year or so !!
    #30
  32. PjDali
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    PjDali Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]

    Weird how VW Golf \ A3 views split opinion in this forum so many opinions voiced :beerchug:


    I love the Audi look even more so now than before and especially the new A3 interior, but for me the VW Golf does little to entice me as it looks very bland inside and out.......but I guess as long as VAG are making cars across their wide range that keep us buying VAG cars as opposed to Nissan's or Volvo's then they are doing something right :thumbsup:
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  33. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    The S3 was the only car I've owned where I found the suspension too firm. Driving home after a day's work, it became a chore.

    The new 3 series is a superb car. It was top of my list before the new A3 was launched (I couldn't bear another 8P A3 and needed a change). However, speccing one up on the BMW website reached £37k and still didn't include some of the stuff the A3 had as standard (e.g. Xenons, split-folding seats). I also found the ride firmer than my A4 and the A3 with sport suspension.
    #32
  34. audicruiser
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    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    If you actually test drive a BMW then all of what you said becomes secondary. An Audi will never drive like a BMW. The steering its far too light for one, the S-Tronic gearbox is too eager to get into 6th and is quite tiresome in some situations. You don't need hill hold with a BMW Auto but it comes standard on a S-Tronic Audi. Even that can be a pain though when your trying to get out of junction quickly. It's all personally opinions though and what people find important in a car.

    I went from my A3 to a BMW 330d last year, and my parents after three A3's have today traded in their A3 170 TDi S Tronic S-Line for a new 320d M Sport. Even in M Sport guise on run flats, they are way more comfortable than S-Line A3's....
    #33
  35. squiretolley
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    squiretolley Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]

    Have you driven the new A3, or are you comparing to the 8P? I found the new A3 to ride very well compared to my current Golf GT.
    #34
  36. audicruiser
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    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Yeah we test drove it... What spec did you drive? We tested the S-Line as that's what car is being replaced. That is also the spec that original poster drove and it's just too hard for a premium hatchback on a daily basis. It's too fidgety, constantly moving and bobbing around. The S3 I would expect that level of harshness, but not from the S-Line.
    #35
  37. squiretolley
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    squiretolley Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    I test drove the s-line and it's a massive improvement on my old 2004 A3 Sport and 2008 Golf GT. I test drove a 1 series and it did ride well, but I think that was more to do with the adaptive suspension.

    Hopefully I won't regret my decision to go for the A3.
    #36
  38. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    We have test driven it, and the rest didn't become secondary. (I don't see how size being too big to park where you live would ever become a secondary consideration, but hey..)

    The 3 series was the first car we test drove, thats how we found out that half of the tech we wanted wasn't available, which was quite a shock for us as we expected BMW to be at the top on the tech. Sorry but we live on a hill and have a very steep driveway, and having tried many different types of cars we have decided we want an automatic gearbox with auto hill hold. I'm sorry but the BMW just doesn't cut it for our driveway on a regular basis.

    We often find it odd some people assume a bigger car is 'better' than a smaller car... I often run into people who think by choosing a smaller car it means we can't afford a bigger one, or have overlooked it.. why is it so hard to believe we prefer it! :) If we lived in an area where parking and road sizes / congestion weren't such a problem, maybe we might change our minds..
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
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  39. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    Thanks for all the opinions guys, its really great to hear from everyone.

    It sounds like there's a general consensus that the A3 s-line is firm.

    Would de-selecting the sports suspension and adding A.C.C make the A3 s-line as comfortable as e.g. the golf mk7 GT? I appreciate the s-line still has 18" wheels (i.e. thinner tyres) but would spec'ing it like this make enough of a difference?
    #38
  40. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    Firstly, you're comparing the 8P A3 which has much harsher suspension than the new 8V. Secondly, you're comparing apples with oranges. The 3-series BMW is an entire class up from the A3 and 1-series and intended to compete with the A4. As such it's a larger car with a longer wheelbase which will always ride better than a shorter wheelbase car.
    #39
  41. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    interesting, the new golf has a 3.6cm longer wheelbase than the new a3. Does anyone know what the wheelbase length is of the new sportback?
    #40

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