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Should I opt out of the Sport Suspension for my A3 order?

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by brad9753, May 29, 2013.

  1. brad9753
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    brad9753 Member

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    [May 29, 2013]
    Hi all,

    This is my first post, and you seem like a knowledgable lot so here goes..

    I have just ordered a 63 plate for September, and whilst I still have the chance to change some things I have been thinking about the suspension.

    Reading some reviews, I have come to no conclusion! Some say the sport compared to the SE suspension definitely is harder and makes the ride less comfortable, others say that the Sport suspension is just as comfortable.

    I don't really have anything to compare against either, I did test drive the Sport suspension but all I have to compare it to is my 2003 Corsa, so of course it was better then that! But what about the SE suspension? I want to make sure that the Sport suspension isn't really hard and harsh basically..
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  3. AJB
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    AJB Member

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    [May 29, 2013]
    I've gone for SE suspension on my Sport having test-driven an SE, but mine's also September delivery so I can't give any useful feedback. From looking at various threads on here, everyone seems happy with whatever they've gone for so I don't think there's a wrong answer really. I figured comfort was probably slightly more important to me than handling (bearing in mind that both comfort and handling seem to be good with both suspension configurations), which is why I went for SE.
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  4. Zig
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    Zig Member

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    [May 29, 2013]
    Having driven both by preference is for the SE suspension. The Sport suspension seemed to be a bit harsh over poor surfaces, while the SE suspension is stiffer than I though it would be and seemed to be a good compromise between comfort and stiffness. However, it really is a personal choice and you are best to try both out and make your own decision.
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  5. BigD289
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    BigD289 Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    I've driven both - SE is very comfortable, Sport was also comfortable but it did pick up the bumps in the road. Both felt good, I deselected the sport suspension as our roads are pretty bad around here.
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  6. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Well-Known Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    I currently have an 8P with standard suspension and have driven an 8V with sport and eventually decided on sport set-up, but each to there own.

    the attached thread desctibes my thoughts on the subject http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/new-a3-8v-chassis/183455-8p-v-8v-test-drive.html
    #5
  7. viperfire
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    viperfire Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    No unless you want body roll and poor grip
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  8. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    I have an SE, which of course gets the standard suspension, but I did test a Sport version with sports suspension before ordering. I found that although the sports suspension was fine on ordinary A roads or motorways, it did get quite jarring on poor country roads. I live in a village, so a lot of my driving is on fairly rough roads, so the SE suspension was the best choice. However, I would say that the difference between the two suspensions is not as great as it was on the 8P A3.

    Having owned my A3 SE for about a month now, I can say that the standard suspension is absolutely fine, comfortable, but in no way detrimental to handling and grip. The car corners very flat, with barely any perceptible body roll - certainly no more than the bone-hard A3 8P S-Line I had before, but massively more comfortable. I think a combination of the all-aluminium engine (1.4TFSI), and the electronic diff transforms the handling compared to the old car.

    Before buying the car, all of the reviews I read said forget the sports suspension - it does nothing to the handling, but just makes the ride poorer. And they were right !
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  9. viperfire
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    viperfire Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Absolute ******** guy above. I test drove a A3 se 1 4 tfsi and it lulled around corners and just had a general bouncy ride. The laws of physics are the if a car is lower to the ground equals less body roll. To say the sports or s line sports suspension makes no difference to cornering is quite frankly a load of ****.

    you want a soft ride go with the se, you want more fun and a firmer ride go for the sport or s line sport suspension!
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  10. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Well that hasn't been my experience, nor has it been for all the reviewers of the car.

    A most recent case in point:
    Our cars: Audi A3 Sportback video update - What Car?
    #9
  11. AJB
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    AJB Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    To add to the confusing, it's also worth remembering that SE, Sport and S-Line all come with different wheel sizes as standard which will make a difference to ride and handling.

    I test drove an SE on which the dealer had upgraded the wheels to 17", and it felt good to me. So I ticked the SE suspension option on my Sport order.
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  12. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Yes, very good point.
    My car has the 17" 5 arm Kinetic wheels.
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  13. dieseldoug
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    dieseldoug Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    S-Line all the way best suspension and handling, I have it on my A3 and Q5, I also had S-Line suspension on previous cars. We have no issues with hardness and road conditions just look where you are going and stay out of the ruts and miss the holes as normal...
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  14. viperfire
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    viperfire Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Lol some idiots here who don't understand basic suspension fundamentals. Ill leave you guys alone
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  15. SuffolkAudiMan
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    SuffolkAudiMan Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Brilliant.....to act as a referee, I'm sure suspension set up is a matter of taste. My main reason for not wanting the SE set up on my S-Line is there are enough Tractors in my part of the world, you don't need the Audi's looking like one too. 18's and SE suspension don't look good (in my opinion)
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  16. brad9753
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    brad9753 Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Hmmm this kind of helps. So I'm not going to notice a HUGE difference in comfort most would say on the Soprt compared to the SE?
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  17. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Depends where you are going to drive it.
    On smooth A roads, probably not, but on rough country roads you definitely will.
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  18. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Well I spent a day driving an S-Line last week and would certainly never order a car with that suspension. It may look the part but I spend more time driving my car than looking at it.
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  19. B7000
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    B7000 Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    I ordered Sport with SE suspension, pleased I did, roads around badly potholed and some bumps transmitted though are acceptable
    and the ride is comfortable on 17" wheels, cannot comment too much on cornering capabilities yet-----always had the speed control on
    (the wife)
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
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  20. brad9753
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    brad9753 Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Hmmm I am leaning towards taking the Sports suspension off I think. And I am mainly on A roads and just general back streets. But the roads do seem pretty bumpy, but that may be due to my 2003 Corsa!
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  21. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    Could you not get a test drive in an SE ?
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  22. jet_andy
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    jet_andy Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    I stuck with Sports suspension and no regrets. I think it's a nice compromise and I drive on dodgy country roads too. But it's a personal choice when all said and done - suggest try a test drive in both.
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  23. dieseldoug
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    dieseldoug Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    My cars are run daily and only looked at when needing washed, I also found the S-Line suspension is more forgiving than my previous cars, the A3 has a smoother ride than the Q5 bit i never have any issues when travelling on any local roads only badly laid tar on road patching or section replacement
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  24. SJW
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    SJW Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    I'm finding the sports suspension perfectly fine. I'm using motorways / A roads and roads which technically you could argue are no longer a road although I do try to avoid. If I could have specced the s-line for the sportback in February I would have. With hindsight I think the sport suspension is a happy medium. If I feel more adventurous I can always have the suspension lowered.

    I have no aches or pains or discomfort with the sports suspension.

    I do not think you can compare a 10 year old Corsa with the build quality of the Audi and I think you will certainly find that if you were to run with the s-line suspension, it will be a more comfortable ride than the corsa.
    #23
  25. manmoth
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    manmoth Member

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    [May 30, 2013]
    I Gave this a lot of consideration too, I came from a Leon FR which is a notoriously hard ride but got used to it so opted for the full s-line suspension on mine.

    The verdict is that is looks awesome and corners like its on rails but it is a very hard ride, I actually dread the speed bumps on my estate. Think if I had the choice again I would go for the Medium setup.
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  26. vwgti
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    vwgti Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    Please don't listen to this catchphrase car journalists spout whenever they review any Audi about the ride being too firm.

    Just lazy reviewing along with my favourite quote 'this is the new Audi a3 although it looks just like the old one' what you mean it looks like an Audi a3? what do you expect them to do make it look like a vw sharan?

    Also while I'm at it matt prior from autocar is an arse

    rant over 😴
    #25
  27. glamic26
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    glamic26 New Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    I've had my S-Line Sportback with Sports suspension for a week now. The salesman scared me out of going for the S-Line suspension by saying it was very firm and noticeably different (they didn't have an S-Line suspension to test drive). After a week of use, mainly on A-roads and inner-city roads I must say I am wishing I had gone for (or at least tried) the S-Line suspension. I have found the Sport suspension absolutely fine (compared to my old 2000 Peugeot 306!). I also went somewhere at the weekend that had us parking on a field and I thought that I was really going to feel the bumps but it was still smooth over the grass. It was at this point I realised that S-Line suspension would have been better for me (25yr old male), but glad the salesman wasn't able to convince me to to change to SE.
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  28. SJW
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    SJW Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    Totally agree with Glamic. I have an S-Line Sportback with sports suspension.

    I really thought the sport suspension coupled with 18' wheels would transfer every road blemish back on to me. Not at all. In fact, I find the ride very smooth and comfortable, I really do wish that I had opted for the s-line suspension. My wife has even commented on the smooth/comfortable ride and coming from her that is something considering she is nearly 7 months pregnant.

    Brad, have you been for a test drive trying both suspension types?
    #27
  29. Debs
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    Debs New Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    I've the S line with the S line suspension. I don't find it that harsh at all. In fact, after driving the Scirocco sometimes the A3 feels like I'm driving a marshmallow... The last three cars I've driven have all had dropped/sports suspensions - I like how the car grips the road and corners, I felt out of touch with the road with other cars I test drove that didn't have it. The downsides are speed bumps and also potholes, but I'd imagine everyone's driving around those where they can. I've only put 2,000 miles on mine in the last four weeks and am getting out of the car fresh and back pain free - the seats are so comfortable I think they absorb any additional bumpyness.
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  30. Pganders
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    Pganders Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    Just to throw in my pennies worth..

    Ordered my Sport with SE suspension and have no regrets. Test drove both before buying and definitely the SE smoother over rough surfaces yet still firm enough in normal driving. The SE suspension couldn't be described as soft. Not actually sure why you would need sports suspension unless going round corners at extreme limits. I know it's 15mm lower and for some that's important but if you favour comfort and still a very good ride then go for SE setup.

    Best thing to do is test side by side and see what suits you and the roads you use best.

    Good luck with your choice, whichever you finally go for it'll be a great car.
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  31. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Well-Known Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    Having gone through the agony of suspension choice myself, and posted my deliberations and indecision here, all I can add to this debate is there has not been one person on this forum saying they have made the wrong choice which speaks volumes. Maybe we should be complaining to Audi for giving us all the choice of suspension set-up in the first place.

    But overall if suspension set up is the only "major" criticism from punters and experts alike I thnk Mr Audi has done a great job and fully deserves the car of the year award and we all just have to suffer the agony of extended delivery as a great car has just been made greater........

    .........boy that was very profound for a Friday afternoon!!!!!!
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  32. SJW
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    SJW Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    You been on the whacky backy Dave???!
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  33. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Well-Known Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    no just stir crazy with the waiting
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  34. A3sportbackMark
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    A3sportbackMark Active Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    Dave, you have exceeded yourself, need a lie down?
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  35. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Well-Known Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    think I might!! A mixture of being stir crazy and excitement of an R8 track experience tomorrow :)
    #34
  36. A3sportbackMark
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    A3sportbackMark Active Member

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    [May 31, 2013]
    Daveotto, enjoy your R8 day, you never know it may be Daytona grey!
    #35
  37. SJW
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    SJW Member

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    [Jun 1, 2013]
    Any chance the R8 has an SE suspension setting?!?! No need to answer - just keeping on topic for Brad.
    #36
  38. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 1, 2013]
    I did actually ask and was told it was standard suspension set up, even as used as a track car!

    Brilliant experience, but not long enough at wheel, car is great despite split leather seats and cracked windscreen and slightly notchy gearbox.

    did not realise how fast it accelerates on a track until I pulled away from the circuit car park in my A3 under full throttle and felt like I was in a Citroen 2CV.
    #37
  39. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 1, 2013]
    Ha, I drove an Aston Martin DB9 on a track once and had the same thing when I drove away
    #38

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