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Tiresome Road Noise & Ride A3 SB

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by m0sbf, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. m0sbf
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    m0sbf Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    I've just bought an Audi A3 2.0TDI Sport 150 8V Sportback and did my first long journey in it this week. Love the car, but the tyre noise is very disappointing for a premium hatchback, much worse than my wife's Golf Mk VII. I also hadn't realised just how hard the ride is from my six mile test drive. After 135 miles I was ready to get out of the car for a break. I sold my 2006 Civic 2.2 Ctdi which was a firm ride, but this seems worse.

    The car has 225/45R17 Continental SportContact 5's fitted and they have to be the noisiest tyres I have ever experienced! I checked the cold pressures after this trip and found the front tyres were at 36.5psi (book says 35psi for fronts). Not sure if that would make the ride firmer and noise worse. It's only 1.5psi above what it should be, so may not be a big factor. I have since reduced the pressures.

    My car is an ex-demonstrator owned by an Audi dealership and may have been driven in a spirited fashion as the front tyres are down to 4.5mm in the centre tread at 7800 miles. I am tempted to ditch them and fit quieter front tyres. Can't really justify doing all of them as the rears have over 7mm left.

    After a bit of research I am looking at Good Year Eagle F1 ASY2's. Reports seem to suggest they offer similar grip, better wear and are more comfortable and less noisy than the Contis. Rolling resistance looks similar too. I was wondering whether anyone can give me some feedback on whether fitting the Good Years to the front would prove worthwhile in terms of improving road noise levels and whether it would slightly improve ride comfort. I think I now see why people suggest buying a Sport with SE suspension!

    Thanks and wishing you all a Happy Christmas.
    Steve
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  3. RobbieWebs
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    RobbieWebs Active Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Hi m8 sorry to hear ur not happy with the ride quality.
    Can't add anything for the eagles but one tyre to consider is Dunlop Sportmaxx RT.
    Same fuel efficiency and grip rating but 2dcb quieter than the eagles.
    I have these on my 18" wheels 225/40/18 and can vouch when I say they are extremely quiet/ fantastic grip in the dry/ fantastic grip in the wet also.
    I only put these on the front also but will be buying 2 more and putting these on the back.
    Great value for money :)

    Edit: Forgot to add iv got s line suspension and the ride is still firm but comfy :)
    #2
  4. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    I agree about the Dunlops.. Bought 4 x 225/40/18 for our 8P a month back . £450 - £40 Tesco Petrol Voucher.. so just over £100 a corner. Brilliant tyres, and far quieter than the rubbish Bridgestones we replaced.

    Hope the new S3 comes with Michelin which IMHO are the best but suspect it will be Contis!
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  5. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    I've had Dunlop SportMaxx tyres in the past and they have been quiet but the Hankook Ventus S1 evo ones that came on my current Sportback are even better. I'm not keen on mixing tyres tyre between front and rear so when I needed two new front tyres I purchased another two Hankooks. The two replacements cost £100 each fitted and balanced.

    I'd had never heard of Hankook tyres when I first got the car so I did some research and found several tests on German websites which gave them very good ratings.
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  6. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    I don't think you have had the latest Sport maxx Dave. They are much improved.
    Hancook are ok. My old Dad swore by them on his 10 year old golf. Very hard wore well but lacked grip IMHO . If you paid £100 a corner for 17in that is ott .
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  7. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    I happy to stick with whatever the car comes with. Several of them have come with Dunlops but the latest came with Hankooks. I did shop around a bit for the tyres and bought them 'online' to be fitted by a local tyre depot. Quite happy with the price. Quite a few other suppliers and tyre depots wanted £20 to £30 more for each tyre. They were 225/45 R17 size.
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  8. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    £102.50 a corner for 225 /40 /18 Dunlop or Goodyear. £87.50 for 225/45/17 .
    #7
  9. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    But as I don't like having different types of tyres on the car I would have had to but four rather than two. 2 x £100 = £200. 4 x £87.50 - £350. Is the £87.50 a fitted price or supply only.

    I often find when the front tyres are due for their second change, the rears also need changing so at that time I might consider using a different make if the are as quiet as the Hankooks, assuming I still have my current car by then. If not I will be using what ever comes on what ever I decide for next car. Over all the cars I've had I generally find the biggest difference between the tyres has been the road noise that they make.
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  10. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Prices quoted Are fitted and balanced and old disposal. Have never considered Hancook but probably cheaper again. You clearly live in an area where prices are high !
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  11. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    We certainly seem to pay more for petrol and diesel than a lot of areasw. Even where my Mum lives in Buckinghamshire itls cheaper and she is much closer to London than we are.

    Out of interest, does a quattro wear it's tyres more evenly front to back than a front-wheel drive?
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  12. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Depends on the Quattro Dave. A3 is slightly heavier on front tyres given the fwd bias . 4/5/6/7 are more balanced wear wise in my experience. Main issue is always tracking which tends to affect front wheels more.
    We got 25,000 miles out of a set of 18in Michelin Pilots on our 08 Tdi 170 Quattro Sportback A3.
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  13. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Petrol 1.26 diesel 1.34 Asda Bristol today.
    #12
  14. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Don't know about petrol but the cheapest Diesel around here is 1.38 according to a website that looks with in 10 and 25 mile radius. Most are around 1.40.

    The Michelin tyres I had in the past do tend to last a bit longer than most but are generally £20-30 more per tyre. Swings and roundabouts. I have also found them a bit noisy but that was some years ago.

    Do you live near Bristol. My brother lives in Charfield between the M5 and Wotton-under-Edge, north of Bristol.
    #13
  15. dieseldoug
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    dieseldoug Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    The Quattro on my Q5 are wearing the tyres equally, but I do believe it's how you drive these cars depend on tyre life per corner.
    #14
  16. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    We test drove those 2 cars back to back. Agree, the Golf was much more comfortable. The Sportback Sport nearly put us off buying Audi. Too uncomfortable for commuting.

    Though we have ordered a A3 SE Sportback. Hope it is as comfortable as the Golf.

    The original tyres on my Golf GTD were Bridgestones. So noisy we could not even talk to each other on the motorway.

    The Goodyears AS2s are much better for noise. The Contis have better wet performance though IIRC.
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  17. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    Just showed this to my wife. Had to reassure her that the one we ordered will not be like this (I hope).

    As I drive a car with 17 inch alloys on sport suspension I suspected there may be an issue with firm ride. It was also mentioned in a few reviews. On our test drive - after my wife was finished - I drove over every pot hole, man hole cover and a fair few cats eyes on the way back. Then we had the car out for a 24hour test drive. The conclusion I came to - the car felt like my Golf GTD with the suspension adjusted to sport mode. I am looking forward to changing my GTD for a more comfortable car. Changing the suspension to comfort and 16 inch winter tyres help a bit. But my wife's Mk5 and the Mk7 SE we test drove are far more comfortable.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, the GTD is slightly more comfortable on the Good Year AS2's. The Bridgestones were rock hard.
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  18. RobbieWebs
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    RobbieWebs Active Member

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    I take it u bought it from an Audi Dealership?
    Might be worth a try taking it back and telling them ur not happy with the road noise coming from the tyres.
    U never know u might get a new set of front tyres for free to keep u happy :)
    #17
  19. m0sbf
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    m0sbf Member

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    Thanks for all your really useful comments. Really appreciate you taking the time to give me your opinions.

    I love the look of the Audi and I guess my desire to get one outweighed other considerations. I really needed a 24 hour test drive to determine what the car was really like to drive and to gauge comfort. I realise that now!

    I bought from MIlton Keynes Audi, so will contact them in the New Year. Short of changing the tyres, the only other option is buying a new A3 2.0SE which will cost a bit, as I will probably get slammed with depreciation at changeover in May/June. 8V Sportbacks are so difficult to find second hand and the wait time for a new one is long. I originally drove a 2.0 TDI SE on 16 inch wheels and that was quite comfortable, but that car didn't have the extras I was looking for, so when I found the Monsoon Grey Sport with all the extras I thought it was my lucky day! The short test drive did not really show the ride quality differences.

    There is so much I love about the car, it is a real shame about the ride quality. The Audi Sound System and Audi Sat Nav are wonderful, god knows what the B&O must be like. If I buy a new one I will spec B&O! Interestingly, the 2.0SE I drove at Newbury Audi had noticeably more road noise than the Golf Mk VII, so those Continentals weren't great even on 16 inch rims. It was the first thing I noticed on the test drive, even at 50mph! Our Golf has Hankook Ventus Prime 2's and I don't hear any road noise to speak of. You wouldn't believe the car has the same MQB chassis. You can get these tyres in 225 profile, but the handling and traction would probably be compromised given the torque differences between the 2 litre and 1.6.

    I think it is the combination of road noise drone and unsettled ride that make the SB Sport uncomfortable and tiring (for me personally) over long motorway journeys. I am wondering whether knocking down the road din by 3dB (which is halving it) and choosing tyres which have softer side walls might just make things acceptable.

    Thanks to your comments, I now have Dunlop Sportmaxx RT and Good Year F1 ASY2 to consider. Dunlop appears to have less noise, but reviews suggest they wear fast. I think I am coming to the realisation that it's never going to be as comfortable as the Golf, which is the most comfortable and quietest car I have ever driven. That said, having driven it with four people in over the weekend, I am really glad I opted for the 2.0TDI rather than the 1.6 TDI engine, which struggles a bit with the very high gearing fitted to the Golf and wide spaced gear ratios. Fuel economy on the Audi has been 58-61mpg if I take it steady. Golf is low sixties, so not much different. Audi has much better power delivery.

    Thanks for your help and advice.

    Happy Christmas
    Steve
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
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  20. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    Good luck Steve. I have the Hankook Ventus evo S1 tyres in 225/45 x17 size and my 8P Sportback and they are very quiet and give good grip as well. I must admit I have not paid that much attention to the tyres fitted on the couple of test drives I had so far in new 8V but I will make sure I check in future. I have a half-day drive booked in a 2.0TDI-150 SE stronic for 4 Jan. I originally spoke to a salesman at Milton Keynes Audi but for this particular car he referred me to their companies other dealership in Amersham, so I am going their to drive the car. I also have a drive booked in a 2.0TDI-150 Sportback Sport s-tronic for later in January.

    Having spent some time driving a 2.0TDI-184 Sportback S-Line s-tronic quattro I must admit I am seriously thinking about the 184. I would not want an S-Line but it may have to be a Sport but I will certainly de-select the sports suspension. My current Sportback is a 2.0-TDI-170 and when I drove a 2.0TDI-150 Golf I did find I missed the extra bit of power. Unfortunately Audi UK don't import any 2.0-TDI-184 quattro s-tronics in SE trim, although these are available in Germany. The overall ride quality of the 8V Sportbacks I have driven does seem better than my existing 8P but tyre excessive noise can ruin a good car.
    #19
  21. m0sbf
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    m0sbf Member

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    Cheers for that Dave. Hope the test drive goes well.
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  22. driver_tim
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    driver_tim Active Member

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    I have an S-line with the 18 inch Conti Sport Contact 5s. I would agree the tyre noise is quite noticeable, although on a previous occasion when this issue was discussed on here a view was expressed that part of the reason for this was that the 8V is otherwise a very quiet car, which I think is valid. The Contis do seem to fare well in reviews though, and I have no complaints about their performance.

    I fitted Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2s to my previous car (mk 6 Golf, same wheel size), and was impressed. They did also seem quite quiet. The only reservation I'd have with them now is they are getting a bit long in the tooth.

    Just crank up the sound system a few notches and you'll be fine :)
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  23. m0sbf
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    m0sbf Member

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    [Jan 3, 2014]
    Bought two new GoodYear AS2's today for the fronts on my A3SB Sport and the ride does seem better.. When you push the side walls they feel softer than the Contis, so that flex in the side walls may help absorb some of the bumps from the many potholes around here. Road noise may be slightly better too compared to Conti Sport 5's. Still have the Conti's so may sell them on Ebay as they have 4.5mm left on them.
    #22
  24. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 3, 2014]
    Missed ths first time round, I agree compared to my 8P the 8V engine and wind noise are much less which accentuates tyre noise particularly on some relatively bumpy surfaces. Overall IMO 8v is quieter. But also sure there are quieter tyres than conti 5's and will look at what's available when it comes to first tyre change and I did find a newer version of Briddgestones for my 8p which were noticeably quieter.
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  25. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 3, 2014]
    In this week's Auto Express their is a letter from a chap who has a 2013 Skoda Superb which is running on Pirelli Cintirato P7 tyres saying that he has found them very noisy. The tyre size 225/45R17.

    The reply says that they tested the same size of tyre in a previous issue and the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 2 topped the cabin noise test, just ahead of the Dunlop Sport Maxx RT and Michelin Pilot Sport 3. I have the same Honkook tyres on my current 8P Sportback and also find the quiet on most road surfaces.
    #24
  26. twig
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    twig Member

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    [Jan 4, 2014]
    Yesterday, Friday Jan 3rd, I drove my brand new A3 Sportsback 184 psi home from the dealer and thought how noisy the tyres were, although people's comments regarding the quiet engine may also be of relevance as well. My car also has the Contenentals on.
    I will reserve further criticism for a few weeks to see if it really is as horrendous as you make out over a longer term. Everything else seems great but taking care to run it in properly.
    #25
  27. Kingfisher
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    Kingfisher Member

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    [Jan 4, 2014]
    Where in Charfield ?
    I grew up there between 1958 - 1967 - my Dad continued to live there until he retired in 1995/6
    #26
  28. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 4, 2014]
    He lives in Longs View which is off New Street which in turn is off the B4058 Wotton Road near the Charfield Service Station. He moved there when he left the RAF after 22 years service some 28 years ago.
    #27
  29. Kingfisher
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    Kingfisher Member

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    [Jan 4, 2014]
    Yes I can picture New Street.
    I rarely visited after 1972 when my Mum died, Dad usually called in to see us on his way to London to see his Mother!
    My Brother & I keep saying we must revisit, and Wotton - where we lived for thee years before.
    #28
  30. m0sbf
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    m0sbf Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    Took the car out this morning as it was dry to assess the impact of changing the Continental Sport Contact 5's on the front of my A3 Sport to Goodyear Eagle F1 ASY2's. First off, I did a bit of rough road driving on the pothole infested roads of Newbury and then out on Newbury's infamous bypass to get up to motorway speeds.

    I am staggered by the difference in ride quality. Gone is the hard edge to the ride and it is so much more comfortable now. I would describe the ride as more cushioned and big surface imperfections, whilst still felt, are more absorbed with the spine jarring edge that was present before. The loud drone from the Conti tyres is noticeably better with the Asymmetric 2's. I did not need to turn up the stereo anymore, even at 70mph. Steering is lighter too. I can't comment on handling as the tyres are still running in, but the car still has a firm ride quality, just no more jostling about over every little bump. I had two kids in the back, my son is six and my daughter 12. Neither complained about the ride, they both said they were comfortable. My daughter did comment about some tyre noise in the back, but that could be due to the continental 5's still on the back. In the front it is a different story. I would say road noise is down 20% and I would be confident in saying that.

    The other noticeable thing is the fuel consumption. A mixture of town and short highway run gave 51mpg. It was only 4C from a cold start and the trip was only 9 miles start to finish At 70mph on a flat road the car was registering 70mpg on the instant readout and nearly 80mpg at 30mph. This is several mpg better than before. It is interesting that the AO Continental 5's are actually E rated for rolling resistance and B for wet grip, whereas the Asymmetric 2's are C rated for rolling resistance and A for grip. The tread wear was 280 on the Conti's and 300 on the ASY2, so they might last longer too. I was alarmed how the Conti's had word over 8K miles, down to 4mm on the front.

    Given that the Diesel engine is heavy a lot of the weight goes onto the front wheels, so this better fuel efficiency could be down to rolling resistance improvements. The car certainly seems to roll better, in fact it is so much more effortless than the 1.6tdi Mk VIi Golf we also own, which has high gearing - making change-downs more often needed.

    So where am I now in closing the gap between the Golf Mk VII's magnificent ride and that of the Audi A3 SB Sport? Well, I think this change is major progress and the ride is now not overtly dissimilar. Really pleased with this result - would recommend other people on the forum consider these tyres if they get fed up with the uncomfortable edge of the Sport chassis. PM me if you want to know anymore.

    When I next do a long run, I will better assess the fuel consumption. I am certain that has improved by a couple of mpg at least too.

    Steve
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  31. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    I would wait until the tyres are run in before making a comparison. Give them about 500 miles..
    #30
  32. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    It's good to hear about the improvement Steve. It will also help others who think their new A3 has too much road noise. It's good to know that some tyres can be so much better on an A3 than others. If and when I order a new A3 I will also budget for changing the tyres in case it comes on tyres that I'm not keen on.
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  33. m0sbf
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    m0sbf Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    Agree that things might change. I will re-post when they have bedded in to compare results.
    #32
  34. m0sbf
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    m0sbf Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    Thanks,
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  35. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 6, 2014]
    I've just been speaking with the manager of the tyre depot that fitted my two replacement tyres back in July 2013. I mentioned that a colleague had had some Continental tyres on his new A3 and found them very noisy and had replaced the front two with Goodyear Eagle F1 ASY2's. His comments were that the Goodyear's were excellent tyres and much quieter than most other tyres, and equally as good as the Hankook tyres I have on mine and the new Dunlop Sport Maxx RTs. So it seems like you made a good choice.

    I think I will have to include a set of replacement tyres in the budget for my new A3 just in case it also comes with 'noisy' tyres.
    #34
  36. snakehips
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    snakehips Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 6, 2014]
    So the obvious question is - why do A3's come with the Continentals if they are so bad? They certainly aren't a cheaper option.
    I haven't had the chance to test them as I went straight to winter tyres (and even with them I have no complaints about noise)
    #35
  37. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 6, 2014]
    They not not a cheap to us but we don't know what Audi are paying for tyres. Perhaps they get a good deal from Continental. My existing 8P A3 came with Hankook S1 evo tyres from new and they have been very good.

    Perhaps you just play your radio louder than some !!!
    #36
  38. snakehips
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    snakehips Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 6, 2014]
    I'm sure I do!
    But whether or not Audi get a good deal on them, I'd still have expected them to balance this against what works best with the A3.
    Oh well, I'll just have to drive like a nutter for a few months to wear them out faster so that I can justify switching to something decent.
    Michelin PS3's have been great on my GTi.
    #37
  39. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 6, 2014]
    The Michelin PS3s get good rating for noise as well, which several tests was quite unusual for a Michelin tyre.

    My problem is that I very rarely play anything when I'm driving. I like the sound of silence!!
    #38
  40. snakehips
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    snakehips Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 6, 2014]
    May I suggest a Prius would be perfect for you?
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  41. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Jan 6, 2014]
    Not a great Simon and Garfunkel fan myself Dave :)

    Seriously, we have had 4 8P's . The noisiest tyres are Bridgestone Potenza IMHO. Michelins were the best and lasted 24,000 miles front and rear on a quattro 170 (08 Reg) The Potenza's..pm 2011 similar car .. well we had to buy 10 tyres in 25000 miles (just sold with 4 new ones). So 6 tyres vs NIL.
    #40

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