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What could you live without?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Vertigo1, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Ok so I've had my A3 2.0TDI 140 SE for over 2.5 years now and renewal time is drawing near (company car). To this end I've put together what I'd ideally want and forwarded to the boss. Eyebrows were raised :) In anticipation of the "you can't have all that, pare it back a bit" response, which option(s) could you do without? The biggest cost options I've put down are 170PS, S-Line, S-Tronic & DVD Satnav.

    Which of these would you be most inclined to drop if needed? Obviously some will save more than others (170PS->140PS = £800ish, S-Line->Sport = £1500ish, S-Tronic->Manual = £1400, Satnav->Map = £2175!).

    The most obvious thing to drop would be the satnav but, having played with the system in my boss' A6 I really want it as it's a damn good nav system and I like the MP3 player with SD card slots (would obviate the need for a changer at least) plus it's just so damn sexy :D

    One thing I do need to do is get a decently long unaccompanied drive of a new S-Tronic model to test out this gearbox properly after all the problems I've seen reported with "delays". I heard a rumour the box itself had been improved a bit in addition to being renamed S-Tronic, is there any truth in this?
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  2. Covenant
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    Covenant Member

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    Ditch the SatNav and buy an aftermarket one imo - there's better systems, and cheaper available. You can buy a lot of more useful stuff with that money.
    #2
  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Go for a manual you lazy bugger!
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  4. tinka
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    tinka Guest

    stick to the 140,and keep the rest,a remap at a later date can always be done?.
    #4
  5. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    If it were me, I'd specify the car without the RNS-E sat nav unit, and then retrofit it for less than a quarter of the price by purchasing a used unit (specify Symphony II though to make it an easier install), then remove it at the end of the lease and sell it on again to recoup most of the cost. Similarly, you buy some S-Line bits (like the wheels for example), and then sell them afterwards.

    Sounds a bit mad, but if those extras were so important to you, and your company won't budge, it's a decent compromise.
    #5
  6. auroan
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    auroan Active Member

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    Hmmm I'd upgrade to an A4. Seem to be much better built and more refined
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  7. missviper
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    missviper Member

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    Forget the sat nav if i was you as it is a lot of dosh to tell you where to go.
    Instead invest in your own sat Nav.
    #7
  8. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    The satnav is looking like the most likely victim as it's so damn expensive but I really don't like the Tomtom-type solutions as that's what I'm using now and they're a pain in the neck. Having it built-in would be so convenient and I also covet the MP3 player with the card slots that comes with it which I'd also be losing by sacrificing it.

    I can't remap the engine as it's a company car and can't be touched. Please don't start on about how I could do it without anyone noticing as everyone says this and it's just not going to happen.

    Benw123, I take it this "RNS-E" is the codename for the full DVD satnav system? I was under the impression that it couldn't be retrofitted even by Audi themselves, let alone the end-user/customer?

    Auroan, don't want an A4, end of. If I had a quid for every person that's said "why don't you get an A4" I'd be rich by now :D
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  9. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    Ditch the satnav...for now...

    Get the symphony double din stereo and later you can upgrade to the Audi RNS-E (dvd sat nav) for about £1k, if not less.

    Units are available for about £450 so you just need the right leads, the gps reciever and someone to change the coding on the car.

    Has been done many times before.
    #9
  10. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Eeef, surely doing that would affect the warranty? Need to be very careful here as it'll be a lease car.

    The Symphony has the in-dash 6-disc changer, doesn't it? Thus obviating the need for a separate changer in the glovebox?
    #10
  11. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    I agree with what someone else said.
    Better off spending the dosh on an A4 then a fully loaded A3.
    #11
  12. JeffY
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    JeffY Member

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    You are never better off spending money on a car you don't want.
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  13. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    In direct response the question,I could live without the godawful (IMO) DSG gearbox.
    I doubt a rename to S-tronic (or whatever) has cured the delay,or the other issues I have with it.
    I would also struggle to justify £2k !!!! for a satnav system.
    Silly money,when you could pick up one of those 'pimpomarchangel' thingameebobs from Halford for a tenth of that.
    #13
  14. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What does the S-line pack actually give you for the money?
    #14
  15. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Is he spending money, though? I thought it was a company car.
    #15
  16. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Having just had an A3 as loan car while my A4 is serviced, I agree totally with this statement. The difference between the two models in build and refinement is much bigger than I'd imagined. To be honest, the A3 just didn't feel all that "Audi-ish" to me.

    I agree that if you don't want an particular car, there's no point getting one, but it might be worth checking the A4 out (if you haven't already) in case you come to the conclusion that it is for you after all. Even if it means a lower spec, that needn't matter. In the end, the toys are nice to have, but they don't make a car better than it is.

    In answer to your original question, I would happily do without all of the items you listed, if it meant I got an A4 rather than a A3, but everyone's point of view is different.
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  17. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    18" wheels, bumpers are a different design, rear spoiler, S-line badges, half leather seats. probably other little things. Cant think what off the top of my head.

    Look alot better than SE/Sport A3s.

    I'd get rid of the Sat Nav and S-tronic gearbox.
    #17
  18. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    The 18" wheels are worth the dosh alone but,combined with the sports suspension,they make the ride more fidgety than an Israeli bus driver.

    You get black headlining as well,which some people think smart (I do),but some people find a bit clostrophobic (the wife does).

    I would urge you to look at the A4 though.
    They're doing some cracking deals on them,with loads of stuff being chucked at them free,and they come with a really smart two tone black/grey leather option that isn't (as far as I can tell) available for the A3 either.
    #18
  19. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Personally I prefer the A3 over the A4. The A4 is a little too grown up for me, I test drove a couploe at the end of last year as I contemplated upgrading to an A4 S-line whle they where very nice to drive they where IMHO a bit dull comapred to even my current A3, nless I have a change in circumstances and then I'll order myself an RS4 :D I do like the A4 cabs though but I think this is out of the equation.

    Out of the options listed I would bin the sat nav - for that sort of money I would be tempted to use one othose horrible paper map things!

    Not 100% certain I'll go for DSG/S-tronic on my next car either. I did think I couldn;t live with a manual now for my commute but I used Claires car the other week for 5 days to drive to the office and it was fine (it's a maual!)

    So I would definatley go for the 170ps model and S-line. If the budget was there then I would possilby pick the DSG as well.

    J.
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  20. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    HERETIC !
    BURN HIM !

    ;-)
    #20
  21. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    Have to agree with MB on the A4 - definitely 'Pipe & slippers'.
    Whenever I have driven one, the chassis always feels completely numb, and the steering response is more like a canal boat. The A3 feels much more 'immediate' and agile. No significant difference in build quality either, in my view.

    But back to the original question, you're missing the most important thing :- Ditch the rattling, smoking tractor engine and get a proper 2.0T ;)
    #21
  22. hburnett
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    hburnett Member

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    benw123 where can you get these units from... I've got a Smphyony and wouldn't mind the RNS-E unit as retro... Price?

    Also does it matter if mine has Bose fitted? I've heard that the wires at teh back are different?!?!

    h
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  23. hburnett
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    hburnett Member

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    I'd agree with J. I test drove the A4 when I was considering the co car... I have to say that the A4 looked nice from the outside but inside you have to buy everything! Almost like BMW everything... Wheels optional?!!??!?!?!?

    I'm really happy with the SptBk that I have and the options def make it...

    I think the S-Line would be a good choice! Thats one thing I wish Ihad got now instead of the Sport, but then if I had done that I wouldn't have had the options on it!!!

    H
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  24. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Ok completely off topic but where abouts from scumhampton are you from Pen? I live in Grange Park, Hedge End.

    J.
    #24
  25. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    RNS-E is indeed the name for the DVD sat nav unit but it is totally untrue that they cannot be retrofitted. Have a look at the following forum where loads of people have done it (http://www.navplus.us) with just basic car DIY skills, but be warned you'll need an hour or two free to digest all the information! :) I've not actually done the install myself, but the navplus website is one of my favourites, maintained by some very clever people. Quite apart from anything else it's just interesting to trawl through all the posts!

    In short, if you have a Symphony II unit it's a very straightforward upgrade. You need an RNS-E unit (obviously!), that fits your car (the A3, A4 and A6 units have slightly different facias) with a DVD and satellite antenna, and an aftermarket wiring adapter. The only tricky part of the install is that you need someone with the VAG-COM software to recode the ECU, so that the car knows it has sat nav.

    eBay is the cheapest source for used RNS-E units (click this link to search). The prices vary; usually £400 upwards. It should work with or without Bose AFAIK. Also check the ICE section of this forum. I believe craigyb was supplying and fitting the RNS-E for £1000, great if you're not good with cars.
    #25
  26. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Cheers for all the replies so far.

    Regards the A4, there are two reasons this isn't an option. First, one of my bosses currently has a modestly specced one and isn't about to let me have a better car than he has. I can get away with an A3, even if the spec and price exceeds his because it will still be perceived as a lesser model. Secondly, I just don't like the interior of the A4 I'm afraid. I find it looks plain and dated next to the A3 and just isn't as welcoming a place to be IMHO.

    That out of the way...

    I'm not sure about this retrofitting of the satnav tbh, especially with it being a lease car. If the dealer decided to get grumpy and inform the lease company that it had been retrofitted I could get in all kinds of bother. I agree it's a no-brainer if you're buying yourself as you can save a shedload of cash.

    TBH I'm surprised more people haven't suggested ditching the DSG/S-Tronic, having read the "delay" stories around. I've only had a brief drive in a DSG equipped A3 and I really need to grab the demonstrator off the dealer for a couple of hours and have a good play with it. For my reference, how does this "delay" manifest itself? Is there any particular driving style which provokes it, so I can try it out myself. I have to say I loved the gearbox whilst on the move but I have to admit I didn't make any fast getaways on the short drive I had.

    Lastly, does anyone know how much harder the suspension is with the 18" rims on compared to the normal Sport 17s? I've got an SE atm and that can get a bit jiggly on uneven surfaces so I was worried the Sport suspension would be too hard but tbh it's not that much harder than the SE. I did hear something about the Sport suspension being softened a bit when the 3Dr was facelifted but I've no idea if this is true. How hard/jiggly is the suspension in the S-Line on 18s?
    #26
  27. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hahahahahahah!
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  28. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Getting the ride out of the way,I mentioned before (but you evidently missed it) that the S-line/18" ride is fidgety.
    In fact,fidgety is being kind.
    It's shockingly hard.
    Really,really,hard.
    Unfortunately,one cannot get the lovely 18" wheels without the hard ride.
    I don't want any of the other wheels,so I suffer the ride...but it's hard.

    With regard to the 'DSG-delay',it manifests itself when attempting to pull away from a junction.
    It doesn't matter which mode you are in (although some are better than others),there is a delay between you pressing the throttle and the car actually accelerating.
    The delay varies and there is no way of successfully avoiding it,other than simply adapting your driving to suit it.
    I simply cannot join traffic like I can in a manual car.I won't even attempt it now,as I know the car will just bog down and,before I know it,the gap has gone and the person behind is flashing his lights at me.
    It makes you look like a twat driver.
    At best,it's annoying and frustrating.
    At times,it's plain dangerous.
    Some deny the delay exists,but there are rumours of an official Audi service bulletin acknowledging it exists,but suggesting no cure.
    #28
  29. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    I completley agree about the A4 interior. The other thing is that spec for spec it misses a few things that the A3 has.

    You have to pay extra for auto air recirc, DIS, and a few other things as well (that have slipped my mind)
    #29
  30. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  31. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    If anybody expects a DSG to have the same pull away characteristics as a manual then they're a fekin idiot. As has been said, you need to adapt your driving style slightly to suit it. If you're pulling out from roundabouts into tight gaps, just start a fraction of a second earlier than you would in a manual to give the computers time to do there thing.

    That being said, go for a long test drive and weigh up which box suits the majority of your driving.
    #31
  32. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    I'd settle for the same pullaway characteristics as any other automatic,as they don't suffer from 'DSG-delay'.

    You are right with one thing though.

    DSG has been the most feckin idiotic decision of my driving life.
    #32
  33. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    If you find the SE gets fidgety then I think you;ll hate the ride on the s-line setup. I've come frmo a string of Gti's/hot hatches and don't mind the ride of the S-line. No one else has commeted on the fdgety ride either.

    I've since lowered mine with a set of-50mm eibach springs and ride is still acceptable IMO.

    DSG has got a delay when pulling away from stand still, it's better in manual and sport than normal Drive. To get round this I stomp my foot on the brake and hit the accelorator and this helps but does not cure it.

    Most modern Auto's seem to suffer the same problem. I often drive a mates 2004 330ci beamer with an auto box and it has the same problem. His 2001 330d auto didn't though...

    J.
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  34. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    When I test drove a TDi with the DSG gearbox I didn't think it was well suited to a diesel as it obviously changes down gear if you put your foot down a bit. In a diesel I like being able to leave it in whatever gear and squirt the throttle and it still surges forward quick enough without revving it excessively which is what you are able to do in manual.

    DSG/S-tronic or whatever its called now is more suited to petrol cars IMO.
    #34
  35. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Personally I think the DSG is better suited to the Tdi as the power band is so narrow and requires a lot of gear changes comapred to the wider band of a petrol engine.

    J.
    #35
  36. cosmicblue
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    cosmicblue Member

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    If I had my time round again I'd have an Sport rather than an S-Line - unless the roads are billiard table smooth the suspension/18" rims are just tediously hard - mine seemed to get better to around 15k and now the ride is getting poorer at 22k.

    I'd add a black headlining, same as the S-Line, keep the DVD Nav (leasing company will take a dim view of you ripping the Symphony out), stick with the 140 and s-Tronic. And add XENON headlamps - the standard lights are laughable. if the budget is there get an armrest and parking sensors - and the item I wish I'd ordered now - an interior light pack.

    I had mine Revo'd (it is a lease car) and got the SPS switch to reset the map to standard for dealer visits/end of lease. 187bhp and better fuel economy too, i.e. down the M40 this morning at a steady 80mph @ 55mpg (DIS).

    DSG/S-Tronic delay - is caused by the torque convertor used in a conventional automatic transmission being replaced by an automatic multiplate clutch. When you go to pull away quickly there is a momentary delay (a fraction of a second) as the clutch locks up into a drive condition. I never really noticed it and you quickly learn to compensate by hitting the throttle a fraction of a second earlier. If you ignore all the hype about it being semi manual (it isn't) and accept that this is just a very good automatic that is wickedly quick then you won't be disappointed.

    The best bit of all is that the car is very tax efficient and I still have a positive tax code.
    #36
  37. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Sorry,but I disagree (I'm not just arguing for the sake of it,honest!)

    I don't know if you've ever driven a manual 2.0tdi,but I found it a revelation.
    It was hard to believe it was the same engine.
    I would actually say the DSG makes the engine feel like it has a narrower power band than it actually has.
    It's constantly changing up and down for you,within rev limits set by the ECU.
    The manual doesn't have this,and the engine can easily rev lower and higher than DSG allows.
    I found the flexibility of the engine amazing,in the manual.
    IMO,the DSG does not take advantage of this.
    I found I was able to hold the manual in one gear,where I knew my DSG car would have been constantly flitting between gears (even in manual mode).

    It's hard to explain,until you drive a manual.

    With regard to the ride,I'd rather have the sport ride with the S-line wheels.
    Unfortunately,that's not an option.
    The sport wheels (or the optional wheels for the sport) are just gross IMO.
    #37
  38. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    I've only driven an A6 loan car with the 2.0Tdi and manual gearbox. It felt more spritely when pulling away from a stand stil (as you would expect!)

    But on the move I still seemed to use the same power band. The DSG doesn't change down until around 1200rpm and only allows you to change up over 1600 rpm (something like that anyway) ad it changes up at the redline.

    Perhaps becaue of the revo upgrade I use a different rev range? Unlike the standard car it's pointless reving past 4K as it's actually slower.

    I'll let you know in a few weeks as I'll remove the software because it's due a service.

    J.
    #38
  39. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    I've only had a brief experience of the 'DSG delay' on a test drive, and it was quite bizarre. You could be stationary, DSG in 'drive', with your foot hard down on the throttle, and nothing would happen - for several seconds ! Come off the throttle, then back on, and it would pull away normally without any delay. It must be a software bug.

    I found the S-Line suspension no harder than my Sport in a back-to-back test. Actually, it still felt quite comfortable because the damping is better than the Sport.
    #39
  40. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Don't forget they changed the suspension on the S-lines by all accounts, I think at the end of 2004?
    #40

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