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Worried about comfort/suspension?

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by Daz Auto, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Have read a few reviews that say that the suspension is 'not as sophisticated' in the basic models e.g. A3 SE 1.6 TDI that we have just ordered :/

    Does anyone know what the difference is between the basic suspension and the more 'sophisticated' suspension?


    Is there a difference in the suspension types when you 'delete' sport suspension? Does deleting sport suspension mean that you are getting the basic, less sophisticated suspension? Or if you order a 2.0L do you still get 'sophisticated' suspension, but just not sport spec, but still sophisticated just more comfortable... if you follow all that?

    ... should not drink and post... Happy New year!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
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  2. Anarch
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    Anarch Member

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    I don't think that there is any difference, ie that S line or Sport suspension setting is more sophisticated....
    Audi uses a bit confusing terminology - it treats Sport and S line suspension as 'upgrades' over the standard, and changing from Standard Sport Suspension on S-line spec is called a 'downgrade'. I think that's where the reviewer got his impression that the suspension is 'less sophisticated'. As far as I know - it's just the difference in height + dampening.
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  3. TTLAW
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    TTLAW Member

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    I know that lower versions of the Golf 7 have single beam back axles as a cost cutting measure but don't think this applies to the A3.

    Steve
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  4. snakehips
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    snakehips Active Member

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    Same as the OP, I'm sure I have read somewhere that the Sport and S-line trim levels do have an upgraded suspension technology, maybe similar to what they do with the Golf, but I can't find that info now. But I don't think specifying SE suspension on a Sport or S-line actually removes the more sophisticated suspension technology though.
    Edit: maybe it's not SE trim that has less sophisticated suspension but the very smallest engined models. Maybe someone can clarify.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
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  5. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    All versions of the A3 have the more sophisticated suspension system. SE, Sport and S-Line and every engine size.
    #5
  6. snakehips
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    snakehips Active Member

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    I bow to your superior knowledge but still convinced I read it somewhere, same as OP. Has this changed recently?
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  7. yetirider
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    yetirider Active Member

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    Like lots of things on forums it's a mind thing, or a need thing, we all read so much information we start to get paranoid over the smallest detail.

    Would you actually be able to tell the difference between a crossbeam and multilink suspension setup?

    From the reviews I've read the cheaper golfs have crossbeam while all of the A3s have a multilink set up.

    As for getting a 1.6 TDI SE, this is the route I went after coming from a sport A1.
    I went this route as I wanted comfort in the ride plus I didn't want the sport elements in something that isn't a sporty car.
    What you'll get is a very comfortable car that will handle really well over bumps and you can still push it through corners if you want to.
    I must admit I tend to drive mine slower than the A1 simply because it gives you that comfort rather than drive me fast feeling.
    If that's what you want you'll love the car, and let's face it if you've gone 1.6 TDI your not out to race anything but it's a good engine within its limits.
    On the SE spec if funds allow I would add the interior ally trim, for £75 it finishes the interior off.
    Then if you want cruise the comfort pack. I didn't but added the interior light pack, and the pack that gives auto dimming mirror, auto lights and wipers. Only about £600 more but gives you extras you will use every day without spending a fortune.
    For £35 you can add the chrome exhaust trim.
    Enjoy your car I certainly don't regret not getting a sport or s-line.
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  8. Anarch
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    Anarch Member

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    I think that's the article you've read
    Audi A3 1 6 Tdi 105 S Line 3dr Review | What Car?

    "The 1.6 TDI rides on less sophisticated rear suspension than most other A3s. S line models are also pricey."
    #8
  9. yetirider
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    yetirider Active Member

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    Just had a look under mine and it does seem to have a crossbeam on it. I couldn't tell the difference though, I'll have to have a peek under one with another engine.
    #9
  10. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    You've got me wondering now. I will have another look at ETKA and see if it lists different suspension parts for different engines. I don't think it does but I will have another look to be sure.
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  11. M_D_O_London
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    M_D_O_London Member

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    I do vaguely recall reading in one of the car magazines that the 1.2 TFSI and 1.6 TDI sit on a torsion beam as opposed to the multi-link set-up, (regardless of trim level). Happy to be proved wrong, however, as haven't seen the underside of either. Either way, don't imagine it would be too much of an issue to the overall dynamics of the car 95% of the time - unless it's being pushed to the limit around corners.
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  12. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Having had a further look at ETKA it does seem to list two different suspension system, each of which has it's own PR code. Code 0N1 is listed as 'rear axle standard' and Code 0N4 which is listed as 'four link axle' but it does not give any details of which type is used on which model.

    Unlike a dealer I do not have access to Audi's computer system where you can enter a VIN number and it will tell you what options have been fitted to a particular car. If anyone has a 1.6TDI perhaps they would like to look at the sticker in the Service Book and see if the codes 0N1 or 0N4 are listed. Mind you I have a photocopy of the sticker from the 2.0TDI-184 quattro I drove the other week and it does not mention either code. The Golf users the same PR codes but again does not specify which one is used on which models.

    I have also just had a look in the latest Pricing and Specification Guide and it does not mention the type of suspension at all which is a bit naughty.
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  13. yetirider
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    yetirider Active Member

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    No those don't appear in the book, however looking at the page detail suspension isn't mentioned.
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  14. snakehips
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    snakehips Active Member

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    M_D_O describes exactly what I read. Can't imagine the difference is detectable in everyday driving but still maybe something for people considering those engines to know.
    #14
  15. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    Its a shame that Audi do not have something like Ford's Etis https://www.etis.ford.com/vehicleRe...id=8440C0967F14A9E51C90E0A6DAC84382.eccvas503 There you can put any registration number in of any Ford car built after a certain time, then find out exactly when it was built and what standard fit or options the car has.
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  16. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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  17. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    They do BUT it is only available to dealers parts departments which is a great shame.
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  18. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Yes the ETKA listing is similar but includes other pages for quattro etc and some application dates. The basics are:

    500-020 - up to 30/9/2013 and then from 30/9/2013 onwards - this is the rear beam system.
    501-020 - track rod, coupling rod and anti-roll bar
    501-030 - same as 501-020 but for quattro
    505-000 - support frame
    505-005 - wishbone, axle guide and wheel bearing housing
    505-010 - support frame for quattro
    505-030 - as 505-005 but for quattro.

    These are of course just the basic illustration pages and each one has many different parts lists. If you are interested and want to send me a PM with your email address I can print the various pages as PDF files and email them to you.
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  19. mjc
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    mjc Member

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    My understanding is that it depends on the engine output, regardless of trim level. As others have said, Golf Mk 7 models with an engine output of 122 PS and below get the rear torsion beam axle, whereas the higher output engines get the four link independent rear suspension. I believe this rationale also applies to A3 models.
    #19
  20. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Thanks you so much.

    I had looked at the dash of the A3 in the Audi Configurator. Did not realise that you had to spec the silver vent surrounds! Like you said it definitely finishes the inside of the car. I called the dealer today - build week 8 - but should be ok to add the silver trim. When does the build get locked and no more changes?

    As for the suspension - I am certain that my wife will never notice that the rear of her car does not have multi link suspension. I wonder how many would? I don't think it affects comfort which is her primary requirement.

    Was speaking to a family member at the weekend. I didn't realise that she had an A3. She told my wife that she had also test driven a sporty model and told the dealer she didn't like it. The dealer asked her to come back and try the lower spec model and she loved it.
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  21. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to spec the silver air vent surrounds... it's just about the trim that goes around the dashboard I think that that option changes
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  22. yetirider
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    yetirider Active Member

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    It changes silver plastic to ally, plus the door trim and console switches.

    QJ1


    Aluminium interior elements. On the vents, glove compartment, wing-mirror adjustment switches, electric windowswitches, frame around the inside door handle, control buttons for the parking brake and the hold-assist button (if fitted)


    #22
  23. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    I think the air vent surrounds are silver whatever inlays are spec'd...
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  24. BYD
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    BYD New Member

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    Just a thought after reading through this? It has always been a worry to me when ordering a build car. Have I chosen the right things? A great deal of what you order is just based on the test model or demonstrator you may go out in. You rarely get the chance to try anything back to back. The sales person makes a difference, unless your flush to add everything? You have ordered what you liked about the model you drove. The trim will be AUDI and nicely screwed together, the ride will be more sensitive to the wheels and tyres on this car. What have you spec'd on them? S suspension or SE, smaller wheels with proper tyres, and definitely not run flat. Makes the difference to a shaken up liver. What you may have forgotten is! Is! there a spare tyre in the boot? The hair spray doesn't really work that well! More important than worrying about plastics. Wished I hadn't needed to get one afterwards!

    Anyway! Just enjoy your new ride!
    #24
  25. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    I've just been back through the configurator again and looked at every option and whether I'd spec it knowing what I know now... and for the most part, I wouldn't make any changes. I'm not sure I'd have the variable range headlights given a choice, but you have to have them if you have the lane assist and xenon lights so no choice there. I'm also very slightly regretting not having the s-tronic, but for the cost I think I made the right decision - I couldn't have afforded it and I'd rather have the options I have rather than s-tronic. Maybe next time!
    #25
  26. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Thanks guys. It's not as bad as I first thought.

    The door trim is already silver. The frame around the door handle is changed.

    Have discovered that I can bring up a picture of the dash in the configurator and click on the option to see exactly what changes.

    Yes, there is already silver around the vents, it does change slightly when I click the option.

    It is possible to email the dealer and tell him to forget about it as the change cannot be made with Audi until tomorrow. Though I think we both like the small touches.

    Edit: if you click on interior and then the option you can see exactly how the vents change.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
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  27. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Back on topic...

    Found this about Mk7 Golf...

    "In order to allow the greatest possible weight reduction, a new modular lightweight rear suspension system was developed for Golf models with 122 PS and less, which weighs just 38 kg. For the more powerful versions, the further developed modular performance suspension was used, weighing 49 kg."
    #27
  28. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    More about the Golf rear suspension...

    "This leaves the Golf feeling rather flat-footed by comparison – a situation that isn’t helped by a quirk of the mk7’s specification: versions of the car with less than 122hp are fitted with “torsion beam” rear suspension, which is far less sophisticated than the “multi-link” setup found on more powerful variants.

    Now, it may well be the case that your average Golf buyer really doesn’t care about this. But to us, the diesel’s less fancy back axle had a marked impact on the VW’s ride quality and general feeling of polish – to the extent that it becomes far more fidgety over the same stretch of road.

    Just to check we weren’t imagining this, we compared it back to back with the 1.4 TSI – which has that magic 122hp don’t forget – and then drove another, different 1.6 TDI, just to be sure. The diesel simply isn’t as composed or as comfortable, even accounting for the extra engine weight."
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  29. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Another Mk7 review...

    "Most versions are sensational to drive, blending an extremely comfortable ride with good body control. However, the cheaper versions (both 1.2 petrols and the 1.6 diesel) come with less sophisticated rear suspension, and they don’t ride quite as serenely. They’re still more comfortable than many rivals, though."
    #29
  30. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    And another...

    Torsion beam rear suspension:

    “It is about saving weight," says Volkswagen Group director of marketing, Jurgen Stackmann. "It’s lighter than multi link [rear suspension]. Customers don’t need it they, can’t sense the difference [when driving] on multi-link. That’s why multi-link is only on the higher output versions. For normal driving environments we have the normal [rear suspension].”
    #30
  31. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    And another...

    "The only quibble so far is that Golfs fitted with sub-120bhp engines (currently the 1.2 petrol and the 1.6 diesel) are fitted with slightly rudimentary torsion beam suspension at the rear, whilst the rest get a more advanced setup. Some of the critics reckon there is a slight difference in the ride quality and handling between the two, but it’s only noticeable if you really look for the changes, so it won’t affect most buyers."
    #31
  32. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    And another...

    "There are effectively two versions of the Mark 7 Golf, divided by their rear suspension set ups. The basic models come with a choice of 1.2 litre TSI petrol engines, returning 85 or 105bhp and a 1.4 litre TSI petrol unit, at 122bhp. There is also a 1.6 litre turbo diesel option. Somewhat surprisingly, these entry-level models have been decreed too lowly to benefit from the impressive multi-link rear suspension system that so distinguished the Mk 5 & 6 Golfs, in favour of a more old-fashioned, torsion beam system. However, this is not all that noticeable at this level of performance, partly thanks to the addition of the previous Golf GTi's XDS electronic diff lock.

    The second, higher performance version of the new Golf deservedly and necessarily gets that sophisticated suspension set up. This contributes substantially to the rewarding and dynamic handling you'd expect from the 150bhp, 2.0 litre TDI or 2.0 litre, 220bhp Gti. There is a further performance version available – a clever 1.4 litre TSI ACT, for Active Cylinder Technology."
    #32
  33. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Lots of Golf reviews mention the rear suspension. Few A3 reviews talk about it.

    "Lower-powered editions of the new Golf, below 120PS, must manage with a semi-independent torsion-beam setup. The result is a slight but detectable increase in shimmies, hops and jitters over bumps, but the simpler suspension does at least bring a 15kg weight saving."
    #33
  34. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    And another...

    "The ride suffers a little with the adoption of a less sophisticated torsion beam rear suspension for lower order Golf models like this one, but you only really feel it over very poor surfaces or when pushing on hard."
    #34
  35. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    #35
  36. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    "In fact, the only big difference lies in the suspension – all sub-150bhp Golfs come with a more cost-effective torsion beam unit at the back, whilst the rest of the range gets the same multi-link rear suspension setup that all A3s come with as standard.

    Judging by what the critics who’ve reviewed the new Golf say, though, that the torsion beam’s deficiencies to the multi-link’s when it comes to ride and handling don’t appear to be that noticeable out on the open road."

    Now I am confused.

    Have some of the journalists got it wrong about the Audi and assumed it was the same as the Golf or is the above review wrong?

    This is an even bigger issue with the Seat and Skoda - low AND mid range cars do not get the better ride quality of multi-link rear suspension. Are VAG are using the MQB platform to enable subtle changes in ride quality between models/brands - under the guise of cost savings of course?
    #36
  37. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    Why not go and look at one?
    #37
  38. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Our dealer is 50miles away and they only had higher spec demos to look at.

    Besides, this is just academic to me. My wife's only concern is that the A3 we ordered is as comfortable as the Golf SE we test drove - which definitely had the light weight suspension. The A3 we test drove and the Golf GTD that I drive both have multi-link suspension - neither are comfortable on bumpy B roads.

    I tried to explain the suspension differences to SWMBO. Her eyes glazed over when I talked about multi-link and torsion beam. I'm only learning about this stuff myself. All she wants is comfortable, economic car... it must be red. :)

    I personally think that on standard 16 inch alloys/tyres 99% of people (me included) in normal everyday driving would NOT be able to tell the difference. I'm just curious.
    #38
  39. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Autocar, "All Audi A3s feature multi-link rear suspension, denied to some other MQB-based VW Group cars."
    #39
  40. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Autocar need to get their facts straight. In their test of the 1.6TDI by Jim Holder on 7 January 2013 (Audi A3 1.6 TDI Sport first drive review Review | Autocar) there is a paragraph that reads:

    The ride is also a concern, and the sports suspension must take the majority of the blame for that over-firmness. It is true that 1.6 diesel-equipped A3s sit on less-sophisticated torsion beam rear suspension, but equivalent cars on standard suspension and the same 17-inch wheels ride more pliantly than this example.
    #40

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