A3 handling

dex140

Registered User
Hi I have a 2.0tdi 2wd and was just wondering how the handling compares to to other cars, its a lot better than my ibiza sport tdi. I know it wont handle as well as say a Ctr but what would it be on a par with?

Cheers
 

N8

Kowalski Details
VCDS Map User
Slap some coilovers and anti roll bars on there, and its a different car all together.
 

Boydie

S3 8V DSG
VCDS Map User
I went from a DCI Clio to my A3 TDI Sport and the handling difference at standard was amazing. This then improved by me adding FK Silverline Coilovers and loved it!

In the S3 now the handling was an even better improvement and now with addition of H&R springs, this trend has continued! H&R ARB's are next on the list so this will make it a lot better!!
 

MattyV5

Registered User
I have a sport. It's ok. but nothing has compared to my 53 plate focus!! not even when I had a MK4 Golf V5 on coilovers! I do miss the focus still.....
 

rickyquicky

Registered User
Well its a comfortable car, and the handling is pretty 'safe', but ts a heavy car at the end of the day - its never going to feel like a sports car unless you shed a few hundred kilos and shift the weight around a bit, upgrade suspension etc

But then are you bothered unless your taking it on track? And the money you spent on upgrades would be far better on an old cheap hatch to thrash around on a trackday.

The A3 is a smooth and comfortable car, my Renault Clio Williams is a really chuckable and fun to drive car, but my A3 is a nice drive on the motorway etc and is 10x more comfortable, so its all down to what you want really when your on the road. :happy:
 

dunk

Registered User
as has already been said, the a3 isnt the best in class by far, particularly in fwd format, its too heavy and understeers too much by design, and the suspension is too hard in s-line or sport guise to have good handling.

some moderately costed changes make massive differences - i think the best consist of:
1) slightly lower and softer springs such as the eibach, h&r
£120 plus fitting approx

2) matched good quality dampers eg koni FSD or h&r
£300-400 plus fitting

the above could be coilovers but these can be hard as nails and expensive

3) uprated ARBs, particularly increasing the rear relative to the front - most aftermarket ARB kits increase front even more that rear - the only ones that seem to have the balance spot on is neuspeed but they are twice the cost of alternatives
to do this cheaply i would look at the mk v gti r32 front bar (approx £85) and the neuspeed rear 25mm ARB

4) tt alloy front lower arms add adjustable negative camber - add at least -1.5 deg to uprated rear ARBs and your car has moved to another handling dimension.
£220 plus fitting

5)avoid heavy aftermarket wheels and 19" if you are improving the handling - they look great but dont help at all.

of course if you do everything at once then the combined fitting charges are a lot les
 

dunk

Registered User
the hotchkiss ARB kit as sold by kmd tuning (about $400) is also a brilliant kit, 3 way adjustable and the rear bar is 26mm as an alternative to the neuspeed bars

not sure you can get them easily in the uk though?
 

Chris128

Registered User
Am I the only one that doesnt really like the handling of the A3 then? Maybe it depends how you define handling - it seems to go round corners ok, but I find that you cant feel anything through the steering wheel at all, no sense of how much grip you have or how much further you can push it. It just feels really numb to me...
 

flying oyster

flying oyster
Had my sportsback a year now love it to bits goes were i steer it and love it on the motorway mind you i did have a citroen xantia before still just starting to mod mine now and got a set of Audi dust caps on order god the worlds my oyster and i thought a remap was getting a new a to z lol
 

Scott

Registered User
Am I the only one that doesnt really like the handling of the A3 then? Maybe it depends how you define handling - it seems to go round corners ok, but I find that you cant feel anything through the steering wheel at all, no sense of how much grip you have or how much further you can push it. It just feels really numb to me...

I agree, but I think with yours you can adjust the steering sensitivity, don't quote me on that but have a look around, I think with certain years you can do it via VCDS. Unfortunately I don't think I can, but the coilovers/ARBs have given a bit more feel. Still, it's no where near perfect.
 

Dandle

Registered User
I agree, but I think with yours you can adjust the steering sensitivity, don't quote me on that but have a look around, I think with certain years you can do it via VCDS. Unfortunately I don't think I can, but the coilovers/ARBs have given a bit more feel. Still, it's no where near perfect.

Your right he can adjust the steering assist boost level with vag-com on a 2003 car. It doesn't make the car handle any better but does give slightly more feedback through the steering wheel although it still doesn't give it great feedback. Audis are known to have numb feeling through the pedals and steering wheel and arent generally a drivers car for someone who looks for that.
 

The Cardinal

For the love of cars
I used to value a car's handling very highly and the hot Clios I've had are arguably some of the best handling hatches out there.

Priorities are now changed though, so it doesn't matter much to me whether my car has telepathic handling when 90% of my driving is done with wife and baby on board! I personally enjoy the drive of my current A3, especially with the Quattro 4WD. There's no way that it's as quick down a B-road as some of my old cars, but it's very safe and easy to drive briskly in all weathers.
 

nig63

Registered User
Am I the only one that doesnt really like the handling of the A3 then? Maybe it depends how you define handling - it seems to go round corners ok, but I find that you cant feel anything through the steering wheel at all, no sense of how much grip you have or how much further you can push it. It just feels really numb to me...

You are not alone i feel the same with my S3 so much so i am thinking of going back to a Renaultsport .
 

dunk

Registered User
uprating the suspension will improvre the numbness, and if you have an old enough car the reduced steering assistance combined with negative camber front and big ARBs completely transforms the car.

adding 0.5 to 1.0 deg caster completely removes it and makes an amazing difference - there are 2 ways to do this, either adjustable top mounts which also give you adjustable negative camber (but they add an unacceptabler degree of noise), or the whiteline anti-lift kit is specifically designed to do this but using reasonable bushing materials to keep the comfort / noise of the stock a3.

read http://www.vagsg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22199 about the kit

http://uk-mkivs.net/forums/t/221014.aspx

i havnt worked out whether these kits would work properly with the tt bottom arms - i suspect not cos they use different bottom arm mounts to the a3 but they would be a great addition (next project?) for about £150 or so
 

makavelli

Registered User
i went from a clio 182 to my a3 tdi lol, the handling's shocking compared but to be honest there aint many cars out there that handle like a clio rs, it was like a go kart
 

phil76

Registered User
Hello and sorry for jumping in,just a quick question: is anyone using lowered springs with standard shocks? i have the s-line and was thinking of 1st doing the ARB's then qetting some H+R springs just slightly lower but had loads of people saying it will knacker the standard shocker up because i will be taking 5-10mm out of the travel,i understand what there saying and agree but cant see it been a problem on normal roads etc as a temp if i decide to put coil-overs on or i might just leave it because the ride feels ok,your thoughts please
 

markmakak

Registered User
I went from an Exige to my A3. You've got to remember its not a sportscar, but it is very good at doing the job I think it was made for - very comfortable, quick in a straight line, pretty practical etc. If your after something sporty get a 2 seater or a renaultsport
 
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