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S3/A3 ride/handling...? Honest opinions

jassyo06 Mar 24, 2015

  1. jassyo06

    jassyo06 T-Cut King !

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    l want to know the opinions of members about this subject,in simple terms its not putting a smile on my face to be polite.
     
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  3. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User

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    What have *you* discovered?
     
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  4. Relliott6879

    Relliott6879 Registered User

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    My personal experience is that it's the most comfortable car I have ever driven (even on 18" wheels), yet it feels reassuringly 'planted' through bends at speed, no excessive body roll and I've never yet come even close to the tyres breaking traction. There's not a massive gap between the wheels and arches, either. Best of all worlds for me.
     
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  5. Bristle Hound

    Bristle Hound Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Am waiting for further updates to your post V8 ;) :D
     
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  6. wideboybloke

    wideboybloke Registered User

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    My experience echoes Relliott's. I'm not the wildest of drivers but I enjoy throwing the car into corners now and again, depending on my mood at the time. It feels a very safe car to me and I have every confidence in the handling when I do decide to put it to the test. I got the same feeling about my 8P sportback which had sport suspension. I can see that my current car doesn't sit as low as the 8P, but I can't say that it keeps me awake at night. Neither do I feel any loss of cool as I cruise round Morrisons car park, posing.
     
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  7. RichardT

    RichardT Registered User

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    I agree.
     
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  8. jassyo06

    jassyo06 T-Cut King !

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    l am waiting on other member giving me there opinions first of all
     
  9. Scott

    Scott Registered User

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    I thought I was going to die a few times due to massssssive amounts of understeer. S3
     
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  10. Steph67

    Steph67 Renowned philanthropist and pathological liar

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    World's fastest pogo stick. With a side order of understeer. :D
     
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  11. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User

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    I LoL'd. A lot :D
     
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  13. Pulp84

    Pulp84 Registered User

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    You hit your head on the headlining too? ;)
     
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  14. RHODIE

    RHODIE Registered User

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    not broken traction but feels kind of floaty. my 8p s3 felt more solid and loads more feedback. not a great fan of 8v suspension as I feel disconnected from the road. cracking car but I have yet to gain my confidence in the grip.
     
    batch likes this.
  15. Symon

    Symon Registered User

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    Haven't driven one yet
     
  16. Psyman79

    Psyman79 Sarcasm is hard on a forum ;)

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    I'm really happy with mine. I know my own limits when driving and not really sure how people drive their cars to be on the limits everyday. With mag ride on dynamic speed bumps aren't very enjoyable but thats the only discomfort i've had so far :)
     
  17. sunscreemer

    sunscreemer Back with the 4 rings

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    I'm sometimes confused if people love or hate the S3 on here! Tricky when you're seeking opinion with a view to purchase!
     
  18. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Registered User

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    Love me S3 but the suspension has too much rebound on it, which makes enthusiastic driving unpredictable on undulating roads. Be warned!

    Also, to be picky, mechanical grip levels are less than I'd expect (maybe my expectations are too high. If I based it on the passenger white knuckle index, it's not hanging about). On a good road with ESP nanny mode off, it's at it's best. On a less manicured surface, it is will understeer too much.

    I'd rather have stiffer suspension (perhaps I should've got mag ride?) and more cylinders but, for my only car, the S3 is still the best car around. And the cabin is awesome but that's not what you asked!
     
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  19. M_D_O_London

    M_D_O_London Registered User

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    Find that mine is great fun to drive! Ride on sport suspension and 18 inch alloys is also very good.

    My only gripe would be that the steering has virtually no 'feel' or feedback. (Guessing because of the electric power steering?). My 2004 Mk4 Golf SE had much better steering 'feel', by comparison.
     
  20. rikia93

    rikia93 Registered User

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    The suspension setup on bumpy undulating roads pretty much pushed me off the road the other day my passengers said I'd put the rear offside wheel in the dirt! bit of a **** your pants moment! :sorry: that and I was canning it a little!

    It puts a smile on my face especially when I take it down a set of roads I used to drive weekly for my "fun" in every car I've owned and this one by far is the grippiest, its the kind of road where you just rocket out of tight 90+ degree bends around 30-40mph!

    Did a little trip to Brunel university tonight round the M25 and the ride is compliant and relatively comfortable, the lack of noise at 70+ is impressive to say the least!
     
  21. HawkeyeS3

    HawkeyeS3 Registered User

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    For everyday driving the S3's suspension is very good IMO and gives a comfortable ride. A little bit of roll on spirited driving but nothing that will make it uncomfortable. Having come from driving a Mitsubishi Evo X whose suspension was very firm and planted and had more electrics controlling the 4 wheels, suspension etc than the Audi can even imagine (and was a car that really did handle), I can honestly say that for me the S3 handles very well. If Audi really beefed up the suspension to make it hard enough to handle like some want it would be a very unpleasant drive. At the end of the day its a quick family car, not a sports car
     
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  22. RichardT

    RichardT Registered User

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    Or maybe you were just driving a bit too fast?
     
  23. rikia93

    rikia93 Registered User

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    :3sadwalk: damm it you figured me out all ready lol I blame unfamiliarity with the car :undwech:
     
  24. jassyo06

    jassyo06 T-Cut King !

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    Thanks for the replies personally l agree with most of the above,understeer is pretty bad,body roll too probably the worst handing car l have had since my Grande punto, major downer with the car,Why put 297 Bhp in a car with suspension like this? Quattro? And the Red S designation to me means sports car? This car is designed solely for the Autobahn and nothing else
     
  25. kmf

    kmf Registered User

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    I feel that the car handles great, I recently changed the tires to Michelin Super Sports and had the suspension tweaked a bit. I have been very happy with the result.

    For those of you who are looking for a more comfortable ride - the 19s (without Mag Ride) completely changed the character of the car. The low profile (235/35) and sportier nature of the tires resulted in a more aggressive ride. Just a word of advice to try 18in and 19in wheels back to back if you find the ride to be rough ("sporty").
     
  26. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Registered User

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    And in that roll, it really does excel. Cruising along (with ACC so I can look at the scenery (joking!)) at motorway speeds it's a very relaxing place to be.
     
  27. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User

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    Understeer (with a few exceptions, e.g.: R8) is an Audi trait, as is fidgety suspension, and steering devoid of feel, I'm afraid. As you say, the S3 8V is a very comfortable cruiser, but not a great drivers car, which I think is a shame for something wearing the S badge.

    There are a few things you can do for the understeer, little things, but they do add up to improve the situation.

    Make sure the dealer has not inadvertantly inflated the tyres too high - this has happened before.
    Dropping the front pressure by 1 or 2 psi can improve front end grip, but at the expense of load carrying and wear (and at your own risk).
    Changing tyres away from the compromised Continentals will improve things.
    Focus on corner exit and drive the S3 "point to point" - the S3 is a fast "point to point" car, not a car to go around fast corners in.

    Yes, I've had better FWD cars with better steering turn in characteristics.
    And the suspension setup on the S3 8V is not suited to uneven roads, undulating roads, and definitely not suited to quick changes in direction at speed. Definitely not.

    You are not alone in recognising the bags of understeer when pressing on - previous threads:
    http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/s3-understeering-in-wet.223943/
    http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/s3-sb-undertyred-motor-mag-review.231092/#post-2307007
    http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/s3-tyre-pressure.236714/
    http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/s3-continentals.210363/
    http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/s3-traction-issues.237576/


    And more forum feedback on the fidgety/pitchy/bouncy suspension:
    http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/s3-or-golf-r-or-even-an-s1.219948/page-7#post-2320334
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
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  28. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    Not as good as the Mk3 Focus but its not far off too be fun and the only thing that lets it down is the slight lack feedback through the controls and the inert steering...
     
  29. MA3RC

    MA3RC Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    I agree with what everyone else has to say, It's a very comfortable ride and handles very well. But like any car if you push it hard, it will understeer and the steering feels light.

    Although I have since upgraded my tyres to Goodyear Eagle F1's and stiffened up the suspension with lowering springs and it has totally transformed the way the car drives. The car just goes where you want with no fuss.

    Also to add when I had my standard sports suspension I caught the bumper on a few high curbs :( which will only be made worse since I've lowered it. But I'll just have to be more careful when parking aha
     
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  30. Ignition1

    Ignition1 Guest

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    I went for the S-Line suspension on my A3 SB. Was that a bad idea? I don't mind a firm ride but there is a line...18" wheels + S-Line seems to be borderline uncomfortable?

    Haven't got the car yet so looking for opinions on this. I went for that suspension as it will lower the car a bit, and I'm a sucker for looks.
     
  31. Steve.99999

    Steve.99999 Registered User

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    I honestly didn't think the S3 was that bad during my test drive. It didn't exactly set my world on fire but it seemed decent enough. I've drove quite a few Audis (newer models) and they all seem to have extremely light steering. When I then drive my BMW afterwards, it feels very heavy. I don't mind heavy steering but my Dad has a different opinion and simply would not buy a BMW because of it. As for understeer, I've unfortunately never pushed an Audi hard enough to notice it. No doubt I'll spot that when I have spent some time driving mine.
     
  32. AndyB-S3

    AndyB-S3 Registered User

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    As far as steering goes I prefer dynamic out of all the settings. However this is an area Audi have not worked their magic on and it is not perfect. I still get the feeling something is a miss. However in comparison to my earlier vauxhalls/renaults etc it is far superior.

    As far as general day to day driving I find it a nice place to be and on the country roads when giving it some it can be a blast.

    But when you hit a bump god it's like
     
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  34. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User

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    ^ Yup.

    The compression & rebound settings/characteristics of the dampers leave a lot to be desired.
    Nothing like what they should be set at, for a "performance" car.
     
  35. leosayer1

    leosayer1 Registered User

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    It's probably the best riding car I've ever owned (SE Suspension).

    The primary ride is fantastic. Speed bumps, potholes and large bumps are absorbed well and the car recovers very quickly. In spite of this, the ride never feels soft or wallowy. It's very tied down.

    The secondary ride is not so good. Rough road surfaces are felt by vibration and noise in the cabin, which takes the edge of refinement. I've tried different combinations of wheels and tyres and the problems is always there and it's magnified because otherwise, the car is so quiet.

    The handling is safe and secure but dull. I've driven in a spirited fashion down some B roads and the A3 copes well but it isn't fun. Sharp turn in...steer on the throttle...track days...forget it.
     
  36. AlexDR

    AlexDR Registered User

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    I agree on fast 'point to point' car but not good at fast cornering and the jumping around is quite unpleasant at times.
     
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  37. Psyman79

    Psyman79 Sarcasm is hard on a forum ;)

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    Not sure if i've been taught to drive differently or something but on a recent road trip round the hills i never really felt any of the characteristics people seem to be describing. I felt the S3 handled everything i could throw at it and still remain comfortable and safe. Obviously i'm no professional driver like most but couldn't be happier with my purchase :)
     
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  38. AndyB-S3

    AndyB-S3 Registered User

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    Maybe that's the Mono.Pur in action Si?

    Yipee we finally found a use for it......:jester::lick:
     
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  39. Forbzeeee

    Forbzeeee Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    I've had 3x test drives in the s3 8v and think that the handling is an improvement on my S3 8p. No doubt I will upgrade the handling of my new one in due course but this car has to appeal to a whole lot of people. I am sure a 70 year old loves the light, lacklustre feeling of the steering and the soft/bounciness of the suspension.

    The way I look at it is a car cannot be everything. By that I mean it cannot be a pleasant motorway cruiser with a sub 5 seconds 0-60, have enough space to carry 5 adults plus luggage, economical and usable around town every day (including in the snow), and... be an awesome track day car!!

    I agree that the steering feels light but this is the way things are going. I remember my first cars not even having power steering, and 3-point turns used to build biceps which is why people didn't used to go to gyms like they do now. Just my thoughts :)

    Maybe you should trade your S3 and buy 2 cars... One for everyday and a lotus or something similar for fun.
     
  40. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User

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    And that's fine.

    Just don't give it an "S" badge if it's going to be a compromised car.

    The "S" and "RS" range should be biased towards being a "drivers" car.

    It's a hard pill to swallow when a "mere" Fiesta ST (****** good car) has more front end grip, better suspension, better handling and sharper turn in than a £30k S3 :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
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  41. Forbzeeee

    Forbzeeee Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    Veeeight I see where you're coming from - I had a similar experience with the S5... It didn't feel sporty enough for me to justify an "S" coming from a Stage 2+ S3 8p
     
  42. Psyman79

    Psyman79 Sarcasm is hard on a forum ;)

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    That'll be it. Could be the red paint too ;) Perfect combination.
     
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  43. S3Alex

    S3Alex Rarely neutral Gold Supporter

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    I think that a lot of the traits being mentioned above,such as bouncy,underdamped suspension,understeer,and so on are carry-overs from the 8P,and inherent in Audi's apparent desire to have a brisk but safe car for the majority of drivers.

    The basic car is still quite heavy for a hatchback design,and that loads the suspension pretty hard when you press on,plus means that direction changes load it even more.
    The predominant FWD bias,and nose heavy design will only add to that.

    As with the older model,a lot of it can be dialled out,with better suspension etc,but this will often be at the expense of ride comfort,and not everyone wants that.
    Adjustable suspension is another thing that Audi could have looked at,but no doubt would have a heavy cost attached.

    P.S. Forbzeeee.....I'm probably closer to 70 than you are,but I'm absolutely sure I wouldn't be pleased with "
    the light, lacklustre feeling of the steering and the soft/bounciness of the suspension"......but I know I'm in a minority anyway.

    Good luck guys,and enjoy the car,it can always be tailored to what you want,but as has already been said,no car is perfect.
     

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