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S3 suspension stiffness - your thoughts

Sebotron Aug 5, 2018

  1. Sebotron

    Sebotron New Member

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    So I’ve just put a deposit on a brand new S3 Sportback and couldn’t be more excited. This is my first new car ever, and after years of saving and months of deciding, I went for the S3! It will arrive in one month and has a decent spec. but comes with the standard non-adjustable suspension.

    I took one for a test drive and it was great, loads of power, and certainly handled better than my skill will allow!

    However, after the test I’m starting to think maybe the suspension was a little too firm/crashy for my tastes. And having read some reviews, this is turning into the only concern I have with the car (honestly the rest of it is just perfect). I didn’t notice it being overly stiff, but the roads around the dealer are super smooth.

    I’d be very interested in all your thoughts about what the S3 is like to live with as a daily, comfort wise. Is it really that stiff? Is it something you just don’t notice anymore and get used to? Is there anything you can do to make the ride more supple other than tyre pressures?

    For reference I’m trading in from the MK 1 2007 Skoda Fabia vRS which I feel already has quite a firm suspension setup. Ultimately I’m hoping the S3 is less firm and a more supple ride. I’m afraid that I couldn’t test drive it long enough to learn this.

    Thanks all!
    Seb
     
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  3. jassyo06

    jassyo06 Voodoo Man ! Gold Supporter Audi S3 Black Edition Porsche Voodoo Blue S3 Saloon

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    Read the first paragraph of your post mate....nowt else ....you need mag ride and 19"s....l have had the bog standard suspension set up like you've ordered.....and now have mag ride and 19"s....poles apart....l know some wont like what l am about to say ????? but the standard suspension is guff ...there's far too much bounce in the standard suspension....very floaty....on undulating road surfaces.....hated that.....
     
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  4. TYb

    TYb Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Team Navarra Audi S3

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    Coming from somebody with an s3 on standard suspension and 18’s I think it’s pretty forgiving.

    I had a mk3 TT on 19’s and that was a lot harsher and I’m pretty sure that has mag as standard.
     
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  5. Jcbmally

    Jcbmally Started with nothing & still have most of it left. Team Ibis Sportback Audi S3 quattro S tronic

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    Standard suspension on my 18 plate S3, I checked the tyre pressures on collection (48psi all round :wtf:) and then set them to the lower setting as per info tag on the drivers door, now its a bit nicer than what my A4 s-line was IMHO. I've had worse but I've had better too.
     
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  6. Flying Scotsman

    Flying Scotsman Well-Known Member Team Ara Blue Audi S3 saloon

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    I test drove a PFL S3 saloon with the standard suspension on 18" wheels it was OK but not great. Also test drove a PFL sedan with 19" and mag ride, and as Jassy mentioned their is a noticeable difference between the two. I leave my FL saloon (19") individual suspension setting in Auto mode and it is good for most surfaces with exception of severe speed bumps, use comfort then.
     
  7. mfl

    mfl Well-Known Member Team Floret Silver Audi S3

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    Couldn't agree more, At city speeds not a problem, but once out on our country roads, the bounce is notable and if pushing on a bit the floaty feeling is noticeable. - yes I have the standard setup on 18' rims.
     
  8. Sebotron

    Sebotron New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback guys, I had no idea the standard suspension was disliked this much.

    Is it comfortable though? Like driving normal speeds on B-roads, or through town on some of our shocking surfaces. Or is it going to drive me nuts after a month?
     
  9. GeoffT

    GeoffT Active Member Team Daytona Audi A3 Black Edition quattro S tronic

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    I would go for the mag ride if you can. I had a Mk1 vRS (cracking little car btw) and I reckon it had really well sorted suspension with a perfect balance of handling and comfort. I went from one of those to the previous generation A3 sportback sport and was very disapppointed in the ride comfort compared to the vRS. From test drives I've had recently before speccing my car, I think you will find the standard S3 suspension much firmer than the vRS. I went for dynamic on my BE Sportback and don't regret it, and if I was going S3 I would definitely have mag ride.
     
  10. Sebotron

    Sebotron New Member

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    Thanks Geoff. I tried the mrs' new FL A3 Sportback sport (1.6 TDI) the other day and was super impressed with the suspension, especially coming form the Fabia vRS lol. If I could have that setup in the S3 then that would be perfect for me. The general consensus seems to be that mag ride is almost essential then. Might have to have a word with the dealer as this car wasn't specced by me, it was just ready and unregistered in their stock.
     
  11. TYb

    TYb Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Team Navarra Audi S3

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    I have a FL S3 without mag and haven’t had issues with suspension, I think may have been improved since the PFL. If possible try to get a test drive in both.
     
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  13. larbel

    larbel Well-Known Member Team Sepang Audi S3 saloon

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    PFL and FL S3 uses the same springs and shocks on non mag ride according to ETKA, which is horribly bumpy and outright dangerous on high speed turns if the surface happens to be uneven IMO...
     
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  14. TYb

    TYb Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Team Navarra Audi S3

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    Interesting, I probably haven’t pushed it hard enough.
     
  15. Supa Koopa

    Supa Koopa Well-Known Member Team Glacier Audi S3 quattro S tronic

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    I'm the same. :)
     
  16. Sebotron

    Sebotron New Member

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    Thanks massively everyone who commented. I've recently (this week) driven a mag ride and non-mag ride back to back. My observations were:

    Standard non-mag ride is pretty firm and crashy - not something I could live with as a daily.
    Mag ride is definitely softer/more forgiving in comfort than the standard non-mag ride.

    However, its not *that* much softer, and I still found it too firm. Running mag ride in dynamic firms up even more, and its quite noticeable, but not a huge change.

    I also agree that the S3 suspension felt too bouncy in standard and mag ride setups, depending on the road surface. Ultimately both these S3s were fantastic cars (both FL Sport back BE), but let-down by their OEM suspension.

    This is my first experience with Audi, and as I understand now from reading this forum, they seem to have always been a bit poor when it comes to firm riding models.

    I pulled out of my order after all this, and will be looking at the softer suspension setup of the sport model. Granted it doesn't look anywhere near as nice due to it being so tall, but compared to my current car, this 'Dynamic' suspension feels much more refined and appropriate to my local roads.

    Thanks again all - much appreciated! And I hope this helps someone in my situation in the future! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  17. jassyo06

    jassyo06 Voodoo Man ! Gold Supporter Audi S3 Black Edition Porsche Voodoo Blue S3 Saloon

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    I haven't experienced any bounce in my Saloon suspension
     
  18. Sebotron

    Sebotron New Member

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear in my description - I meant the two types of suspension setup. My experiences have only been in the sport back version and I therefore can't comment on the saloon S3. Thank you.
     
  19. Svenedin

    Svenedin Well-Known Member Team Navarra Audi S3 quattro S tronic

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    I have a Sportback FL S3 with standard suspension (non magride). I find the ride quite harsh but not too jarring. The exception is over speed bumps, especially the type that are designed to slow the driver to very low speeds (e.g. 10mph). If I go over those at even 12 mph it feels like my neck is going to be broken so I slow to below 10 mph. I was in Germany recently and drove my S3 fairly quickly on the Autobahns (where permitted). Some of the Autobahns have worn surfaces and the car felt a bit "floaty" on poor surfaces especially over 100 mph. That didn't inspire confidence or convince me that going much faster on such surfaces was a good idea. In fact, the floaty feeling was downright scary.
     
  20. larbel

    larbel Well-Known Member Team Sepang Audi S3 saloon

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    Yup totally agreed, and after driving couple of FL RS3 with fixed suspensions, I decided that's the perfect balance between comfort and performance, I liked it so much that I've just installed them on my PFL S3 and loving it!! Was on ST XTA coilovers for 10 months and although it handles really really well while still pretty comfortable, it lacks the OEM refinement, the RS3 setup is just perfect for me, loving it sooooo much!!
     
  21. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Well-Known Member

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    Just thought I would add to this.
    I’ve had my s3 fl on 18s standard suspension for about 3 weeks now coming from an A6 c7 (well had 3 on the trot).
    Coming from the other end of the spectrum the A6 was comfortable, quiet and very forgiving on crappy roads. The s3 isn’t quite the opposite but it’s definitely a bit harder and noisier inside.
    I wouldn’t say it’s unbearable. I just drove about 100 miles or so in 1 sitting and didn’t feel like it shook my filling out. It was actually quite pleasant, b&o probably helps. This was a mix of fast B roads and motorways/dual carriageway.
    Even as a family car my wife and kids felt perfectly fine in it. The only thing was the Mrs didn’t like was the exhaust noise.
    I can see the bouncy ride at limits folk are on about but to be honest the opportunity to drive at those limits are small as for most these are family buses and commuter cars.
    As a town car it’s great as it’s small enough to get into spaces and dart about unlike the A6 where some parking spaces it didn’t really fit.
    If you are looking for something different I would highly recommend the A6 c7. The 3.0 tdi Quattro are almost as fast as the s3 but comes with the luxury and comfort. Also it’s about similar prices
    Hope this helps.
     
  22. Matt Titanium

    Matt Titanium Well-Known Member Team Navarra Audi S3 Manual

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    I came from an 8V A3 with sport suspension and 17" wheels to an S3 with standard suspension. It is firmer and I'm maybe easily pleased, but the only time I find it too hard is if I hit speed bumps too fast. It certainly feels better through bends than the sport set up.
    Now the suspension on the S1 they loaned me last service was in a different league of hard and something I wouldn't want to live with.
     
  23. gringosteve

    gringosteve Active Member

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    Compared to FN2 type R or GT86 its not trashy at all


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  24. 4K

    4K Well-Known Member Team Glacier Audi S3 DSG

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    It's not so much stiff as it is a bouncy castle. It's the worst thing about the S3.
     
  25. larbel

    larbel Well-Known Member Team Sepang Audi S3 saloon

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    Totally agreed, it's not the firmness, it's the bounciness which makes it uncomfortable and dangerous as well, especially the rear. Going over any speed bumps is just painful and faster corner on slightly imperfect surface could just throw you off the road...
     
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  26. GSB

    GSB Beware of the Leopard... Gold Supporter Team Navarra Audi S3 quattro Manual

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    18’s on mag ride.

    The suspension is crashy, harsh and lacks rebound damping. The inability to even crawl over a speed ramp with a modicum of comfort and control Is probably the worst thing about the whole car. Base model A3 has more compliance, comfort and refinement, and the basic Golf GTi suspension is much much better.
     

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