A4 (B9 Platform) Discussion Discussion forum for the B9 Audi A4 2017-

a few suspension questions

 
Old 01-09-2019, 07:29 PM
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Default a few suspension questions

I have a few suspension questions.

1. Sport suspension owners (regular Sport suspension, not the Adaptive): Would you describe, in any terms, your subjective impression of the car's ride quality, for everyday un-sporty point A-to-B driving.

2. Does anyone know, or know how I could find out:
a) What's the difference in spring rate between the A4 regular suspension and the Sport Pkg (not Sport+) suspension? I know Sport drops the car an inch, but Im curious specifically how much stiffer the springs are.
b) Do the non-sport and regular Sport (not S+) suspensions use the same or different shocks?

Here's why I'm asking, and my own answer to #1. I'm beginning to wonder if the sport suspension was a mistake for me. Here's how it feels to me: bouncy, fidgety, nervous. I would not describe it as harsh, jarring or punishing. The car does a fine job absorbing what I think would be sharp impacts in a truly stiff car. The car never feels like it's getting torn apart in bumps. (That said I believe I do a good job avoiding stuff too...) What frustrates me about the ride is, I feel pencil size cracks in the road; pointless, quarter-inch amplitude humps and dips; every tiny wave that's invisible unless the road is wet and reflecting light at just the right angle. It all gets transmitted right up through the seat. Even at parking lot speeds. And on the highway after a couple hours, it becomes an exhausting anti-symphony of low-amplitude jouncing in the seat. It's unnecessary feedback. (And ironically, the front of the car ie the steering system has zero feedback. Mixed personalities lol!) So yeah, Im wondering if I would have been happier with the non-cool non-sport-suspension car!

Some may recall I had started an earlier thread about vibration. The reason Im starting a new thread instead of bumping that one is, I currently suspect I don't have any vibration issue from within the car. The suspension may just be transmitting more than I care to feel. Lacking opportunity to do extended rides with knowledgeable passengers, I'm asking for ppl's impressions here to see if theirs match or contradict mine.

I'm getting a first oil change on Friday and will have a loaner for the day. Assuming it's an A4/5 with the non-sport suspension, I'll plan to some extra road time in that car for comparison.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:55 AM
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Don't assume you're going to get A4 or A5 loaner car. Tell the service people you require one and why. I was just stuffed into a Q3 loaner on Tuesday for being flexible and just needing a loaner car.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:19 AM
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I would describe the ride quality in my car, with the 18 inch wheels and A/S tires, as taut but not overly firm and very comfortable. Overall, I am completely pleased with the performance of my sport suspension and I will get it again on my next Audi. Personally, I prefer a little firmer ride and I think the A4 sport suspension is very well engineered and executed. When test driving cars before I bought, I drove both the standard and sport suspension cars and, to me, I actually felt the sport was more concise and controlled and thus provided a more enjoyable ride.

One thing I do is watch tire pressures closely and I do not run the maximum tire pressure. Since it is just me in the car all the time with no extra load I run the normal tire pressures of 35 front and 32 rear. I think this improves the ride quality a lot. I tried the maximum pressures once and the ride was noticeably harsher.

Last edited by Dave W; 01-10-2019 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SkiingInABlueDream View Post
I have a few suspension questions.
Here's why I'm asking, and my own answer to #1. I'm beginning to wonder if the sport suspension was a mistake for me. Here's how it feels to me: bouncy, fidgety, nervous. I would not describe it as harsh, jarring or punishing.
I'd say this is about the same as me. I do feel the very small cracks and bumps but I have the 19" wheels so I expect some roughness there. It's not overwhelming and the suspension is more forgiving than I would expect. It is far bouncier than I prefer...
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SkiingInABlueDream View Post
I have a few suspension questions.

1. Sport suspension owners (regular Sport suspension, not the Adaptive): Would you describe, in any terms, your subjective impression of the car's ride quality, for everyday un-sporty point A-to-B driving.

2. Does anyone know, or know how I could find out:
a) What's the difference in spring rate between the A4 regular suspension and the Sport Pkg (not Sport+) suspension? I know Sport drops the car an inch, but Im curious specifically how much stiffer the springs are.
b) Do the non-sport and regular Sport (not S+) suspensions use the same or different shocks?
I was wondering if I made mistake didn't get the sport suspension. My regular suspension rides quite good however lack the sharpness in turn especially on/off ramp with higher speed.
I am wondering your feel of the over firm has anything to do with the relative cold weather in NE region. I recall a member was complaining about the vibration with his sport suspension equipped A4 in Toronto's winter. The ultra performance summer tires came with the sport package would be very hard in these kind of cold weather here (unless yours are AS then disregard my this comment).
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave W View Post
I would describe the ride quality in my car as taut but not overly firm and very comfortable. Overall, I am completely pleased with the performance of my sport suspension and I will get it again on my next Audi. Personally, I prefer a little firmer ride and I think the A4 sport suspension is very engineered and executed. When test driving cars before I bought, I drove both the standard and sport suspension cars and, to me, I actually felt the sport was more concise and controlled and thus provided a more enjoyable ride.

One thing I do is watch tire pressures closely and I do not run the maximum tire pressure. Since it is just me in the car all the time with no extra load I run the normal tire pressures of 35 front and 32 rear. I think this improves the ride quality a lot. I tried the maximum pressures once and the ride was noticeably harsher.
+1 Love the sport suspension, tire pressure do makes a huge difference. i run 36F 33R and love it
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:47 AM
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In Canada here, I have sport suspension on 19s" and I do find sometimes the ride a little firm in that I feel the potholes/cracks/etc. But compared to what I drove last ('15 Civic) this is wayyyyy better. The summer tires are very smooth and quiet but it is a little bumpier.
I have 17s" on right now and the ride did improve a little - Toronto has bad roads so can't really escape the bumps.
When I was test driving, I did not find the non sport suspension to be a night and day kind of difference. It did not sold me to get the regular trim vs the s-line trim.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:18 AM
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It really comes down to what people are talking about and to the OP, what do you keep your tire pressure at, what tires are they, and how many miles are on them? I have always had a sport package on my cars(if not lowered more aftermarket) and I have never found any of them not comfortable for daily driving. My dad has the same car as I do but without the sport package and I honestly cant feel the difference when Im riding in his car. Biggest difference for me are the seats, which are wayyyyy more comfortable and "huggy" in the sport package.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:27 AM
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Echo Dave W's post 100%. Our roads here in MI are awful. The Motor City, my a**.

Both my /15 A6 3.0T and wife's /18 A4 Quattro run the sport suspension. I can tell the difference in chassis development/rigidity as between the /15 and the /18 -- the /18 A4 has a much better ride than the old A6 and is less harsh/absorbs bumps/road imperfections better. I can't speak to ride difference between sport and non-sport A4s but I did have a new A7 loaner a couple of weeks ago riding on 20s. It did not have the sport suspension. There certainly was a difference between my A6 and the A7. A7 ride compliance was excellent as compared to my A6 and I didn't feel that handling in the A7 was compromised at all -- didn't push to 10/10ths of course on public roads but it felt to me as if it handled just as well as my A6.

I have no complaints about how our A4 rides as outlined above, but next time around I will drive sport and non-sport suspension cars back to back given the sorry state of our roads around here. I must confess I really enjoyed the fact that the A7 soaked up all road imperfections so well as compared to my A6. If I had to choose between my old A6 and the A7 loaner on the basis of ride/handling, I'd take the A7.

Best,
Jeff
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:55 AM
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As somebody who A/B'd both sport and standard B9 A4 suspensions in two different tire sizes (17" and 18"), and B9 S4 in both 18" and 19" tireways with Sport Adaptive and Std, I honestly felt that the 17" A4 with the Std suspension was the best riding of the bunch for this class of car from a GT/comfort/everyday drive-ability perspective. Not really any surprise there, but I confirmed it for myself with like 6 different test drives some of which were a hundred plus miles via a rental SilverCar in Denver.

I then, of course, went out and bought an S4 with 19" tires and the Sport Adaptive suspension. Oops.

What tires/wheel size are you running on your A4? It is very likely you would solve 90% of your harshness issues by switching to a different tire with a taller more plush sidewall. I would honestly look into that.
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