Explained: the VW Group's MQB platform
It's highly complex, incredibly clever and previews future car production. Time to swot up with Paul Horrell
Posted: 21 Mar 2014
On the road, the Audi feels good too and you can’t put a price on that. Audi specced aluminium for the cast front suspension sub-frame, and bonnet and front wings; the others have steel. And so the A3 turns just a little more keenly, especially in tight corners, even though its suspension and tyres are less aggressively specced. It rides fluently and quietly. Only issue is when you drive it like a GTI, the damping comes up soggy. Maybe the sports chassis (no-cost, amazingly) would be a wiser choice.
The Golf is most fun through corners. You can loosen the nose or the tail at a twitch or lift of your right foot. Yet it’s still reasonably supple and refined. The steering has more weight and feeling than the A3’s too, possibly as a result of the bigger tyres, though, overall, a GTI is sharper again. The Golf feels better damped than the A3, if firmer riding, though not hard. The Leon is very similar and plays the hot-hatch thing just as well as the Golf. But again you can feel money being saved in soundproofing. They all use the same engine, but it’s quietest in the A3 and notably harsher in the Leon, which has more road noise too. But it’s to the sort of degree where you would need a side-by-side drive to be sure.