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The one thing about ordering a sport package is that I would have to ride in it first to see if it's usable on the bad roads in the NE. 18" are OK as long as the roads are good but I've only driven the regular suspension A3 TDI.
I have ordered mine with the sports package (I know how I drive), I was likewise perplexed about how it is compared to the regular suspension. I would say the difference is significant enough for me to tell that there is a difference, but not enough that the sports suspension would be considered bad. Granted, I live in so Cal, so our roads don't take the beating of the cold of the NE.

I would say, the difference is you can feel more of the imperfections of the road surfaces, but not to a degree that it becomes unpleasant. From a driver's point of view, that's good -- since it gives the driver more input about the road conditions, on the other hand, it doesn't feel as creamy and refined. Of course that point of unpleasantry is subjective and difficult to quantify.

My friend has a Audi TTS. According to him, the ride is still noticeably better on rough roads than the TTS with the magnetic suspension engaged.
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