Cars with best steering wheel feedback

Cars with best steering wheel feedback

Author
Discussion

Leins

6,696 posts

90 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Cotty said:
Hence on of the tweeks is to buy an E36 steering rack (which is quicker) and fit it to an E30.
Have heard of that being done before, but to be honest it's not something that bothers me overly. Mine has a standard 325i rack, and it's only when jumping from my E46 (CSL, so a faster steering set-up again) that I really notice the difference

I think that was one of the issues with the RHD conversions of the E30 M3 as far as I remember, in that Birds had to use the 325i rack too, which probably didn't suit the more highly-strung nature of those cars as well

hufggfg

552 posts

135 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Slink said:
I havnt passed my car test yet
OP, people are getting a little bit off topic here. I think you've actually got a bit confused yourself in terms of steering feel.

Don't worry about steering feel with regards to passing your test, and then driving shortly afterwards. Absolutely any car has enough steering feel for this, you just need time with the car to get to know it, and need to build your experience level.

We all forget how difficult learning to drive actually is, I failed first time myself. Just make sure you pick a good tutor and stick with driving in one car, so you can get to know it and you'll have an easier time.

Once you've passed your test you can really learn "how to drive" and by that i don't mean go any faster, just learn how to read the road, and other what other people are likely to do around you... again, steering feel doesn't really come into it, but after a year or so you'll likely be enjoying driving much more and start to have an appreciation for it, and then you can think about steering feel... and you'll have much more experience then, so you'll likely to know much more yourself what type of thing you want.

Then after that there's a whole other level of learning to drive... and that is on track... and that's when you learn how to drive quickly, and steering feel REALLY matters.

Personally, i drive a Caterham... as much steering feel as you can ever get, but really, I don't need that much for my driving on the road, sure, I enjoy that it has it... that's why I own it, but it really comes alive when it gets on the track biggrin.... but then you're a few steps from there yet...

So in summary, don't fret about steering feel, get a good instructor, get used to the car, pass your test and THEN you can learn how to drive and appreciate the rest of it!


Breadvan72

31,624 posts

105 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
What a sensible post!

Dr Interceptor

5,397 posts

138 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Breadvan72 said:
What a sensible post!
I concur!

djglover

369 posts

159 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
I have a Seat Ibiza, its terrible. Its like the power steering gives a constant amount of assistance rather than progressive. Almost zero feel.

My E90 BMW has the most steering feel of any modern car I've driven
Advertisement

smartypants

40,178 posts

111 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
HustleRussell said:
Caterham!
Nothing else road legal beats that.

Breadvan72

31,624 posts

105 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Arguably, a classic Lotus Europa might, as it has the engine in the middle. I have driven both, and for me the Europa edges it.

scarble

5,198 posts

99 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
I don't tihnk there are any "regular" new cars with good steering feel are there?
If you think of the sort of cars new drivers and mums will have 10 years from now.. it doesn't look good does it?
Particularly agree with this throttle pedal thing, it's bl***y ridiculous.

smartypants

40,178 posts

111 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Breadvan72 said:
Arguably, a classic Lotus Europa might, as it has the engine in the middle. I have driven both, and for me the Europa edges it.
The engine is in the wrong place smile



jimbobsimmonds

1,824 posts

107 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
My gf's old 1987 Mini; was the closest thing to a go-kart I could find for steering feel... My current car decidedly lacks feel ("feel" doesn't suit the comfort mantra, so they isolate everything from the driver)

Blackpuddin

8,997 posts

147 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Worst steering, full stop - Series 2 Landie.

stuttgartmetal

7,931 posts

158 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Golf GTI 1800 Campaign.
Just so driveable

Timberwolf

4,848 posts

160 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
C.A.R. said:
To answer your question, anything without power-steering will qualify highest.
Driving a PAS-equipped MX-5 and a non-PAS MX-5 back to back I found the unassisted car smothered everything in a sort of numb heaviness. It took a lot of effort to turn but it didn't give anything back. The power assisted car, while hardly the last word in steering feel (as an ex-owner I'd agree with Chris Harris on this, it's decent but not spectacular) at least gave you some picture of what was happening at the front wheels.

Steering "feel" is a very subjective thing, though. I loved the way my Alfa 156 felt but some people who drove it found it overly darty and too much like it was kicking back rather than merely communicating.

The Wookie

11,627 posts

170 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Alfanatic said:
EDIT: Also to add, steering feel is very subjective. We can all agree on a car that offers nothing, but when it comes to what feels good and what feels bad one person's meat is another's poison I would think.
There are variations on requirements however there is a framework which is generally seen as desirable whatever the type of car and whatever the driver. Things like linearity of response and weight build up as wheel angle, vehicle speed and cornering force increase are, I suspect, desirable to any competent driver.

Problems usually come from a badly tuned system or a chosen system that is limited by its physical properties for desirable traits in other areas (e.g. EPAS), but sometimes can come from conflicting design requirements or where marketing overrides engineering.

A good example of conflicting requirements would be the current M3 where the engineers have clearly been tasked with giving light parking efforts for convenience along with weighty feel on the move. The result is that the car feels slightly unnatural at manoeuvring speeds and has a sharp drop off in effort above a certain speed that means that you often turn into, say, a particular small roundabout at a slightly different speed to the last few days and are surprised by the steering being either much heavier and lighter than you were expecting.

Also with the M3 there's clearly been a requirement for on-centre stability with good off-centre response. The result is that you do get arrow straight motorway behaviour and good response when you're really pressing on, but when you're driving normally down a twisty road you're often in an odd transition that makes the car a little difficult to place at times.

Yes, there are situations where some aspects are desirable in some cars and undesirable in others (e.g. information feedback in sports cars vs luxury cars) and manufacturers do have specific 'signal states' that they want to have in terms of weighting, build up, friction and feedback based on what they think their customers want, but they all tend to be quantative variations on a theme.

Basically what I'm getting at is that the minutiae of steering feel might be down to personal taste, but a predictable, natural feeling system is generally always desirable yet not always achieved.

bicycleshorts

1,936 posts

103 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Teocali said:
thumbup

Chris71

21,434 posts

184 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Alfanatic said:
EDIT: Also to add, steering feel is very subjective. We can all agree on a car that offers nothing, but when it comes to what feels good and what feels bad one person's meat is another's poison I would think.
To a certain extent that's true, but I think there are a few quantifiable requirements.

I think for a car that's likely to be driven near its limit of adhesion frequently a good indication of slip angle is vital. I'm sure you can put load cells on it and map the change of required torque to hold the wheel at an angle versus the slip angle of the tyres. Engineering it in might be difficult - if it was easy the EPAS systems would all be great - but quantifying it can't be that hard.

Obviously once you've shown that all the basic elements are there - adequately quick steering ratio, adequate change of weight when the slip angles increase etc. - then which acceptable steering system is better than another comes down partially to preference. But I think you can loosely define what a good steering systems should provide.

kazste

4,151 posts

140 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
For something you stand a chance to get insured on a ford ka or 106 rally 1.3

For something you won't get insured on, caterham Elise or ginetta etc.

V6GTA

1,925 posts

139 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Alfa 147's have great feel plus you can get a lot of car for the money these days. Engine's start at a 1.6 120BHP Twin Spark.

NLB

375 posts

151 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Good luck with the test, etc., OP... driving does get better and more fun, it really does...

I've never driven a Caterham or an Elise, but... (puts on fanboy hat), my Alpine GTA has fantastic steering feel - un-assisted, very direct, and manages a combination of precision, information and delicacy that I've never found in anything else (including the few Porsches I've driven). It is also amazingly stable in a straight line, which is a cunning achievement, given how quick-steering and agile the thing is.

Surprisingly, my old BMW (E28) 528 had really good steering feel, despite being power-assisted and having a steering box not rack-and-pinion. Out of modern (-ish) "ordinary" cars, my ST220 is really very good - better, to my taste than the 530 Sport it replaced, despite being front drive...

In my experience, un-assisted steering done well is better for feel than assisted, even done well, but there are obviously many limitations which mean un-assisted steering is rapidly receding into history, except for very small and basic cars. I entirely agree that some small and basic cars can be really good fun, quite largely for this reason.

Each to their own, as is rightly said above.

scarble

5,198 posts

99 months

Monday 10th September 2012
quotequote all
Come to think of it, why are we encouraging OP? Anyone who fails "a few times" is not fit to drive! Only those who pass first time should be allowed on the roads.