after having grown up driving cavaliers, aleros, grand ams, voyagers, it was quite a pleasant surprise when I bought my prelude..
I was like "whoa, I knew this is what driving is supposed to feel like"
Quote, originally posted by giantrobot9000 » My e36 is nice, but I wonder if my tires are hurting some of the feel. They are new Kumho Ecsta SPTs on the stock wheels....235/45/17 (or 40...whatever stock size is). I don't have that quick turn-in like I think I should.
the spt's are pretty good for the $$, but there are better choices out there. still, could it be somethine else? how are ur control arms + bushings?
I want to bring this thread back from the dead.
Anyone who is talking about ANY MKIV having great steering feel, I am really confused. For 8 years, I hunted for best steering feel on my MKIV. I did TT control arm bushings, did coil overs, strut bushings, all in favor of getting the best feel. I even removed the front sway bar. It was still what I considered "just good enough", way boosted in the center. It doesn't even have a variable power-steering rack.
From my understanding, what kills steering feel in new cars is more use of aluminum suspension components. They tend to transfer less vibrations. Also chassis tuned for Run Flat Tires. On my E90 328i, everything was so softened up, one part of the front control arm bushings is hydraulic instead of just ball-bearing. I am surprised to see that BMW NEVER had "vehicle speed sensitive" steering racks on 3-series', instead they have "engine speed sensitive" racks that lessen the boost as you rev higher.
I guess If you are hunting for best steering feel in a new car best is probably Porsche GT3. Older 911's if you are THAT hardcore. My best experience is E46 ZSP or M3. I am very surprised to see Mazda RX-8 popping up everywhere.
I guess any old Japanese sports car is good and well as any older car without power steering.
I really urge these guys to drive an old E36 or E46. I don't mean sports models or anything..just base model..beaters.
After my MK4, now I am hunting for best feel on E90. I am afraid, no money will bring it close to E46 ZSP
Last edited by sle39lvr; 01-20-2013 at 11:32 PM.
I'm surprised by the steering feel in the 2011 E350 Bluetec my dad just purchased. It's not overly heavy or slow like old Benzes' steering was, but it is weightier than most new cars' steering and the effort builds naturally as you apply lock. Plus, it has great straightline stability. Unfortunately, like others, they're going to electric steering.
On all but the tightest roads I know I can push my 9-3 faster than I could my Golf(lowered for handling, not stance).
1989 Saab 900 Sedan/1960 Porsche 356B T5/1980 Honda CM400E
It's easier to find ways to make it terrible than to make it good ...
Old American cars without power steering were terrible because the recirculating-ball mechanism would not back-drive well (and they had plenty of rubber isolation bushings). For the driver to feel anything, if the wheels want to go in a different direction, the mechanism has to transmit some of that force back, and without a lot of sloppiness in the mechanism. Of course, the same cars with power steering usually had so much assistance that there was nearly zero effort at the wheel. Toyota/Lexus seems to subscribe to this school of thought to this date.
Of cars that I've driven, the best one was a first-generation Mazda Miata. Second-best was the first-generation Honda Civic (no power steering). Honda Accords were pretty good through the third generation, don't know after that. I had a rental Mazda 3, and despite the zoom-zoom hoopla, found the steering to be unremarkable. (this was a rental-spec base model ... perhaps the up-market models with better tires do better.) The current Ford Focus is decent - not quite up to the VW Golf, but pretty close.
The Mk5 Jetta that I have now is better than most others in its class - but can be criticized for being "weighted" but without as much "feel" as there could be.