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    Thread: Best steering feel from 80-90ís?

    1. Member fueledbymetal's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 10:34 AM #1
      Best steering feel from 80-90ís?

      Iím looking at picking up an 80ís-90ís era car and my number one priority is steering feel. I like this era because the cars have the modern convenience of EFI without all of the excessive crap that plague later cars. Outright performance isnít important to me since nothing from that era can come close to modern performance cars, so my priority is excellent steering feel in a preferably lightweight package.

      Cars Iím currently considering:
      air-cooled 911
      E30 BMW

      Cars Iíve ruled out:
      NA & NB Miata - owned an NA already so I want to try something new
      S2000 Ė although a little too new it has the spirit of what Iím looking for, but the steering feel is so numb I sold mine.

      Any obvious suggestions Iím missing? Did Hondaís have decent steering back then? How about MkII VWís? My second car was an í88 Jetta, but that was in í93 and I didnít have much to compare it at that point.

      Iím not interested in anything obscure that I would have a tough time maintaining. My budget is somewhat flexible (the cheaper it is the sooner I could buy it).

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      05-16-2019 10:40 AM #2
      4cyl E30, it's like driving a go-kart.

      Even when the car had blown stock suspension it was a hoot to drive.

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      05-16-2019 10:52 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
      Cars Iím currently considering:
      air-cooled 911
      E30 BMW

      Did Hondaís have decent steering back then? How about MkII VWís? My second car was an í88 Jetta, but that was in í93 and I didnít have much to compare it at that point. .
      cross-shopping an air-cooled 911 with a 90s Civic? doesn't seem like a tough choice.

    5. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 10:58 AM #4
      I always felt like the Prelude had good steering feel.

      E39 BMW has excellent steering feel. Get a 530i sport with a manual. Incredible drivers car that doesn't beat you to death.

      Chris
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      05-16-2019 11:02 AM #5
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      05-16-2019 11:06 AM #6
      Scratch everything in here. The 1999 Mazda Protege had the best feeling rack period. It was telepathic and mind blowing on a car that cheap.
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    8. Member Mike!'s Avatar
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      05-16-2019 11:21 AM #7
      Would an '80s 911 not be the epitome? Unassisted rack in a relatively lightweight package?

    9. Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 11:28 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Crispyfritter View Post
      I always felt like the Prelude had good steering feel.

      E39 BMW has excellent steering feel. Get a 530i sport with a manual. Incredible drivers car that doesn't beat you to death.

      Chris
      Yup. My money is on an E36 M3 or any 6 cylinder E39.

      E30ís have too slow of a ratio. Theyíre annoying. Aircooleds are great when hustling the car, but a little annoying when youíre just driving around. E36ís and E39ís are great to daily drive, and communicate everything when youíre driving hard.
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    10. Member Cr4shT3st's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 11:33 AM #9
      IMO - NSX, F355, 986

      I haven't driven a 964 or 993. The 986 is better than the 996. The 355 is really, really good but not as much feedback at the Porsche. The NSX was pure magic.

      E36M3 is up there, too, but not really on the same level.
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    11. 05-16-2019 11:39 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
      Best steering feel from 80-90ís?

      Iím looking at picking up an 80ís-90ís era car and my number one priority is steering feel. I like this era because the cars have the modern convenience of EFI without all of the excessive crap that plague later cars. Outright performance isnít important to me since nothing from that era can come close to modern performance cars, so my priority is excellent steering feel in a preferably lightweight package.

      Cars Iím currently considering:
      air-cooled 911
      E30 BMW

      Cars Iíve ruled out:
      NA & NB Miata - owned an NA already so I want to try something new
      S2000 Ė although a little too new it has the spirit of what Iím looking for, but the steering feel is so numb I sold mine.

      Any obvious suggestions Iím missing? Did Hondaís have decent steering back then? How about MkII VWís? My second car was an í88 Jetta, but that was in í93 and I didnít have much to compare it at that point.

      Iím not interested in anything obscure that I would have a tough time maintaining. My budget is somewhat flexible (the cheaper it is the sooner I could buy it).
      From the factory the E30 has a school bus like steering rack and its very slow, but the e36 and z3 rack swap over. The fwd double wishbone hondas, Im torn on, the integras have the fastest rack, but they still feel slow compared to modern cars. They sort of felt vague to me, I'd drive one to see if you like them.

    12. Member GolfTango's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 11:48 AM #11
      If you can still find one.


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      05-16-2019 11:56 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Sold Over Sticker View Post
      Yup. My money is on an E36 M3 or any 6 cylinder E39.

      E30ís have too slow of a ratio. Theyíre annoying. Aircooleds are great when hustling the car, but a little annoying when youíre just driving around. E36ís and E39ís are great to daily drive, and communicate everything when youíre driving hard.
      +1. In this case, avoid the V8 E39s because they had a steering box. Love the E30, but I would definitely feel the need to swap in a Z3 steering rack.

      Quote Originally Posted by Cr4shT3st View Post
      IMO - NSX, F355, 986

      I haven't driven a 964 or 993. The 986 is better than the 996. The 355 is really, really good but not as much feedback at the Porsche. The NSX was pure magic.

      E36M3 is up there, too, but not really on the same level.
      I would bet 993 and 986 are way up there.

      Quote Originally Posted by Tommietank View Post
      Scratch everything in here. The 1999 Mazda Protege had the best feeling rack period. It was telepathic and mind blowing on a car that cheap.
      Anyone remember the Protege Mp3? Supposedly an amazing handler.

    14. Member CaleDeRoo's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 12:03 PM #13
      How were the fb/c/d rx7s?
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    15. Member andlf's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 12:07 PM #14
      I vote E30. I've driven a few. I was impressed with the sharpness of the steering.
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    16. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 12:16 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
      Did Hondaís have decent steering back then?
      Aside from the 1G NSX and maybe the ITR, Hondas have never had particularly good steering. Top of the class gearboxes, midpack at best steering feel.
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    17. Member Pnuu's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 12:22 PM #16
      While it may not objectively be the best of the best, a Mk2 VW GTI had excellent steering feel and feedback. You could easily interpret what was happening with those front tires fighting to balance steering/acceleration/braking.

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      05-16-2019 12:23 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Crispyfritter View Post
      I always felt like the Prelude had good steering feel.

      E39 BMW has excellent steering feel. Get a 530i sport with a manual. Incredible drivers car that doesn't beat you to death.

      Chris
      Yeah, I like E39s a lot also. My only issues with the E39 though are that while itís a great all-rounder, theyíre getting up in age so theyíre not as reliable as an all-rounder should be without spending a whole bunch of time and/or money making it so. Itís also not quite tossable enough to be a ďtoyĒ car. Iíll probably end up owning one at some point though.

    19. 05-16-2019 12:24 PM #18
      E30's are great, I've owned two, but my 99 Z3 M Coupe had the best steering feel of any BMW of the era.

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      05-16-2019 12:31 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by GolfTango View Post
      If you can still find one.

      I had one, the steering feel was very good in it and that's what really counts. One problem it had with the steering though was torque steer. It would feel like it was trying to rip the wheel out of your hands if you were turning and giving it a lot of gas in low gear.

    21. Member Cr4shT3st's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 12:45 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by CaleDeRoo View Post
      How were the fb/c/d rx7s?
      My 79 had recirculating ball steering and was not great. I think the FC is much better, and assume the FD better still.
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      05-16-2019 01:22 PM #21
      I've never driven an Asian car, so I'll go with German cars in general.
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      05-16-2019 01:29 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Tommietank View Post
      Scratch everything in here. The 1999 Mazda Protege had the best feeling rack period. It was telepathic and mind blowing on a car that cheap.
      I had one of those and, yeah, it was really great ó the all independent suspension was stiff and had zero slop as well. I put some plus zero'd Michelin Pilot XGT H4s on it and it had so much grip. It was only 174" long and weighed about 2500 lbs IIRC so it didn't need a lot of power to be fun.

      It was stiffer than the EP3 Si I replaced it with. If they'd had a 160ish horsepower engine to put in it, these would have been TCL darlings. I still see a lot of them around here in the city so they seem to last/hold up.
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      05-16-2019 01:47 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Crispyfritter View Post
      I always felt like the Prelude had good steering feel.

      E39 BMW has excellent steering feel. Get a 530i sport with a manual. Incredible drivers car that doesn't beat you to death.

      Chris
      6 cyl E39's had the better steering, the 8 cyl cars had recirculating ball steering with much less feel.

      A good starting list IMO would be these

      Miata
      E30 BMW
      E36 BMW
      E46 BMW (came out in 99 right? and better than the later ones when they lightend the steering feel)
      Integra
      Civic Si
      MR2

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      05-16-2019 01:57 PM #24
      Probably too obscure for the OP, but in two years the S1 Elise will be eligible for import. Renault Clio Williams and other French hatches would be other great candidates if we're considering cars that can be imported.

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    26. 05-16-2019 02:13 PM #25
      Anyone that tells you a stock E30 has good steering feel is lying or delusional. They wake up with an updated rack but the stock is terrible.

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