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Old 06-01-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
RidingOnRailz
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Cool Another Steering Rant - Mixed Bag

James Healey USA Today testing the '13 Altima:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...ima/55200608/1


excerpt:
Specific gripes:
Steering. Too stiff, especially on the V-6 models. It's as if you have to break it loose from dead-center to turn or maneuver. And once you do, it then seems too assisted, over-reacting to your moves on the wheel.
What's more, in all three test cars, the steering seemed to drift left, requiring corrections to the right.
The problems feel minor at low speed but are quite bothersome as speed rises.

"Too Stiff" - I was overjoyed - until I finished reading the paragraph! LOL!

I HOPE this was a one-off, unit-specific defect! But it highlights(and confirms something I already knew about) another problem of modern automotive steering systems: Overcompensation for road crown. The last car I drove which drifted(slightly and expectedly) to the right was my 1981 Buick Century - which I last drove in 1997 before trading it in for my first "modern" car - a Ford Contour.

My '03 Impala drifted left, my '05 Malibu, and to an extent - my current car, the '08 Kia Optima.

After I had the steering knuckle and assoc parts replaced last October, I made it very clear when that thing came back from alignment I wanted it to pull to the right(the shop looked at me as though I too had driven around town with both my cats on the roof of my car!). And that it does - about as much as the old Century did. The reason it drifts right - road crown. The only compensation for road crown should come from the DRIVER. Period.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:41 PM   #2
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Re: Another Steering Rant - Mixed Bag

+1
I've given up on alignment shops. The try to sell you suspension parts you don't need, then do the minimun amount of work so you won't complain.
Bought a portable laser aligner intended for race cars, and I align my own cars now.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:45 AM   #3
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Cool Re: Another Steering Rant - Update

This time on the revamped Tahoe:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...ahoe-/8617161/


Excerpt: "GM's top truck engineer, Jeff Luke, says the goal was to make the new Tahoe more crossover-like. But GM went far enough to scrub out the robust, firm truck feel, without delivering the crisper driving feel of a car-based crossover.

Which left us with a ho-hum reaction. Here's why:

We found the steering numb and imprecise, the suspension on the soggy side, "

Numb steering, in the 21st century.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:11 AM   #4
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Cool Re: Another Steering Rant - Mixed Bag

August 2014 - from LA Times review of 2014 Corolla vs 2014 3:

http://www.latimes.com/business/auto...mV4xAKP&page=1


Excerpt: "...The smooth ride came with some trade-off in handling, which didn't match the sporty feel of the Mazda. Rubbery steering didn't help. But it certainly handled well enough to please the vast majority of Corolla buyers....."

Rubbery steering - in 2014. : :
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:50 AM   #5
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Re: Another Steering Rant - Mixed Bag

Consider what the typical buyer of these vehicles want though. Most Tahoe drivers are probably not people that will be running slalom courses on weekends and weaving in and out of traffic on their daily commute. They are people trying to back campers and boats in to tight spaces or parents navigating parking lots at their local soccer fields. The typical Corolla driver is interested in fuel economy and/or being able to get in and out of parking lots at their local high school or shopping mall. In the interest of fuel economy, they are typically not concerned about high speed handling. Many in the target audience for these vehicles would complain to the dealers and manufacturer representatives if the experienced steering feedback. I'd like to think that most people test drive cars before they buy them. If the steering feel is not what they desire, they move on to the next car on their list or weigh the trade offs between steering feel and the features that really matter to them. Manufacturers like GM and Toyota spend quite a bit of time understanding what their customers want, and both certainly know how to engineer a vehicle with proper sporty handling feel. Enthusiast magazine writers on the other hand test to be just that, enthusiasts. I bet if you did a poll of the writers for the magazines and asked them what their ideal car is, most would be sports or sporty cars. Few would list Corollas or Tahoes, and that's most likely not because of the steering feel but because of the total package. And if you polled them on what their daily driver is, you'd probably again find very few that drive Corollas. If they drive Tahoes, it's probably because that's what they tow their sports car to the track with.

-Rod
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:02 AM   #6
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Cool Re: Another Steering Rant - Mixed Bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by shorod View Post
Consider what the typical buyer of these vehicles want though. Most Tahoe drivers are probably not people that will be running slalom courses on weekends and weaving in and out of traffic on their daily commute. They are people trying to back campers and boats in to tight spaces or parents navigating parking lots at their local soccer fields. The typical Corolla driver is interested in fuel economy and/or being able to get in and out of parking lots at their local high school or shopping mall. In the interest of fuel economy, they are typically not concerned about high speed handling. Many in the target audience for these vehicles would complain to the dealers and manufacturer representatives if the experienced steering feedback. I'd like to think that most people test drive cars before they buy them. If the steering feel is not what they desire, they move on to the next car on their list or weigh the trade offs between steering feel and the features that really matter to them. Manufacturers like GM and Toyota spend quite a bit of time understanding what their customers want, and both certainly know how to engineer a vehicle with proper sporty handling feel. Enthusiast magazine writers on the other hand test to be just that, enthusiasts. I bet if you did a poll of the writers for the magazines and asked them what their ideal car is, most would be sports or sporty cars. Few would list Corollas or Tahoes, and that's most likely not because of the steering feel but because of the total package. And if you polled them on what their daily driver is, you'd probably again find very few that drive Corollas. If they drive Tahoes, it's probably because that's what they tow their sports car to the track with.

-Rod
Thanks for explanation.

Now I'm not implying we should build a Lamborghini-feel into Corollas & Sonatas and so forth. Just remove the rubberiness. Incorporate some form of variable-PS ratio(easy to park - super tight at highway speeds) into modern family sedans. I'm just talking about making them feel a little tighter and more stable on highways, not getting them ready for the races.

I myself am a wanderer; I couldn't stay in one lane on 95 if you paid me! For that reason I'd rather have NO power steering than be a risk to the safety of drivers in adjacent lanes.
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