Originally Posted by ptt127
While it's obvious that personal taste plays a big role in one's definition of good steering feel, there are some great observations here.
My definition of steering feel can be broken into 4 components:
1) Precision: It should go where you point it
2) Loading characteristics: As cornering forces build, it should give you some feedback by way of increasing effort. Then, as the limit approaches and the front ties start to slide, it should go light again. Anyone who remembers driving a car with unassisted steering knows this sensation- it can feel very light when going straight but loads the harder you corner.
3) Road feedback: Some call it kickback and hate it. I personally like a little bit over bumps and bots dots just to give a sense of connection between man and machine.
4) Effort: it shouldn't be so light that you can't sense any of 2) or 3).
Of all the cars I've owned or spent a lot of time driving, my benchmarks are a pair of BMWs- an E30 325iX and an E90 328i. They had better feel than the two unassisted cars, a '93 MR2 and an '89 Civic Si.
The biggest disappointment is my '04 S2000, precise but completely lacking 2) and 3)- effort is always the same. As another poster mentioned this car is so visceral in every other way that it deserves better steering feel.
Most pleasant surprise is my 2009 Fit Sport. Light effort but surprisingly good 1), 2), and 3), especially since it is EPS. Really adds some unexpected joy to the daily commute in this cheap sh!tbox
My '99 Z3 Coupe and '88 Prelude were pretty good but not standouts.
That leaves the F30 which I have only test driven. It's extremely light and first impressions of 2) and 3) were not good, but I'd have to give it time. I just wish they hadn't changed it so much from the E90.
This is a very nice post.
I would argue that 2 and 3 are what most people call the steering feel, while 1 and 4 are called, well, precision and effort. But I fully agree that all of them are very important.
The best EPS might be able to get 1, 2, and 4 right, but 3 remains elusive.