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An honest review of the yoke

uthatcher

Member
Dec 7, 2020
265
1,098
Los Angeles
I’m at ~1800 miles on my Plaid at the moment, including a 1400 mile road trip. I live in the Hollywood Hills and I commute ~100 miles per day. I think I have a pretty decent sampling various driving situations now with the yoke.

So far I have zero issues with the actual yoke. I like the feel, I don’t find it inhibits any driving scenarios. I’ve done plenty of u-turns in tight situations and have had no drama.

Im also fine with no stalks. However I really wish the turn signal and wiper buttons needed more pressure. I have, more than one, activated left, right signals, and the wipers. I do not like this. And I also mistakenly tried to blow the horn by pressing the center of the wheel. That reflex is old and strong. Also, not great. But these are stalk issues, not yoke issues.

Overall I like the yoke a lot. And whether its enough reason or not, it’s largely because it really opens up the cabin from the drivers seat. That is enough reason to enjoy it from my perspective.

Im hoping the signals and wiper activation is adjusted with software updates. If they are then I’m 100% saying the yoke and stalkless experience is superior for me.

As far as the NHSTA complaint above, most of it is really a stretch. If a person can’t get positioned correctly at only 6’ tall then there are other issues. The seat and wheel offer plenty of adjustment. All of that nonsense really brings doubt into the legitimacy of the rest of the persons complaints.
 

uthatcher

Member
Dec 7, 2020
265
1,098
Los Angeles
Thank you.

I don't think Tesla will willingly offer a round wheel, as they seem to be intent on reducing manufacturing complexity, and TBH, I think the stalkless controls on a round wheel are less compelling. If you have a hand at 12 or like to drive at 10 and 2, then moving them to press a button or flip a stalk, then I think it becomes a wash.

I think Tesla sees this a legit improvement and glad they are wiling to push the envelope--hope I never see the day we have Tesla-by-committee.
Ha, I agree 100%. Tesla by committee would never yield a 9-second sedan. It would be the same as all the legacy auto manufacturers and I for one am not interested.
 

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
3,687
3,853
USA
What’s your intent here? Do you seek to steer Tesla into offering a round wheel?
What isn’t clear about my intent? I’m looking for someone to provide advantages to having a yoke over a traditional wheel.

So far it sounds like:
Visibility - which was never a complaint I heard anyone make
Touch controls are cool - sure. But you don’t need a yoke for that

This really sounds like Elon wanted something because it looks like his favorite video game controller and nobody had the courage to say “no”. There is just no argument to be made for why it is needed or superior to a wheel and all the fanboys are just saying “you get used to it”. That is not an answer to my question.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,141
9,801
MI
What isn’t clear about my intent? I’m looking for someone to provide advantages to having a yoke over a traditional wheel.

So far it sounds like:
Visibility - which was never a complaint I heard anyone make
Touch controls are cool - sure. But you don’t need a yoke for that

This really sounds like Elon wanted something because it looks like his favorite video game controller and nobody had the courage to say “no”. There is just no argument to be made for why it is needed or superior to a wheel and all the fanboys are just saying “you get used to it”. That is not an answer to my question.

I can’t think of any other good functional reasons either. But why isn’t “because they like the look of it” a good enough reason? Looks drives many buying decisions.
 

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
3,687
3,853
USA
I can’t think of any other good functional reasons either. But why isn’t “because they like the look of it” a good enough reason? Looks drives many buying decisions.
I don’t need a better looking steering wheel at the expense of ergonomics and convenience. If it is a purely superficial design choice, that makes it a much, much worse decision on Tesla’s part.
 

lbowroom

Plaid, white with black, CF, 19’s. Delivered 8/27
Sep 12, 2018
1,152
2,543
Orange County
I don’t need a better looking steering wheel at the expense of ergonomics and convenience. If it is a purely superficial design choice, that makes it a much, much worse decision on Tesla’s part.
So yoke is bad, Tesla is bad, anyone who likes the yoke is bad, Tesla should stop producing them? Is that your platform?
 

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
3,687
3,853
USA
So yoke is bad, Tesla is bad, anyone who likes the yoke is bad, Tesla should stop producing them? Is that your platform?
No. Are you not able to respond to anything that is critical of Tesla without making wild assumptions?

Still waiting for a VALID reason to literally re-invent the wheel. So far we have “better view of the dash” and “looks” cool. I was hoping for more but it seems like people around here lose their minds when the dear leader’s decisions are questioned.
 
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uthatcher

Member
Dec 7, 2020
265
1,098
Los Angeles
No. Are you not able to respond to anything that is critical of Tesla without making wild assumptions?

Still waiting for a VALID reason to literally re-invent the wheel. So far we have “better view of the dash” and “looks” cool. I was hoping for more but it seems like people around here lose their minds when the dear leader’s decisions are questioned.

While visibility may have never been a complaint, it is silly to think it cannot be improved. With that line of thinking we’d all still be riding horses, because before cars nobody complained about horses as transportation.

I think my struggle with “VALID” is it’s only one person’s definition, in this case yours. My like or dislike of the yoke for any reason is valid. You dismiss the opening up of the dashboard as completely invalid. Yet, that is your perspective only. I happen to really like the effect the yoke creates inside the cabin…but that’s not valid in your view.

If it’s not valid to you but is to others it doesn’t mean they are wrong or their reasons are “invalid”. I see no downside at all to the yoke and only see upside, yet you don’t like the reason why. So then you’re not going to get what you perceive as a “valid” reason and, furthermore, no one here is obligated to find a reason that is valid to you. Hopefully you like the car, but frankly, for the same lack of obligation, it doesn’t matter either way…it’s why there’s a menu, we all like what we like.
 

lbowroom

Plaid, white with black, CF, 19’s. Delivered 8/27
Sep 12, 2018
1,152
2,543
Orange County
No. Are you not able to respond to anything that is critical of Tesla without making wild assumptions?

Still waiting for a VALID reason to literally re-invent the wheel. So far we have “better view of the dash” and “looks” cool. I was hoping for more but it seems like people around here lose their minds when the dear leader’s decisions are questioned.
There’s nothing wild about my assumptions. No valid reason provided nor required
 

jeremymc7

Active Member
Feb 3, 2013
1,543
697
U.S.
This not the first vehicle to have this type of steering. I’ve seen it done many times. However this is the first time I’ve seen it on such a high volume one.

That said I don’t see anything inherently wrong with it. Personally I think think it’s just an adjustment period. People don’t adapt to change well and when you’ve spent decades doing it one way it’s really hard to retain your brain.

That said I honestly think that Tesla should offer you a choice of steering wheels.

But then Tesla for years has been taking away more and more options, where companies like Porsche that you change literally thousands of options down to the smallest detail for a similar amount of money.
 

Dan D.

Member
Dec 7, 2020
670
751
Vancouver, BC
I'd like to see some videos of quick maneuvers using the yoke at faster speeds. I've seen enough videos of new drivers showing how the yoke works by driving slowly around the block and to the mall. What is it like to go fast left, right, left, around some hairpin switchbacks? Especially when they are super sharp turns that require hand repositioning.

If your hands are resting on the nubs at the top and you slam on the brakes, do your hands ever slip forward off the yoke?

What's it like to control on AP, or rather to regain control in the middle of a turn?
 

uthatcher

Member
Dec 7, 2020
265
1,098
Los Angeles
I'd like to see some videos of quick maneuvers using the yoke at faster speeds. I've seen enough videos of new drivers showing how the yoke works by driving slowly around the block and to the mall. What is it like to go fast left, right, left, around some hairpin switchbacks? Especially when they are super sharp turns that require hand repositioning.

If your hands are resting on the nubs at the top and you slam on the brakes, do your hands ever slip forward off the yoke?

What's it like to control on AP, or rather to regain control in the middle of a turn?
I don’t have video, but the rest I can answer.

I don’t drive slowly. Simultaneously, I don’t think about the yoke at all. There are very few turns or roads that require hand repositioning in daily driving, so it’s not a huge factor in driving the car. However, say pulling into a parking spot, does require hand repositioning and it its 100% mindless. No thought required. Yes, the feel is different, but for me, it’s not something I need to think about during execution.

No, they do not slip forward. My hands are connected to my arms which naturally come towards my body. I do not find that my hands have such inertia that slamming on the breaks makes them move forward. Or off the yoke in any way. And I have slammed the brakes on, living in L.A. it’s like a daily occurrence.

I’m not too sure about your last question. I use AP as the Level 2 system that it is, and therefore the yoke is essentially never in a place that is difficult to monitor control while on AP. It’s identical to using a wheel in this case. If you’re using AP on some crazy back road, I still find it unlikely that the yoke is going to be so aggressively turned that there will be any difficultly monitoring. And if it is, the yoke always, always, always, has something to grab onto.

I live in Los Angeles. It’s a pretty decent test bed of difficult driving situations. We have access to tight roads, traffic, congestion, ridiculous parking, and pretty much any other horrible driving situation. And so far, 2000 miles in, the yoke is a nonissue in regards to it’s usability in my view.

This yoke discussion is interesting. It’s not like because the rim for ~45 degrees of the steering mechanism is gone that there isn’t a top. That there isn’t something to grab. You’re hands are just lower because the top is lower, but the top is still the top. There’s nothing to wrap 5 fingers around at the top, but does anyone really clench onto the top of a wheel and do all these aggressive maneuvers without letting go ever? And if you do let go and reposition, the yoke isn’t so different Because the rest basically makes the remaining parts of a wheel.

I guess my message is, don’t overthink the yoke. It’s easy. Maybe awkward for some for a short while, but there really is no danger.
 

omarsultan

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 22, 2013
4,070
14,765
Northern California
I don’t have video, but the rest I can answer.

I don’t drive slowly. Simultaneously, I don’t think about the yoke at all. There are very few turns or roads that require hand repositioning in daily driving, so it’s not a huge factor in driving the car. However, say pulling into a parking spot, does require hand repositioning and it its 100% mindless. No thought required. Yes, the feel is different, but for me, it’s not something I need to think about during execution.

No, they do not slip forward. My hands are connected to my arms which naturally come towards my body. I do not find that my hands have such inertia that slamming on the breaks makes them move forward. Or off the yoke in any way. And I have slammed the brakes on, living in L.A. it’s like a daily occurrence.

I’m not too sure about your last question. I use AP as the Level 2 system that it is, and therefore the yoke is essentially never in a place that is difficult to monitor control while on AP. It’s identical to using a wheel in this case. If you’re using AP on some crazy back road, I still find it unlikely that the yoke is going to be so aggressively turned that there will be any difficultly monitoring. And if it is, the yoke always, always, always, has something to grab onto.

I live in Los Angeles. It’s a pretty decent test bed of difficult driving situations. We have access to tight roads, traffic, congestion, ridiculous parking, and pretty much any other horrible driving situation. And so far, 2000 miles in, the yoke is a nonissue in regards to it’s usability in my view.

This yoke discussion is interesting. It’s not like because the rim for ~45 degrees of the steering mechanism is gone that there isn’t a top. That there isn’t something to grab. You’re hands are just lower because the top is lower, but the top is still the top. There’s nothing to wrap 5 fingers around at the top, but does anyone really clench onto the top of a wheel and do all these aggressive maneuvers without letting go ever? And if you do let go and reposition, the yoke isn’t so different Because the rest basically makes the remaining parts of a wheel.

I guess my message is, don’t overthink the yoke. It’s easy. Maybe awkward for some for a short while, but there really is no danger.
100% this!

Last weekend @MarcG took my car for a spin on the loop below as his first outing with the yoke. He can comment on his experience if he wants, but we both lived to tell about it. :)

Once your brain clicks about shifting some of your hand positioning, you really stop thinking about it.

As as AP goes, I usually have a hand hanging off one of the bottom corners, so disengagements are not really and different from my wife's X were my hand is usually hanging off the spoke at 9 o'clock.
IMG_C75AF4AE9142-1.jpeg
 

kielhoff

New Member
Jul 18, 2021
4
18
Wilmington DE
Guys, I received one of the first Model S Plaid in the Philly area. Picked it up on June 24. Drove it twice and it has been in my garage ever since. Can't get used to the yoke steering and non-stick controls. I suppose that these are pretty cool features for some folks but not for me. Fortunately I was able to get my 2015 Model S P85D back from Tesla. BTW, my plaid has 143 miles on it and its for sale if you know anyone that would like to get one fast. Color is blue.
 

finallybuying

Member
Jun 7, 2015
37
9
Menlo Park, CA
Guys, I received one of the first Model S Plaid in the Philly area. Picked it up on June 24. Drove it twice and it has been in my garage ever since. Can't get used to the yoke steering and non-stick controls. I suppose that these are pretty cool features for some folks but not for me. Fortunately I was able to get my 2015 Model S P85D back from Tesla. BTW, my plaid has 143 miles on it and its for sale if you know anyone that would like to get one fast. Color is blue.
I gotta say: I really want to buy this car. I’ve waited and waited for this refresh for years. And…this post is exactly what concerns me. I am now going to wait longer to see if they switch it out. I wonder if they will.
Regardless I can’t see how this helps sell more Model S’s. (My hope would be that this is a wildly successful car, for sure. Rooting for it.) Bummed.
 
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SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,141
9,801
MI
I gotta say: I really want to buy this car. I’ve waited and waited for this refresh for years. And…this post is exactly what concerns me. I am now going to wait longer to see if they switch it out. I wonder if they will.
Regardless I can’t see how this helps sell more Model S’s. (My hope would be that this is a wildly successful car, for sure. Rooting for it.) Bummed.
I guess you need to change your username again.
 

txturbo

Member
Feb 21, 2016
12
28
Austin, TX
Update after three weeks:
  1. I still find myself looking down at the yoke to see where the button is when I turn because the buttons have a hair trigger. They are a terrible solution, especially for something that you need to select by feel, ideally. There is a little raised divider that I assume is to be used for locating the button without looking. But trying to touch it with the precision necessary to keep from activating the sensors is difficult.
  2. The capacitive buttons do not take the same amount of touch to activate. Maybe I have a bad yoke?
  3. The yoke steering wheel, being rectangular, provides a different radius to turn depending on where you hold it. As you turn the yoke and go hand over hand, the amount of movement required changes depending on where you grab it.
  4. All annoyance is rectified by stomping on the accelerator. :oops:
It's not a deal-breaker, just an unforced error in an otherwise perfect car.
 

headcase

Member
Jan 23, 2015
566
1,048
Raleigh, NC
Update after three weeks:
  1. I still find myself looking down at the yoke to see where the button is when I turn because the buttons have a hair trigger. They are a terrible solution, especially for something that you need to select by feel, ideally. There is a little raised divider that I assume is to be used for locating the button without looking. But trying to touch it with the precision necessary to keep from activating the sensors is difficult.
  2. The capacitive buttons do not take the same amount of touch to activate. Maybe I have a bad yoke?
  3. The yoke steering wheel, being rectangular, provides a different radius to turn depending on where you hold it. As you turn the yoke and go hand over hand, the amount of movement required changes depending on where you grab it.
  4. All annoyance is rectified by stomping on the accelerator. :oops:
It's not a deal-breaker, just an unforced error in an otherwise perfect car.
Those are consistently the primary concerns I've been hearing / reading from new owners. It makes me weary that once the "euphoria" wears off, more owners will be left frustrated with what is the primary interface to operating the car.
 

nilesborg

Member
Jul 8, 2021
31
67
San Francisco, CA
Have 1800 miles on 2021 MS LR, including a 1200 mile road trip. My $0.02 on the Yoke - it's pretty cool and totally goes with the futuristic space ship car that you're driving it with. Sure things take some time to get used to, but it's awesome IMO. Only time it's weird is 3-point turns, and even there I've got a new muscle memory for the right moves already; other than that it's fine.
 

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