TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Model 3 steering - not loving it

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by matto, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. matto

    matto Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    New York
    I've test driven the Model 3 three times now, and I left loving everything except the steering.

    It isn't terrible (like steering in newer BMWs, which is just an absolute disaster). There's no dead spot on center and it's a smooth consistent feel as your turn the wheel, which is great. But it isn't exactly relaxing like the rest of the Tesla driving experience. It's a small radius wheel, turning it requires a lot of effort, and it's so sensitive (almost twitchy?) so you need to pay attention to not to overreact and keep the car straight and smooth. Putting it on comfort it becomes too soft yet still twitchy. No no no.

    Does this go away once you get used to it? Googling is turning up zero complaints about it so maybe it's just a matter of acclimating?

    For reference, I'm used to hydraulic steering in my older E46 BMW and 987 Porsche Cayman. I know electric steering won't match cars like these. I just hope I do acclimate to the Tesla steering over time.
     
  2. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    2,528
    Location:
    Colorado
    Have you tried changing the steering mode? Perhaps it was on Sport and you'd prefer Comfort?
     
    • Like x 3
  3. matto

    matto Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    New York
    Yes I changed modes. I didn't like comfort at all. Standard seemed best.
     
  4. TexasTeslaRacing

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    North Dallas, Texas
    This is subjective, but I prefer the 3 steering over the S and especially over the X. Yesterday I drove a 2017 BMW 330E for a few hundred miles and the steering was nimble and responsive, but not as good as the 3. The BMW's brakes felt better than the 3, but everything else was sub-par. I can't believe this car was $57,000 new. CRAZY!
     
  5. chillaban

    chillaban Active Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    3,387
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Electric steering will never quite feel like the good old peak of hydraulic steering with your previous cars. They've come a long way in terms of emulating that hydraulic steering feel using EPAS but it has its limitations.

    In practice though I think you eventually get used to it and won't have complaints. It's been 6 years since I had hydraulic steering, and it's funny you mention BMW because my first EPAS car was the F30 3-series and that was ridiculously numb. And the C4 Audi A6 was terrible too with "notch-gate". I actually like the Model S and Model 3 steering. It took me a little while to get used to the Model 3's steering wheel radius.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. UnknownSoldier

    UnknownSoldier Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    730
    Location:
    WA
    #6 UnknownSoldier, Aug 28, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
    I test drove a P3D and found the Standard setting almost perfectly spot-on in terms of feel and response with the Standard setting on the S despite the differing wheel sizes. They designed it very well in terms of matching steering feel and response across their product line. I came away very impressed with the P3D steering and reassured that trading my S for my P3D will not change anything about what I like about driving a Tesla.

    Porsche is on electric steering now on the 911 since the introduction of 991 platform. People complained about it, Porsche adjusted it a few times early in that platform's life cycle, now people seem fine with it. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with electric versus hydraulic steering, unless you want to tell Porsche they are doing it wrong on what is arguably one of the world's flagship sports cars. Since then, the Porsche 718 Cayman/Boxster (982 platform) also switched those cars to electric steering and while I hear a lot of complaints about the engine sound from those turbo flat-4's, I never hear anyone complain about the steering on those. So yeah.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. matto

    matto Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    New York
    Yeah, I'm good with electric steering being different... and that it can range from awful (BMW) to quite good (Porsche)

    The question is where is Tesla on that spectrum. It could be just the small diameter wheel, small ratio steering, and heavy weight that I didn't like. I assume (and hope) that I will get used to it over time. But while on the test drives I found that steering required more effort and focus than I am accustomed too.
     
  8. Swampgator

    Swampgator Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    665
    Location:
    Florida
    The Model 3 I test drove had really nice steering feel on sport setting. Not quite as scalpel like as my old Honda S2000, but very close. I would think most people will be happy with the steering feel. Not everyone will though.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,049
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    I love the 3's steering wheel, way more than the S's. Personal preference, of course.
     
  10. ck867

    ck867 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2018
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I been on standard steering for 600 miles since I just got the car but tried sport steering on the way to work this morning. I need some more time but I think i like the feel of it more.
     
  11. LargeHamCollider

    LargeHamCollider Battery cells != scalable

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Messages:
    865
    Location:
    United States
    The 3s steering is spot on in standard mode imo (only had it for a week though). If it's the level of force needed to move the wheel that's your primary beef you should like comfort mode more than standard.
     
  12. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2015
    Messages:
    2,164
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Which wheels did the 3 you test drive have? I'm sure that could play into the steering feel. It's possible the alignment could have been slightly off as well. In my experience, I would not call the steering twitchy. Responsive, yes, but not twitchy.
     
  13. AltLogic

    AltLogic Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2018
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    SoCal
    The steering wheel itself it the best I have seen in any car. The diameter, thickness and feel are designed the way I would if I designed cars. The steering feedback in the Model 3 is not good. I can only use my visual, audio and inner ear to detect the limits of adhesion of the front tires. This is probably the only disappointment of owning a Model 3. The different steering modes seem to only change the effort level. I wish they would change the feedback too. The good news is that I am getting used to it and it doesn’t bother me as much as when I first started driving it.

    I have owned only hydraulic power steering or manual steering cars before the Model 3 except for my previous car. It had Electric power steering. It had much more feedback and mimicked a hydraulic rack fairly well. I would have been happy with that steering in my Model 3.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    1,451
    Location:
    Buford, GA
    If Elon had his way, I think he'd just remove the steering wheel.
     
  15. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2018
    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    I just test drove a P3D yesterday and loved the response of the steering wheel. I am coming from a Prius with electric steering so I am used to the feel. Of course going from Prius to M3 is night and day but they do have some similar features.
     
  16. UnknownSoldier

    UnknownSoldier Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    730
    Location:
    WA
    Considering he compares the P3D to the BMW M3 and is also making the Roadster 2.0, I would think if Elon had his way he would only make sports cars. He also owned (and crashed) a McLaren F1 back in the day.
     
  17. boriszima

    boriszima Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2018
    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    :) From what i read, quiet a lot of cars are better in road feel than Prius. I love my steering and feel, zero complaints. I am coming from older nissan altima that has "drive by wire" with a big dead spot in the middle and quiet a lot of wobble.
     
    • Like x 1
  18. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    2,064
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    I doubt your Altima was steer by wire. What year was it?

    Drive by wire, yes for the accelerator pedal. Nissan's been doing that for a LONG time (02 Maxima was the first year for that car, not sure if Nissan did it on others earlier).

    It seems to have started with Infinitis in year 2013:
    Nissan Moves to Steer-by-Wire for Select Infiniti Models
    Take a Look Inside the First Steer-by-Wire Car
     
  19. 22522

    22522 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,451
    Location:
    Texas
    I rank the steering feel this way:
    2011 BMW 328i E90 normally aspirated straight six with hydraulic steering: A+
    2012 Honda Fit normally aspirated four with manual 5 speed & electric steering: A(+)
    2018 Tesla Model 3 all variants: A
     
  20. Darmie

    Darmie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    523
    Location:
    Clear Lake TX. (Currently in lake Charles LA)
    is the steering not a direct connect on the Model 3?
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC