If you enjoy driving or if you want to become a better driver, you probably know that handling is the most crucial aspect of driving. And proper driving experiences are heavily tied to steering response and in turn, the quality of a steering wheel. How comfortable, how fast or how good you drive cannot be separated from how good your steering wheel is. Formula 1 drivers are considered the best in the world, and their steering wheels alone cost more than fifty thousand dollars. So, it is about time to find out what makes a good steering wheel!
First and foremost, you have to know that every driver is different, and everyone has a unique driving style. The tools and devices inside the car must fit the driver so he or she can do the absolute best when driving. The steering wheel has to be pleasant to touch, of a nice circumference, width, size and made from materials that will not slip from your hand. This is why manufacturers usually offer different steering wheel types in their model range.
This is also why service providers like woodensteeringwheels.com have massive success. They know that many car owners are not satisfied with their steering wheel put in by the manufacturer, and can make a custom one for anyone. They can make your dream steering wheel or customise a classic unit to better suit your needs.
A good steering wheel must be functional. That is especially vital when you consider driving performance and driving comfort. BMW M car steering wheels have the famous ‘M’ buttons which are like shortcuts to a desired, pre-configured driving mode. A press of a single button can change the entire experience of driving a car in an instant.
Furthermore, you can have paddle shifters for quicker gear changes, driving mode adjustment knobs and other performance-related options on a great steering wheel.
On the other hand, if you are seeking comfort, a steering wheel should offer buttons for adjusting and configuring pretty much every other option in your menu or infotainment system. From things like volume and phone controls, all the way to satellite navigation, cruise control or any other function – all can and should be accessible thanks to a great steering wheel.
The driver cannot change some things. Change them too much at least.
For the most part, a steering wheel is pre-calibrated and set up by the manufacturer when it leaves the car plant. It behaves a certain way and a certain amount of steering wheel turning results in a particular amount of car wheel turning. It is a really overly complicated way of saying that a steering wheel is only a part of a steering system inside the car. If the steering system is poorly maintained or just not built with your preferences in mind, the steering wheel is in any way the solely responsible component for lack or excess of steering directness.
For example, an F1 steering wheel can never help comfy limo drivers. In contrast, a large, single-spoke steering wheel of the 1950s land yachts will prevent a Lamborghini crossing the Nordschleife in under 10 minutes. BMW steering wheel cover, Mercedes Benz steering wheel — each vehicle has its own properties.
Aesthetics also matter. An excellent steering wheel will always be a looker. Of course, you have rare exceptions, but in the general sense, great steering wheels appeal to the eye as well. Seldom will you find an outstandingly agile, but poor-looking steering wheel or vice versa. It is, however, entirely subjective.
When buying a used car, people always tend to look at and analyse the state of the steering wheel. It is a primary indicator of the true wear&tear of the vehicle. So, if you want a good steering wheel, you should consider its durability because a scuffed, broken, poorly put together or in any other way lacklustre steering wheel will never bring any driving pleasure.