ahagge
Posts: 298
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:38 am
Delivery Date: 02 Jul 2011
Leaf Number: 5175
Location: Northridge, CA

Improve the steering feel

Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:21 pm

This seems to be the single most commented-on "sore point" in virtually all of the Leaf reivews I've seen from the professional reviewers (and from many future Leaf owners as well!). Based on my two test drives, I agree...at low speeds the boost is too strong and on-center too vague. Nissan says that it is reduced at highway speeds, but alas, the Drive Electric Tour didn't allow me to get to those speeds. :(

Does anyone know whether Nissan has heard the chorus and will be doing anything about the vague steering feel prior to the first production models rolling off the boat? Or even afterwards? It seems to me like this should be a relatively simple software modification. I'm sure that the steering boost is controlled by a computer somewhere on the vehicle...
Ocean Blue SL-e
Per LEAF Spy as of 06/26/18: 11 bars, 222 GIDs, 53.4 AHr on new (04/30/15) Lizard battery (1st bar lost 12/22/17)
Orig. battery lost 4th bar at 177 GIDs, 43.19 AHr, 44.74 Hx, 65% SOH after 45 months

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TomT
Posts: 10648
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: California, now Georgia
Contact: Website

Re: Improve the steering feel

Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:34 pm

I was able to get up to 50 on one drive and it was still awful at that speed. The same over-boosted, numb, lack-of-any-off-center feel! Remote controlled casters as one pro reviewer from Car and Driver said. I can only hope that someone is listening and does something about it as it was far and away the biggest drive turn off for me!

Tom
ahagge wrote:This seems to be the single most commented-on "sore point" in virtually all of the Leaf reivews I've seen from the professional reviewers (and from many future Leaf owners as well!). Based on my two test drives, I agree...at low speeds the boost is too strong and on-center too vague. Nissan says that it is reduced at highway speeds, but alas, the Drive Electric Tour didn't allow me to get to those speeds. :(

Does anyone know whether Nissan has heard the chorus and will be doing anything about the vague steering feel prior to the first production models rolling off the boat? Or even afterwards? It seems to me like this should be a relatively simple software modification. I'm sure that the steering boost is controlled by a computer somewhere on the vehicle...
Leaf SL 2011 to 2016, Volt Premier 2016 to 2019, and now:
2019 Model 3; LR, RWD, FSD, 19" Sport Wheels, silver/black; built 3/17/19, delivered 3/29/19.

stromi
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:55 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Improve the steering feel

Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:50 pm

Agreed. Felt like video game controller during test drive. I think many driving enthusiasts are interested in driving electric, but the vague steering will put them off. While it's a disappointment, I will likely still go ahead with the Leaf.

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TRONZ
Posts: 2240
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:01 pm
Delivery Date: 31 Jan 2011
Leaf Number: 202
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Improve the steering feel

Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:54 pm

I liked it! Very relaxing and really matched the effortless Zen like EV experience.
Every start, is as good as any start can ever be. - Douglas Darden

Stats;
2011 LEAF SL VIN#202, Delivered 01.30.11. Now, by far, the oldest LEAF in Colorado.

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TomT
Posts: 10648
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: California, now Georgia
Contact: Website

Re: Improve the steering feel

Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:49 pm

I agree on all accounts! I hope the production version has corrected that. If not, having read the service manual and now knowing how the steering system works in detail, it would be easy to trick it to increase the feel and effort.
stromi wrote:Agreed. Felt like video game controller during test drive. I think many driving enthusiasts are interested in driving electric, but the vague steering will put them off. While it's a disappointment, I will likely still go ahead with the Leaf.
Leaf SL 2011 to 2016, Volt Premier 2016 to 2019, and now:
2019 Model 3; LR, RWD, FSD, 19" Sport Wheels, silver/black; built 3/17/19, delivered 3/29/19.

AndyH
Posts: 6388
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:43 pm
Location: San Antonio

Re: Improve the steering feel

Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:02 pm

One more 'don't change it' vote. I got up to 56 on my test drive and steering was light at slow speed but firmed as speed increased. This was the most comfortable and familiar first drive I've ever done in a new car.

Don't change a thing, Nissan - just ship more cars across the Pacific!

smkettner
Posts: 7454
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:13 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Improve the steering feel

Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:05 pm

To me it is just a point A to point B car not a sports car.
I like it as is. Well unless possibly significantly more range could be obtained by reducing the assist.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV
RAV4 traded in for I-Pace Dec 2018

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ttweed
Posts: 1090
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:31 am
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 1317
Location: La Jolla, CA
Contact: Website

Re: Improve the steering feel

Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:43 am

smkettner wrote:To me it is just a point A to point B car not a sports car.
I like it as is.
+1 here. This is not a car for performance driving, so why is the "feel" of the steering so important? As long as the handling is stable and predictable, it does not wander unexpectedly at speed, bump-steer poorly, or tramline on road grooves, camber, etc., why would you care about how the steering feels? Nobody is going to be driving these things at the limit of grip constantly, which is when steering feedback might help the driver control the car better and enjoy the experience of pushing a machine to its limit safely with confidence. Steering "feel" is a parameter best applied to reviewing high performance cars. This is a utility vehicle, designed for economy. So the steering is light--big deal! It makes it more effortless to drive, especially for the "physically challenged" (less strong). If it was too heavy and required excessive effort for accomplishing control inputs, I think there would be far more complaints.

If you are looking for steering feel, for the sensation of being connected to the road through the steering wheel and the tire contact patch, getting feedback from every nuance and pebble on the surface of the road while pushing to the limits of grip, buy a Porsche or a Lotus. They are renowned for this quality, and that's why I own one. High performance handling is not what I expect from a Leaf, and it didn't enter into my decision to buy one at all. I'm not going to drive it like I stole it. ;)

TT
Tom Tweed
La Jolla, CA
Plowshare Media
2011 SLe #1317 del. 4/1/11
1st bar lost at 31,953 miles
2nd bar lost at 38,685 miles
3rd bar lost at 50,711 miles
4th bar lost at 59,758 miles after 64 months
Battery replaced at 61,307 miles.

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evnow
Moderator
Posts: 11480
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:41 am
Delivery Date: 25 Feb 2011
Leaf Number: 303
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Improve the steering feel

Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:21 am

stromi wrote:Felt like video game controller during test drive.
Yes - a car made for the Gamer generation.
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
2nd Leaf : 5/4/2013 to 3/21/2017
Volt : 3/25/2017 to 5/25/2018
Model 3 : 5/10/2018 to ?

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garygid
Gold Member
Posts: 12469
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:10 am
Delivery Date: 29 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000855
Location: Laguna Hills, Orange Co, CA

Re: Improve the steering feel

Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:35 am

I thought the steering had good return-to-center.
Was I dreaming, or doing it myself?
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