Brand New 2018, Steering feels.. heavy? - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Brand New 2018, Steering feels.. heavy?

I've driven a 2005 Mazda6 for 13 years, just picked up a 2018 Signature last week. One thing that I don't like about the car is how much effort it takes to make a simple 90 degree turn (20ish mph). I feel like this car takes more force on the steering wheel than just about anything I've ever driven. My '05 could pretty easily be turned with a finger between the steering wheel spokes, but the '18 just takes way more effort. Is this normal for the newer 6s? Do you think it's something a dealer could adjust?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 12:01 PM
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Nice name, entropy. Is Thermodynamics your favorite subject?


First time owner of Mazda 6 so I can't make an objective comparison. Perhaps they did it that way for us to have a better feel of the road or having that feeling of being connected to the car.

I'm comparing this with my colleague's Ford Everest. The steering is so soft that I think I can operate it with my two fingers only!

Same thing with the Santa Fe 2016 (2015?), the steering is also soft. There are three modes namely "normal", "soft", and "sports mode". "Normal" mode is already soft so the "soft" mode is really soft!

If I may suggest, you might want to try to drive other Mazda 6 with the same variant as yours so as to compare it. I hope you can easily find one.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 12:20 PM
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Heavier steering contributes to a better driving experience, which Mazda's brand promise is heavily focused on, so I think it's intentionally weighted that way. Turning the car requires more effort, so it tracks straight until you put in the effort to go a different way.

Coming from having owned multiple sports cars, they all had heavier steering. I hated most of the cars I test drove with light steering (especially you, BMW 3 series). You'll get used to it in time.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 12:35 PM
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Beyond what Titanium said, the steering is a whole new world compared to your '05. The 2018 steering is 100% electric, and to be perfectly honest, it's one of the few things about this car I don't like.

You don't feel the road as well, you don't have the same control you used to, and it ever-so-slightly tries to make adjustments for you when things like gusts of wind come along, which in turn make you do more work.

That being said: Mazda's G-Vectoring control is *supposed* to negate a large portion of that over-correcting, but I haven't tried it out.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 01:36 PM
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Compared to my 2nd-gen, I feel there's a SLIGHT more effort, but I can't recall a huge difference between my '04 and my '18.

Also remember that tire/wheel size can make a difference. The type of tire, the size of it's contact patch, and the total weight of the wheel/tire can make a difference in steering effort.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 01:40 AM
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Same here. I don’t recall it feeling significantly different from my ‘05 in terms of steering effort. I did notice the difference in road feel, though. This car is not as much of a workout during a long drive as my ‘02 WRX was. In the Scoob, a 2 hour drive to my parents house was very enjoyable, but exhausting.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. I paid a little more attention to it today, and I can turn the wheel at low speeds (0-5 mph) with just a couple fingers on one hand through the spokes, but making a right turn on normal streets (20-25 mph) just feels like the car is fighting me. I guess its normal and I just greatly preferred the steering feel in my 2005 (and the 2017 accord, and the 2017 civic hatch, and our 2014 odyssey). I have little girly arms, but I can't imagine anyone driving my '05 and '18 back-to-back and not feeling a big difference in the force required to turn. I'm sure, as you say, I'll get used to it in time.

I'm surprised that a heavier steering feel is considered "sporty" though. To me, it makes the car feel heavy and sportier cars usually want to feel light/fast/nimble.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 12:27 PM
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That's the way my 2018 Signature feels also, and I like steering which gives some feedback (even if it's simulated since it's actually electronic.) If you want the exact opposite feel you should test drive a Subaru Legacy, which has such a light and detached steering feel that I felt like I was driving in a video game!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 06:29 PM
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As an owner of a 18' GT Reserve and former owner of a 15' Touring Manual, I have to agree with the OP.

As you can see this is my 2nd mazda 6. The current car has much heavier steering and it takes some time to get used to. The heavier steering feels good when driving the car agressively though, but for low speed street use it feels a little heavy. I am surprised the car does not have variable effort steering. Cars like the old Acura Legends used to have that feature.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliff View Post
As an owner of a 18' GT Reserve and former owner of a 15' Touring Manual, I have to agree with the OP.

As you can see this is my 2nd mazda 6. The current car has much heavier steering and it takes some time to get used to. The heavier steering feels good when driving the car agressively though, but for low speed street use it feels a little heavy. I am surprised the car does not have variable effort steering. Cars like the old Acura Legends used to have that feature.
Any thoughts on how much the squishy Falken tires are contributing to this? To me, most of the heavy feeling is stemming from the fact that steering response feels slower and less precise because the sidewalls of these tires is so soft that it’s like driving on balloons. The car feels like it wants to plow through corners because the front tires are trying to roll over onto the sides, contributing slightly to a bit of body roll. With mildly aggressive cornering, you can get some scrubbing on the sidewalls of these tires without much difficulty. It’s just a touring tire, not performance tire. Even a “high performance all-season” tire should feel a good deal more solidly planted and more responsive to steering input than this “touring” tire will.
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