BMW’s steering wheels have taken flak over the past few years for being overly thick. Those complaints aren’t without merit, as the majority of BMW wheels are very chunky indeed, causing some owners to even have their steering wheels modified, to remove some of their girth. And it gets worse with M Sport steering wheels, as BMW seems to think that thick wheels equates to a sporty feel. But is the M Sport steering wheel really among the worst recent designs? Top Gear says so in their latest list.
In this list of the worst steering wheel designs of the 21s century, the BMW M Sport steering wheel was the first one mentioned. It all really started with the F30-gen 3 Series, whose M Sport steering wheel was not only overly thick but also kinda squishy. That thick, squishiness made it feel soft, lacking the typical sharpness of a 3 Series. According to Top Gear, BMW says its buyers like that sort of thing because it makes the car feel sporty.
There’s no question, BMW steering wheels are overly thick. Almost every car enthusiast that drives a modern BMW will complain, even if it’s usually a very minor complaint, that the steering wheel is too fat. Unless you have big banana hands, M Sport steering wheels can feel unwieldy. However, I’d argue it’s not the worst modern BMW steering wheel. That title falls on the wheel of the BMW iX.
The BMW iX is a brilliant car with a lovely interior and the steering wheel itself actually looks quite good. But it’s frustrating to use. For starters, it’s also too thick, which is annoying. But it’s also sorta hexagonal, which means there are corners on it, and it’s just not very comfortable to use.
I’m too cheap/poor to afford a new BMW, so this doesn’t matter to me much, but because I drove older BMWs, with delicate, thin-rimmed wheels, I notice just how thick newer wheels have become. Thinner wheels are easier to use, provide a bit more feedback from the front tires, and feel more comfortable in the hand. So the jury’s out, BMW — slim your steering wheels down. Oh, and keep them round.
[Source: Top Gear]