consumer reports tests the tesla yoke — hated it

When Tesla first shows images of its yoke-style steering "wheel" for the updated Model S and Model X, critics were, including us, almost universally skeptical. Most snap judgments had to do with the inability to maneuver hand-over-hand in a consistent manner when turning. After some real-world testing, however, Consumer Reports reveals that it's actually much worse than those initial observations predicted.

Of course, 10 test drivers at CR confirmed the blindingly obvious — that it was easy for hands to slip off the wheel during turns. The hand-over-hand motion that's been at the core of driving since time immemorial was difficult to execute, not simply because the top section of the wheel was absent, but because the bottom of it has a squared-off shape. While many sports cars have a flat-bottom steering wheel, Tesla has a longer and wider horizontal base than those. CR found that when combined with the missing top section, a simple turn meant that you might reach out to grab a corner, a flat section, or nothing at all. Each action required exertion of varying degrees.

And that's just the beginning. CR found that the unorthodox shape also made it difficult to find a comfortable resting position. Instead, it forces drivers to tightly grip the handles of the yoke, which, incidentally, have poor padding. One tester reported that the grips were too thick for her hands, having been seemingly engineered for larger mitts. Multiple CR testers logged complaints about hand pain after a long trip.

If that wasn't bad enough, the yoke design dispenses with traditional stalks for the turn signals, wipers, and high beams. Instead, controls for all of those functions, plus the horn, are located on flat touch-sensitive pads on the yoke's spokes. As a result, CR found them both easily activated inadvertently (bad for high beams) and difficult to find when you needed them (bad for the horn).

Testers often had to take their eyes off the road to look at the pads. We are big fans of tactile feedback, and argue that the proper number of times to look down for these functions should be zero. The turn signal design flaw was compounded by their location on the spokes, as when turning the yoke the right turn signal "button" might actually be on the left side and vice versa.

When the yoke was first revealed, we were told that you'd still be able to option a traditional wheel, but CR says that's not the case, which seems to be borne out on Tesla's website. Buy a Model S or Model X, and this is what you'd have to work with.

CR did find one semi-positive thing to say. With the top section removed, it was easier to see the instrument screen. However, the bottom right corner of the yoke blocked part of the center touchscreen. Elon Musk has said a full view of the instrument screen was a major factor in changing to a yoke, but the other tradeoffs sure don't seem worth it. There’s a reason for the advice, “Don’t reinvent the wheel.”

Be sure to check out Consumer Reports for the full account. 

Consumer Reports tests the Tesla yoke — hated it originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Sep 2021 08:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Internet Explorer Channel Network



5 Very Expensive Muscle Cars

Here are some of the most expensive muscle cars that people have seriously ponied up for in recent years. While the terms ‘expensive’ and ‘muscle cars’ were not intended to be synonymous, some have developed that way in recent years. While these cars were designed to get the average Joe…

Read more: 5 Very Expensive Muscle Cars

Kansas entry lists – Cup and Xfinity

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences. Update your settings here to see it. Entry lists are out for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series playoff races at Kansas Speedway. The 1.5-mile track will host the middle race in the Round of 8 for both series.…

Read more: Kansas entry lists – Cup and Xfinity

2021 Volvo S90 and XC60 launch - What to expect

© Ninad Ambre 2021 Volvo S90 and XC60 launch – What to expect Volvo is all prepped to launch the mild-hybrid variants of the upcoming S90 and XC60 in India. Both these cars are expected to make their debut tomorrow for the Indian market, and here’s what to expect. The…

Read more: 2021 Volvo S90 and XC60 launch - What to expect

Our 2019 Porsche Cayenne Earned Our Respect

Photo credit: Marc Urbano – Car and Driver From the November 2021 issue of Car and Driver. 40,000-Mile Wrap-Up Twenty years ago, this long-term review would likely be covering a Mercedes-Benz E-class or an Audi A6. Back then, that was how middle managers rewarded themselves. Porsche changed that with the…

Read more: Our 2019 Porsche Cayenne Earned Our Respect

NHTSA Investigating Ram HD Trucks with Diesel Engine over Stall Reports

Photo credit: Stellantis The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced today that it's opening an investigation into the high-pressure fuel pump failure on some heavy-duty Ram trucks. The problem, described in 22 consumer complaints so far, is that the trucks could stall and become immobile while traveling at speeds…

Read more: NHTSA Investigating Ram HD Trucks with Diesel Engine over Stall Reports

The best 21-plate large SUV discounts

1/23 SLIDES © What Car? The best large SUV deals If you’re in the market for a new car, then naturally you want the best price possible. And the good news is that by buying through What Car?, you’re guaranteed to get a great deal without having to go through the hassle of…

Read more: The best 21-plate large SUV discounts

Wheel Murder Committed By Bugatti Veyron

Is this cringe-inducing or hilarious? Instagram user heinrichs_carlife posted a video on October 8 which is either making people cringe or laugh with delight. We’ll call this a litmus test for how much you love or hate supercars and hypercars. In the video, a Bugatti Veyron scratches the wheel on…

Read more: Wheel Murder Committed By Bugatti Veyron

The 1987 Honda Accord LXi Is Still a Delight

Photo credit: John Pearley Huffman There’s too much nostalgia for terrible cars of the 1980s and 1990s. And not enough recognition of the era’s truly superior vehicles. In that spirit, here is a 1987 Honda Accord LXi sedan spotted near the legendary Tee-Off bar and grill in Santa Barbara, California.…

Read more: The 1987 Honda Accord LXi Is Still a Delight

Decrepit Dodge Charger R/T Saved After Over 30 Years Of Decay

2022 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe exhaust note

Foxconn reveals three electric vehicles, including Pininfarina-designed flagship sedan

Apple supplier Foxconn unveils electric vehicles

Tesla makes up over half of all EV registrations in US this year through August

Electric BMW 3 Series to usher in new EV platform in 2025 - report

Subaru WRX/STI Generation Guide: Every Generation from the GC to VA

University teams will race autonomous open-wheel cars at Indy for $1M