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Do big cars handle better than small cars ? Watch

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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    I didn't mention it till asked.
    Using your logic that bigger, heavier vehicles hold the road better, a fire engine would trump anything from Benz
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    Try driving a Cadillac... they're allergic to turning and as big as they come.
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    Many factors affect how a car handles. This is a simplistic question.
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    Handling is also very subjective. I used to own a Peugeot 205 1.9GTi that was slightly tuned. I've never before or since driven a car with so much grip that would go exactly where I wanted it to at silly speeds (where safe/on a track). However at the limit it would start to understeer, and coming off the throttle even the slightest would induce extreme power-off oversteer which required a whole lot of very quickly applied opposite lock to avoid a spin. I quickly learnt that driving it near the limit was just not safe. So... I didn't like the handling. Not enough warning near the limit.

    I had a Honda Civic VTi (169hp), which didn't feel quite as precise as the 205 but at the limit it was much more controllable. So much so that once it started to understeer (at silly speeds on a track) I could control where it would go purely by moderating the throttle. Great fun but expensive on tyres. Loved the handling, even though it didn't have as much grip.

    I've driven large luxury cars (Mercedes E-class, Lexus, etc) at high speed (140mph+) on German autobahns and they are terrific for that sort of driving. Fast, very stable. But I wouldn't want to throw an E-class around a country lane in the UK, it just doesn't want to change direction as quickly as a smaller car.

    T3
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    (Original post by Bumalone)
    All cars are clumsy when driven to the edge, that's not a fair reflection on the Accord
    I meant that the Accord is clumsy in terms of being unable to perform rapid turns in tight corners- it must be like that, because that car is very long and rather heavy, and front wheel drive is not any of help here. This still doesn't mean that this is a problem. A car with such configuration (long, heavy, front wheel drive, 60% of mass at front, advanced medium-hard suspension) is very stable- brilliant for highway driving when you need stability and turns are very slight.

    This doesn't change the fact that it is going to be clumsy when driven to the edge, however it still may be easy to controll. For sure it will be not as nervous as the lightiweight, short and badly balanced Panda (or similar car, eg. Ka, i10), however the Panda is not as "clumsy", it can make very rapid turns and does better on snow despite both are the helluva understeer on such surface, but the Panda has less pendulum.

    In my opinion cars are generally not clumsy when driven to the edge. They can just have more or less grip and easier or harder characteristics in different situation. They are clumsy in general, when they have clumsy drivers, which probably applies to most of the drivers, exept the ones from Finland- that is the only country I know, that has appropriate drivers training system.
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    (Original post by PTMalewski)
    I meant that the Accord is clumsy in terms of being unable to perform rapid turns in tight corners- it must be like that, because that car is very long and rather heavy, and front wheel drive is not any of help here. This still doesn't mean that this is a problem. A car with such configuration (long, heavy, front wheel drive, 60% of mass at front, advanced medium-hard suspension) is very stable- brilliant for highway driving when you need stability and turns are very slight.

    This doesn't change the fact that it is going to be clumsy when driven to the edge, however it still may be easy to controll. For sure it will be not as nervous as the lightiweight, short and badly balanced Panda (or similar car, eg. Ka, i10), however the Panda is not as "clumsy", it can make very rapid turns and does better on snow despite both are the helluva understeer on such surface, but the Panda has less pendulum.

    In my opinion cars are generally not clumsy when driven to the edge. They can just have more or less grip and easier or harder characteristics in different situation. They are clumsy in general, when they have clumsy drivers, which probably applies to most of the drivers, exept the ones from Finland- that is the only country I know, that has appropriate drivers training system.
    Ah ok.

    So the Accord (2005 plate) would be no more clumsy than other front wheel drive cars of similar size and weight distribution ? I.e. Vectra, Passat, Mondeo, Avensis, Mazda 6, Citroen C5
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    (Original post by Bumalone)
    Ah ok.

    So the Accord (2005 plate) would be no more clumsy than other front wheel drive cars of similar size and weight distribution ? I.e. Vectra, Passat, Mondeo, Avensis, Mazda 6, Citroen C5
    As far as I remember most of these cars have similar designs of suspension system, and their setups cannot be radically different so yes, they are all "clumsy" in a similar manner due to the parameters you've mentioned.
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    Jesus, if you want a decent handling car, you buy a sports car which is rear wheel drive and very light.

    Or a classic Mini.

    Any other car is a compromise.

    Simples.
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    (Original post by gbduo)
    Jesus, if you want a decent handling car, you buy a sports car which is rear wheel drive and very light.

    Or a classic Mini.

    Any other car is a compromise.

    Simples.

    It was Traintrack1995
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    (Original post by Alfissti)
    It was Traintrack1995
    You see handling, big cars and then Passat, Avensis, C6, etc and I was like WTF.

    I thought it might be interesting thread but no, ruined by boring, FWD, slow rep mobiles.
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      I think some big cars will out do some small cars and vice versa.
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      (Original post by Old_Simon)
      The heavier weight in better cars makes a big difference.
      I can pretty much garuntee the handling in my car that's lighter than yours is far better than any road going mercedes...
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      (Original post by gbduo)
      Jesus, if you want a decent handling car, you buy a sports car which is rear wheel drive and very light.

      Or a classic Mini.

      Any other car is a compromise.

      Simples.
      Rubbish. You say simples while the simpliest suspension is affected by more parameters than there are words in your post.

      If you think that light and rear wheel drives automatically means best handling, then get Lancia Stratos and try driving it fast. It's almost incontrollable at slide, because it's very short and light. It spins immediately unless you are very fast and very well trained. And I'm not saying that after that satirical show called Top Gear, but after Stratos driver.

      And I don's see why you call Jesus. The thread starter probably wanted to know should he/she buy bigger or smaller car for easier driving. Most of drivers do not know much about cars or driving (unfortunately) so that is understudabble question.
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      (Original post by PTMalewski)
      Rubbish. You say simples while the simpliest suspension is affected by more parameters than there are words in your post.

      If you think that light and rear wheel drives automatically means best handling, then get Lancia Stratos and try driving it fast. It's almost incontrollable at slide, because it's very short and light. It spins immediately unless you are very fast and very well trained. And I'm not saying that after that satirical show called Top Gear, but after Stratos driver.

      And I don's see why you call Jesus. The thread starter probably wanted to know should he/she buy bigger or smaller car for easier driving. Most of drivers do not know much about cars or driving (unfortunately) so that is understudabble question.
      It is still pretty simple if you ask me, the fastest cars in the world, are light and rear wheel drive.

      You could bring in any number of other cars because there are thousands of them, but that is not the point. The OP wanted a general statement, generally, if you want a good handling car, you want light, nimble, rear wheel drive.

      Sure you can talk about double wishbone suspension or push/pull, geometry set ups etc. But that is just improving on a known formula if the car is already light and rear wheel drive.

      The only exception is a classic Mini because that is like a go kart.
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      (Original post by gbduo)
      The OP wanted a general statement, generally, if you want a good handling car, you want light, nimble, rear wheel drive.
      Define what is "good". Most of the fastest cars in the world have terrible handling for average driver, because they react too fast due to low mass and high grip, and they are overpowered, so it is the helluva difficult to controll them, especially when you have to deal with their actual handling, when ASR and ESP are turned off or not onboard. Also, they have terrible handling for the conditions they were not built for: bumpy roads, gravel roads, snow or off road.

      Light and rear wheel drive is as bad anything else. I like the E30 M3, it has good handling, but not for everyone and not for every conditions.
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      (Original post by PTMalewski)
      Define what is "good". Most of the fastest cars in the world have terrible handling for average driver, because they react too fast due to low mass and high grip, and they are overpowered, so it is the helluva difficult to controll them, especially when you have to deal with their actual handling, when ASR and ESP are turned off or not onboard. Also, they have terrible handling for the conditions they were not built for: bumpy roads, gravel roads, snow or off road.

      Light and rear wheel drive is as bad anything else. I like the E30 M3, it has good handling, but not for everyone and not for every conditions.
      Good handling is a car that talks to you on the limit, is able to corner flat, is able to negotiate a fast set of corners without becoming unsettled and requires driver skill to keep the weight in balance.

      You never build a good handling car for a mediocre driver. The best handling cars are the ones that are not easy to drive and need skill to be driven well.

      Hence why most people end up putting such cars round trees, ditches, etc because most people are rubbish drivers and go from doing no track time to owning a Ferrari and wondering why they reversed into a tree at 110mph as they went round a corner and put their foot down before the apex.
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      (Original post by gbduo)
      Good handling is a car that talks to you on the limit, is able to corner flat, is able to negotiate a fast set of corners without becoming unsettled and requires driver skill to keep the weight in balance.

      You never build a good handling car for a mediocre driver. The best handling cars are the ones that are not easy to drive and need skill to be driven well.

      Hence why most people end up putting such cars round trees, ditches, etc because most people are rubbish drivers and go from doing no track time to owning a Ferrari and wondering why they reversed into a tree at 110mph as they went round a corner and put their foot down before the apex.
      I partly agree, but the point is that such a good handling car is not good for an average driver. Besides, a car that is clumsy, may be better than the "good handling car" on a specific conditions. If I would have to drive through Siberian roads, the old Wołga would be no doubt faster and easier to drive than the Ferrari because the Ferrari would be jumping all the time or simply stuck in bumps.

      I think that general usefull answer for the topic would be:
      Bigger and heavier cars such as an average sedan, usually handle better on highways and good quality dry roads because they have more advanced and usually harder suspension, wide tyres and they are more resistant to side wins because they are heavier and lower, but they generally suffer from bigger pendulum which maybe a problem on rapid low speed maneuvers or on low grip surfaces such as snow. The SUVies are much the same as the sedans, but they are more vulnerable to side wind and have worse handling due to high center of gravity. The real off road cars are often heavy but they usually must suffer bad handling on regular roads, due to often primitive suspension set up for off road conditions, high gravity center, and vulnerability to side winds.
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      I loved the handling on my Pajero, both on and off road. Test driving small cars in the UK feels like sitting in a budget go kart.
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      (Original post by Alfissti)
      It was Traintrack1995
      Talking about him, a few weeks ago I out accelerated a Passat off a roundabout in my Focus, whilst towing a trailer.
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      many factors are involved when it comes to handling....suspension (stiffer or softer), tyre size(wide tyres means more sticky contact on the road), weight of the car(for agility and stuff and also how the weight is distributed around the car which could effect for understeer/oversteer)....

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