The facelifted Tesla Model S has caused a lot of debate since its unveiling, with much of the debate centered around the controversial yoke steering wheel. While some have praised Tesla for thinking outside the box with the yoke, most seem to agree that it doesn’t really provide any meaningful benefit. Consumer Reports thinks just that.
The publication recently purchased a new Model S Plaid and has begun putting it through its paces. While they say the uniquely designed steering wheel does allow for a better view of the digital instrument cluster and provides a panoramic view out of the windshield, it has heaps of drawbacks.
Consumer Reports notes that the yoke’s shape makes sharp turns, parking maneuvers, and navigating small parking a lot more complicated than a traditional wheel. They are also not fans of the touch-sensitive buttons, which control the turn signals, noting that you often need to take your eyes off the road to use them. In addition, if you have to turn them on in the process of making a turn, finding the right buttons can be particularly difficult.
Another odd feature of the yoke steering wheel is that you won’t find the horn in the center of the steering wheel like most cars. Instead, it too is a touch-sensitive button that could be hard to enable quickly in an emergency situation.
There is no doubt that Tesla likes to push the envelope and while trying to re-invent the wheel isn’t necessarily a bad thing, any solution simply needs to be better than a normal wheel. And the yoke isn’t that.