4-Wheel Steering Systems: Pros, Cons (& Cars That Have It)

4-wheel steering

From Honda cars to GMC trucks, 4-wheel steering systems are being offered in cars, trucks and SUVs across the board. All-wheel steering isn’t something that’s new, but it seems to be more popular in recent years. 

To help you understand this unique vehicle technology, we look at how it works, as well as show you the benefits and disadvantages of having it. We also take a look at a few car brands that offer 4-wheel steering. 

What is 4-Wheel Steering?

All-wheel or 4-wheel steering allows the rear wheels to turn with the front wheels while the driver turns the steering wheel. Four-wheel steering is often confused with four-wheel drive, but these are two different systems entirely.

With four-wheel drive, the vehicle uses all four wheels to transmit power from the motor to the road. On the other hand, the four-wheel steering allows you to turn the four wheels when you move the steering wheel. 

The purpose of using an all-wheel steering system is to gain more agility of the vehicle. When traveling at a slower speed, the rear wheels of the car are going to turn opposite of the front wheels slightly. This tactic is known as counter-phase steering. It permits the vehicle to maintain a tighter turning radius, allowing for superior agility. 

When traveling at a higher speed, the rear wheels are going to turn in the same direction ever so slightly. This motion is known as in-phase steering. It is designed to provide more stability while cornering at higher speeds. With this action, the vehicle leans less while cornering because both of the axles are going to share the force. 

Pros of 4-Wheel Steering Systems

1. Tighter Turning Radius

With 4-wheel steering, you can take a tighter turn in your vehicle with a smaller radius. Because lower speeds initiate counter-phase steering, the rear wheels turn opposite of the front wheels. 

If you want increased driving confidence, this system is sure to help. You will be able to tackle parallel parking, U-turns and tighter maneuvers with ease. 

2. Enhanced Stability

To feel secure on the road, stability is paramount. Thankfully, that’s part of the reason the four-wheel steering system was designed. 

When all four wheels are steering, you have more control over the vehicle. If you are traveling at high speeds and making a lot of turns or lane changes, you will enjoy the increased stability. 

3. Faster Steering Response

When you take a turn in your vehicle, you want it to respond right away but some cars simply don’t. However, the four-wheel steering system provides a much quicker response.

At any speed, you will notice that the vehicle responds almost immediately to your request. Whether you are turning or changing lanes, the steering should be more precise overall. 

4. Smoother Lane Changes

If you are commuting daily on the highway, you also spend a lot of time changing lanes. The four-wheel steering setup is meant for this need especially. 

With this system, you can take the lane change faster. This swift movement is helpful if you need to get out of the way of danger. 

5. Increased Safety

Every driver dreams of having a car with nimble handling and superior cornering. However, we can’t all drive a sports car.

Yet, 4-wheel steering allows you to take the corners without causing a massive amount of body roll. This isn’t just more fun but also safer since the vehicle remains more in control. 

Cons of 4-Wheel Steering Systems

1. Higher Chance of Defects

With every wheel that steers, the chances of malfunction rises. Each steering wheel is made up of special electronic parts and components. If just one of these fails, the whole system is going to malfunction.

That’s why the four-wheel steering system requires more maintenance. However, it could also mean more frequent repairs. 

2. More Expensive

You are going to spend more on a vehicle with these advanced systems in place. The automaker spends more money developing the system and manufacturing the car, with all of those costs being passed onto you.

Additionally, if you have to get the system repaired, you can expect these costs to be higher as well. That’s because many of the systems are built with high-tech parts. 

The Cars You Can Buy With Four-Wheel Steering

  • Acura RLX
  • Acura TLX
  • Audi A6
  • Audi A7
  • Audi A8
  • Audi Q7
  • BMW 5 Series
  • BMW 7 Series
  • BMW 8 Series
  • BMW X5
  • Cadillac CT6
  • Dodge Stealth R/T
  • Ferrari GTC4Lusso
  • Ferrari 812 Superfast
  • Ferrari F12
  • Honda Prelude
  • Infinity J30
  • Lamborghini Aventador
  • Lamborghini Huracan
  • Lamborghini Urus
  • Lexus GS
  • Lexus RC
  • Lexus LC 500
  • Mazda 929
  • Mazda RX-7
  • Mercedes-AMG GT R
  • Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
  • Mitsubishi 3000GT
  • Nissan Skyline R33
  • Nissan Skyline R34
  • Nissan 300ZX
  • Porsche 911
  • Porsche 991
  • Porsche Cayenne
  • Porsche Panamera
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Celica

Contact us if you have any car model we missed in this list.

1. Acura

Acura is a division of Honda and is considered a luxury brand. The automaker includes four-wheel steering with a variety of vehicle options in the lineup.

For example, you will find these advanced systems included with the Acura RLX. However, it is also a feature of the beloved Acura TLX.

2. Audi

Audi belongs to the Volkswagen Group and is also known for precision engineering. That’s why it should come as no surprise that the company offers four-wheel steering.

You can find the systems included with several cars, such as the Audi A6, Audi A7 and Audi A8. Plus, it is available with the popular SUV, the Audi Q7.

3. BMW

As a German-owned company, BMW is expected to equip vehicles with high-tech features, such as all-wheel steering. As one of the first to offer many of these systems, the technology doesn’t disappoint.

You can find advanced steering on the BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series and BMW 8 Series cars. It also comes with the BMW X5 luxury SUV. 

4. GM

As an American brand, the technology offered is often steps behind other companies. However, GM hasn’t dropped the ball on this one.

With that said, there are only a few models offered with four-wheel steering and they are both trucks. You can choose to equip your Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra 1500 Denali with this advanced technology. 

5. Ferrari

It should come as no surprise that Ferrari made this list. After all, the company is known for making superior race cars that perform at top levels.

If you want four-wheel steering from Ferrari, you have two popular models to choose from. Drive the Ferrari 812 Superfast or the Ferrari F12 to enjoy some thrills. 

6. Honda

Honda hasn’t been big on using this technology in recent years. In fact, you won’t find it included with today’s lineup.

However, you could shop the pre-owned car inventory to find a 4-wheel steering model. Look for this technology on a used Honda Accord or Honda Prelude.

7. Infiniti

Even though Infiniti is a luxury brand, part of the Nissan family, you aren’t going to find the 4-wheel steering on any new cars. It seems the automaker abandoned the technology several years ago.

Again, you can find it on some used models if you do some hunting. It was included with some Infiniti Q45 and Infiniti J30 models. 

8. Lamborghini

Is there anything a Lamborghini fails to include? These supercars come with every performance feature you could want, including four-wheel steering.

If you are looking for maximum power and superior handling, you have two popular models to choose from. Get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini Aventador or Lamborghini Huracan.

9. Lexus

Lexus and Toyota share a lot of the same technologies, including all-wheel-steering. If you are looking for a pre-owned model, consider the Lexus GS.

Otherwise, you can find the technology with the Lexus LC 500 models. This system doesn’t just provide a more engaging ride but helps this luxury coupe outperform the competition. 

10. Mazda

A glimpse into the past shows you some popular Mazda models that were also equipped with all-wheel steering. These systems were designed to give the vehicle a sporty feel. 

The first option is the Mazda 929, a mid-size car that offers a nimble ride. But the real winner from the company was the Mazda RX-7, with its sporty style and unique feel. 

11. Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi might be focused on creating low-dollar automobiles these days, but that wasn’t always the case. Once upon a time, the brand was known for creating a high-quality vehicle with the latest technologies. 

Get a blast from the past and search used car lots for two of the best Mitsubishi models ever made. The Mitsubishi 3000GT and Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 were both offered with rear-wheel steering. 

12. Nissan 

Of course, there are Nissan vehicles that came with advanced steering systems. After all, Nissan has created some superior race and drifting vehicles.

Take a peek at a pre-owned Nissan 300ZX with four-wheel steering. Otherwise, you could try to get your hands on a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R.

13. Porsche 

It’s tough to find a vehicle as beautifully engineered as the Porsche. No matter what type of vehicle you are looking for, you can find an upgraded steering system available from this automaker. 

Enjoy sports car style with the Porsche 911 or Porsche 991. Otherwise, you could drive the Porsche Cayenne or Porsche Panamera for a more executive ride. 

14. Toyota 

Just like with Lexus, you won’t find four-wheel steering on today’s Toyota models. However, there are two popular used cars that offered the system.

The best-selling Toyota Camry once offered this option. Plus, the Toyota Celica included it to improve handling.

Written by:

Magnus is the owner and main author of MechanicBase. He has been working as a mechanic for over 10 years, and the majority of them specialized in advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting. He has also been a motorsport (drifting) driver for over 5 years.