Why do most Mercedes models suffer from an offset steering?

Mercedes Benz - Why do most Mercedes models suffer from an offset steering? - Fails

Hello dear CTzens.

I am pretty sure a huge number of you on this community either drive a Mercedes or has seat time in a modern Mercedes-Benz. I do wonder if any of you ever noticed the offset steering wheel? On the LHD models, the steering wheel on some models are offset to the right, meaning your arms will either need to be of unequal length, or you will have to rotate your back towards the right. On the RHD models, this offset is mirrored in the same way, except in the other direction. Oh and some RHD models like the W211 series has hideously offset accelerator pedals to the extreme right.

Now as we all know, Mercedes Benz is widely regarded as the inventor of the automobile. They are a leading innovator in many of the technologies we see in our mainstream cars today. However, what plagues me is that despite their brilliant comfortable cars, most of the model lineup suffer from this steering offset problem. Now, I am not trying to be fussy or spoilt, but when you get seated comfortably in a car, you would find it most comfortable if the wheel and the pedals were perfectly centre in line with your body. Instead, try to get in a Mercedes and stretch your both arms equally forward and you will end up with a steering wheel that touches your arms at different points. Try to correct that by holding the wheel equally with both hands and you realise your back is tilted by a few degrees.

Put that few degrees of skew to the left in a RHD model and couple it with the pedals offset to the right and immediately you realise, you have a skewed body posture even before you start the journey. Now, I definitely don’t doubt the comfort of their cars, but if the basic ergonomics are not even spot on, I wonder how do they expect the driver to be comfortable driving one. The scary thing is that this offset plagues majority of the RWD models including the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class.

I’ve definitely have has seat time in some of the more modern models (and by modern I mean from 2005 onwards). Time and time again, I am let down during drives, even short thirty minute drives. Maybe I am a short ass but every time I climb into a W204, W205, W211,W212, W221 and W222, I immediately feel skewed. I have not tried LHD on all the models, but in the RHD ones, the entire steering column is offset to the left. This little issue makes me rather drive a simple JDM bread and butter car which has a spot on driving position even for long drives.

What bugs me is that such a brilliant car maker continues to put this feature of a steering column not dead centre in pretty much all of their cars. Now I do love their cars but I never pretty much got round to buying one because of the driving position. I just wonder, why do they even continue to do it and not design the steering column to be dead centre.

Hopefully I didn’t spoil your Mercedes for you if you have not noticed it by now. As for the rest, do feel free to share your thoughts with me on this, even if it does not affect you.

P.S, I do love a lot of models from Mercedes but I just don’t feel ergonomically right in their cars. I definitely don’t hate them.

Thomas Worthkins

Mercedes Benz - Why do most Mercedes models suffer from an offset steering? - Fails
Mercedes Benz - Why do most Mercedes models suffer from an offset steering? - Fails