we always watched car reviews and see people mentioned a lot about car handling but I don't really understand this term because in every car we have a steering to turn left and right and in every car it feels the same. So my question is how do we test it out ourselves to tell if this car handles well and can do enthusiastic drive and a car that handles badly?

  • Drive on ice fast and yank the wheel to the left, or right, then consider handling in a skid... oversteer, understeer, suspension behavior etc
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 14, 2020 at 8:12
  • And if you want to find out safely, then go to a track because if you cross into the path of an oncoming car due to loosing control then it is not fair they suffer.
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 14, 2020 at 8:20

2 Answers 2


"Handling" is referred to as a generic term for the properties in a car that are relevant for making it change direction. Cars behave very differently, especially if you drive them under extreme conditions.

Some of them are:

  • Over/under steering: If you are (too) fast in sharp corners, or too hard on the gas too early coming out of corners, your car will slip and rotate either more or less than your steering input would suggest.

  • Steering response: Some cars are harder to get to start steering from a straight line, other are harder to keep driving straight. Some steering wheels give you more feedback, some do isolate you more from road conditions.

  • Suspension. How fast does a car "settle" after a change in load conditions i.e. the chassis stops moving in the suspension relative to the road. How well does it filter out bumps in the road and keep the tires from skipping and loosing contact to the asphalt.

I can only recommend to get an advanced drivers training on a special training track with skip-pad etc. an get to know the handling of your car in a safe way. It can save lives when you get into unexpected extreme conditions on a public road!


Probably the easiest way to see differences in handling is to choose a curvy and (mostly) empty road and drive along it in a Mustang and then an MB GTR. Or a budget variant, a large cruiser and a smaller sportscar. After you're done, see which one you felt safer in at the same speed (assuming you didn't drive 40 below speed limit). Basically a sportscar with a good handling will make you feel comfortable and safe even when cornering with higher speeds and a car with bad handling will make you drive far more carefully. Also, steering response is mentioned when talking about handling, a car with great steering response will make you feel connected to the road and a car with a bad one will make you feel like you're driving a ship. Ofcourse even cars with great handling have their limits, depending on the road (snow, rain, gravel) and speed.

  • Not a good idea to suggest doing this on the public road... had to clean a motorcyclists head out of a tractor radiator once...
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 14, 2020 at 9:22
  • Didn't say you had to drive 200mph. Speed limit will do to get the feel of the car.
    – user59892
    Aug 14, 2020 at 9:51
  • The motorcyclist was not doing 200mph, but was dead for sure...
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 14, 2020 at 11:25

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