Lateral acceleration - Could someone please explain

14,105

Asked by Jun 01, 2015 at 02:00 AM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: General

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN IN SIMPLE TERMS THIS CONCEPT?
How does a .78g compare to a .82g?

16 Answers

33,545

It's just G force. I don't know where you got the numbers, but I'm guessing that (if car related) that is the amount of G's the vehicle can withstand in a turn without losing control. ( Go into a sideways skid).

14,105

Thanks, I got the numbers from the Internet, where they compared the lateral acceleration of two cars and described how well they would be in cornering. So, would it be safe to say that a "higher number " is better? LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.76 g (avg) or a LATERAL ACCELERATION0.97 g (avg).

33,545

Yes, it would be like saying that an F-18 can withstand 6 G's of force as opposed to an F-16 which can withstand 8 G's of force. Which would you rather be in when trying to out maneuver a missile? The one that can take the 8G turn......

14,105

OK, I see, so the larger number is better. That's interesting...I have a 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited and a 2009 Toyota Prius. Maybe it's because the Prius has electric steering and the Outback has regular power steering pump, but, the Outback seems to give a better road feel especially in turns than the Prius. Could this just be because of the two different steering systems? When driving in mountain areas, the Prius just feels as though the car is on an amusement park ride and it just might not make it, causing me to slow down. Not the most secure feeling. Maybe we're talking about body lean in one case and steering response in the other? Two different issues here? Your thoughts?

33,545

It all has to do with suspension, tires, and center of gravity. My buddy had a little Honda Civic that was lowered, had low profile wide tires and had some racing suspension in it. Short wheel base. We had this corner called "Deadmans Curve". You could go around that corner going 70 and the car would hold the road no problem. In a normal car, you'd be dead...it's kind of like comparing the cornering of a Porsche to a VW bug. The Civic looked like this pic.

14,105

Yes, I understand. I once had an old 72 Monte Carlo and for such a large car, it had amazing turning on cornering. Back to my Subaru Outback , you know how much they advertise the flat Four Boxer engine and its lower center of gravity. It seems as though, the car turns faster than the Prius and feels more controlled in almost every situation. And, it's physically larger being a pretty large station wagon. Now, the Subaru Outback is rated for the. 78g and the Prius at .82g or so. On paper, you would think that the Prius would feel better in turns, but, it doesn't. So, do you think its the hydraulic power steering and road feedback in the Outback that is giving me that more secure feeling. Most of the reports I've read do say that the Prius has sloppy handling. Am I missing something here?

33,545

I wouldn't say you're missing anything. If the Subaru feels better to you, then I would stick with the Subaru. Just because the Prius is rated slightly higher in a turn, doesn't mean that you will ever need to push it that far. Remember, these tests are done by professional drivers. They know all the tricks on how to make a car hold the road. Also, these numbers may not be accurate. It's like the good old MPG. The cars are put on a flat roller and are just run until the car dies on a gallon of gas. The 35 mpg. for example is a lie. They never use actual driving and road conditions when figuring MPG. That's why the mileage is never accurate when using the manufacturers MPG. So, in answer to your question, the Prius may hold the road slightly better with a pro behind the wheel. Not so much with your average driver. The hydraulic steering may be an advantage over the Prius, but again, it's all in what you're used to driving. Stick with what feels right to you. What's really the sense of even putting a statistic like that on the spec sheet? The average driver wouldn't know a .78g turn compared to a .82g turn anyhow. That would only make sense to someone like a race car driver.

Best Answer
14,105

Yes, you're right. It's specs on a page like an audiophile listening for the sonic difference. I see what you mean. Thanks. And, who drives a slalom in a Prius or Outback anyway? It just feels more secure in the Outback. Could be the paddle shifters and engine control for downshifting, flat engine, hydraulic steering, all wheel drive, or other dynamic factors. The Subaru Outback is a pretty large car and the fact that it's in the same range as the Prius at least on the numbers spec sheet says something about the way it was designed. I'm no professional driver, but, for me, I feel like I have more engine control on the Subaru. The Prius only has the "B" setting which does slow down the car and I've used it, but, even climbing mountain roads, you just turn the steering wheel and it has a numb feeling to it. Not any great feedback, and you just hope that the car goes where you want it to go. Maybe it's an oversteer problem? I think that's the correct term, understeer is where you turn the wheel and the car turns into the corner too quickly.

33,545

I know what you mean. I prefer steering that actually has a little bit of left and right play in it. In other words you can kind of wiggle the steering wheel left and right without the car reacting. I hate power steering that if you move the wheel one micron, the car reacts. To me, that just causes too much loss of control. More prone to an accident in my opinion. If you move your hand the slightest bit, the car will react. To me, that's almost dangerous. Maybe you have noticed that.

14,105

The Toyota has a very "numb like" feeling to it. You turn the wheel and just hope that the car goes where you want it to. That's why I feel more secure in the Outback. Have you driven a car with a flat engine? The inline Fours sit upright so, the engine weight will lean to one side more in turns. There's just more feedback with the hydraulic power steering at least for me, but, I've really that engineers are working on this.

14,105

Yes, there's a standard amount of play in steering wheels, it's a delicate balance. With many new cars like my Subaru Outback, it has speed sensitive steering which means that the faster you go the "level of pressure " it takes to move the wheel increases making it feel slightly heavier. That's not the same as "numbness ". In slower speeds, the wheel feels lighter and easier to turn as in parking. This has been a standard for speed sensitive steering for decades, its just not featured on every car. It's nice to have this. Yes, it's not desirable to have a steering wheel to be over sensitive at fast speeds, that could cause an accident especially at high speed. I can see that.

33,545

I have been driving Camrys for years. I just retired my '99 V6 Camry. I now drive the Tundra V8. Never driven a vehicle with a flat engine. I started out with a '78 Toyota 2wd pickup when I was a kid. I have pretty much stuck with Toyotas. I've been through 2 Corrolas, 2 Celicas, 1 Cressida, 2 Camrys and 5 pickups.

14,105

Subaru boxer engines have a distinct sound and are engineered differently, no counter balance weights, and no harmonic balancers. See this web link below for more information. http://www.whyhighend.com/boxer-engine.html

14,105

I like Toyota's very much, which is why we have one. The best thing about the Prius is the fuel mileage, we get 42 to 50 miles per gallon. It's just not possible to get that in the Subaru Outback, even if I spent $10,000 in upgrades. I need the Subaru Outback to tow my teardrop trailer. The Toyota Prius is not rated to tow anything.

33,545

Yeah, I've never been one to swallow that whole green pill. You know as well as I do, they have the technology to make a vehicle run on something besides gas and batteries. Just wait until you have to replace the batteries in that Prius. Ever hear of Thorium? Look that up on Youtube. That will blow your mind.

14,105

Oh, you mean this , http://www.plugincars.com/where-can-i-buy- thorium-plasma-battery-or-plans-build-one.html As far as battery replacement is concerned, we have 8 years or 150,000 miles on the hybrid system. I understand that the price of the normal hybrid battery has come down considerably since the car was first introduced. And, there's reports of people who have driven them 200,000 miles with no problems and are 2001 models. We use the Prius as our city car, but, have taken it across country twice. We got an average of 44 to 45 mpg on the road. It's very economical on fuel. It's OK for highway cruising, but, not as comfortable as my Subaru. The Subaru is a great highway car, extremely smooth and more responsive all the way around. This car can easily pull my 900 pound teardrop trailer, it has a 2,700 pounds tow capacity. So, with the tow capacity at only 33 percent of the trailer, its an easy pull. I'm even getting 22 mpg towing, the Subaru has a 2.5 Four cylinder. It's just how the car is engineered. The optional six cylinder Subaru can only tow 3,000 pounds, a mere 300 pounds more. Interesting, it will accelerate faster, but, with the trailer, you can only go 55 mph in California. So, what's the point of having the capability of getting to 60 two seconds faster. I'd rather have the fuel savings.

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