The price of the Thrustmaster Ferrari GT Cockpit 458 Steeling Wheel isn’t exactly cheap, as it will set you back £164.99 from Overclockers.co.uk, so it’s not exactly an impulse buy for most people, but it’s still very affordable compared to some of the enthusiast models on the market, which often cost between £200 – £500. There are budget models on the market for under £100, but they don’t really compare in terms of quality and features.
I’m very happy with the Thrustmaster Ferrari GT wheel, it’s unlike any other racing wheel I’ve used and the unique all-in-one design adds a level of convenience that you don’t often get with most racing wheels. Clamping a wheel to your desk can be a good way of doing things, but for me, it comes with several draw backs. The wheel being clamped means that it blocks access to my keyboard and any force feedback causes things to rattle around on my desk, which is never a good thing. My desk is glass and the clamps could damage the finish, it takes a while to clamp and unclamp it and the cables often attach at the back, meaning they need to trail across my desk. Having the wheel on my desk also means I have to sit closer to my screen and this leaves me with limited leg room as my desk is against a wall and that means space for using the pedals would be limited; with the Thrustmaster wheel I can move my chair back, get a perfect angle, I don’t have to clamp anything and I can adjust the wheel height and distance from the pedals; this is a win win situation for me. The all-in-one design also allows me to use this wheel while sitting on the couch, something that can’t be done with clamp-on wheels; unless you add a table or some other mounting solution.
The fold away design is great for storing the wheel and while it is quite large and heavy, it folds flat enough to fit under a bed, on top of a wardrobe or tucked away in a cupboard without too much trouble. The fact that it runs from a single USB cable also makes it super easy to set up, just plug and play without the worry of external power adaptors. It also works on PC and Xbox 360, which is great for fans of games like Live for Speed, but who also love the occasional game of Forza.
Build quality is superb, the only issue being that the plastic chassis on the back of the wheel housing developed a squeak, but a minor adjustment to some of the screws and that problem was quickly resolved. The pedals feel durable and you can put a heavy foot down with confidence.
Not having powerful force feedback that fights you through the corners may be a deal breaker for some, I personally love racing on full force wheels such as the Thrustmaster T500, but they’re often quite impractical for casual gameplay. Full force feedback leaves my arms tired after a few races and the sound of the wheel motors can be quite distracting and noisy, especially when I like to play my games on an evening when the kids are in bed; so the virtually silent performance of the GT 458 is far more appealing to me.
- Durable build quality
- Adjustable angle and height
- Fold-away design
- Competitive price
- Ferrari inspired wheel
- Compatible with PC and Xbox 360
- Accurate wheel and pedals
- No full force feedback may put some users off
- Fold away design is convenient, but keep in mind this is still a big and heavy unit
“Hardcore racing fanatics will still likely want to invest in a £200+ professional wheel setup such as the GT 500 and if you can afford it, please do, because they’re awesome! The GT 458 is a nice middle ground, as it offers great performance, a convenient all-in-one design and very good build quality for around half the price of most high-end racing setups.”
Thank you Overclockers UK for providing us with this sample.