Design and specs
The design of the racing wheel is impressive. The leather-wrapped wheel really makes this one stand out above competition. In addition to the wheel, the package includes separate shifter and pedal units. The separate shifter unit is especially useful for those gamers who want to set up their driving equipment in a more realistic manner – not immediately attached to the wheel unit.
The shifter module offers the widest selection of additional customizable buttons: four black, four red, and a D-pad. The stick doubles as a sequential shifter and as a manual 6-gear shift – you can choose which method to use by using a locking switch above the stick.
The wheel and the shift module can be attached to the edge of a table or other handy location with the help of clamps. Unfortunately, the clamps are made of plastic, which allows them to bend slightly when you yank at the wheel in excitement – sometimes leaving the entire wheel unit into your hands with no way to continue driving your car.
The pedal unit has three metal pedals like in a regular non-automatic shift car: clutch, brake and gas. The unit is relatively large, although those who have driven a real car will notice that the pedals are closer together and thus a little harder to find. On the bottom of the unit there is a handy carpet-grip system that makes the unit more stabile on carpeted floors. Alternatively, you can rotate this carpet grip out of the way and let the regular rubber feet hold the unit in place on hard floors.
G25 Racing Wheel provides an excellent feel for driving – or as far as such feel can be attained in front of one’s computer. The wheel shakes realistically as you hit the curb or other such small obstacles, but full-on crashes will still require the gamers to have some imagination of their own. Naturally, the small size of the wheel falls a bit short of realism, but we liked the excellent grip that the leather offers and the addition of customizable buttons and paddle shifters. They were easy and comfortable to reach in the middle of gaming sessions.
The shifter unit was also relatively nice, although we doubt that gamers can reach all the extra buttons and D-pad on the unit while playing without turning their eyes away from the screen and the action. It might also be difficult to find a nice location to attach the shifter unit to – it would really need a smaller desk in order to position it properly. However, the stick itself provides a solid grip and the six manual gears are easy to use even in faster gaming situations.
We encountered the most problems with the pedal unit, which was likely to slide away on the floor when you tried to press on the pedals, especially the brakes. The carpet grip will likely help if you have a carpeted floor, but the small rubber feet can do almost nothing to keep the unit in place on hard floors. The only solution was to try to hold the unit in place with one foot while using the pedals with the other, but that slows down one’s reaction time. Another problem with the pedal unit was the fact that the pedals are very close together – closer than in a real car – and it may sometimes cause you to hit two pedals when you try to hit one.
Overall, we were pleased with our experiences with the G25 Racing Wheel, although we were left wondering if our landlords would mind if we were to drill some holes on the floor to bolt the pedal unit in place. The real leather wrapped wheel and the excellent feel that it provided to our driving experiences were top notch and left us wanting for almost nothing. Racing games become much more enjoyable with a good wheel unit, and the G25 certainly filled that part.
Excellent force feedback
Separate wheel, shifter and pedal units
Enough customisable buttons
Pedal unit slides easily on hard floors
Our rating: 9/10