Published on December 29th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair


Do You Prefer Floor or Top Hinged Pedals?

One aspect of cars that often gets ignored is pedal hinge location, specifically with the accelerator pedal.

Most cars have top-hinged accelerator pedals, along with the brake and clutch pedal. In fact, if you drive a locally-assembled Japanese car, chances are your accelerator is top mounted. Many Mazdas, like the new CX-5, have floor mounted accelerator pedals. They’re the exception, but not the only one.

Well implemented floor-mounted accelerator pedal on the Mazda CX-5

On the flipside, many German cars have floor-mounted accelerator pedals. Volkswagen and Audis used to have these, but newer models have switched to top-mounted pedals.

The current Passat, along with many new VW and Audis have these top-mounted accelerator pedals

So the new Passat, Golf, A3 and A4 have top-mounted pedals. This could be related to the MQB/MLB chassis, but we’re not certain.

The pre-facelift Jetta and previous Passat had awesome, super long, foor-mounted pedals

So, which is better? Many say it’s personal preferrence.

The general rule is that having all the pedals top mounted means less complication, less production costs to the manufacturer. And if most drivers don’t pay attention to this (and if the advantages are subjective), then the move is justified.

The Elantra and Tucson share some mechanical aspects, but the Elantra’s pedals look like this

While the Tucson’s is floor-mounted

Others argue that floor mounted accelerators are more ergonomic because the hinge at the bottom of the pedal follows the natural movement of one’s foot, which pivots up and down long the ankle (just like a floor mounted hinge).

Personally, I think it varies from car to car and we’ve tried floor mounted pedals that are poorly designed as well as top mounted pedals that worked beautifully. The car I use for city commuting has a top-mounted accelerator and I like the greater level of control over the input that it gives, especially with the manual transmission. My other car has a floor mounted accelerator, which makes long-distance driving more relaxing as I can leave my foot resting at an angle to keep the input constant.

Some very special cars like the Lexus LFA and Spyker C8 have all pedals floor mounted.

Lexus LFA, photo courtesy of Autoblog

Spyker C8, photo courtesy of pinterest

So, what’s your preference?

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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