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What is a Turning Circle?

Turning Circle defined

Have you ever got caught midway through a u-turn only to find out the vehicle you are driving forces you to perform an unwanted three-point-turn because the vehicles turning circle is larger than you expected.

The turning circle is the measure of how easy the car will be to park or to perform a U-turn. The term “turning circle” refers to the minimum arc a vehicle will turn through with the steering wheel turned to the full lock position.

The turning circle is usually measured kerb to kerb in metres using the front outside tyre. Sometimes only the radius is given, so for the diameter, multiply the radius by two. Usually, the smaller the vehicle, the smaller the turning circle; however front wheel drive cars are usually the ones worse off when it comes to a turning circle as the front wheels are unable to turn as much as the front wheels on rear wheel driven cars.

Four wheel drives are notorious for having large turning circles, particularly the Toyota Hilux, which has a turning circle diameter of over 12.2m. It is built for the wide open spaces, obviously! If we compare that with the new Suzuki Swift, which has a turning circle of 9.4m, you can see which of the two will be easier to park at the shopping mall, and easier to swing through a u-turn.We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is a Turning Circle?’!

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