- Strong force feedback
- In-built display
- Magnetic pedals
- Lots of adjustability
- Doesn’t feel as premium as G923
- Can feel gears grinding
- Poor paddle shifters
What is the Thrustmaster T248?
The Thrustmaster T248 is the most recent wheel that Thrustmaster has released. It’s priced competitively to be a good entry-level racing wheel and is compatible with all consoles and platforms thanks to the recent release of the Xbox version. This means you can race the T248 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles.
It features a range of new technology including a new optimized HYBRID DRIVE system, as well as a completely fresh design. The T248 looks to modernise Thrustmaster’s wheel range by including a modern design and the integration of a digital screen.
While Thrustmaster has had a solid range of racing wheels for some years, the majority of the products are starting to showcase their age a little. The T248 brings an all-new aesthetic to the Thrustmaster range and it now looks as fresh and modern as its closest competitors.
How much does the Thrustmaster T248 cost?
The Thrustmaster T248 is priced relatively competitively at £299.99/€349.99/$399.99 putting it in the same price range as its main competitor from Logitech. At this price, the T248 does also include a three-pedal set giving you everything you need to go racing straight out of the box.
It is more expensive than some other Thrustmaster racing wheels. But the additional performance and technology that the T248 brings compared to those wheels go towards justifying the price. And as I mentioned, this is almost identically priced to its direct competitor the Logitech G923.
- Thrustmaster T248 (PlayStation 4/5) – £299.99/€349.99/$399.99 – Buy from here
- Thrustmaster T248 (Xbox Series X|S) – £299.99/€349.99/$399.99 – Buy from here
The design and build quality of the Thrustmaster T248
Thrustmaster has done a good job of designing the T248, making it look modern thanks to its sharp lines and angles. The base itself is constructed entirely from plastic, much like the G923, and this is done to keep costs down. It’s understandable and is the norm for a racing wheel within this price range.
The steering wheel itself is a more premium affair, and you can see a lot of time has gone into designing it. The faceplate itself is constructed from metal to give a more premium look. This pairs well with the bright display that is found on the top of the wheel face.
The LCD display allows the T248 to sine above its competitors, as no other racing wheels within this price range include screens like this. It has over 20 in-built displays allowing you to view a range of telemetry readouts such as your current speed, your RPM and lap times.
Much like Fanatec racing wheels, you can also cycle through the wheels settings menu using the screen and adjust your force feedback settings directly. This isn’t possible on the Logitech G923 as it doesn’t have a screen or a way of adjusting the force feedback settings directly on consoles.
This is very handy when switching between games such as F1 22 and ACC. You can very quickly change your steering lock from 360 to 900 degrees without having to close your game.
Steering wheel inputs
There is a range of buttons and inputs found on the front of the T248. These include the usual array of console controller buttons such as the X, O, triangle and square buttons on the PS5 version as well as a four-way directional pad.
Then there is a range of additional inputs. These include additional programmable buttons that can be used to control your car in-game. There are also two toggle switches located near your thumb placement, one on each side of the wheel. These let you scroll up and down through menu items and increase and decrease your in-game car settings.
All of the buttons feel very positive to engage, with a nice satisfactory click. That is apart from the shifters on the rear of the steering wheel. The shifters themselves are constructed from plastic, much like the wheel base. They do feel OK to use and shift with, but they are incredibly loud.
In fact, they remind me of the Fanatec McLaren GT3 V2 shifters which are also loud. However, the McLaren GT3 V2 shifters are constructed from metal and can be dampened to reduce the noise.
For me, the shifters really let the T248 down. Comparing them side by side with the shifters on the G923, there is no competition. The Logitech wheel has nicely designed, thin metal shifters that are incredibly quiet to use.
The T248’s shifters on the other hand don’t feel as nice to hold or use, and they reduce the overall quality of the racing wheel. Of course, for Thrustmaster to add so many other good features and still keep this wheel within the same price range as the G923, some areas had to be compromised.
I just wish it wasn’t the shifters, which are a part of this wheel that you will be touching and using more than almost any other!
Like many wheels within this price range, the wheel rim is covered in faux leather. This works towards giving a premium look and feel, and feels nice to the touch thanks to the soft foam underneath it.
Keeping up with our comparison of the G923, I don’t like the look or feel of these hand grips as much as those on the G923. The soft-touch perforated leather on the G923 is more premium in almost every way.
The T248 racing wheel bundle does include a table mount much like the G923. However, unlike the G923, the table mount is removable allowing you to hard mount this wheel to your sim rig if you prefer. This works well, simply screwing into the base of the T248, which then allows you to clamp the whole wheel base to your desk or table.
As mentioned above, the T248 does allow you to adjust a range of settings directly on the wheel itself using the in-built display. This opens up options such as force feedback adjustments and degrees of rotation settings.
This approach is so much better than the approach Logitech uses where you have to go through a multi-step process. With the G923, you have to connect your wheel to a PC, close your game, open up Logitech’s software and change the settings from there.
How well does it perform?
The force feedback that the T248 offers is good, and that’s important as it’s one of the most crucial parts of any racing wheel. Thrustmaster uses a hybrid force feedback system consisting of both belts and gears. This allows the T248 to benefit from the good points of both of these technologies.
However, the use of gears in particular also brings some negatives to the T248’s force feedback. Much like in the G923 from Logitech, you can feel the gears grinding within the wheel base.
This sometimes results in sharp force feedback from within the T248 where the gears slip, and it can make the whole racing experience feel a little heavy-handed. However, the gear grinding isn’t quite as prevalent as it is in the Logitech G923, thanks in part to the belt pulley system that is also a part of the hybrid force feedback.
Gears and belt hybrid force feedback
The benefit of having the gears included in this hybrid force feedback system is that they bring a lot of clarity to the overall feeling. Belt systems are renowned for feeling too wishy-washy and vague as some of the finer details can get lost in translation. The gears help to reduce this, giving a relatively sharp and detailed experience.
There are three individual force feedback settings that adjust how the force feedback is presented to you. The first force feedback setting is portrayed as a baseline option providing a relatively true experience. The second and third force feedback modes adjust the output curve to emphasise certain areas within the force feedback.
The third force feedback setting is the most enhanced and allows you to feel more of the road and tyre effects. This was my favourite setting to use as it increased the feeling of driving close to the maximum grip levels. This let me push the car more in certain areas of the track before I felt a sharp drop off in grip when I went too far.
As a whole, the force feedback from the T248 does certainly feel stronger than that found in the G923. The Logitech wheel creates around 2.5Nm of torque, while the T248 outputs around 3.5Nm. This is a considerable jump and you definitely do notice that while racing.
How good are the T3PM pedals?
Included with the T248 are a set of brand new T3PM pedals. These are Thrustmaster’s newest pedal set, but they come as standard with the T248. They’re a three-pedal set including a brake, throttle and clutch. This allows you to race with a manual transmission right away with a H-pattern shifter. Although, unfortunately, a H-pattern shifter isn’t included with the T248 wheel.
The pedals do away with the traditional potentiometer method, and instead, utilise magnetic technology. This means that there should be much less performance loss over time, something that can hamper the durability of potentiometer pedals.
Brake pedal adjustability
There is an additional spring included allowing you to truly customise your brake pedal stiffness. There are four individual pressure settings you can choose from in total. These all give your brake pedal a different feeling, varying in stiffness.
To choose between these stiffness levels, you can swap out the spring behind the brake pedal for the new one. Each spring offers two stiffness settings, with one spring being considerably stiffer, giving you four settings to choose from.
This is a great feature that is completely missing on the Logitech G923. Logitech did update the brake pedal on the G923 making it stiffer. However many sim racers have stated that the G923’s brake pedal is too stiff. If Logitech had incorporated adjustability like Thrustmaster has done it would have been a great feature.
The feeling on the brakes is very good throughout racing. The additional stiffness that the additional black spring provides is great. It’s a solid option for sim racers who have raced with a load-cell pedal before and prefer the additional strength.
T3PM vs G923 pedals
Compared directly to the G923, this pedal set does win out in the performance category. They feel slightly smoother throughout the range of travel, and the adjustability on the brake pedal is a vast improvement.
They may not look quite as nice thanks in part to the really heavy use of plastic. However, in this case, performance wins out over aesthetics.
The brake pedals don’t include a carpet gripper as the Logitech G923 does. Instead, there are only a few rubber pads that are designed to grip hard surface floors. However, no matter what floor you race on, you will find that the pedals move when you apply the brakes.
You will almost certainly need to mount the pedals to your sim rig to stop them from moving. Although, if you are racing at a desk and mounting isn’t an option. You can push your pedals against the wall or a heavy object to physically stop them from moving.
Thrustmaster T248 compatibility
The compatibility of the T248 is great. There are two versions to choose from when buying, a PlayStation compatible version, and an Xbox version. Both models are almost identical in appearance, and both work on PC.
The only difference between the two versions is the change of button icons on the steering wheel. The PS5 version includes PlayStation buttons, while the Xbox version includes Xbox buttons.
You can use this racing wheel with additional peripherals such as handbrakes and shifters. And Thrustmaster sells both a handbrake and manual shifter. These both work with the T248 on any platform including consoles and are plug and play.
You can also use peripherals from other brands with the T248 on a PC. Each individual peripheral can be connected directly to your PC, allowing for multiple cross-branded peripherals to be used.
Thrustmaster T248 competition
The main competition for the T248 in the best budget racing wheel category is the Logitech G923. I’ve mentioned it throughout this review, as really you will be choosing between the two products.
The T248 brings a variety of features that aren’t present on the G923. There’s the in-built display, the hybrid force feedback, magnetic pedals and additional adjustability. However, the overall aesthetic doesn’t match the quality of the Logitech G923 in my eyes. Logitech also has far superior paddle shifters.
With a variety of pros and cons, it is tricky to definitively recommend the T248 over the G923 or vice versa. A lot will come down to which racing wheel you prefer. Both are extremely comparable, and both do certain things better than the other.
Conclusion – Should you buy a Thrustmaster T248?
But overall, in isolation, the T248 is a great budget racing wheel, and possibly the best Thrustmaster has ever made within this price range. If you are looking for a racing wheel that is modern, fresh, console compatible and that performs extremely well, the T248 should be a strong contender.