Truck Rewind: Chevy and GMC Quadrasteer – Turning on a Forgotten Dime

(photo credit: Joe Dixson)

General Motors equipped some Chevy and GMC full size pickup trucks and 2500 SUVs with its four-wheel steering system – Quadrasteer. Delphi Automotive PLC (now Aptiv PLC) built the Quadrasteer system to significantly reduce the turning radius, increase maneuverability and ease towing maneuvers for GM trucks. GM was one of the only truck-builders to attempt selling full-size trucks with four-wheel steering.

While four-wheel steering is not new, automakers from Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi have used four-wheel steering before, this is the only large-scale application of the system used on consumer trucks in North America. Quadrasteer was used on General Motor’s full-size pickup trucks and 2500 HD SUVs, such as the Suburban and Yukon XL. The Quadrasteer-equiped trucks covered model years 2002 through 2005. Trucks equipped with this system were easily recognizable as they had a wider rear (Dana 60) axle and blistered rear fenders that accommodated wheels that can turn up to 15-degrees.

Initially, the up-charge for a Quadrasteer truck hovered around the $7,000 mark. Some dealerships pushed the up-charge even higher. Sales (slightly) increased when that premium was lowered through time, eventually landing around $1,000+. Still, it wasn’t low enough to maintain sales numbers to General Motor’s satisfaction. The GMT900 platform never received the Quadrasteer system.

Low sales were the main reason for the discontinuation. The peak penetration of  sales was in 2004 with the GMC Yukon XL with a paltry 17.8%. The four-wheel steering attempt was considered a failure.

Despite the low sales numbers, fans insist that the Quadrasteer system was outstanding. Kent (AKA “Mr. Truck”) and I have driven a few GM vehicles equipped with the system and were equally impressed. Overall, the system is seamless and the main sensation the driver feels is a better handling truck. Being able to do a U-turn on a small street in a huge Yukon XL is a neat sensation, and being able to thread the needle as you park a trailer is awesome. All indications show the system has proven to be reliable and made these GM trucks remarkably maneuverable even on the highway.

What chance does a system like Quadrasteer have at returning?

What do you think?

Nathan Adlen
Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.