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Fanatec CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Ultimate Comparison

Today, we’ve pitted the Fanatec CSL Elite against the Thrustmaster T-GT to see which PC/PlayStation wheel comes out on top.  This is a great pair of wheels that offer a very similar feature set and value proposition.  Both wheels put in a strong performance, but we think that the CSL Elite just manages to squeak-out a win here.  

Our Pick
Fanatec CSL Elite Fanatec CSL Elite

One of Fanatec's most affordable racing wheel bundles, the CSL Elite offers immersive force feedback and excellent build quality at a bargain!

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Technical Specs

CSL EliteT-GT
ROTATION RANGE1080°1080°
DRIVE SYSTEMSingle gear toothed beltBrushless servomotor
PEDALSNot included3x metal
MATERIALSLeather, suedeLeather
DIAMETER OF WHEEL30cm28cm

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Build Quality

Both wheels are made of great, hefty materials and are built for the long haul.  One noteworthy concern for some will be that the T-GT’s wheel rim is fully-wrapped in leather, whereas the CSL Elite features a mostly-suede rim with leather hand grips.  However, that luxury is probably rendered moot by the lighter, part-plastic design of the T-GT’s wheel rim that cheapens the overall experience a bit.

Winner – Draw

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Design

The CSL Elite is an all-black affair from base to rim, and the overall aesthetic is sleek and classy; an optional upgrade to the CSL Elite F1 Set introduces a bit of color to the proceedings while keeping the general trend alive.  The T-GT on the other hand, has a silvery plastic piece on the wheel, and a bold white Thrustmaster logo down the side of the base – offenses we think cheapens the overall appearance of the set by a considerable margin.

Winner – CSL Elite

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Force Feedback

Both wheels have strong, highly-responsive feedback systems that are among the best in the business.  Neither wheel leaves much to be desired in this regard, but we give a special nod to the T-GT for adding an additional layer of feedback by plugging the steering column directly into the force motor.

Winner – T-GT

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Pedals

The T-GT could be given a victory here by virtue of simply including a full set of pedals in the box, but we’re not letting Thrustmaster off the hook so easily!  Whereas the CSL Elite doesn’t come with pedals, you can add a great set of Fantec’s pedals (including the must-have CSL Elite Loadcell Kit for unparalleled braking performance) and still save a few bucks over the T-GT package’s cost.

Winner – CSL Elite

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Noise

The Fanatec CSL Elite is a near-silent wheel and base that is just about as unobtrusive as these things can be.  The Thrustmaster T-GT is a relatively quiet wheel, but some owners complain of “clicky” fan noises or whirring power supplies – issues that not every user is likely to experience, but should be aware of.  Additionally, many buyers find the T-GT’s included pedal set to be overly loud and bothersome.

Winner – CSL Elite

CSL Elite vs Thrustmaster T-GT: Other Considerations

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two offerings here is the size of the wheels’ respective rims.  The the CSL Elite has a full-sized wheel, the T-GT’s rim is a bit smaller in diameter and circumference – something many users lament makes the wheel feel more like a toy than its considerable price tag would suggest.

Conclusion

While the T-GT is a solid product that many will find appealing (especially PlayStation owners who intend to play a lot of Gran Turismo games), the CSL Elite wins the battle by offering quieter operation, better aesthetics and more comfortable wheel rim.

Our Pick
Fanatec CSL Elite Fanatec CSL Elite

One of Fanatec's most affordable racing wheel bundles, the CSL Elite offers immersive force feedback and excellent build quality at a bargain!

Last Updated on March 1, 2021