A Formula-style steering wheel with integrated screen. In addition, a front plate made of carbon, a housing made of aluminum and rubber grips. Is it really possible to combine all these features in a steering wheel for 500€ without making massive compromises? This review will show in which areas the steering wheel excels and where there might still be some room for improvements.
Order and shipping
The steering wheel can be ordered via the manufacturer’s website and various dealers in Europe. Directly from Leoxz the following prices are quoted excluding shipping and taxes/customs:
- Shifter Only: 399.95€
- Shifter & Clutch: €439.95
- Shifter & Clutch & Option: €469.95
The European stores currently charge around 500€ for the version with paddle shifters. The surcharges for the dual clutch and the paddles option vary slightly depending on the store.
Note: The steering wheel tested here was provided directly by Leoxz. There was no influence on the review. There were also no requirements regarding the content of the review or the time of publication.
Scope of delivery
The scope of delivery is kept very simple and apart from a quick guide and an Allen key, you will only find the USB spiral cable and the two sticker sheets that can be used optionally.
- XF1 Sport Steering Wheel
- USB Cable (Type-C to Type-A)
- Quick Guide
Leoxz has come up with some clever ideas when it comes to compatibility. Firstly, the steering wheel can be operated completely independently of the Wheel Base with the USB spiral cable. This is done by plugging it into the designated port on the steering wheel and connecting it directly to the PC. Due to the short length, it is sometimes necessary to use a USB extension. Due to the 70mm hole ring used, almost any Quick Release can be used for this, only a part of the steering wheel must be dismantled for installation.
The second option is to operate the steering wheel via a Bluetooth connection. The required power is then provided via separately available adapters directly via the respective base, the cable can then be avoided completely. Currently, there are adapters for the following manufacturers (not included):
The QR also acts as an emulator for Fanatec, so you don’t have to use an additional Podium hub. This was only possible for the CSW at the time of the review, but support for CSL-DD as well as Podium DD1 and DD2 is expected with a firmware update.
Scope of functions
The XF1-Sport has a variety of function keys:
- 15 buttons, four of which have additional button guards. Two smaller buttons are located above the three encoders in the lower area. The buttons all have a clearly defined pressure point and are comfortable to use.
- 3 encoders on the front with additional push function. The aluminum caps have a good feel and also look very high-quality.
- 2 thumb encoders, which are very easy to reach and are also equipped with caps made of aluminum.
- 1 analog joystick, which is configured as a 5-way switch (up, down, left, right, press) via the software. This works surprisingly well and reliably in practice, but does not come close to a dedicated 5/7-way switch.
- 2 adjustment buttons for steering wheel / dash settings below the encoders on the front.
Shifter and clutch
At the back of the steering wheel are six places for the shifters, the dual clutch and two additional analog axes. These are all equipped with Hall sensors and did not have to be calibrated separately during the review.
pressure point and a very short travel. However, the positioning could have used a bit more distance (in depth) to the steering wheel grips, especially for people with larger hands. If necessary, you can quickly remedy the situation with spacers and slightly longer screws.
The other axes can be configured as follows:
- Clutch pedals: Either as separate axes or as a combined axis (double clutch). Here the bit point can be defined directly via the steering wheel between 10% and 100% as desired for a perfect start.
- Optional pedals: configuration as separate analog axes or as individual buttons.
Display and LEDs
The 4.3-inch display used is of course the most eye-catching feature of the XF1 Sport. With 60 FPS and a very good viewing angle, the information can be read very well, and input lag was also not noticeable during the test.
The installed LEDs are divided into three groups:
- 12 RPM-LEDs
- 3 RGB LEDs on each side for displaying ingame flags, tyre slip and and tank contents
- 2 LEDs on each side for the status of DRS, “Overtake” and Pit Limit
Both the screen and the LEDs can be adjusted in brightness in 10 steps each, and the LEDs can also be completely deactivated.
Note: To use the display with 60 FPS you need a paid license for Simhub: https://www.simhubdash.com/get-a-license/
Software / Simhub
For the software, Leoxz fully relies on Simhub, which supports all current simulations. You can currently upgrade the firmware and configure the RPM LEDs via the in-house plugin.
It would be nice to be able to make more settings via the software in the future, for example setting the function or color for the side LEDs.
The current selection of dashboards can be found in the video, custom dashboards cannot be used at this time.
Materials and finishing
The materials of the XF1-Sport from Leoxz are a real surprise. A 5-millimeter-thick carbon plate is used for the front and the casing is completely made of aluminum. The grips are cast from a flexible polymer and thus provide an extremely good grip. Wear was not visible here even after a few hours of driving. The excellent choice of materials is completed by shifters made of aluminum, which were fitted with carbon plates in addition. However, the USB spiral cable can’t quite keep up with the well-crafted steering wheel; there are higher-quality alternatives from other manufacturers. There are also more expensive counterparts for the buttons, but they are far outside the reasonable price range.
With a weight of less than one kilo (without QR) and a diameter of 275 millimeters, the steering wheel is definitely an option for weaker wheel bases.
There were no complaints in the practical testing on the racetrack. As already mentioned, the steering wheel felt very good to hold and all features functioned smoothly. The free space around the thumb could be a bit tight for driving with gloves in combination with large hands, but there were no unintentional activations of the thumb encoders during the review.
Flex was not present during the ride, even with high force feedback. There are also no complaints about erroneous inputs or missed shifts.
Rarely has a steering wheel surprised as positively as the XF1 Sport from Leoxz. The so far relatively unknown manufacturer delivers an extremely convincing performance with their 275 millimeter Formula-style steering wheel. Starting with an integration into Simhub that still needs some fine-tuning, you’ll get a steering wheel with extremely high-quality materials and a wide range of functions. The display will be a main criterion for many buyers and also convinced in our review.
All in all, the steering wheel offers the best price/performance ratio of all tested steering wheels so far and is thus naturally a recommendation, which could turn out even better with further firmware upgrades.
- Price/performance ratio
- Simhub integration
- Materials and finishing
- Number of function keys
- 4.3 inch display with 60 FPS
- A total of 22 LEDs
- No custom dashboards
- Positioning of the shifters
- Adjustability of the LEDs