There are other things that matter greatly in a car from time to time, but the one thing that matters all the time is the steering. 

Who said that? No, not me, it was the late LJK Setright, one of the most revered and almost certainly (sorry, m’colleagues) the greatest of all motoring writers. Known for his elegant prose, enormous technical knowledge and often controversial (but always well-reasoned) opinions, he was a contributor to a huge assortment of car and motorcycle magazines worldwide, including Autocar, and the author of some peerless books on motoring and aviation matters. 

Great was his enthusiasm for four-wheel active steering, especially the systems introduced by Honda into its Prelude models. That low-slung coupe was, he reckoned, a decent enough thing when steered by the front wheels alone, but when thus equipped with all four wheels and tyres doing the work it became, by a considerable margin, the nicest car to drive he’d ever driven. 

It won plaudits from many others, too. Road and Track magazine found the original 1988 2.0-litre Prelude, with mechanically active four-wheel steering, to be faster through a timed slalom than the then-current supercars. The Preludes that followed from 1992 onwards featured electrical operation for the rear wheels, for even quicker responses.