Seeing as how I race 90% of the time in cockpit view, there's a rearview and oftentimes sideview mirror to use lol... But you CAN always just flick the right analog stick backwards to actually "look" back.
Also, I find "simulation" steering to always be far better in the settings. I agree that they've made the handling too arcade, but if you change it to "simulation", it might be easier to handle turns. I also turn off all handling aids, too, and I NORMALLY play with a steering wheel setup (this is actually my first Horizon PURELY on a controller!... In earlier entries, I'd use the controller to make navigating the open world easier, but then put the controller down and use the steering wheel once actual races starts), but part of the issue is that the analog stick will never properly mimic steering input. This means the game HAS to actually modulate and account for your inputs because obviously full lock is very easy to achieve on an analog stick, thus any inputs from a stick are being greatly exacerbated if there wasn't any modulation. I mean, imagine flicking the stick back and forth and realize just how hard it would be to full lock a real life steering wheel like that lol... In summary, anytime simulation physics are used (even if massively sped up in FH games), a controller is going to be relatively terrible.
Cockpit view leaves too little of the road on my 1080p 15" screen, plus it feels like I'm sitting in the back seat with all that car in view. When I'm driving I don't see the dashboard unless I look at it. Hence a full screen view works much better for me. A big virtual mirror at the top of the screen is far better than flicking the stick to look backwards. My peripheral vision keeps track of what happens behind me in GT Sport, drawing my attention to the mirror when a car approaches from behind or does something unexpected. Flicking the stick to look backwards means taking my eyes off the road in front.
A virtual rear view mirror doesn't need to be detailed as it's just there in my peripheral vision, but it does need to be there all the time to remain aware of what happens behind. So yeah sorely missed. Cockpit view works in VR, but on a screen it just reduces the view of the road.
Changing to simulation steering and turning assists off is the first thing I did. I haven't tried the other mode yet, heck maybe it's better lol.
Btw in GP Sport steering wheel users have the advantage in being able to flick in the other direction in chicanes faster than on a controller. There is 'lag' built in for the controller (which can be mitigated by dialing the sensitivity up, or rather the speed at which the steering wheel follows the analog stick movements) yet with a wheel you have 1:1 control. And with a wheel you can set how far you need to rotate the wheel for full lock, not like a real car where you have to turn quite a bit to go from one extreme to the other.
What I don't get from Forza Horizon is that in GT Sport I can perfectly take parabolica (Monza) at any speed with precise control of the analog stick and have much better control when overtaking. In FH5 there doesn't seem to be a way to finely control long sweeping corners or getting in tight gaps between competing cars. I end up moving the stick a bit and back to center, repeat, for long sweeping corners. I use a wired 360 controller, maybe it's just too old. Or maybe PD found the magic formula for controllers...
Anyway GT Sport is a cesspool online nowadays after PD abandoned the penalty system. I haven't been able to get one race this week without idiots trying to ruin it by ramming, cheating and creating accidents. It went from a 9 to a 5 for me, hence trying out other racers. At least the AI keeps up with you in FH5, unfortunately they do that by dive bombing and blocking, all the things that I hate from online drivers in GT Sport.
If anyone can make race AI that races by the rules, sign me up.
Sadly PD can't even make a penalty system that enforces the rules online, they kept getting it wrong and gave up.
Anyways racing is on hold for a bit, Halo Infinite is quite nice!