I just wanted to express my thanks! I found by modifiying the car behavior, and simply rotating the player sprite (functionally disabling the 'steering' aspect), the end results are pretty good.
Interestingly the car movement behavior's level of complexity makes it unnecessarily difficult to achieve my fairly simple movement needs. It would still be nice to find a simplified movement bevavior to support a topdown viewpoint besides 8-way.
In any case, your input inspired me to re-visit the car movement behavior, and ultimately find a solution (I was unable to review the capx, as the version is C2 version is newer than my R139).
Thanks again, guys - you really helped me out!