eco mode

Sport and Eco Mode – Know the Difference

Many vehicles offered today have the option to switch from auto sport mode to car economy (eco) mode with just a push of a button. For some, this is one of the reasons to purchase the vehicle. For others, the feature means nothing because they are unsure how it works or why it matters.  The difference between eco, eco sport and sport is described below.

A quick look at what these driving functions are and why they can make a difference in how you use your vehicle will help you understand if buying a car with this capability is right for you between eco and sport mode offered in most modern cars.

Auto Sport Mode

Sport mode can be described as a more aggressive way to operate your vehicle. When you are in auto sport mode you can expect:

  • More power when you accelerate from throttle response when pressing the accelerator
  • Less fuel economy
  • Smoother shifting into higher gears to help attain faster speeds or more power
  • Tighter steering for better control
  • Quicker throttle response
  • Overall performance of each system in the vehicle is more defined
  • Measured throttle inputs when using eco sport

Sport mode is perfect for driving in rougher terrain, mountainous areas, or when you need to have more speed available.

Car Eco Mode

Eco mode for a vehicle is the best way to maximize fuel economy and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle. When you are in car eco mode you can expect:

  • Increased fuel efficiency and lower fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent
  • Slower acceleration from a stop
  • Lower throttle and RPMs resulting in fuel efficiency
  • Lower overall power when trying to increase speed
  • More difficulty operating over harder terrain

Eco mode is designed for people that are driving in suburban and urban settings where they have many stops during their drive and drive at varying speeds. Operating the vehicle in this mode under these driving conditions allows for the best engine performance.

Advanced Settings

As vehicles improve with newer technologies, the number of changes that can be experienced when changing driving modes will increase. It will be hard to determine all of the benefits you will experience from each of these driving modes until you look at the specific vehicle and understand what it offers.

Changing driving modes between eco and sport mode has already advanced to the level where you just touch a button, and it changes modes to meet your needs. Modern cars and some higher-end vehicles already have models that change automatically based on how you are driving. This is simply amazing. Not too long ago, changing from two-wheel to four-wheel drive required stopping the vehicle and manually changing the settings.

The great news is that as this technology develops, the more efficient your vehicle will operate resulting in reduce fuel consumption in just normal mode.

Do All Vehicles Have This Feature?

Not all vehicles offer a sport and eco mode setting. Many of the newer electric vehicles, most SUVs and only some standard cars have these settings. You will need to look at the dashboard and the operator’s manual to determine if a used vehicle you are interested in offers this benefit.

When Purchasing A Vehicle

Always remember to run a VINsmart report on any used vehicle before making purchase.  A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, involved in a major accident, or listed as a totaled vehicle.

VINsmart reports will also give you a history of registration and mileage at registration.  It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.

When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.


To get started with VINsmart, click here.

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