2012 Honda CR-V: The Green Button
August 24, 2012
The green 'Econ' button in our longterm 2012 Honda CR-V is for people who probably don't need it in the first place. Pressing it simply remaps the throttle calibration, deadening its response, and reduces the occurrence of the air conditioning compressor kicking on and allows the cruise control greater speed variation.
Engaging 'econ' won't provide a free lunch to a leadfoot since if you want to accelerate at a given rate you'll simply press the pedal further to achieve it. Plus, wide-open throttle is still wide-open throttle. The aircon thing still applies, sure, but it is possible its fuel economy upside would be lost in the noise.
Those who are truly interested in extracting the most fuel economy out of their car would likely already be driving in a fuel-efficient manner -- gentle acceleration, using engine braking to slow, anticipate traffic signals, turning off the a/c, etc. -- so pressing Econ won't do anything they're not already doing.
It may even be the case that people think that pressing Econ is a license to treat the throttle even more aggressively than they would have otherwise. Therefore I declare the green Econ button little more than show, especially when you consider the showy 'Econ' stickers on the rear-most side windows...
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor