2011 Nissan Leaf: Feels Good In Eco Mode
May 11, 2011
In most cars, Eco mode is something I avoid like the plague, since as I see it, the improved fuel efficiency just isn't worth the performance sacrifice. A zippy Lexus CT 200h that I once drove got so sluggish in this mode, it felt like I was sloshing through a vat of hot fudge.
Fortunately, though, the Leaf doesn't have this affliction. Shift that odd round shifter down to the Eco setting and responsiveness is dulled, but not to the point where the car's reflexes feel mired in quicksand.
To discourage aggressive inputs, throttle response is softened, but the effect is more subtle than it is in other models. Eco mode also amps up the efficiency of the Leaf's regenerative brakes and cuts back on power sent to the HVAC system. According to Nissan, driving in this mode can improve the car's range by up to 10 percent.
Does your car have an Eco mode? Do you use it pretty often?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor