Can driving on ‘eco’ mode really make much difference to fuel consumption? We put the theory to the test in our Jaguar XE, which has four driving modes: normal, eco, dynamic and rain/ice/snow.
Each mode alters the steering and throttle mapping. Eco encourages fuel efficient driving; dynamic sharpens the throttle response and increases steering weighting for a sportier driving experience.
The rain/ice/snow mode dampens acceleration and applies more gradual traction for better control in slippery conditions. Keep the car in normal for the most refined ride – here, the XE offers class-leading comfort.
Our test route took us from Peterborough to Birmingham, a journey of 86 miles each way taking in mainly A-roads and motorway. The outbound trip was on normal mode – result 55.1mpg.
The return journey, under the same weather conditions, traffic and driving style, but on eco mode, achieved 65.8mpg on the trip computer.
The XE came within a whisker of the official 67.4mpg and, while an unscientific assessment, it does suggest that reducing throttle response and changing gear earlier in eco mode does positively benefit fuel consumption.
The mode also provides full driving data after the journey, showing acceleration, speed/engine and braking performance and the impact each had on fuel economy, which enables the driver to make adjustments for future journeys. The return trip earned me a 98% efficiency rating and a trophy icon.
The system, accessed through the eight-inch multimedia screen, also shows the effect on consumption of the various electrical systems, such as air-con, heated seats and windscreen de-mist.
During our two months with the XE, we’ve also noticed that its urban consumption figures are a close match to the official test cycle of 55.4mpg; our daily commute of mainly slow moving traffic is generally achieving 53mpg.
As we move into mid-autumn, we will begin testing the rain/ice/snow mode to see if it is as effective as eco.