Tip of the Week
Your new car very likely has a great Sport Mode. Here is how it works and why you’ll love it.
Sport mode – what does it do?
The sport mode in your vehicle is able to change some of the vehicle settings. The most common thing that sport modes change is the transmission and engine settings. You will notice the RPMs rise if you have a car with a tachometer. In practice, you will find that the vehicle becomes more responsive.
More expensive vehicles and vehicles that are intended to be sports cars will have other settings that can change. These include the throttle sensitivity, exhaust note, the steering weight or feel, the steering ratio (how much turn of the vehicle you get for a given turn of the wheel), and the suspension settings. In addition to being able to just turn these individual aspects to a pre-set “sportier” mode, some vehicles allow the driver to customize the settings and then lock them in as a personal favorite or even a couple personal settings. High-performance vehicles will even have multiple levels of sport mode, typically called sport+, track, and sport sharp that will disable or modify the traction control and stability control of the vehicle. These are primarily for race track use.
Sport Mode – How Do You Make It Work?
The first part of making the sport mode work for you is to find it. Every automaker hides it in a different location.
Some advanced sport mode systems are in more than one place. For example, the switch may be on the center console near the shifter, or even on the steering wheel. To change the settings to a custom preset the infotainment system is used. On 90% of the vehicles Best Ride tested, sport mode is a switch next to the shifter and there is just one setting.
Downside To Sport Mode
You may find that when you actuate sport mode the car feels better when you want to blast up an on-ramp, or drive a twisty mountain road, but feels worse if you are trundling along in rush hour traffic. The drone of the engine, louder exhaust note, and the stronger engine braking due to the higher RPM settings are the opposite of what works best in traffic. Which is why there is always an easy way to turn sport mode on and off.
Sport Mode Resets
In all mainstream vehicles, the sport mode is turned back to “normal mode” when you turn the vehicle off and on again. So you don’t have to worry about the next driver getting in and finding the car all revved up and itching to go racing.
-- John Goreham/BestRide.com
Did you know
Expect long lines at the airport and plenty of road traffic this Independence Day as more than 49 million people will be travelling. According to AAA, more Americans than ever recorded by the organization are travelling for the Fourth of July this year. Overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1% over last year, with an additional 1.9 million people planning road trips and other vacations to celebrate Independence Day.
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Here’s Cars.com’s list of the top 10 most American-built cars sold in the U.S., based on “assembly location, parts sourcing as determined by the American Automobile Labeling Act, factory employment relative to sales and sourcing of engines and transmissions”:
1. Jeep Cherokee in Belvidere, Illinois
2. Honda Odyssey in Lincoln, Alabama
3. Honda Ridgeline in Lincoln, Alabama
4. Honda Passport in Lincoln, Alabama
5. Chevrolet Corvette in Bowling Green, Kentucky
6. Acura MDX in East Liberty, Ohio
7. Honda Pilot in Lincoln, Alabama
8. Chevrolet Colorado in Wentzville, Missouri
9. GMC Canyon in Wentzville, Missouri
10. Acura RDX in East Liberty, Ohio
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Auto Bits: Using your vehicle’s sport mode for beginners – Don’t miss out on the fun
Tip of the Week