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View Full Version : Sport Vs Traction+ Vs Auto/Eco



HeatherD
04-12-2016, 09:02 PM
Does anyone on here drive full time in sport mode? I've been pretty loyal to eco since it suits my city driving needs just fine & I'm still breaking the engine in (and getting bad MPGs) but the other day it rained so I tried traction+ for the first time and it felt so much more zoomy and responsive. Kind of made me want to try driving in sport mode all the time, but does anyone know if it affects the gas mileage tremendously or puts a strain on the engine/tranny to keep it in that mode?

Fiat500USA
04-12-2016, 09:32 PM
Fuel economy may suffer somewhat, as it does anytime brisk acceleration at high rpms is used. It's trade-off for having fun. You may want to experiment for a tank or two to get an idea. As far as extra wear, I would say it would probably be negligible if the car is driven normally.

grosa_2002
04-12-2016, 11:12 PM
Sport works best for me when in heavy city traffic, not stop and go just heavy. That way the car is always in a gear that allows me to accelerate and change directions. Normal mode works great if you have time to let it wind out, doesn't go max rpm before shifting. Normal is good for 80% of my driving. I really like the split personality it has like the Abarth I used to drive.

5port
04-13-2016, 10:25 AM
Since installing the Go Pedal I'm 95% of the time in Auto. Its like combining the responsive qualities of sport mode with the cruising qualities of Auto. IMO Sport mode (on the X) holds on to the gears too long. If you try to modulate it with the pedal you can maybe get them to shift lower if you modulate well. I only use Traction+ in snow and it worked very well. Yes continuous use of Sport mode will lower your mpg.

*** the only mode in which the rear axle disconnects is Auto...in Sport and in Traction+ its connected full time ***

ronbo10
04-13-2016, 11:56 AM
Since installing the Go Pedal I'm 95% of the time in Auto. Its like combining the responsive qualities of sport mode with the cruising qualities of Auto. IMO Sport mode (on the X) holds on to the gears too long. If you try to modulate it with the pedal you can maybe get them to shift lower if you modulate well. I only use Traction+ in snow and it worked very well. Yes continuous use of Sport mode will lower your mpg.

*** the only mode in which the rear axle disconnects is Auto...in Sport and in Traction+ its connected full time ***

Definitely sounds like the Go Pedal is the way to go.

The last bit (I assume this is a quote from the owner's manual?) is an eye opener- I've never seen this distinction made in any test out there, and could make a good case for those who are trying to decide between FWD and AWD to go with the AWD. For example, I've seen forum discussions where a 'reactive' AWD (FWD unless needed) is a deal breaker for some, stating that they want AWD all the time. The 500X's AWD system seems like the best of both worlds.

grosa_2002
04-14-2016, 07:40 PM
The Fiat 500 USA website has a wealth of information on ALL Fiat's. The following link has a very good explanation and there is also a video demonstrating the capabilities of the AWD system: http://www.fiat500usa.com/2014/11/2016-fiat-500x-engineering.html. Here's the link for additional AWD information: http://www.fiat500usa.com/2016/01/fiat-500x-all-wheel-drive-system.html

davevoss
05-03-2016, 11:48 AM
I have about 14k miles on my 500X now, and have become quite comfortable driving it in lots of different situations, from city errands to freeway travel to back roads, and I find myself leaving it in Auto most of the time, and switching to Traction+ for spirited drives for the benefit of the active (versus reactive) AWD system setting. I don't use the Sport mode very often, as I don't care for the feel of the later higher rpm shifting under part throttle, it just feels a little clumsy to me, and I almost never engage full throttle acceleration, which is what the Sport mode seems to do best. For those with AWD, try driving in Traction+ mode on a dry twisty back road sometime, you might be surprised how well it handles, and starting out in 2nd gear from a dead stop also feels more appropriate to me most of time.

ronbo10
05-03-2016, 12:11 PM
I have about 14k miles on my 500X now, and have become quite comfortable driving it in lots of different situations, from city errands to freeway travel to back roads, and I find myself leaving it in Auto most of the time, and switching to Traction+ for spirited drives for the benefit of the active (versus reactive) AWD system setting. I don't use the Sport mode very often, as I don't care for the feel of the later higher rpm shifting under part throttle, it just feels a little clumsy to me, and I almost never engage full throttle acceleration, which is what the Sport mode seems to do best. For those with AWD, try driving in Traction+ mode on a dry twisty back road sometime, you might be surprised how well it handles, and starting out in 2nd gear from a dead stop also feels more appropriate to me most of time.

I have speculated that traction+ mode might make for a smoother launch from a stop, and one less gear to shift through in what can otherwise seem to be a pretty busy acceleration through the first 30 mph or so (when in Auto mode). I've not had the opportunity to try traction+ out in a test drive, at least not while I've had any idea on just what are the differences in how the different modes function (I don't own a 500X). Is this why you feel it's more appropriate most of the time to use traction+? I imagine that if you were to be driving in, say, downtown San Francisco, you'd want to leave it in Auto mode just to have 1st available to you on really steep inclines. I'm also curious if you might realize a slight fuel economy improvement (if any at all) in town driving while in traction+ mode vice Auto mode.

Sounds like you're enjoying your X.

davevoss
05-04-2016, 11:50 AM
I have speculated that traction+ mode might make for a smoother launch from a stop, and one less gear to shift through in what can otherwise seem to be a pretty busy acceleration through the first 30 mph or so (when in Auto mode). I've not had the opportunity to try traction+ out in a test drive, at least not while I've had any idea on just what are the differences in how the different modes function (I don't own a 500X). Is this why you feel it's more appropriate most of the time to use traction+?.

Yes, it is noticeably smoother starting off in 2nd gear, it would be nice if the default mode could be set to Traction+ or Sport instead of Auto upon startup, but I understand why they don't.


I imagine that if you were to be driving in, say, downtown San Francisco, you'd want to leave it in Auto mode just to have 1st available to you on really steep inclines. I'm also curious if you might realize a slight fuel economy improvement (if any at all) in town driving while in traction+ mode vice Auto mode.

I occasionally need to drive on steep hard pack gravel roads, stopping to open or close a cattle gate, and starting out in Traction+ mode in 2nd gear is no problem, acceleration builds a bit slower at first, but that's kind of what you want anyway, so it's not an issue. On paved streets, it's about the same, and I really like how the car behaves starting out in 2nd gear. If the center display is set to monitor the AWD system, you can see that power is directly 100% to the front under straight steady cruise conditions, so I would suspect that driving down the highway in Traction+ mode would have little if any affect on fuel economy. Around town and on back roads, I think fuel economy is probably a bit less (maybe 1 mpg?), but the sure footed feel is well worth it, in my opinion.


Sounds like you're enjoying your X.

Yes, very much!

ronbo10
05-04-2016, 09:48 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Dave. I know one of the forum members here has installed the Go Pedal in his 2.4 liter 500X, and his comments were very positive- I imagine you've read the same. Sounds like you're happy enough with how your X's transmission works using the modes. Are you tempted to give a Go Pedal a try?

davevoss
05-06-2016, 10:14 AM
Are you tempted to give a Go Pedal a try?

Yes, but honestly I've become so accustomed to the way the car drives now, that I don't feel like I have any issues to resolve, however it does sound like it provides an improvement.