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How automakers reduce fuel consumption

Fuel consumption is one of the most important considerations for a host of buyers on the market. Automakers know this, and they have over the years implemented a wide range of technologies in newer vehicles that help improve fuel economy.

Eco mode

Most new vehicles will include one or more of these technologies, but if reducing fuel consumption is your priority, then compare how many of these systems are found on each of the models that interest you.

These systems will certainly help, but you also want to focus on the engine and the transmission. Manufacturers are turning to turbo engines to improve efficiency and preserve power, but transmissions with more gears or continuously variable automatic transmissions will usually improve fuel economy, all things being equal. So along with the technologies listed below, make sure to compare the posted fuel economy numbers of the vehicles that interest you.

ECO modes

Eco modes come in different names, but the idea is the same. This special mode, once activated, adjusts the various parameters of the engine, transmission and other features like air conditioning in order to improve fuel economy. An example includes limiting how high the engine can rev in order to not push it too hard.

Auto Start/Stop

This function shuts down the engine when the vehicle is stopped in order to prevent increasing fuel consumption when the car is idle. In other words, this technology will automatically turn the engine on and off at a red light.

Cylinder deactivation

Some six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines include a technology that “deactivates” some of the cylinders when they are not needed, like when you are coasting on the highway.

Thank you to Morrey Nissan Burnaby for their help with this article.


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