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      04-17-2017, 08:59 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

I know what you're thinking, another MPG thread... but those of us who daily our M2's will find this handy!


Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT?

I've always felt there was 'little' difference in MPG consumption between SPORT and COMFORT on my M2, but ignored the thought thinking I was going crazy.

Then another M2 owner cited the same thing. He reported better MPG in SPORT over COMFORT on journeys.

This triggered me to carry out the following experiment.



COMFORT vs SPORT





^ The above is reminder of which settings change when the drive mode is altered.

Quite a bit more going on compared to the E46 M3 sport button.

I think we can all agree the difference felt between the COMFORT and SPORT is significant.



Test Method

Week 1
  1. Fill up the tank on Monday and reset MPG on OBC.
  2. Drive exclusively in COMFORT mode for Mon-Fri.
  3. Each day complete daily "city" commute and back: (6 miles total)
  4. Each day complete highway route and back: (40 miles total)

Week 2
  1. Fill up the tank on Monday and reset MPG on OBC.
  2. Drive exclusively in SPORT mode for Mon-Fri
  3. Each day complete daily "city" commute and back: (6 miles total)
  4. Each day complete highway route and back: (40 miles total)

    Notes:
    On the weekend use up remaining fuel with 'spirited driving' - using whole rev range as 'cleanup exercise'.


Test Parameters
  • Vehicle: BMW M2 MY16 - Stock (N55B30T0) - RI + 3000mi
  • Vehicle Region: Europe.
  • Transmission: DCT (AUTO only to rule myself out).
  • Highway Speed Target: 70-80mph
  • Air Conditioning: Always on, windows shut.
  • Fuel: Shell V Power (I always use this)
  • Cargo: Just me (driver)
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring: Checked each day, all ok.


Results





The results are promising. Don't focus on the raw values as the computer is never 100% accurate - look at the MPG difference between both modes.

It appears after my testing on highways, the difference between MPG consumption in COMFORT and SPORT is negligible.

Infact, I might go as far to say that SPORT might be more efficient on highway runs than first realised, here's why;

Quote:
* When I reset the MPG counter in COMFORT mode, the default MPG value started at 33MPG and descended down to 31.3MPG after the first day of testing.

However, when resetting the MPG counter in SPORT mode, it started at 26MPG and climbed upwards to 29.3MPG on the first day! - For some reason if in SPORT mode, resetting the MPG counter will default to around 26MPG instead of 33MPG as it's starting value.

This skews the 'average MPG' calculation a little in favour of COMFORT, but in reality SPORT is at minimum, level with COMFORT MPG on highway runs.
Note that while highway speeds of 70-80mph were maintained, aggressive use of the throttle was used now and again to overtake slow cars and trucks.

On the highway using SPORT mode, the M2 felt much more engaging and potent = FUN.


Conclusion

It appears that if you have a long highway journey ahead of you, SPORT mode can be enjoyed with no penalty to MPG over COMFORT

In urban driving, DCT Auto is likely to use more fuel as the car holds the revs longer/higher before shifting.

On the whole I had fun with this experiment. When cruising I was kept busy with folk in other cars pointing/thumbs-up at the M2 and other times giving a good burst of the throttle (overtaking lorries) especially in SPORT.

I'd be interested in others to try out the same experiment and report back.

Thanks for reading



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      04-17-2017, 09:25 PM   #2
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I get same MPG with comfort and sport, so I keep in in sport.
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      04-17-2017, 10:29 PM   #3
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Well, you'll need at least 2-4 more weeks of data for each mode to claim any sort of statistical significance but in all seriousness, cool test with interesting results. So I guess the only use for comfort is to tone down the exhaust.
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      04-17-2017, 11:00 PM   #4
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Nice! Thanks for doing this

I also thought about doing the same experiment but the thought of driving a fuel tank of gas in comfort mode only was too painful to try
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      04-17-2017, 11:13 PM   #5
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I was always under the impression and noticed that it wasn't the modes themselves that had any affect, but that they functioned more as drivelogic profiles within the parameters it has set for that mode and drivelogic saves your driving behavior/style during that mode.
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      04-17-2017, 11:35 PM   #6
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The most efficient way to drive a car (at least an N/A car without many of the fancy things that the N55 has) is to give it full throttle until you get to cruising speed, and short-shift along the way (if it's a manual). High RPMs are bad (eat more fuel), but part-throttle is also bad (less efficient). So you're supposed to give it as much throttle in 1st as you can, but short shift at like 3k, and keep repeating that until you hit cruising speed, and then put it into the highest gear.

This is an interesting Reddit thread that discusses it to some extent.

The problem with Comfort is that it screws around with throttle mapping, so it takes more gas pedal to get the same intake airflow. (Pretty sure the N55 doesn't actually have a throttle butterfly and instead uses valve duration as the "throttle," but you get my point.)

Given all of this, it might make some sense that Sport could actually be more efficient as long as you aren't revving it up the tach much.
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      04-18-2017, 06:56 AM   #7
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Thanks all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by atxsk8r View Post
Nice! Thanks for doing this

I also thought about doing the same experiment but the thought of driving a fuel tank of gas in comfort mode only was too painful to try
haha, it was okay but yeah SPORT/SPORT+ is where it's at

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZPrime View Post
The most efficient way to drive a car (at least an N/A car without many of the fancy things that the N55 has) is to give it full throttle until you get to cruising speed, and short-shift along the way (if it's a manual). High RPMs are bad (eat more fuel), but part-throttle is also bad (less efficient). So you're supposed to give it as much throttle in 1st as you can, but short shift at like 3k, and keep repeating that until you hit cruising speed, and then put it into the highest gear...
Great post - I will have a read of that reddit link, thank for you sharing!
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      04-18-2017, 10:54 AM   #8
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I have been monitoring this as well. Sport and Comfort are pretty much the same in terms of consumption. That being the case the only time I use Comfort is in combo with cruise control.

Default for me is Sport. Unfortunately have not been able to find ECU code to make this a default.
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      04-18-2017, 12:38 PM   #9
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1. Nicely done.

2. Longer test period may be necessary.

3. You may have a problem.

4. You may need a girlfriend or wife or maybe a puppy.

5. 3 and 4 are just jokes.


Mike
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      04-18-2017, 01:55 PM   #10
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This is just the kind of OCD stuff that makes this forum great and I'm saying that with all seriousness. Thanks for conducting this test. So comfort is to not scare the kids and wake the neighbors.

Otherwise, I'll take sports+ for 500, Alex.
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      06-13-2017, 10:50 AM   #11
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28-30 on freeway would be nice. My Macan GTS can barely get 20 and that is if I really baby it. Otherwise. 14-16 MPG is where it seems to be happy at
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      06-13-2017, 01:00 PM   #12
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Comfort keeps me from using the throttle as much, so it would be hard to believe sport is more economical. Sport simply gives quicker tip in of the throttle - I doubt there is any conclusion to be reached about efficiency as a result.
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      06-13-2017, 01:16 PM   #13
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Please don't measure Sport+. I want to keep believing it has the best fuel economy
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      06-13-2017, 02:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerobat View Post
Please don't measure Sport+. I want to keep believing it has the best fuel economy
Actually, I'm getting 0.1L/100km better economy in Sport+ than Sport.
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      06-13-2017, 06:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryem3 View Post
Comfort keeps me from using the throttle as much, so it would be hard to believe sport is more economical. Sport simply gives quicker tip in of the throttle - I doubt there is any conclusion to be reached about efficiency as a result.
Oh dear.

You say that sport "simply gives quicker tip in of the throttle" yet if you had studied the table in my post you'd realise the profiles adjust a lot more parameters than throttle sensitivity.

True, if we were talking about the E46 M3 we could agree the sport button offers nothing but a more sensitive throttle. There's actually a good argument for preferring SPORT on the E46 M3 for town driving as you'll spool torque quicker but that's a different topic.

Finally, there's a reason why I described the test method in detail - so it can be replicated by others, but sadly not many will.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stylinexpat View Post
28-30 on freeway would be nice. My Macan GTS can barely get 20 and that is if I really baby it. Otherwise. 14-16 MPG is where it seems to be happy at
Give the test a go and report back


Quote:
Originally Posted by aerobat View Post
Please don't measure Sport+. I want to keep believing it has the best fuel economy
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmzanatta View Post
Actually, I'm getting 0.1L/100km better economy in Sport+ than Sport.
hahah
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      06-13-2017, 07:36 PM   #16
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Whilst playing around with the Torque app I've notice the engine water temperature seems to run at around 100C in comfort and 80C in sport (need to test this a bit more yet) I'm guessing this is for better efficiency in comfort and better temperature management in sport.
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      06-14-2017, 12:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top pup View Post
Whilst playing around with the Torque app I've notice the engine water temperature seems to run at around 100C in comfort and 80C in sport (need to test this a bit more yet) I'm guessing this is for better efficiency in comfort and better temperature management in sport.
Possibly the efficientdynamics BS running the cooling fans less often in Comfort, since the car isn't expecting to be flogged as much? (Just a shot in the dark there.)
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      12-28-2017, 06:40 PM   #18
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So what you’re saying is you should switch from comfort to sport for your cool down
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      12-31-2017, 06:16 PM   #19
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Nice work! BTW, with the DCT does sport or sport+ mode lock out the top gear? I always run my 6 spd manual M2 in sport mode. I'll occasionally use Sport+ and while on track, I shut everything off. On a long highway slog I'll put it in comfort. Daily driving I get 24 MPG and on long highway slogs I get 29 MPG.
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      01-01-2018, 06:43 AM   #20
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Great read, thanks for sharing.

I'll stick to Sport+ and traction mode for looks!
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      01-02-2018, 06:22 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich8566 View Post
Nice work! BTW, with the DCT does sport or sport+ mode lock out the top gear? I always run my 6 spd manual M2 in sport mode. I'll occasionally use Sport+ and while on track, I shut everything off. On a long highway slog I'll put it in comfort. Daily driving I get 24 MPH and on Long highway slogs I get 29 MPG.
DCT Sport and Sport+ do NOT lock out top gear like all of BMW's automatic transmissions do. Presumably top gear is available in DCT due to faster shifts.

However, like the auto, DCT will hold low gear absurdly too long after a brief throttle blip. When it gets stuck like that you gotta manually upshift back out.
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      01-02-2018, 10:06 PM   #22
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Please keep in mind that the OP (MerlinPurple) is based in the UK, and therefore his calculations are based on UK Gallons rather than US Gallons. He's also using V-Power Fuel, which has a RON rating of 99 if I remember correctly, with no added Ethanol, which would be somewhat equivalent to Ethanol free 94 AKI / (RON+MON)/2 US Fuel.

I find it funny that Brits often think that US drivers have it so good with cheap fuel, but the reality is that the cost is skewed because the gallon is smaller in the US, and the fuel is shit so the same cars are far less efficient. Yes, it is still cheaper to run a car in the US, but far less than it first appears.

For reference, a UK Gallon is 4.54 litres, and a US Gallon is 3.78. That's a difference of 20.1%.

MerlinPurple was getting 28.7 / 28.3 MPG in the UK, which given the calculation above, would be equal to 23.9 / 23.6 MPG in the US. That's still some pretty great numbers, and I'd have thought most of that would be down to the better fuel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rich8566 View Post
Daily driving I get 24 MPH and on Long highway slogs I get 29 MPG.
Your 24 MPG figure ties in perfectly with what MerlinPurple found, but your 29 MPG is truly impressive!

I am lucky to get 19 MPG daily driving, and maybe 24 MPG on a long highway run. The only thing I can think of is this being the result of the crappy CA 10% Ethanol 91 AKI fuel that we have here!

I can get 100 AKI fuel about 45 minutes drive from here, but I'm not sure of the Ethanol content. My plan was to mix some 100 AKI with 91 AKI to get a 93 or 94 blend, but it's a lot of effort to fill up like that, and I'm not sure if I'd see any benefits in MPG.
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