You are right.
S stands for sport - this means that your engine changes up a gear at
higher revs; with your foot down it will nearly red line before upshifting.
E stands for economy the engine upshifts much sooner - even with your
foot down it does not go above 4500 revs.
3.2.1 means you can select your gear manually as you say.
The problem is that "Sport" setting will never select 4th gear and hence
always seems to be in one gear too low when you are not racing
around. "Economy on the other hand is hopeless if you are trying to race
around at some pace as you always feel in a gear too high.
If you are racing around choose sport. Otherwise choose economy for
driving anywhere it is much more economical and more relaxing. In
addition above 53 mph 4th gear locks up ( it feels like another up shift
but isn't ) This removes the torque converter from the equation and
increases the economy still further.
Also for reasons that I can't understand you are not allowed to select
4th in 3.2.1 mode either.
I find the transmission changes down before the bottom of the pedal
travel - then it can change down again as the kickdown button is
depressed. In sport this can be quite scary!
The best way to get used to it is just to choose a setting and drive
around in it for the day - see what it does.
Another thing that I noticed is if you start the engine in sport or
3.2.1 mode it automatically changes to economy - watch the switch as you
do it - peculiar.
Having said all this I still prefer a 5 speed manual.
The last box I had with this feature changed up at the correct speed in E
- and too high in sport. I dislike a transmission that hangs onto low
gears unnecessarily. In other words, in sports mode it would rev too high
on light throttle. On near full throttle there wasn't much difference. Of
course later boxes adapt to how the car is being driven and come much
closer to the ideal.
*The older you get, the better you realize you were.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
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