Use 1st gear to get the car moving
2nd gear up to approx. 2,000 RPM
3rd gear up to approx. 2,000 RPM,
4th gear up to approx. 2,000 RPM
5th gear up to approx. 2,000 RPM
6th gear at your cruising speed.
Don’t accelerate up to maximum revs before changing gear. Instead, accelerate quickly (full-load acceleration). Drive in 1st gear for the length of your vehicle and then shift up quickly into the other gears when you get into the medium revs range (1,500 – 2,000 RPM). This allows you to achieve your target speed faster so that you can cruise along in top gear. Also try shifting up two gears at a time, e.g. from 3rd to 5th or 4th to 6th.
Lift your foot off the accelerator briefly when accelerating and the car will shift up into the next higher gear. We recommend that you use the eco mode or D settings with automatic transmission vehicles. Driving at low revs doesn’t harm modern engines, but driving at high revs does. It also unnecessarily increases fuel consumption and harms the environment.
Very high fuel consumption
e.g. driving uphill at 60 km/h
3rd gear 2,600 RPM = 13.1 litres
4th gear 2,000 RPM = 11.5 litres
5th gear 1,500 RPM = 9.8 litres
Traditional uphill driving methods are outdated. In the past we shifted down a gear before the incline to make the most of engine power. This isn’t necessary today because the engines in modern-day cars achieve optimum torque in the range of 1,400 to 2,000 RPM, which means you can easily drive uphill in a higher gear today. The accelerator pedal should be pressed all the way down to the floor (or approx. ¾ of the way down with a manual transmission). This reduces your fuel consumption.
Why? Fuel consumption depends on RPM, not accelerator pedal position. At a low RPM in a high gear you use less fuel.
Zero fuel consumption
Driving downhill is much easier because the vehicle’s overrun cut-off helps you out. Select a suitable gear and use the engine brake as usual. The fuel supply is cut off, reducing your consumption to zero. This only works if you leave the car in gear, so don’t disengage the clutch. With a disengaged clutch you will be using fuel unnecessarily.
Test out these techniques in built-up areas, on highways and on motorways. They really work!