Eco-minded driver takes the dual-clutch automatic’s shifting into his own hands
17 October 2016

When our Kadjar first arrived, I said I was at odds with the EDC dual-clutch automatic gearbox’s idea of economical driving and that I’d go into more detail at a later date. That time has come.

What irks me is that the EDC ’box holds on to its revs for too long in each gear, at least for my liking. And what I like is to drive, on the whole, in a fuel-efficient and money-saving way. It’s so ingrained that if you get stuck behind me away from a set of lights, I can only apologise, because a key part of my eco-driving arsenal includes not accelerating away very quickly at all, using minimal throttle inputs and changing up very early.

Trouble is, if you’re pressing only lightly on the Kadjar’s accelerator, the gearbox assumes you don’t want to build speed and therefore don’t want to change up a gear. But I do. If left to its own devices, on a light throttle the ’box won’t change from first to second until 15mph, at which point the engine is spinning noisily at 2200rpm. But if you intervene manually, you can shift up at just 8mph – around 1200rpm – so that’s what I do, and ditto with the subsequent shifts.

Press the ‘Eco’ button and the EDC upshifts earlier, but the speed difference is only 2-3mph. It also makes the throttle response horribly woolly. The finer throttle response of the non-Eco mode is preferable and just as economical, provided you’re disciplined with the accelerator.

Not that all this bothers me much. In fact, I enjoy the added interaction that my manual shifts give me. Steering wheel-mounted shift paddles would be nice, though. My tendency towards economical driving borders on the extreme at times and I’d guess that to nearly every buyer of an EDC-equipped Kadjar, none of the above would be an issue. But there you go.

RENAULT KADJAR DCI 110 DYNAMIQUE S NAV EDC

Price £23,595 Price as tested £24,220 Economy 58.9mpg Faults Alarm going off (fixed) Expenses None Last seen 7.9.16

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Trading up from a Ford Focus

Alarm problems

Worthy Nissan Qashqai rival?

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Renault Kadjar

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Comments
10

17 October 2016
I believe accelerating swiftly to reach your cruising speed is more economical than accelerating very slowly, no?

17 October 2016
volvocu wrote:

I believe accelerating swiftly to reach your cruising speed is more economical than accelerating very slowly, no?

I agree that there must be a point at which the engine is more efficient at providing the total energy needed to get the car to speed and I don't think that will be at barely tickover revs but much higher up the revs.

17 October 2016
To accelerate you need engines torque. That is why you need to be in the engines torque bandwidth. Keeping revs low only helps fuel economy if you're cruising on a flat road. For hills and acceleration you need torque.

17 October 2016
Plus the inefficiency of the road system slovenly pull offs cause as less people pass through on each cycle of the traffic lights. The lights are there to avoid collisions not impede traffic rates any more than necessary.

17 October 2016
to use the lease fuel you have to get from A-B using the highest gear and the LEAST revs (within reason and without damaging your engine, use max revs to accerate then cruise is a no-no)

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

17 October 2016
I agree. In my experience, engines tend to operate most efficiently at low revs and wide throttle openings, so using highish revs with small throttle openings isn't good. Maybe the automatic gearbox is programmed to do this when the engine is cold, or when the air con is switched on, but generally automatics shift up incredibly early at part throttle - just as most eco driving experts would do in a manual car. #
Incidentally, I wouldn't worry too much about accelerating away gently - the real wastage comes in braking unnecessarily through poor anticipation. Brisk acceleration isn't wasteful, since it results in useful acceleration up to cruising speed when economical cruising can be achieved sooner.

17 October 2016
I was taught not to labour the engine - and I don't do that in the diesel astra I currently have and still get 42 mpg and that involves a lot of town stop start driving.

I find weather makes a bigger impact than how I am driving. I am not reving the nuts off the engine I change between 2000 and 2300 rpm generally, when I change gear the revs drop to about 1500 rpm tourque for the astra starts at about 1400 I believe.

Not sure the dpf will enjoy low engine speeds either!

17 October 2016
If this car really is delivering 59mpg (as opposed to indicating this on a trip computer), then there really isn't much to complain about despite the transmission discouraging low revs. I'm still certain that "downrevving" is the way to go for economy, but threre might be another consideration: very low revs might be a bad idea if this car has a dual mass flywheel. If this fails, then any extra fuel saving becomes quite academic!

23 October 2016
If its an auto it wont have a dmf.

23 October 2016
The author's driving style sounds ridiculous in the extreme. Im surprised more auto's arent fitted with paddle shift nowadays.

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