These days, few cars slow down much when you release the accelerator. They do decelerate of course, and some more than others, but the degradation of momentum is generally slow.
That’s useful and economical if you’re good at anticipating traffic conditions and haven’t got an impatient type inspecting your back bumper, but cars that decelerate more strongly when you drop the throttle can actually be very satisfying to drive on the right kind of road.
Such a situation involves a twisty bit of tarmac requiring you to slow down and speed up as you take each bend.
Years back, late Aston Martin boss Victor Gauntlett explained the pleasures of engine braking when driving the Virage (sadly, an Aston that didn’t deliver the full suite of joys), whose engine braking allowed you build up a particularly satisfying rhythm of surge and retreat as you flowed trough bends.
These days few cars offer this pleasure, their engine management systems arranged to minimise emissions and maximise fuel economy, these requirements largely eliminating the natural drag of the multi-cylindered pump that is your propulsion device. You need to drive something old and carburetted to get the full effect. Or, it turns out, an electric Volkswagen.