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How turbo petrols have made major changes to my driving style

I was never one of the very aggressive accelerators, I would rather do it smoothly, but I would build up speed quite fast

BHPian vinaygeorgejoy recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

This is my first write-up on Team-BHP, so kindly excuse any mistakes. I wanted to write on something I have been thinking about recently and a feeling that is echoed among my friend circle.

Ever since I started driving, I was bitten by the need for speed (like most teenage BHPians would have been). I believe I have always stayed on the cautious side (probably a misconception, in hindsight), except for the speed of course. If there was a road to do high speeds, I would have done it without thinking twice, and generally be overtaken very rarely, especially on long highway trips (not bragging, I understand the mix of stupidity and over-confidence).

I was never one of the very aggressive accelerators, I would rather do it smoothly, but I would build up speed quite fast, especially on single lane roads where overtaking gaps were tight.- I never really bothered about mileage mainly because of two reasons: I never had daily long commutes (so driving style rarely mattered in a significant fuel difference in a month-on-month perspective), and secondly, I have always had very torquey turbo diesels (which are in general frugal and you never really had to rev up to extract the torque, thus aiding the mileage). Most of my friends also belonged in the same category and the only optimization considered was time and never fuel.

But now, I have had to bid farewell to the diesel owing to the current car scene, need for a smaller car and budget. I got myself a Kushaq 1.5 DSG; my friends have also moved to similar turbo petrol DSGs in the same range. At the same time, my daily commute has increased to a considerable 40 km/day, out of which 20 km are on good 3-lane roads with only moderate traffic, while the other 20 are in medium-to-heavy Bangalore traffic.

This engine as most of you know has a bipolar temperament, if you are gentle with the throttle on open roads and keep it under 100 km/hr, it will give a mileage of anywhere between 14 to 20 kmpl on decent roads, while a heavy input will drop it to the early double digits in good roads and single digits in traffic.

This nature of mileage, plus my long commutes (which usually involve me listening to audiobooks), and maybe age (I just crossed over to the wrong side of 30s ), has resulted in my daily driving style becoming very sedate with revs rarely going over 2.5k rpm and speeds always hovering around 90 to 100, only occasionally going faster (mostly to overtake a stream of slow-moving zip-zapping cars). And, my display is always configured to show mileage from the start (this gamification of trying to get a better mileage also probably aids).

I was not that surprised by the above, as it makes sense in a daily commuting scenario and makes a significant difference in fuel costs, with rarely any significant gain in time (5 to 10 minutes tops). What got me was my associated change in behavior while going on highway trips. For some reason, I am quite addicted to the gamification on mileage that, it hits me when it takes a dip.

So, I catch myself hitting the cruise control button between 100 and 120 even on very open express highways, and my urge to be the fastest car on the road is long gone, I am overtaken frequently and I don't have the old urge to be faster (even when the road is there for it.) Another thing I noticed is that, it takes a toll on me now, when I am pushing my car to the limit (limits on Indian roads that is), and I don't feel comfortable doing that. Even on a closed flyover with zero traffic, that urge to push the car to its max (to see how fast it can go), is also long gone. I had never experienced this previously, I was quite comfortable and not tired even after long hauls at the wheel with fast cruising. I have discussed the same with my friends (with turbo petrol ATs) and multiple people have echoed the same feeling.

This got me curious to know, whether this is a feeling echoed by other BHPians. And what were the reasons for: better fuel efficiency? wisdom of age? preference for a smoother drive?

Here's what BHPian Thyag had to say on the matter:

The answer is in your post itself, you come from the background of good diesel engines and never worried or cared about mileage, but now venturing into the petrol vehicles your subconscious mind is playing spoil sport with your care free driving.

Pure Guess - You are spending more time watching YouTube videos, Teambhp rants and etc; seeing how unsafe our Indian roads and doesn't feel having fun in the roads anymore.

Whatever it is, the decision and outcome is good for you, your family and other road users.Happy motoring

Here's what BHPian revsperminute had to way on the matter:

Contrary to you, my right foot develops a brain of its own when it’s put in charge of a powerful turbo petrol engine. I’m fine zipping around Bombay in my City CVT in eco mode or cruising all day on the highway in our lazy diesel GLE. But it takes all of my will (and some more from my passengers) to keep myself at bay in a turbo petrol powered steed like my Octavia.

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