Sport Mode: What Is It?

Sport Mode What Is It

More and more vehicles are now allowing drivers to tune driving characteristics to their specific preferences.

One of the most popular driving modes is known as Sport Mode. Currently, Sport Mode is available in a variety of different vehicles from many top auto manufacturers.

Here’s a look at what this performance-focused driving mode offers.

What is Sport Mode?

What is Sport ModeIf you are looking to get more performance out of a vehicle, then you may have been intrigued by something called Sport Mode. So what is it?

By its simplest definition, Sport Mode is a mode that gives the vehicle a quicker throttle response. The result is a more hair-trigger response from the vehicle that provides better performance and a more thrilling ride.

Here’s a look at how Sport Mode affects each part of the vehicle.


The engine will receive more gas with less travel on the gas pedal. This is done by a modification of the Engine Control Module or ECM. With more gas, the engine is able to increase its power output.


In Sport Mode, the steering becomes more sensitive. Therefore, it doesn’t take much movement from the wheel in order to get the vehicle to turn. This can create a more exhilarating ride for the driver and the passengers.


The transmission will experience quicker shifts in Sport Mode. With an automatic transmission in sport mode, the transmission will downshift earlier and hold higher revs for longer periods of time.


Sport Mode will tend to tighten up the suspension on most vehicles. This will create a more “sport-like” ride on the vehicle. The vehicle’s occupants will be able to feel more responsive from the vehicle’s accelerations and turns.

Does Sport Mode Give You More Horsepower?

Sport Mode doesn’t give the vehicle more horsepower. Instead, it provides more fuel for the engine and makes adjustments to the transmission to provide a quicker response and higher revs in a selected gear.

When Should I Use Sport Mode?

When Should I Use Sport ModeYou should use Sport Mode when you want to have a more engaged feel with the road. Also, Sport Mode will be more ideal for highway driving or back road driving. Sport Mode will not be the best idea for stop-and-go traffic since you will be using more fuel and not be able to really enhance the vehicle’s performance.

For stop-and-go traffic and travel at lower speeds, Eco Mode is the way to go.

Downsides of Sport Mode

Downsides of Sport ModeWhile Sport Mode can be an attractive feature for many drivers, there are some downsides to using it:

1. Less Ride Comfort

If you are looking for a comfortable ride, you don’t want to engage the Sport Mode. That’s because it will tighten up the suspension and give you more road feel when accelerating and steering.

2. More Fuel Usage

Sport Mode pours more fuel into the engine with less travel on the gas pedal. That will decrease fuel economy. If you are looking to spend more time away from the fuel station, you will want to avoid Sport Mode.

3. More Wear on Vehicle Parts

Sport Mode provides for a more aggressive response from your vehicle. This is going to provide fast wear on your vehicle’s engine, transmission, steering, and suspension parts. Therefore, you will have to be prepared to replace these parts more often.

Popular Manufacturer Sport Modes

Popular Manufacturer Sport ModeBMW

BMW may be best known as a top-performance luxury automaker. The company’s Sport Mode takes full advantage of the vehicle’s superior handling and suspension. The result is that the BMW can give drivers some of the most thrilling rides on the road.


Dodge is known for putting lots of horsepower in their vehicles at an affordable price. Dodge provides a Sport Mode that enhances the acceleration on their top models, including the Challenger, Charger, and the Durango. With Dodge’s Sport Mode, the exhaust is notably louder and maintains higher RPMs.


When you engage the Sport Mode on a Ford vehicle, you will be able to fully engage the vehicle’s paddle shifts for quicker shifts. The transmission will change its algorithm to hold gears longer at higher RPMs.


With Audi’s Sport Mode, the vehicle will boost driving dynamics by setting shift points later. This will allow you to get more RMPs from each gear and provide a more hair-trigger response from the transmission.


While Honda is not known as a performance vehicle company, the automaker provides a Sport Mode design for more fun driving rather than aggressive driving. Honda’s Sport Mode is usually located at the rear of the gear shifter and will instantly stiffen the suspension and allow the engine to run a little faster.

Top Models with Sport Mode

Top Models With Sport ModeSubaru WRX

The Subaru WRX is known as one of the most popular rally cars on the road. The vehicles’ Sport Mode creates a truly aggressive driving experience that makes the most of the performance sedan’s powerful engine and all-wheel-drive system.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is the popular “hot hatch” that is designed to give you lots of performance in a small package. With the Sport Mode engaged, the GTI gives you a “Pocket rocket” feel with enhanced acceleration and a better feel for the road.

Cadillac CT5 V-Series

Cadillac has always been known for lots of power and a smooth ride. Recently, the automaker has provided a responsive Sport Mode to create a mode-engaged driving experience. The best example of Sport Mode in a Cadillac lies with the CT5 V-Series. This small performance luxury sedan packs quite a response in Sport Mode.

BMW 3 Series

For decades, the BMW 3 Series has been seen as the best small luxury performance sedan. With Sport Mode engaged, the 3 Series gives you even better handling and acceleration responses.

Dodge Challenger

The Sport Mode in the Dodge Challenger is designed to give you a louder exhaust note and faster acceleration along with quicker shifts. If you are looking to get “blown away” by a vehicle’s Sport Mode, then the Dodge Challenger is your best bet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in sport mode?

During sport mode, the vehicle’s ECM will permit more gas into the engine to provide more acceleration with less travel from the gas pedal. Also, the transmission will provide a quicker response while the suspension is tightened to provide an enhanced road feel for the vehicle’s occupants.

Can I always drive in sport mode?

While it is possible to drive all the time in sport mode, it is not recommended. When the vehicle is in sport mode, it is using up more fuel. Therefore, you should only use sport mode during highway driving conditions or during conditions where you don’t have to experience stop-and-go traffic.

Does sport mode use more gas?

Sport mode will pour more gas into the engine with less travel from the gas pedal. Therefore, your vehicle will use more gas while it is in sport mode.

Does sport mode make your car louder?

There are some vehicles where sport mode will enhance the sound coming from the exhaust. Also, some vehicles are designed to create more engine noise inside the cabin when the vehicle is in sport mode.

Does sport mode help in the snow?

It is not recommended that you use sport mode while in the snow. Most car manufacturers recommend that you place a vehicle in all-wheel-drive mode. This will allow the vehicle to send its engine’s power to all four wheels and provide better traction and control in snowy road conditions.