All About Honda Accord ECON Mode

With Honda Accord’s ECON mode, you can opt to save gas and money by setting your vehicle to drive smarter.
Written by James Ellaby
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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The Honda Accord’s ECON mode requires just the touch of a button to use and adjusts engine performance, air conditioning, and cruise control to achieve better fuel economy by up to 9.5%.
It’s been one of the top midsize cars in the country since the 1970s, regularly selling more than 300,000 cars a year. The Honda Accord has maintained its popularity by constantly changing with the times—and one of those changes is the addition of ECON mode.
We’ve got everything you need to know about your Honda Accord’s ECON mode, so let’s dive in.

What is Honda ECON mode?

Honda ECON mode is designed to improve fuel economy by adjusting the performance of the engine, air conditioning, and cruise control. It’s a simple button on the left-hand side of the Accord’s steering wheel, and pressing it turns ECON mode on.
You’ll notice the difference after you’ve pressed it because it will impact how quickly your Accord speeds up, so overtaking another vehicle might take longer than you’d expect. On a hot day, the AC might also take more time than usual to cool your car down. 
Here’s how ECON mode works:
  • Optimizes shifting patterns. Shift patterns can be a big factor in fuel usage, so the ECON mode brings in optimized CVT (continuously variable transmission) and transmission shift patterns. These help you drive more efficiently and keep your RPMs down. Less revving is good!
  • Reduces throttle action. The more your car has to open up its throttle as you accelerate, the more fuel is used. ECON mode halves the amount of throttle action when you’re accelerating aggressively.
  • Limits air conditioning power. Your AC can have a big impact on fuel economy, so ECON limits how hard the car works on keeping you cool by reducing the speed of the fan and the internal circulation. You’ll notice that it takes longer to feel like the AC is doing anything on hot days. 
  • Reduces fuel injection. The ECON button also reduces the amount of fuel injected when you’re driving and downshifts less frequently when set to cruise control. Both of these help improve fuel efficiency.

Does Honda ECON mode save fuel?

The official figure from Honda is that using ECON mode can lower your fuel consumption by around 9.5%, while dealers give the figure of around one to two miles per gallon saved. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can add up over time.
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What’s the difference between Honda Normal mode and ECON mode?

Normal driving mode is the way you would expect your Accord to perform, with regular acceleration power. ECON mode helps you conserve fuel, which comes at the cost of reduced engine performance and limited air conditioning power.

How to turn Honda ECON mode on and off

If you’ve ever pressed a button, you know how to work ECON mode—it’s that simple! There are no complicated manuals to follow and no fiddling around under the hood. Push the button when you want ECON mode on and then push it again when you want to turn it off. If only everything in life was so straightforward!
Unsure if ECON mode is on or off? Look for the plant symbol on the dashboard info screen. And if that’s too subtle, it also says ECON MODE ON right next to it.
MORE: Honda Accord Sport V6

Is Honda ECON mode worth it?

ECON mode won’t be to everyone’s tastes. If you love driving, ECON mode will make it a bit less fun. It also means you’ll have less AC power and acceleration—and on a hot day, while cruising down the highway, that’s the last thing you might want
There’s a reason ECON mode isn’t Normal mode, and that’s because Honda doesn’t expect you to want to drive your Accord like that all the time.
But it can make some savings, and with high gas prices almost everywhere, every little helps. Plus, using it from time to time can help you develop better driving habits because you’ll think more about your use of the accelerator and AC. In the long run, these changes could have more of an impact than pushing that ECON button—and they’ll also help to keep you safer on the roads.
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