I just bought my dream car, a VW Beetle convertible. It has a tiptronic transmission. Does anyone have any advice about whether I can use the tiptronic mode to increase my gas mileage?
Tiptronic mode in and of itself is not going to make much of a difference. If you use it and up-shift later than the automatic transmission would on its own, you’ll burn a little more gas. Similarly, if you use the tiptronic and up-shift earlier than the automatic transmission would on its own, you’ll burn a little less gas.
For the best fuel efficiency, I would just use the regular auto mode and make my starts and stops mellow. Pretty much the only time I use the sport shift (Subaru’s version of “tiptronic”) is when I want to downshift when I’m coming down out of the mountains so that I get better engine braking.
That’s what I suspected, that I would need to upshift earlier. I have never driven a manual before so I wasn’t sure exactly how that worked. Thank you!
The advantage of a manual transmission over an automatic has nothing to do with who shifts the gears, it has to do with the manual being directly coupled to the engine versus an automatic with a torque convertor in the middle. The automatic upshifts pretty much as soon as it can, so if you used the tiptronic to upshift it any faster, I’d suspect you’d be lugging the thing. Unless having it in manu-matic mode will remind you of the old days of air-cooled VW’s and cause you to drive more conservatively, you will probably not see any improved mileage.