I'm curious and yet to find an answer relating to whether the settings available actually make a difference to efficiency, or if they are merely aids to help those who are 'heavy footed', so I hope someone might be able to help here. The exact answer will likely depend upon how Kia have implemented the system, but I have a nagging doubt as to the worth of using different settings.
Clearly, there are four options: D with Eco off, D with Eco on, B with Eco off, and B with Eco on, but what is the end effect on range and why?
Of course, there will be a 'most efficient' way to travel, that would take into account wind resistance, rolling resistance, and co-efficient of friction, but it would not be possible to use in the real world. For instance, I believe these 'cars' that try to travel the furthest on one gallon of petrol will accelerate at an optimum for the motor to a certain velocity and then coast until slowed to another speed, and then repeat the process. The record currently is 12,665 mpg...! No-one can drive like this in normal day-to-day life.
So, my question is, if you drive very smoothly with gentle acceleration and good anticipation, is it possible to achieve the same range in 'D with Eco off' as in 'B with Eco on'?
If so, what is the reason for even having B and Eco modes? For the life of me I can't work it out, other than to assume it is to help those with poor pedal control achieve the same as those who are very precise. Of course, Kia wouldn't ever admit to that, as they coud hardly sell on the basis of, "Don't worry if you aren't a good smooth driver, just use these settings and let the car sort it out!"
Also, part of this question hinges on just how much friction is involved with use of the brake pedal. For instance, if you have the same deceleration while using the car in B and no brakes as with the car in D and some brakes, is the regeneration exactly the same, or is some energy lost to friction braking?
Opinions and thoughts are welcome (but please no lectures or explanations about conservation of energy, as I'm fully conversant with that aspect!)