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This is an early impression, but to me the car seems to drive better with Sport Mode OFF. (The way it comes up each time you start it).

Test #1: Drive it around, try to keep your head on the headrest constantly. In sport mode, does it feel like you are getting pushed from behind when you go over bumps? It doesn't feel like the suspension is firmer, just altered.

Test #2: Doesn't the steering feel nice and tight when NOT in Sport Mode?

Test #3: Can you detect any performance difference in handling (cornering for example) between modes? My guess is, you would need a skid pad to measure the difference, if any exists.

Test 1 decided it for me. I had a Toyota Cressida that handled like a sports car on dry pavement. But on slick roads, if it bounced like that, sometimes you would end up coming down sideways. That "breaking loose" feeling is what I felt with the 500 in Sport Mode.
 

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Personally, I greatly preferred the steering feel in sport mode. It felt too soft and disconnected as speeds climbed in regular mode. As far as I know there is no alteration to the suspension in sport mode. In a manual at least I didn't feel much difference in the power curve, but time will tell.

I will say that I do seem to prefer the non-sport 'models' better though. I found that all of the negative handling characteristics (as far as day to day driving is concerned) were amplified in the sport or Prima cars. A much firmer ride, and the car seems to bounce around over the slightest of inclines at freeway speeds. Kind of felt like I would get sea sickness in a long trip in that one. Although as the car will mostly be a city car most should be able to live with that. I just prefer the smaller wheels and tires of the pop & lounge, between them and the suspension differences the car feels much more polished.
 

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I have only driven my Prima Edition which is a Sport with some extra badges. I find the ride rough. I attribute this to the short wheel base and thought all of the 500's would be like that. Maybe not. I bought this as a more civilized replacement for a motorbike. Ride wise they are about the same.

Since the PE has a stick shift I absolutely love the sport mode. I just wish it would stay there so I would not have to reselect it each time I use the car. While the standard steering mode seems tight enough, the sport mode gives a quicker pick up of the throttle which I find essential on a car with so little torque. I can usually tell when I forgot to select sport mode as I will stall or almost stall the car to remind me.
 

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All placebo effect - turning sport mode on unrestricts the throttle from 33% or so and ups the steering input response/feel as well.

The headrest is a safety feature, you're not supposed to actually rest your head on it while you drive. *The More You Know*
 

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Firstshadow is exactly right...

The bigger performance improvement is not running the AC which seems to come on anytime you are in AUTO for the temperature setting.
 

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I test drove a Sport so not too long of a drive but definitely noticed the steering tightens up - which felt good. Interesting comment about the AC diminishing performance, was there much of a difference?
 

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All placebo effect - turning sport mode on unrestricts the throttle from 33% or so and ups the steering input response/feel as well.

The headrest is a safety feature, you're not supposed to actually rest your head on it while you drive. *The More You Know*
This engine does not have a throttle. "The More You Know." The sport mode button is a gimmick, that's my opinion.
 

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With a manual, all sport does is change the rate of throttle response and reduce the boost in the steering. I prefer the sport steering feel.

In a car equipped with an automatic, the tranny should rev higher before it shifts, downshift more quickly, and shift faster/more firmly. Until I get to drive an automatic, I can't confirm this. We should have an automatic in stock in a couple or three weeks.

The suspension is unchanged by pushing the sport button. Skidpad performance, therefore, would be unchanged, too.
 

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That's a valid point. The stupid button may be there because of the addition of automatic transmission (which is not offered in Europe). I had the dumb idea that it might be something more meaningful than allowing the ECM to waste fuel. That's probably why they threw in the steering change. I bet the Chrysler engineers felt like they were living in a Dilbert comic strip come to life.
 

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It's basically Sport vs Economy. Sport is a lot more fun when there's room to play, but in bumper to bumper, I keep it off.
 

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It may be a gimmick, placebo effect or whatever but i never drive mine without it on. If you don't notice a dramatic difference in the throttle response then it probably is not working.

It really has nothing to do with economy.
 

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I go both with and without sport.
I actually like the non sport steering feel. It is easy and direct. And that's coming from someone who loved his BMW e46 (3 series). Yes, the response is a bit sharper when you hit the gas in Sport mode, but it also feels like a stiffer ride. I know that it doesn't effect suspension, but somehow it feels like it does. :confused:
 

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Sport in the auto is irritating. It holds gears during downshifts too long and makes the car all hurky jerky.
 

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Sport in the auto is irritating. It holds gears during downshifts too long and makes the car all hurky jerky.

Sadly this is VERY annoying how the auto car is all over the place, RPMs also hop around during light acceleration and low speeds, say up to about 15-20MPH...roughly.
 

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I could love with out it. Used it the first week of ownership. Haven't touch since. Might be fun on some curvy country road.
 

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I can't drive in non-sport mode. I hate the seeming delay between pushing the pedal down and going. Plus, I find that I can shift smoother in sport mode.
 

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Sport Mode

I do mostly highway driving at speed,and find for me the Sport mode on makes a nice difference in the steering...feels like it is on rails. I like the extra bit of tightness.
 

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Sport mode I think is only throttle response, steering and transmission

Sport mode I think only modifies the throttle response, steering and shift points. If you peek under your car you can see it just has plain shocks and struts to electronic/magnetic/or hydrolic inputs to alter suspension, so I think it is only changing the ECM throttle, power steering and transmission characteristics. I drive a pop with and auto and the throttle lag in non sport annoys me. I drove all types with manual and auto and sport seems to make a bigger difference in the automatics (which by the way I like the automatic trany, in sport mode shifting manually its great) and of coarse the AC compressor will add drag to this tiny 1.4L
 

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Obvious difference in the steering. If you don't notice that then it's not working or you're not paying attention at all.

Small tight streets are much more fun in sport, car is much jerkier in accel and decel, which is also more fun in tight small streets.

I don't use it with others in the car, as they find it annoying, but use it a lot when driving alone.
 
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