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Question: (maybe a stupid question, but I will ask anyway.). Can higher mpg be obtained if The paddles are used and if so, with what techniques?
 

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Not really for acceleration, I find I can cram more power into the pack by engine braking using them vs not.

Now if you use sport mode, keep your top speed under 45 mph you can lug the engine and beat it in regards to mpg.
 

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When the engine is cold, you can induce fuel cutoff going downhill using the paddles to down shift, when the footbrake alone would still mean an idling engine.

It's debatable whether this will actually save much fuel as you'll be warming up more slowly.

It's counterintuitive, but in hilly areas using the paddles to keep rpm high on long uphill stretches can prevent a forced regen later thereby sparing fuel overall.

Unfortunately, 7th gear gives higher rpm at highway speeds than leaving the car in CVT (which I wish wasn't the case). This it's likely to mean lower mpg potential at high speed on flat roads than of you left the car in D.

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