I also drive school buses. Two of our buses have a switch labeled something like "ECON." The owner's manual says the switch alters the shift points of the transmission to cause it to shift at lower RPM (earlier); but not so much earlier as to compromise performance very much. I cannot say whether they really help, since I am not the only driver of those buses and am not the one who fuels them.
Americans may be stereotypically lazy, but if there is one thing we can stereotype about British folks from reading the Fuelly forum, they seem to be mostly internet trolls who state outright false statistics and deceptively use the wrong units, in order to argue primarily bogus points, many of which have to do with British superiority and ridiculing Americans, and all of which are written with the assumption that there are no people in the world that don't live in the UK.
Since 50% of the Fuelly forum posters from the UK post in this manner, I would say this is a statistically justifiable judgment... though hopefully the other British poster on this forum is not offended by my unjust and unrealistic stereotype.
I have a 2012 manual Accent, and the eco setting for manuals is just a "reminder" light that tells you to shift up sooner, like the automatics do, ah, automatically. This often keeps the rpms below 2,000, but this fun little engine still gives you enough to accelerate.
I leave the eco on, so it kind of subliminally gets me to shift sooner and get a little better mileage. But I can ignore it when I need to at any time. This is a very fun little 6 speed! I like having control of the shift points, and it's a very smooth shifter.
I think the manual only gets 1 or 2 more mpgs than auto., but costs about $700-$1,000 less.
Even though the Accent was recently downgraded to 32 mpg/combined, after over a year, I'm getting 35.3 mpg with about 50/50 city/hwy driving.
I'm very happy with this "entry-level" vehicle! :-)
Decades ago USA driver's licenses were stamped "Automatic Only" if one took the test using a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission. Each State, of course, made the decision for itself. The general idea now seems to be that it makes no difference. Drivers are taught in automatics, which takes care of learning everything except the manipulation of a clutch and shift lever. It is much easier to "split" the learning between vehicle handling and gearbox handling.
If you choose to take offense easily, thats not my problem. I wasnt stereotyping, Americans are lazy, dont let me remind you of the obesity stats. When I lived there for a few months, I couldnt stand it. I actually felt sorry for some people, how can anyone have such little self control?
Anyway, this is a forum about fuel and the use of it, not fat Americans!