The Prius is exactly the same. I assume the thought is that they want to encourage the use of the ECO mode. I don't see the big deal. Supposedly the other settings just require more travel to obtain the maximum performance. In other words, the car is not really any faster, it just feels "sportier." In Eco, on the other hand, the AC is run more frugally and the battery charge is therefore less, which ultimately does get better mileage. In my two years with my Prius, I seldom took it out of eco, just lazy I guess.I've been experemting with the drive modes. I noticed that if the car is in Eco mode when I turn off the ignition, it will be in Eco mode next time I start it. I also noticed that Sport mode is reset at every restart.
Not a big deal but I wonder why Lexus made the distinction? It seems like just as many people might prefer to always be in Sport vs Eco or Normal.