I have a Limited AWD. I spent the first one thousand to two thousand miles doing a wide range of driving, in all three modes. After that, I settled into ECO mode for the most part, generally preferring it to Normal mode, and then using Sport mode every now and then when I wanted to "beat someone" out of a red light, to get into a different lane, and that kind of thing. But, I have tried driving quite a bit with all three modes, and here are some things I've noticed:
I find ECO mode to be entirely responsive enough -- if you want to go faster, there is absolutely nothing preventing you from pushing harder on the accelerator pedal, and going faster. But the main difference over Normal mode, as far as I'm concerned, is that it gives you substantially more accelerator pedal travel over Normal mode. For those experiencing difficulties with "jerking" during low-speed moves, I heartily recommend using ECO mode, because what you really need to do is give it just a little bit of gas (I think most people experiencing this are simply giving it too much gas), and having greater control over the accelerator pedal lets you drive more smoothly through these speeds. The other big thing I have noticed in ECO mode is when you're in Adaptive Cruise Control, like on the freeway, and how the vehicle will speed up when someone who has been slowing you below your set speed gets out of your way -- in ECO mode, it doesn't accelerate as briskly, whereas in the other modes, it's like the cruise control absolutely stomps on it. I definitely prefer how it works in ECO mode.
There's not much to say about Normal mode -- it's more about the other modes, and I have found some very interesting things with Sport mode. By all means, if you've got it in Sport mode, turn the MID display to show the power distribution to the wheels -- you will learn what Sport mode really does to use all four wheels to get you around. Frankly, using it around town was something I found to be just outrageously noisy -- it's like it kept the engine above 2,000 or 3,000 RPM, when it's far noisier than it is below 2,000 RPM. However, again, for those experiencing "jerking" in low speed maneuvers, give Sport mode a try -- and watch it use the rear wheels to help launch the vehicle forward. I was quite surprised to see how often Sport mode employs the rear wheels -- starting out, going up hills, going around corners, and so on are all times when you'll see the rear wheels moving the vehicle.
Just the other day, I actually did my first real bit of "curvy mountain road" driving, and after just going along in ECO mode for a while, I decided to give Sport mode a try, and my gosh, I thought it was a much more enjoyable experience. I was going uphill, and around a lot of curves, and I just absolutely enjoyed the experience. By all means, give that a try if you've got one of the models with the "torque vectoring" AWD.
In the end, though, I just really encourage everyone to try all of the different modes, in different situations, and find out what you like, what you prefer for different situations, and so on. I certainly have found substantial differences between the different modes, and it only takes a simple, quick button press to change from one to the other. It's like "how many times do you use your turn signals?" or other controls as you drive -- you can certainly change the different modes just as easily. I can easily say that Normal mode is my least favorite mode, and I virtually never use it now. I sure hope people aren't just keeping it in Normal mode, and missing out on what the other modes can do for their driving experiences -- by all means, give the other modes a shot!
2019 RAV4 Limited AWD with Entune 3.0 Premium and Advanced Technology package.