2007 Mini Cooper S: Seven Hours to Flagstaff
January 21, 2008
I'm about two-thirds of the way through my Mini road trip, which includes a stop in Vegas in addition to Flagstaff, AZ. Time constraints have necessitated more time on the interstate (and less time on back roads) than I'd like, but I'm hoping to squeeze in a run through the Valley of Fire before it's over.
In the meantime, I've found new ways to enjoy our 2007 Mini Cooper S. The turbocharged engine was energized by the cold mountain air and didn't seem to lose a bit of stamina during the climb to 7,000 feet. As you'd imagine, I, too, was energized and I drove accordingly. Yet, the car still returned respectable fuel economy -- I got 27 mpg during my most, well, enthusiastic stint behind the wheel (totaling 346 miles) and 31 mpg during a more frugal 332-mile period.
Our Cooper S also hit the 10K mark as you can see.
Ride quality is not terrific in our sport-package car. Over smooth pavement, the Mini feels impressively compliant. However, Interstate 40 is almost never smooth and you feel that, too. I would really like to see how this car would ride with non-runflat tires, though, because our Cooper's 17-inch Dunlops tramlined at every available opportunity and I wonder if they weren't mucking up the ride as well. I didn't have any trouble over the few packed snow/ice patches I encountered in frigid Flagstaff, but with Dad in the car, I was driving a little more gingerly than usual.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 10,503 miles