by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on October 7, 2015
Some time spent with Brent Romans up north and Jonathan Elfalan's 800-mile road trip to San Francisco and back made for a fair fuel economy period for the little blue hatch, which averaged 29.6 mpg on 73.6 gallons of 91-octane fuel. For comparison, we averaged just 27.0 mpg in July. This upped the Mini's lifetime fuel economy from 28.6 to 28.7 mpg.
August 12, 2015
With just a few weeks to go in its 12-month test, our very blue 2014 Mini Cooper continues to peg our fun meter as its odometer approaches 20,000 miles.
In July, we drove the little hot hatch another 1,800 trouble-free miles, mostly in and around Los Angeles with an urban mix of city streets and clogged freeways. This type of driving is perfect for the small and responsive Cooper, as it fits in tight spaces and zips in and out of holes, especially in Sport mode. But it doesn't exactly make for eye popping mpg numbers.
July 22, 2015
Over most of the trip, the Mini delivered highway numbers in the 34-36 mpg range, which is well short of the EPA rating of 39 mpg on the highway. Our numbers are typical, though, as the Mini had two adults and their stuff on board. They also weren't trying to nail down the best numbers they could. We've seen a tank that averaged 42 mpg, so we know what the Mini's capable of when you're really trying.
June 26, 2015
Our 2014 Mini Cooper did a lot of sitting around in April and May. In the two months, we only drove it about 1,325 miles. In May, we only filled up twice. But it wasn't all idle time. We drove it out to Coachella and found it a good cultural successor to Woodstock Nation's VW Bus and Beetle. Erin used it in the day-to-day and found some things she liked and some things she didn't. And Mark found something that set his OCD to quivering.
But even though we came up short on our monthly mileages, we moved the needled a little bit.
April 9, 2015
In March we made an effort to add miles to our 2014 Mini Cooper, which had fallen out of step from its 1,700-mile per month pace. We ultimately covered more than 2,600 miles and smashed previous records for single-tank fuel economy and range. This also raised its overall average by 1 mpg. Take the jump for details...
March 9, 2015
Our 2014 Mini Cooper isn't hitting the MPG estimates set by the EPA. This is not surprising as tiny turbocharged motors tend to nail the test and then struggle when faced with things like 70 mph freeway speeds and hills.
February's a short month, but thanks to Brent living in the middle of nowhere and my trip to Vegas, we managed to throw 1,800+ miles on the Mini this month. I've included the first two days of March because that was the end of my road trip and I want credit for our new highest-ever calculated mpg of...
March 6, 2015
On a recent fuel economy update for our 2014 Mini Cooper, LTRTB reader Darex made a comment that stuck with me. "It is a FANTASTIC road trip vehicle. The sport seats are a 10/10 for comfort, and it's plenty fast and potent for the interstates...I've taken road trips in my MINI. It's as pleasant as you could want for this purpose."
My brain called bull. I'd driven our Mini for extended periods of time and while it's not rough, the ride sure is firm and I was sure it would be nothing but tiring on a long drive.
So, to prove Darex wrong, when the time came for me to hit the road for a Vegas weekend, I signed out the Mini.
February 6, 2015
January loaded up another 1,500 miles onto our 2014 Mini Cooper but it didn't move the needle (ha!) (sorry) in terms of fuel economy. The Mini is still punching well below its EPA mpg rating on all fronts. Maybe it's the ebb and flow of L.A.'s traffic. Maybe it's just too much fun to drive...fun-like. Or maybe the EPA's rating is completely wrong.
The numbers are on the other side.
January 8, 2015
We accumulated 1,278 miles on our 2014 Mini Cooper in the month of December, which was 500 miles short of our monthly mileage goal. Despite this, we achieved a best single-tank range of 316 miles and increased our lifetime average to 26.4 mpg. Take the jump to see lifetime fuel economy figures...
December 5, 2014
Our long-term 2014 Mini Cooper only picked up 1,336 miles in November 2014, but still raised its lifetime average one full mile per gallon from 24.7 to 25.7.
November 7, 2014
October has come and gone, and with it our 2014 Mini Cooper has covered a little more than 1,000 miles. We're still coming to grips with our Mini, which is a nice way to say we're still nailing the throttle at every opportunity to hear this rorty little three-cylinder do its business. Well ok, maybe that's just me.
You know the drill.
October 23, 2014
Small cars like the 2014 Mini Cooper are appealing for a variety of reasons, not least of which is their potential for good fuel economy. But earlier this week the EPA forced BMW/Mini to downgrade the MPG figures on all 2014 Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S window stickers as shown above.
Our 1.5-liter turbo automatic appears on the second line. It lost 1 mpg in each of the three rating categories. All three other Cooper variants suffered the same 1-mpg loss in the all-important Combined category, but things look worse for them because they took a hit of 2 to 4 mpg in the marquee Highway test.
The EPA says this came about after it "performed a fuel economy audit on the BMW Mini Cooper and obtained values that differed from those BMW submitted to EPA for certification." In short, EPA ran a spot check on its own dyno and got a different result.
BMW was then asked to repeat its internal tests with EPA oversight. Meanwhile, the EPA ran another set of tests in parallel on its own dyno in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The end result boils down to this statement: "The EPA is requiring BMW to re-label four of its Mini Cooper models with lower fuel economy values."
But that's not quite the whole story...
October 21, 2014
More than a few folks welcomed our 2014 Mini Cooper to the long-term fleet with raised eyebrows and incredulity. "Why would you spend $33,095 on a base Mini Cooper?" they wondered.
I'm here to lay it out for you.
First, the brand-new base 1.5-liter turbo three is no slouch. This is not the slug you may have encountered before. The new mill makes 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, and our automatic-equipped version recently scooted to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds.
That's about 2 seconds quicker than last-year's 1.6-liter base car with an automatic. Suddenly the more-powerful Cooper S is no longer the knee-jerk upgrade it once was. That's even true if you live at altitude, because the 2014 base engine now has a blower just like its stronger sibling.
And the 1.5-liter turbo is less thirsty, too. Our automatic is rated at
33 32 mpg Combined ( 29 28 City/ 40 39 Highway), which is 2 mpg better on the highway than the thriftiest base manual-equipped version of last year's car. It's also 2 mpg better than a 2014 Cooper S automatic in a combined sense and 4 mpg thriftier on the highway.
If we were comparing manual to manual the 2014 base Cooper's advantage over the 2014 Cooper S would be 5 mpg city and combined and a full 6 mpg on the highway. It's hard to ignore
34 33 mpg Combined ( 30 29 City/ 42 40 Highway) versus 29 28 Combined ( 25 24 City/ 38 34 Highway) when you're talking about an entry-level engine that can now dish out plenty of merging and passing power.
For us, there really wasn't much of a choice. We simply had to try out the new base Cooper engine. But it's true we could have one for as little as $20,745.
October 3, 2014
Our new long-term 2014 Mini Cooper has only been with us for a month and we've managed to log 1,072 miles on it. In the absence of any long distance trips, our fuel economy numbers are well below the EPA's combined estimate, and even below the City estimate. With more highway miles in the coming months, we expect our average to improve.