33.2 mpg on the Mini Cooper to 22.1- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    fc
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    33.2 mpg on the Mini Cooper to 22.1

    So I finally figured out how to use my trip computer. On my 30 mile commute this morning, I cruised from my house to the office using highway 280 in the Bay Area.

    I kept it under 3000 rpm (70 mph) and voila.... 33.2 mpg on the trip computer, door to door. I had no idea this car could be so efficient.

    Why, because for the last 3000 miles, my average mileage has been.... 22.1 mpg! That's what the computer says.

    What the heck is going on? I think I know but do you guys know ?

    The car is a Mini Cooper S with Dinan modifications.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/fcebedo/12112007YearHighlights/photo#5142937645826103874"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/fcebedo/R19iilly2kI/AAAAAAAAE_U/Dp6R282Nw9c/s800/IMG_2385.jpg" /></a>


    fc
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  2. #2
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    At a guess, either you have a lead foot or you are getting your gas siphoned.

    I know it is a performance car, but I'm surprised you don't get better mileage than that most of the time.

  3. #3
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    Its the skinny pedal!!

    And Harry, its not hard to knock a turbo cars MPG down REAL fast if you want to...

  4. #4
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by el_chupo_
    Its the skinny pedal!!

    And Harry, its not hard to knock a turbo cars MPG down REAL fast if you want to...
    That's the first answer... lead foot.

    I think there's 4 other factors here that are contributing to this travesty.

    At $4.25 for super unleaded, it's nice to know I can do 33mpg when needed.

    fc
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  5. #5
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    did you take a roof rack off?

  6. #6
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    did you take a roof rack off?
    Yes, that's answer #2. Hecka noisy, gas guzzling rack.

    fc
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  7. #7
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    Do you ever check your computer to see if it's right? I've heard of car companies having to make changes because of bad mpg reporting. Generallly it's because they read too high but hey, there's a chance that yours might read low?

  8. #8
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    Definitely check the computer against reality when you fill up. Built in fuel usage computers don't seem to be very accurate. Mine seems to vary by 10-12% or so depending on how I drive, outside temperature, etc. I guess that's not too surprising.
    "The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."

  9. #9
    discombobulated SuperModerator
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    Wow, I feel pretty good getting 19.5 in my Grand caravan with a lead foot...
    Road trips yield in the low 20's...!

  10. #10
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    The computer in my Malibu reads 1-3 mpg lower than my miles/gallons calculation at fillup.

  11. #11
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    A lead foot is a really easy way to waste gas. Many years ago I had a '90 Civic Si, not long after getting the car I made the 350 mile journey from Spokane to Portland in four hours flat(including a gas stop). I got 18 mpg on that trip in a car that I regularly got 35-40 in when driven conservatively. I should point out that that I've always tracked my mileage religiously and I was quite young and stupid at the time.

  12. #12
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holyhandgrenade
    Do you ever check your computer to see if it's right? I've heard of car companies having to make changes because of bad mpg reporting. Generallly it's because they read too high but hey, there's a chance that yours might read low?
    Computer calibration is interesting but that's not a factor here. It's consistent and I'm comparing apples to apples.

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  13. #13
    PCC
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    I'll play:

    1) Driving style (light foot vs lead foot - this is the big one)
    2) Aerodynamics (roof rack)
    3) Modifications (depending on the types of mods, this can either improve or worsen the mileage potential)
    4) Weight (did you unload a bunch of stuff from the back of the car? Lose some weight yourself? )
    5) The drive itself (freeway miles mean higher numbers)

    BTW, with a light foot, I could get around 32MPG when I used to commute to Redwood City from Daly City (about 22 miles each way). I did one trip where I drove from Daly City to the Sierras and managed to average 30MPG driving there and 36MPG coming back as I drove from near sea level to over 7000 feet above sea level. I averaged about 75 MPH over the entire trip). '06 VW GLI with the 6MT.

  14. #14
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoloRider
    A lead foot is a really easy way to waste gas. Many years ago I had a '90 Civic Si, not long after getting the car I made the 350 mile journey from Spokane to Portland in four hours flat(including a gas stop). I got 18 mpg on that trip in a car that I regularly got 35-40 in when driven conservatively. I should point out that that I've always tracked my mileage religiously and I was quite young and stupid at the time.
    Hey now. I wouldn't really call that gas wasted. And just because you got low mileage doesn't make you young and stupid. Same with us.

    Cars can be a passion too and spirited driving can deliver very high levels of happiness. Likewise with carving swiftly down singletrack.

    fc
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  15. #15
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCC
    I'll play:

    1) Driving style (light foot vs lead foot - this is the big one)
    2) Aerodynamics (roof rack)
    3) Modifications (depending on the types of mods, this can either improve or worsen the mileage potential)
    4) Weight (did you unload a bunch of stuff from the back of the car? Lose some weight yourself? )
    5) The drive itself (freeway miles mean higher numbers)

    BTW, with a light foot, I could get around 32MPG when I used to commute to Redwood City from Daly City (about 22 miles each way). I did one trip where I drove from Daly City to the Sierras and managed to average 30MPG driving there and 36MPG coming back as I drove from near sea level to over 7000 feet above sea level. I averaged about 75 MPH over the entire trip). '06 VW GLI with the 6MT.
    You pretty much nailed it PCC. Awesome!!!

    This car has pretty much become my biking car in the last year. I don't really commute with it. I just drive it 3x a week to get to the bike trail or do some spirited driving in the mountains.

    So your points are spot on. I'd like to add:

    2) Aerodynamics - The roof rack was on and there's always two bikes on top of the roof typically

    3) Mods are increased supercharger boost, increased fuel system and software, bigger throttle body. They seem to all rally together over 3k rpm

    4) Weight - yes, always two bikes and two bodies in the car along with a cooler of goodies

    5) Drive itself. Yes, this car is always in the neighborhood or on mountain roads. It doesn't like going straight on the freeway.

    And there you have it. And there also is the dilemna of the supercharged engine. It is very responsive and it sounds like Mad Max's car. But when it is in use, the fuel just flows. It's less efficient than a turbocharger hence it's demise on the 2008 Coopers.

    What's cool is before today, I didn't want to commute with this car since I get 22mpg. Now I know for sure I can get 33 mpg with mellow driving.

    ">


    fc
    Last edited by fc; 04-15-2008 at 08:27 PM.
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  16. #16
    igoslo
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Hey now. I wouldn't really call that gas wasted. And just because you got low mileage doesn't make you young and stupid. Same with us.

    Cars can be a passion too and spirited driving can deliver very high levels of happiness. Likewise with carving swiftly down singletrack.

    fc
    I'm all for passion and spirited driving but a less than experienced 20 year old sustaining speeds of over 100mph on a heavily traveled road is the very definition of young and stupid.

    I also once drove through downtown Atlanta in a brand new ACOG 540i at 145 at mid-day. I was even younger and stupider then.
    Last edited by SoloRider; 04-15-2008 at 05:36 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoloRider
    I'm all for passion and spirited driving but a less than experienced 20 year old sustaining speeds of over 100mph on a heavily traveled road is the very definition of young and stupid.

    I also once drove through downtown Atlanta in a brand new ACOG 540i at 145 at mid-day. I was even younger and stupider then.
    Gotcha! It is remarkable we all made it past our teen, tweens driving years.

    fc
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  18. #18
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    33 mpg is freakin' awesome for a supercharged car. What is the mpg for the non-modified Cooper S?

  19. #19
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    33 mpg is freakin' awesome for a supercharged car. What is the mpg for the non-modified Cooper S?
    I used to have one of them normal Coopers. Best mileage is about the same at 33 mpg. That's because it's the same engine without the supercharger. Output was 115 hp so worst mileage was in the high 20s too. The new modded S has 210 horse.

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  20. #20
    jrm
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    yeah but in how many seconds?

    Have you hooked the ECu up for a error code analysis? Could be as easy as a ECu reset or software update....

  21. #21
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    You pretty much nailed it PCC. Awesome!!!

    fc
    I'd pat myself on the back except that I got tennis elbow from patting myself on my back for other things

    I was thinking about the Clubman S but I'm happy with my GLI so I'm not trading it in any time soon.

  22. #22
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    You try....

    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    You pretty much nailed it PCC. Awesome!!!

    This car has pretty much become my biking car in the last year. I don't really commute with it. I just drive it 3x a week to get to the bike trail or do some spirited driving in the mountains.

    So your points are spot on. I'd like to add:

    2) Aerodynamics - The roof rack was on and there's always two bikes on top of the roof typically

    3) Mods are increased supercharger boost, increased fuel system and software, bigger throttle body. They seem to all rally together over 3k rpm

    4) Weight - yes, always two bikes and two bodies in the car along with a cooler of goodies

    5) Drive itself. Yes, this car is always in the neighborhood or on mountain roads. It doesn't like going straight on the freeway.

    And there you have it. And there also is the dilemna of the supercharged engine. It is very responsive and it sounds like Mad Max's car. But when it is in use, the fuel just flows. It's less efficient than a turbocharger hence it's demise on the 2008 Coopers.

    What's cool is before today, I didn't want to commute with this car since I get 22mpg. Now I know for sure I can get 33 mpg with mellow driving.

    ">


    fc
    ... short shifting?

    I'll bet there is another 2-3-5 MPG in short shifting. Try using full throttle more, use the shift point to control your speed, but don't get above 2200 RPM except in top gear on the freeway. See what that does for you.

    I also try to drive behind big SUVs and trucks.... not too closely of course... not tailgating. There is a draft there, even at a safe following distance, as long as there isn't too much of a crosswind. Bonus points for finding a conga line of SUVs and trucks on the freeway. My bro-inlaw used to get his Geo Metro up to 75 mpg by drafting... probably too closely... on his commute.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 04-17-2008 at 12:22 AM.

  23. #23
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    42 mpg on our Mini

    We avoided the "S" like the plague. MPG trumps MPH these days.

    Our '07 Cooper regularly gets 42 mpg highway and averages around 36 mpg city/highway.

    With gas rapidly heading to $4/gallon or higher, we never regret our decision to avoid the "S." With a six-speed and sport suspension, the Cooper with 118 horse power is more fun than sex in a car. The "S" would only be a sinful orgy and, besides, its my wifes car and she thinks the scoop on the hood kills the lines. I kind of agree.

  24. #24
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    Doesn't it take premium fuel, even without the S?

  25. #25
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    Yes

    We use mid-range in out non-S with no problems.

  26. #26
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    Hate to burst the bubble, but, with a bike rack on the back, 98 VW jetta TDI, with the Bionicon..... 49-51 MPG on $4.25 a gallon diesel all day and all night long, 700 miles to the fillup. But then, I have to admit I have a love affair for torque. About 200 ft lbs, from a 1.9 L motor, Bosch 205 micron factory Euro nozzles, at 1900 rpm, a very, very usable part of the power band down low on the tachometer and the engine. HP peaks at a mere 110 crank, shows 92 to 94 at the wheel according to my friends accelerometer 1/4 mile gauge over 20 runs.

    And if you don't want to screw with installing a 1 1/4" trailer hitch and buying a rack, you can just stuff your bike in the trunk and still sit 4.


  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba
    We avoided the "S" like the plague. MPG trumps MPH these days.

    Our '07 Cooper regularly gets 42 mpg highway and averages around 36 mpg city/highway.

    With gas rapidly heading to $4/gallon or higher, we never regret our decision to avoid the "S." With a six-speed and sport suspension, the Cooper with 118 horse power is more fun than sex in a car. The "S" would only be a sinful orgy and, besides, its my wifes car and she thinks the scoop on the hood kills the lines. I kind of agree.
    See? That's what I would expect from a normally aspirated Cooper. That rocks!

    When I first posted in this thread, I didn't realize the "S" model was supercharged. What I remember hearing some years ago was that superchargers, unlike turbos, provided instant output, but at a greater fuel cost. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda have had normally aspirated gas engines that routinely produce mileage in the 30+ mpg range, in much larger cars than the mini. So why wouldn't a normally aspirated mini with horsepower comparable to a larger car deliver better fuel mileage?

    On another note, RandyBoy's TDI sounds good, and is not too surprising. I'm old enough to have been driving in the ''70s and dealt with the OPEC embargoes, gas rationing, even/odd sales, etc. I knew guys in San Diego that bought diesel VW Rabbits that got 50 mpg, then drove those cars to Mexico to fuel up on 20 cents per galon diesel

    ps. I've got a neighbor who owns a TDI. You can't buy them new in California. I wonder how current year models are doing, and how hard they are to buy used.

  28. #28
    dh1
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    I've been driving a John Cooper Works MINI cooper S for the last few months. How you drive can have a dramatic impact on your economy. Seriously can cut it by 40% if you take off like a jackrabbit all the time. It's hard not to drive like a "rally car" driver when you drive a JCW MINI. Just feels good when it's all dialed in right.

    Do yourself a favor if yours doesn't have a boost gague, install one and consider it an economy gague. If you start to spool up your boost, you are exchanging the fuel economy for extra HP. Simple as that.

    I can't tell you what this 04 JCW mini gets in Highway economy, but it is over 30mpg.

    FWIW, I used to own a BMW 740iL (MY 93), and that giant sedan got 27 mpg on the freeway. More than once i got over 500 miles on one tank of gas

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    See? That's what I would expect from a normally aspirated Cooper. That rocks!

    When I first posted in this thread, I didn't realize the "S" model was supercharged. What I remember hearing some years ago was that superchargers, unlike turbos, provided instant output, but at a greater fuel cost. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda have had normally aspirated gas engines that routinely produce mileage in the 30+ mpg range, in much larger cars than the mini. So why wouldn't a normally aspirated mini with horsepower comparable to a larger car deliver better fuel mileage?

    On another note, RandyBoy's TDI sounds good, and is not too surprising. I'm old enough to have been driving in the ''70s and dealt with the OPEC embargoes, gas rationing, even/odd sales, etc. I knew guys in San Diego that bought diesel VW Rabbits that got 50 mpg, then drove those cars to Mexico to fuel up on 20 cents per galon diesel

    ps. I've got a neighbor who owns a TDI. You can't buy them new in California. I wonder how current year models are doing, and how hard they are to buy used.
    Well, I believe VW has a 50 states legal TDI coming for the 2009's, probably by August this year they will be on showroom floors for sale.. They are advertising about them on TV now, stating that the mileage is mid 40's around town and mid 50's on the highway.

    A lot of idiots have hyped the used price of TDI's up through the roof touting fuel savings offsetting the price. What they don't tell you is the increased maintenance costs for running a diesel. That and VW's break quite frequently. I don't recommend VW's as girlie cars... you need to know how to do your own work or leave the car in the shop frequently with a fat repair bill. TDI's need a lot of hand holding and TLC when they get miles on them, a lot of little PIA piss ant stuff breaks on them that needs fixing all the time.

    Stuff like ignitions switches failing, glove boxes falling off, solder on electric door locks cracking and creating malfunctions, trunk locks no longer working, injector pumps getting wrecked/corroded by boneheads that misfuel, or don't read their owners manuals on what constitutes fuel and what constitutes misfueling. Batteries getting low and blowing up the electronics in the dash panel, no odometer or gauges, etc.

    You don't want to buy a TDI used that's been misfueled, There is a good reason why VW scores so low in Consumer Guides reports for maintenance and repair.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holyhandgrenade
    Doesn't it take premium fuel, even without the S?
    Theoretically, yes. But the GF unit has the plain Cooper and you can easily use regular in the winter months without notice. The only time she got a ping was on a hot summer day with four people on board.

    I notice the newer S with the turbo motor is way more efficient than the supercharged model was. I regularly get 34.1 mpg with easy use and a trip upstairs from time to time. The trick I've found is to gun it before long downhills so you get the 99.9 mpg noticifcation for as long as possible to make up for the extra juice.

  31. #31
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    Great resale I would guess

    With a 4-year, 50K, bumper to bumper warranty and great resale, it might just be worth it to sell the new VW TDI when the warranty runs out and buy a new one. At least you can take advantage of excellent mileage and not have to pay for repairs.

    We plan to do this with the Mini. After 50,000 miles we figure to get around 15K for it, add 10K and have a new car with all the maintenance paid for. I'm sure if you do the math it comes out cheaper to run the car into the ground but for 10K, I'd rather get a new one and take advantage of new technology.

    I'm not claiming this is the most rational way to own a car but not having to worry about repairs and breakdowns is worth something to me. I've certainly spend years of my life driving cars into the ground and have long ago lost any romantic notions of how great it is to drive an old car.

    As for my other car, a Subaru Outback with a 6-cylinder, we may keep that for a very long time and only use it when we need a larger vehicle which is not all that often. (or drive to New England to ski). That car might well be run into the ground but being Japanese (American actually since the Legacy Outback is built in Indiana and has over 50% US content), it shouldn't have the problems German cars have.


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