• Jul 22, 2008
click on the MINI Cooper D for a high-res gallery

Back in the 70s, the first great oil shock threatened to obliterate the fun in driving. This time around, that's not the case. Modern electronic management systems and highly efficient engines are allowing engineers to create drivetrains that provide outstanding fuel economy and performance. Combine those two elements with a great chassis and you can have a blast behind the wheel -- without draining your wallet or your conscience. Such was the case with AutoblogGreen, which had the opportunity to spend a few days thrashing some European unobtanium, courtesy of Bosch Automotive Systems. The MINI Cooper D (as in diesel power) combines 177 lb.-ft. of torque with the already competent MINI chassis, and delivers driving thrills while returning a massive 47 mpg! Head over to AutoblogGreen for the full review.


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  • 48 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      For comparison:

      47 mpg equals 9.4 miles per dollar if diesel is $5 per gallon.

      This is equivalent to 37.6 mpg in a car that uses regular unleaded at $4 per gallon.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Let me correct myself. Avg reg gas price is currently $4.06 and avg diesel is $4.80.

        So 47 mpg diesel is equivalent to 39.75 mpg reg unleaded.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yup, and we get ~38mpg in the wife's Cooper S on the freeway, 32-34 in mixed driving, depending on how much bumper to bumper we see. I suspect the base 'justacooper' does slightly better.

        If you're talking Jetta TDI versus SMART, that's one thing... you're getting a trunk, seating for four, and a "real" car at the same relative fuel costs. Not a contest.

        But here, you've got all the same pros and cons as the standard non-S MINI Cooper, you can just go further between fillups (albeit much, much slower). Whee.

        Oh, and Autoblog... please don't quote autobloggreen's sexy number (177 lb-ft of torque) to the exclusion of the ugly ones (108hp, 0-60 in "just under ten seconds"). "Driving thrills," my arse.
        • 6 Years Ago
        PS -

        My Miata gets 30 mpg.

        At those fuel prices, the fuel cost difference between my Miata and a diesel Mini is $3321 over 100,000 miles.

        I'm betting that the optional diesel engine costs at least that much, especially considering that you pay sales tax, property tax, and finance charge on the higher purchase price.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thank you for posting those before everyone came and hated. To bad they wont pay attention and completely ignore this anyway. OI
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes who really cares about the cost of a gallon of gas when you get 40 Miles + per gallon. We need cars like this to help the planet and take money out of the Oil Companies pockets.

      If you are in the market to buy a new or used Mini Cooper in the South Florida area please check out
      www.Driveaminicooper.com/blogs/
      • 6 Years Ago
      "...and highly efficient engines are allowing.."

      Highly efficient engines? I hate when people say that, especially about cars. Modern car engines are ridiculously inefficient (40% or even lower of usable fuel energy actually gets to your wheels, or so). Why do you think cars have radiators at the front? If engines were really efficient, they wouldn't produce excess heat, and wouldn't need radiators. Next time you see a radiator or the front grill, think of it as a symbol for the car's inefficiency.
      You also shouldn't need motor oil if you make highly precise parts, but auto makers save dough by sand-casting engines and installing radiators...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ok, if we were living on perfect world.

        Highly efficient is probably a relative comparison to other automotive engines. Even 40% is more efficient now than mass produced automobiles have been in the past. Research and Development have not been wasted over the decades.

        Even turbocharged engines that recycle heat energy back into additional pressure, then additional kinetic energy don't have low heat emissions, they usually have MORE excess heat. even simpler axial compression jet engines make excess heat that doesn't translate directly into thrust.

        Electric motors produce heat, as well. Heat is a natural byproduct of most energy conversion, nothing approaches 100% efficiency, and gives off no excess heat, even non-combustion energy conversion. Especially not combustion-based engines.

        And no manufacturer has the sort of mass production, high precision parts to the point of not needing lubrication, especially at cold start. Cars are not multi-million dollar pieces of one-off equipment. They also don't operate in the vacuum of space, and a single grain of grit could seize or damage an engine with such tight tolerances.

        I don't know if you build parts for the International Space Station, or what... but I think you need to come back down to earth.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't get the obsession with diesel torque. You're tooling around town with all this torque, but as soon as you want to let fly, the diesel runs out of breath in a big hurry...
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you're bent on going excessively fast, go test drive a 9-3 TTiD.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You got to love the Oil Companies. They limit the supply of diesel and raise the price. With some automakers planning to introduce diesel vehicle to the masses this is great strategy on the Oil companies part.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ckm:
        Prices of Diesel are way up in Europe too.

        A big part of the problem is what we think of as Diesel isn't the same thing Diesel was 10 years ago. It used to just be a rough weight of relatively unrefined (only separated) petroleum molecules. It was nearly identical to fuel oil. Now it has to be processed a lot more (like removing the sulfur) before it becomes Diesel fuel so that it doesn't clog up high pressure injectors and catalytic converters. And that is driving the price up in the US and Europe.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Probably due to the fact that US prefered petrol all along (until recently), all its refineries are geared at producing petrol and not a lot of diesel unlike European refineries which produce equally diesel and petrol, thus the expensive diesel in the US and the ubiquitous diesel car in Europe
        • 6 Years Ago
        Less demand??? Diesel is in it's highest demand since it was first discovered. The price used to be so low because it wasn't in demand. In fact it used to be a "waste product" of gasoline manufacturing. Little did they know...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, you are all wrong. Diesel is more expensive in the US as it is taxed at a higher rate than gas. The reverse is true in Europe, ironically....

      • 6 Years Ago
      This appears to be the perfect car for the city and then out to the cabin on the weekends.
      Road trips beyond cabin country however... Not quite as great.
      I'd love one as a second car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Um, for some of us we have a Cooper S already. That car uses premium (all coopers do) and I get 30 mpg driving it hard. At $4.60 for premium and $5 for diesel, a 47 mpg Cooper D represents a savings of about $700 a year (15000 miles).

      I'm looking at switching cars soon and the only cars I'm looking at use premium or diesel. There's not a decent car made, that I know of, that takes regular gas.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Except that's it's still a Civic, which isn't really comparable to a Cooper. That's like saying that your Camry got better mileage than a M3. Yeah, and so what?
        • 6 Years Ago
        You ought to get out more. There are tons of cars that use regular gas that get excellent fuel economy. My 1994 Civic that just did 38mpg which is virtually the same cost as the MiniCooper on diesel, except mine can actually hold some luggage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It would be nice if we stopped getting reamed on the price of premium. It should actually be cheaper if it's ethanol blended.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll take a passat TDI now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Talk to the folks at http://northamericanmotoring.com about the Mini's inconsistent reliability record. The money saved from burning diesel might not be enough to cover the repair bills.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mini Cooper>>>>>Toyota Prius.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It doesn't matter to me because I don't have a family.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ok, now fit four people and a weekend's luggage into a Mini. Go on, I'd like to see you try.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow I was just thinking about this car literally as I typed in "Autoblog.com"

      I dunno. I'd still take a MiTo over this. The Interior is the biggest hurdle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You type www.autoblog.com??
        I see you comment here so frequently I think Autoblog is your homepage or at the very list in your bookmarks and history tab.
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