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Road Trip - 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,130
edited March 2015 in MINI

imageRoad Trip - 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop Long-Term Road Test

An apology to a reader, and a road trip in our long-term 2014 Mini Cooper.

Read the full story here


  • darexdarex Posts: 187
    edited March 2015
    Apology accepted, and glad you gave it a try. You cannot discount two other great features: the LED headlamps are FANTASTIC, and the infotainment system is similarly excellent. At first, I didn't care for the Harman Kardon set-up, and was disappointed that it's not really tunable, but somehow, I've grown to respect it, and even like it. Perhaps it has also "seasoned" over time? It's subtle and smooth across the dynamic range. The iDrive is a great road-trip companion, as it allows for complete control over all media (I am a big Web Radio consumer, but I have my iPhone tunes, and Sat Radio too). The Bluetooth connection is rock-solid, and I never have issues. The speakerphone has good pick-up and sound, and altogether, the whole system makes for a great road-trip companion.

    Still, I cannot understand why you got such low mileage. I definitely consistently get over 40 mpg on highway-exclusive drives in the 65-70 mpg zone. Mine is a manual transmission, and I have the 16" run-flats. Those are the only differences.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    darex, are you doing a real calculation or going off of the trip computer readout? I would bet you are really calculating it, since I don't think you'd make the claim otherwise, but that's all I can think of to explain the discrepancy.

    This is real progress toward the MINI being more of a car and less of a lifestyle statement, and the base-model engine is a real improvement in the value equation. The new one, if not loaded with options, is not too bad a value at all. The old one was a ripoff, even stripped, because it was so underpowered, and just more of a toy than a car. The new one has a lot more room in it, too.

    The praise of the noise levels is measured praise, though, and I cannot help but note that on a trip on the same roads and between the same two cities (LA-Vegas), in which the MINI averaged 70 mph and got 30.9 mpg, the GTI, which is 400 lbs heavier and has an extra cylinder and much more displacement and way more power, averaged 77 mph while getting 31.9 mpg.

    Some of the concrete noise and the tramlining is a function of the RFTs and not the car, but that's what they use on it. I consider comparisons of those factors between RFT and non-RFT cars almost unfair.
  • darexdarex Posts: 187
    edited March 2015
    I don't generally even bother doing fuel-consumption calculations except on road-trips. Daily, it's pointless, because in my city, we have to stop every few feet for something or other. I genuinely expect to get half or less of the HWY EPA suggestion, and nowhere near as close to their CITY value. I get in the teens, I'm sure. So, my anecdotal mileage info is by-and-large meaningless.

    As for the Golf, if it allowed for more flexibility in packaging, rather than frustrating me to no end, I'd have taken it more seriously, but I'll take the car that allows me to have it exactly the way I want it, over the one that repeatedly forces my hand, every time. As recently as yesterday, I tried to build a Golf, and got disgusted and cancelled it, when I was forced into a GTI Autobahn, just to get certain features I wanted. Good thing I'm happy with my MINI. :-D
  • So Edmunds, going to look into why your MINI is getting such poor gas mileage?
  • A really fun car can make it pretty easy to forgive little things. When you get a boring car that is also loud on pavement then it gets to you.
  • darexdarex Posts: 187
    This car can be whisper quiet at times, but on concrete highway, it can exhibit a lot of road noise, just as Mike noted. As soon as it changes to smooth asphalt, it's whisper quiet again. I imagine that's the case with most cars, and is highly tire-dependent. I can say, without qualification, that this MINI is vastly quieter than previous MINIs.
  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    My wife recently (last week) bought a 4 door cooper with the standard 15" non run flat tires. I find the ride pretty good and the car very quiet. The tires offer don't offer much grip in the corners (Hankook Optimas, seriously Mini?), but they are quiet.
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