I’VE been driving a MINI Clubman Cooper D this week… and have found my passion for economical driving reignited. I know I’ve been going on about it a lot recently, but the current high fuel prices have been a constant source of irritation for me – and I suspect, judging from the rumbling sense of anger whenever I talk to people, it’s the same for you.
With the price of petrol hovering around the £1.17 per litre mark (£5.21 per gallon) and diesel at an eye-watering £1.29 (£5.74), I think I’m not alone in considering how and when I use my car. Fuel consumption – for me – has assumed a priority like never before, probably a little too much, if I am honest with myself. I am, though, a tight Northerner.
Anyway, as is the case with most modern cars, the MINI comes with a trip computer that gives you a read-out of instantaneous and average fuel consumption – and keeping those numbers on the display nice and high has become something of an obsession during the car’s time with me.
On Friday, I did the school run (a 15-mile trip on mixed A- and B-roads) and, without getting in the way of too many people, managed the figure you see on the left. This was without any special driving techniques; simply accelerating gently, changing gear when told to and allowing the stop/start to do its thing – and, you know what, I found that more of a challenge than many of the high-speed continental journeys which I’ve done…
I continued the test during my weekend away in the Peak District and drove normally without any specific concessions to fuel saving – despite lots of mixed driving on hills, in towns and on gridlocked motorways, the (not so) little MINI delivered 62mpg. I found that achievement just as satisfying as a fast time on my favourite stretch of B-road would have been several years back. Why is that? I hate parting with my money, or am I just getting old?
Either way, I’m not worried… even if perhaps I should be.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.