Blog : A most important statistic

blogs200806_08I’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.

Keith Adams

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