Some Fuel Calculations

Spent last night pondering whether to trade in my “gas guzzling” Cooper for something a little less thirsty. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, so let me explain…. my monthly commute is about 1600 miles, most of that highway miles. Unless I take a big cut in pay by working locally, or my boss decides teleworking is not evil, this isn’t going to change. So, my fuel costs:

Gas Cost Regular Driving Boring Driving Civic Hybrid
5.00 $300.00 $270.00 $200.00
6.00 $350.00 $320.00 $235.00
7.00 $415.00 $375.00 $275.00
8.00 $475.00 $425.00 $310.00

In regular driving I can get 27 mpg, if I try real hard I can probably get 30, though I haven’t managed that yet. The Civic Hybrid claims 45 mpg but I figure 40 mpg is more likely.

Why did I use the Civic Hybrid as my comparison? I was looking at cars that I could trade in the ’05 and not spend much more to buy. This puts the Clubman or new MCS out of reach. An MC could be possible but I’m tired of driving to Escondido for servicing, and the outrageous costs involved.

Am I really thinking about getting out of the MINI? Not sure at this point, it’s possible. I’m depressed about the state of the convertible top, why keep a car that you can’t put the top down? I’ve heard a new top could be as much as $4000, I’d rather put that to something new.

The cost of (private) flying has risen worse than the cost of motoring. Plane rentals in my flying club are up to the $100 an hour mark, saving $1-200 on driving could mean the difference between giving up flying, and still being able to do it. As much as I’d hate to give up the fun of the MINI, high gas prices may mean that the auto becomes utility again.

7 thoughts on “Some Fuel Calculations”

  1. Make sense to me. I would maybe do some research on an R56 Cooper tho, if you wanted to keep it MINI. The mileage is the same as the Civic and you know it will be better to drive.

    Totally understand your feelings on service too. It’s really hard to have a good time in a vehicle that you don’t trust 100%, especially when you drive as much as you do.

  2. It’s not so much that I distrust the vehicle, more like I am tired of having to drive way out of my way every time something goes wrong. Be nice to take the car to a local service place.

    I do see some used ’07 R56s that would fit into the price category but they only say 34 mpg, which wouldn’t give me the boost I’m after, especially after the decrease in performance.

  3. Just 27 with a cooper? I get 29 commuting with my JCW MCS. I’d expect 40 with a cooper. Do you have a leak?

    Don’t forget that hybrids have almost no benefit at highway speeds, their savings are in around-town, stop & go driving.

    Perhaps an update to a new mini with its more efficient engine. Too bad the US doesn’t (yet) get engine deactivation and the other hybridish features that minis have elsewhere. Maybe next year.

    If you ask me, $100 is certainly worth having FUN during your big commute, as opposed to another car making it even more boring.

  4. Ah yes, I didn’t put the S in the post – my ’05 is an MCS Convertible so no chance of 40 mpg which would be sweet!

    One thought I’ve had is if it took, say, $5k to buy into something else it would take 2.5 years of gas savings (at $8 a gallon) to get my money back. Long before then I would expect (I hope!!) much more fuel-efficient vehicles to be available. And, when gas gets to $6 I’m working from home or changing my job!

    So…. I’m leaning to not changing cars right now, except that I’m very pissed that the top needs work so soon into ownership.

  5. Ah..that makes more sense. Well I would certainly rather consider moving from an S to a cooper before switching to a honda or other brand. Maybe wait for the 09 convertibles which will have the newer, more fuel-efficient engine.

  6. Actually my MCS gets only about 28 if I’m good but generally 24-25. When my wife drives it for a long period of time, MITM and back, last year, it’s gets way above 32 mpg.

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