A friend of mine from YouTube just asked me whether or not he should replace his totaled car with a MINI Cooper. This is actually something I think about quite a lot. Would it be better for me to just drive a very small car than to get a hybrid?
In general, the small cars can get great gas mileage without requiring much in the way of advanced technology. I am certainly in favor of advanced technology, and providing incentives for car companies to develop it. But in the near-term, it might be better just to get a more fuel efficient car that doesn't require all the extra nickel that has to be mined for a Prius.
BMW's MINI brand has always seemed exceptionally inefficient for how small they are. Mazda's Hybrid Tribute SUV actually gets better city mileage than the 37/28 Cooper Clubman. But that's because they're attempting to strike a peculiar balance. While other small cars (like the Yaris) might get slightly better city mileage, the Cooper offers a far superior driving experience, front-seat comfort level, and even a convertible option.
Other small cars focus on thrift, as if the only people who want small cars are the ones who can't afford large ones. So while the Cooper's $19k base price buys you slightly lower city MPG than a $14K Yaris, it's actually a really fine car, with good acceleration, good handling, and superior style. Though I will say that the Yaris has a much better (and cheaper) repair record.
So, for me, the MINI Cooper is green for two reasons. First, because it brings luxury to the small car, something no other company thought was even necessary...because rich people want big cars. But, second, because the Clubman has the highest non-hybrid highway mileage (37 mpg) of any US four-seater.
written by Casey Cook, October 10, 2008
written by Magnulus, October 11, 2008
written by HH, October 11, 2008
written by Ben du Feu, October 12, 2008
written by The Chic Ecologist, October 13, 2008
written by Kyle, October 15, 2008
written by Smart Car Care, June 16, 2010
|< Prev||Next >|