GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Mini - Hatch - D

Launch Story

Mini logo20 May 2009

By CHRIS HARRIS

AUSTRALIA finally gets the diesel-powered Mini Cooper this week, about 18 months later than once expected but in a timely fashion with its extraordinary fuel consumption and emissions levels given the current focus on green cars and running costs.

Priced at $33,750, the Mini Cooper D costs $2650 more than the standard Mini, which is identically equipped with the exception of the eco-conscious new car’s fuel-saving idle-stop function and regenerative braking system.

The new Mini Cooper D arrives in showrooms claiming the title as the most fuel-efficient car in the country with a hybrid-beating official combined consumption figure of just 3.9L/100km thanks to a number of technical developments the company calls ‘Minimalism’.

And, as Mini Australia national manager Justin Hocevar was quick to point out, the new Mini diesel combines ultra-low fuel use and emissions (emitting just 104g/km of CO2) with the sort of performance expected of a BMW-bred machine.

The Mini Cooper D accelerates from 0-100km/h in 9.9 seconds with the standard six-speed manual (10.3 seconds for the auto) and has a top speed of 195km/h (auto: 190km/h). That compares with 9.1 seconds and 203km/h for the regular 1.6-litre petrol-engined Mini, but we have no comparative figures yet for in-gear acceleration, which could reveal the diesel’s strength.

Unfortunately, the optional six-speed auto with steering wheel paddles not only costs an extra $2350 and adds 30kg of weight but also increases fuel consumption by an unimpressive 1.1L/100km to 5.0L/100km/h (while the city figure rises an extraordinary 1.8L/100km to 6.5L/100km).



“For the first time in Australia, buyers will be able to buy an extremely fuel-efficient car, with very low emissions, without having to sacrifice excitement and performance,” said Mr Hocevar.



“Thanks to Minimalism, buyers do not have to forego typical Mini levels of driving fun, premium quality and safety and a host of personalisation opportunities when they decide to purchase an efficient car.”

Mr Hocevar claimed that the Mini Cooper D was the first overtly sporty diesel small car, and demonstrated the potential of modern diesel engines more impressively than ever.

He estimated that owners driving the national average 15,000km a year would spend just $15 a week on fuel. That would be only a little higher for drivers in city conditions, thanks to the idle-stop function.

With only a 40-litre tank, the Mini D is still claimed to be able to get from Melbourne to Sydney without refuelling.

Although the Mini diesel sneaks under the guard of the current Toyota Prius – which tops the official government Green Vehicle Guide with consumption of 4.4L/100km and CO2 emissions of 106g/km – the Japanese company’s third-generation hybrid will soon arrive with a promise of a Mini-matching 3.9L/100km fuel figure and an outstanding emissions level of just 89g/km.

Honda is likely to undercut both rivals on price with its new Insight, but will not be able to match the environmental credentials of either car when it eventually arrives in Australia – delayed until at least the first half of 2010 due to its runaway success in Japan, where it was the top-selling car last month.

Mini’s Minimalism technology includes not only the idle-stop function and regenerative braking – normally associated with hybrid-electric cars but previously available in the M3 and 7 Series – but also energy-sapping oil and water pumps that turn off automatically when not required, electric power steering assistance and a gearshift indicator to tell the driver the best time to upshift.

An underbody panel is fitted to reduce aerodynamic drag, and aluminium components are used in both the engine and chassis to keep the weight down, but the Cooper D still comes in 25kg above the standard Mini.

The PSA Peugeot-Citroen-sourced 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine’s common-rail direct-injection operates at 1600 bar of pressure, and the turbocharger – said to be designed specifically for the Mini – uses variable-vane technology to ensure strong performance across all engine speeds.

It produces only 80kW of power (88kW for the 1.6-litre petrol), but torque peaks at 240Nm at just 1750rpm (versus 128Nm at 5500rpm). Like the turbocharged petrol Cooper S, there is also an overboost function that adds another 20Nm of torque when you floor the throttle.

Larger induction plumbing needed for the engine has required the Mini’s bonnet bulge to be pumped up, but, apart from the D badge on the rear, the only significant external identification of the newest Cooper variant is a larger, split horizontal air intake below the bumper that feeds the heat exchanger.

Like the regular Mini Cooper range, there is also an up-spec Chili model that costs an extra $2650 and gains features such as a rear spoiler, bigger 16-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery features, fog lights, sports seats and upgraded audio.

Share with your friends

Enquire on or Test Drive a New Hatch

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

Hatch pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.