Mini Lowers Cooper Hardtop MPG Ratings After EPA Audit


The redesigned 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop is one of those rare cars that puts a grin on your face and keeps it there even after refueling. The Cooper’s window sticker lists highway fuel economy ratings near or above 40 mpg, depending on model, but it turns out that’s not the case. According to the EPA, the frugal, fun 2014 Cooper isn’t as frugal as Mini originally reported, and the agency is dinging both the Cooper’s turbocharged three-cylinder engine and high-performance turbocharged four-cylinder Cooper S after auditing the cars in its own facility.

Related: 2014 Mini Cooper S Expert Review

What happened? “This adjustment was made as the result of retesting models following notification by the EPA that road load testing for one model had delivered different results. Engineers worked closely with the EPA to incorporate these findings into Mini’s computer simulation testing,” Mini said in a statement.

Combined ratings are down 1 mpg across the board for the Cooper and Cooper S Hardtop. See a complete list of before and after ratings below.

The most efficient Cooper with the three-cylinder engine and manual transmission drops from 30/42/34 mpg city/highway/combined to 29/40/33 mpg. Mini says it’s sent new labels for 2014 models in stock to its dealers. And for a double whammy, the Cooper’s fuel economy is rated slightly lower on a few 2015 models, like the base Cooper with an automatic transmission; it’s  down from 28/39/32 mpg to 28/37/31 mpg.

Mini spokesman Rob Duda explains in an email, “There are two contributing factors that caused the difference: (1) the added weight of the Mini Hardtop four-door (two-door and four-door models combined for calculation of MPG because of same weight class); and (2) a revised methodology for model year 2015 coast-down testing.”

The majority of Mini Cooper Hardtop models in inventory are 2015 models, and the Cooper four-door Hardtop goes on sale in January 2015.

2014 Cooper Hardtop New Rating (Previous Rating)

  • Manual 29/40/33 mpg (30/42/34 mpg)
  • Automatic 28/39/32 mpg (29/40/33 mpg)

2014 Cooper S Hardtop New Rating (Previous Rating)

  • Manual 24/34/28 mpg (25/38/29 mpg)
  • Automatic 26/35/30 mpg (27/38/31 mpg) photo by Evan Sears

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Managing Editor Joe Bruzek’s 22 years of automotive experience doesn’t count the lifelong obsession that started as a kid admiring his dad’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvette — and continues to this day. Joe’s been an automotive journalist with for 16 years, writing shopper-focused car reviews, news and research content. As Managing Editor, one of his favorite areas of focus is helping shoppers understand electric cars and how to determine whether going electric is right for them. In his free time, Joe maintains a love-hate relationship with his 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that he wishes would fix itself. LinkedIn: Email Joe Bruzek

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