I have an S and drive 80 on freeways that have a posted limit of 75. I've gotten 31 mpg as opposed to the EPA value of 34. Am I upset? No! I traded in a vehicle that had to be floored to hold 75, couldn't pass unless the road was flat and got 19 mpg if there was no wind.
Having said that, I think that I could have lived with the 1.5 liter engine especially after having driven a loaner from the dealership, but I'm not going to quibble over the gas mileage. Gas would have to go up a LOT before I would care about the difference the 1.5 would have over my 2.0. I do wish that we had the option of the diesel though. Can't say that I would have gotten one, but it sure would provide a nice option to those that consider economy so important that they would get a Prius over a Mini. They'll never know what they are missing.
I have to laugh when owners analyze their gas mileage these days and think that modern technology and engine gizmos is all that can lower fuel mileage. Not you guys, but in general....the "green cars" really have nothing on some 40 year old classics!
What can really lower fuel mileage is ridding cars of all of the "dead weight" and "luxury" that is built into cars today. I know safety item like multiple air bags doesn't make a car any lighter either, but we do need safety.
I have a 1973 BMW 2002tii with Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection. It is bone stock and on long journeys to car gatherings when I am flying along at 80mph this car can easily get 33mpg, and the smile on my face isn't from the great fuel mileage!!!
Oh, and it does have safety belts, but they don't weight very much. So a 2.0 liter BMW mechanical fuel injection engine that puts out about 130hp, with a 4 speed and 2.73 non-ls differential that weighs in at probably 2500 lbs "with driver" can get still get it done!
That being said, this is one reason I am finally buying my first MINI...I'm sure my smile will be just as wide, if not wider.
To the OP, if I had the opportunity to buy a family car with 4 doors on a MINI platform, like you can today, I'd be so absolutely elated I wouldn't worry about mileage...just enjoy the total package and be glad you didn't have to cart your family around in a 2 ton box like a "van" or something!
Well said O2fanatic. I have a completely original 1973 Triumph Dolomite Sprint, 2 litre 16 valve with twin SU Carbs that does 35mpg on a run that puts out 127bhp. This and the 2002tii were big rivals in the UK sporting saloon market in the UK in the early seventies.