Regular readers will know that my wife and I went on vacation this past week through the Southwest, and while we considered renting a car, we ended up taking our Mini (our only car) instead. Not only was it a way to save some money on an already kind of expensive vacation, but the Mini does pretty well in terms of gas mileage and comfort. No, it is by no means a Prius, but since we don’t own one of those yet, the Mini will have to do.
Overall, we (I) drove 2,458 miles in 8 days from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon to Flagstaff to Sedona to Santa Fe and Taos NM and back to Los Angeles. The first 7 days were easy drives of a maximum of 6 hours. The last day was a nightmare of a drive, 14.5 hours back to LA! Of course, the only place we hit traffic on the entire trip was coming back into Los Angeles and that slowed us down quite a bit.
Over those 2,458 miles, the Mini averaged 31.8 MPG. While not great, it is still not too bad, considering all the hills and the desert driving with the air conditioning on. Compared to a “regular” car that averages 23 MPG, this number saved us a lot of money on the drive. Our average speed was 57 MPH (counting the slow and the too fast times) for the entire trip. I could not be happier with the way the car performed on its first long distance trip. It held all of our stuff, only suffered a minor rock collision in the windshield, and is now sitting outside filthy and covered with bugs. I will put up a small photo album of our trip this week, along with a discussion about some things I learned and some eco-friendly purchases we made while we were gone. And if you have not been there, Santa Fe and Taos are incredibly green cities for being located near the desert!