MINI Claims Diesel as Clean as a Prius

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

Drive dutifully reports the results of a MINI-commissioned survey of 2,018 UK motorists on the subject of diesel cleanliness. Market-research agency YouGov (who me, Gov?) discovered that “diesel-powered cars are thought to be way behind hybrid models for cleanliness.” Those of you equipped with a functional PR BS-detector will immediately note the “thought to be” proviso and the vague “way behind” qualifier. You’ll also fail to be surprised when MINI’s UK brand manager Andy Hearn follows-up this startling factoid by revealing that his employer’s new, oil-burning model generates CO2 numbers that are “identical” to the Toyota Prius’. This despite the fact that “just three per cent believe a diesel vehicle could be considered a low source of carbon emissions.” On the subject of relative levels of particulate matter emanating from diesel and hybrid engined tailpipes, the survey and its PR lackey the Cambridge Evening News showed no interest whatsoever.

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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  • Glenn Swanson Glenn Swanson on Sep 11, 2007

    There's a "new" concern out there in the scientific world, too: Global Dimming. Last week, I watched a NOVA show on PBS about Global Dimming (follow the link for a slide show). The scientists bottom line on this is that particulate matter such as those found in jet contrails (and diesel emissions) are adding up to block the amount of sunlight reaching the earth. The problem is stated as:'s become clear that air pollution can significantly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching Earth, lower temperatures, and mask the warming effects of greenhouse gases. Climate researcher James Hansen estimates that "global dimming" is cooling our planet by more than a degree Celsius (1.8°F) and fears that as we cut back on the pollution that contributes to dimming, global warming may escalate to a point of no return. That scientist says that the global mean temperature went up in the days following 9/11, when virtually all U.S. aircraft were grounded. However some scientists disagree with the hypothesis. The NOVA "Dimming the Sun" home page is HERE.

  • FreeMan FreeMan on Sep 11, 2007

    Hey, this Global Dimming seems to be just the ticket! If I can buy carbon credits to offset my CO2 production, how 'bout getting "Dimming" credits to offset it? Sounds like the earth's ready for all the particulates we can produce to help cool things back down! Smokey diesels and backyard garbage burning, here I come! Only partially tongue-in-cheek, there.

  • Jerseydevil Jerseydevil on Sep 11, 2007

    cool! I wish they would import it to the states. I like MIni's anyway, this would be an added bonus, as well as no doubt tremendous mileage.

  • Doktorno Doktorno on Sep 12, 2007

    I would pass on a hybrid Yaris but bring over the D4D Turbo diesel with the manual tranny and sign me up. Drove one in France for a week and had a ball. Ride and handling were pretty good and it made for an amusing rental.