Does the Cooper really need super? It’s hovering at $5 in San Diego. I’d hate to be spending extra if it’s not really helping or keeping the car alive.
We answer this question several times a day. It is funny that with the high prices today people are worried about the few extra pennies that they did not mind when fuel was cheaper last year.
I can’t tell you if you really need high octane fuel. For that you need to consult your owner’s manual. It will likely say that the car requires high octane or it may say they recommend high octane. Since you did not tell us what year and model no one can really know.
If it says recommend you are save using regular, but you may be wasting your money. You car will have less power and will get less mileage, so you may end up paying more in the long run. If it says requires then failure will result in less power, less mileage and likely engine damage in the long run.
If it recommends regular, buying high octane fuel will not help at all unless you are getting knocking. High octane fuel (Premium) is not any better than regular, it just burns slower which a high performance engine needs.
Yes, it needs it, even the base model needs premium. Look at it this way, the base model has a 10.6 gallon tank and the S has a 13.2 gallon tank. At $5/gallon, bone dry, you’ll be spending a total of $53 or $66 to fill it up(imagine if you had an SUV that ran on high octane with a 20 gallon tank or more). What’s the cost of the cheap stuff, 20, 30 cents cheaper? You’re only saving a couple dollars if that.