With a daring driving character, an attractive exterior design and an affordable price tag, the quirky and attractive Mini Cooper Electric certainly has some advantages over rival electric cars. Unfortunately, its negligible driving range isn’t one of them, as the Cooper Electric can only go half as far per charge as other low-cost options like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf. However, it’s more fun to drive than those offerings, and its acceleration times are similar to gasoline-powered Mini models. Lots of creature comforts are included as standard, and the Cooper also comes with electric driver-assistance tech. If it weren’t for its relatively short driving range, the Cooper could have been a winning option for drivers looking to switch to an electric EV, but it doesn’t have what it takes to compete with the leaders in the electric car category. have to offer.
What’s new for 2024?
Mini has made just one small change to the offering of the all-electric Cooper SE model, specifically the Signature trim which is now available with an upholstery package upgrade. A production convertible Cooper Electric has been offered, but unfortunately, it’s a limited edition unit exclusively for the European market.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The base Mini Cooper Electric is a great value, offering a host of standard features like automatic dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, faux-leather upholstery, LED front lighting, hands-free passive entry, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Buyers can personalize their Cooper Electric with different wheels, two-tone exterior color schemes, racing stripes and interior trim.
EV Motor, Power and Performance
The front-wheel-drive Cooper Electric’s motor makes 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, and receives power from a 28.9-kWh battery. When we sampled a prototype Mini Electric, we noted its zippy acceleration. Our most recent drive helped confirm our initial impressions, though, as it also introduced us to an overzealous traction-control system that kept us from chirping the front tires and curtailed some of the fun. Still, the Mini’s trademark go-kart handling impressed us. We clocked it hitting 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, which makes it quicker than other small EVs like the Chevy Bolt EV (6.7 clicks). The model has two regenerative-braking modes: one that allows the car to coast like a non-EV car when you lift off the accelerator and another that is more aggressive and almost eliminates the need to touch the brake pedal .
Range, Charging and Battery Life
The Cooper Electric has an estimated driving range of 110 miles on a full charge, which is far less than options like the Bolt EV and Leaf. Mini says the car’s battery can be charged up to 80 percent faster in 35 minutes. If you’re using home AC charging at 7.4kW, you can fully restore the battery in four hours. The small hatchback’s two-mode regenerative braking system also helps in maximizing the battery charge.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
The EPA gives the Mini Electric a combined MPGe rating of 110. For comparison, the Bolt EV is rated at 118 MPGe combined and the Leaf at 111 MPGe combined. However, we won’t be able to confirm the Mini’s official estimate until we can test its real-world range on our own 75-mph highway route, which is part of our extensive test regime. For more information on the fuel savings of the Mini Electric, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort & Cargo
The interior of the Electric gets a 5.5-inch digital gauge cluster that displays the battery’s charge level, driving range, navigation information and other infotainment functions. Every Mini Electric features dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats and a unique heat-pump design that uses up to 75 percent less energy than conventional electric heaters when heating the passenger cabin. The introduction of ambient interior lighting with six different colours, adds another funky dimension to the cabin. Like the gas-powered Mini Cooper, the rear seat doesn’t offer much room, and cargo room is similarly limited.
Infotainment & Connectivity
The standard central touchscreen is an 8.8-inch unit with Apple CarPlay, built-in navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio. A smartphone app enables MINI Electric owners to heat or cool their car’s interior to a desired temperature before boarding. The Mini is also available with wireless charging and a Harmon/Kardon audio system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Mini offers electric driver-assistance technology such as forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, and rain-sensing windshield wipers and headlights. For more information on its crash test results, visit the websites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Key security features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking
- standard lane departure warning
- Self-parking assistance available
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mini offers one of the better warranty plans than its rivals, and the company also includes ample complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Electrical components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance covered for three years or 36,000 miles
2020 Mini Cooper SE
front-motor, front-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door hatchback
value as tested
$37,750 (Base Price: $30,750)
permanent-magnet synchronous AC, 181 hp, 199 lb-ft; 28.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
Suspension (F/R): Struts/Multilink
Brakes (F/R): 11.1-in Vented Disc/11.0-in Disc
Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3, 205/45R-17 88W★
Wheelbase: 98.2 Inches
Length: 151.4 inches
Width: 68.0 inches
Height: 56.4 Inches
Passenger Quantity: 80 ft3
Cargo Volume: 9 ft3
Curb Weight: 3099 lb
CD Exam Results
60 mph: 6.1 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.2 seconds
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 2.3 seconds
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 3.4 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.8 seconds @ 91 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 93 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 169 ft
Roadholding, 300-foot-diameter skidpad: 0.85 grams
1-feet rollout of standing-start accel bar 0.3 sec.
EPA Fuel Economy
Combined/City/Highway: 108/115/100 MPGe
Range: 110 miles
CD test explained