It took a while for BMW to turn their Mini Electric dreams into reality. Now that they have, the clean, green driving machine that is the iconic Mini is a great choice. Whether you’re a Mini lover or want to lower your petrol expenses, up the fun and be kind to the planet, the Mini Electric is a great small car choice.
The Mini Electric still feels like a Mini, inside and out. She’s still fun to drive, still looks great and her classic image is intact. You will notice that she’s a lot quieter though and you can feel good about driving her. Both are big bonuses in our book!
When it comes to small electric cars, the Mini Electric has some pretty stiff competition. There’s the Fiat 500e, Renault’s Zoe and the Honda e, all vying for your attention. But, despite their e-credentials, when it comes to style and classic roots, the Mini is bound to take your heart.
Technical specs for the Mini Electric
The electric motor is powered by a 32.6kWh battery. That will get you from 0 to 62mph in under 8 seconds and a range of 145 miles on a full charge. Her top speed is 93mph and you can expect 181bhp and 270Nm of torque from the motor.
If you’ve been reading up on electric vehicles, you’ll know by now that the acceleration is near instant. The Mini’s all-electric powertrain delivers this in spades; 0-62mph in under 8 seconds, but 0-37mph in less than 4.
Although she’s heavier than her combustion engine sisters, she’s still fun to drive and able to keep up with the rest too.
The low position of the car’s battery gives her a lower centre of gravity. You’ll find the Mini Electric handles well. For motorway travel, you’ll be able to cruise along at decent speeds and still have the acceleration needed to overtake.
Around town, the Mini Electric is a little less nimble than her competition, thanks to the bigger turning circle. Choosing different driving modes – Sport, Mid, Green and Green+ – does little more than adjust the accelerator’s response. Green+ cuts the effectiveness of your climate controls to up your range.
Braking in an electric vehicle takes a little getting used to and even more so in the Mini Electric. Lifting your foot from the accelerator has your speed dropping off fast. That can be a little disconcerting, to begin with. It does send power back to your battery though and once you’ve adjusted, you’ll be using your brakes less.
Notes on the interior and exterior
Mini’s Electric comes with three trim levels, handily named Level 1, 2 and 3 to avoid confusion. Level 1 is the most basic and comes with 16-inch alloys, LED headlights, sat-nav and cruise control. Level up to 2 and you get 17-inch alloys, all the Level 1 kit plus heated seats and a rear-view camera.
The level 3 spec gives you everything that 1 and 2 have, plus a panoramic glass sunroof, front parking sensors, Harman Kardon audio and a head-up display for the driver. Regardless of the trim level, there’s just one power option for the three-door Mini Electric hatch.
Outside, you get the classic Mini styling. In 2021, she had a few cosmetic changes made. A wider grille, the same colour as the body, and removal of fog lights are the main changes. The earlier Mini Electric can be spotted by the grey insert grille and fog lights.
Inside, you get the expected round displays and high-quality feel. All trim levels get a leather steering wheel with multi-function controls. Little yellow accents remind you you’re driving the future of electric vehicles a little further with your choice.
All of the trim levels have quality finishes and the level of personalisation is what we’ve come to expect from Mini. The later Mini Electrics – 2021 onward – get metallic paint as standard.
Accessories with the Mini Electric
The infotainment system comes with an 8.8 inch display screen as standard. Sat-nav is also standard across all the trim levels and the display can be split. This allows you to show part map, and part directions, which can make finding your way in unknown territory a little easier. Map loading times are pretty good too.
The air-con controls are still large round buttons that are easy to manipulate when driving. They suit the interior design well and we’re glad they’ve remained as tactile as they are.
If you want to connect to your phone, you’ll need an iPhone. There is no Android Auto connectivity – yet. This may change when the next gen Mini Electric is released in a little under a year and a half from now.
If you’re looking for a used Mini Electric, we’d suggest you opt for a Level 2 or even 3, the rear parking sensors and camera make getting around town and into tight parking spots a whole lot easier.
The Mini Electric only comes as a three-door hatch. This means using her as a second family car is not ideal – school runs and trips away will be a squeeze. As a run-around or commuting car, the Mini Electric is pretty good and measures up well against her rivals.
Her smaller size is great for weaving through traffic and parking isn’t too much of an issue – particularly if you’ve got a level 2 or 3 watching your behind.
The boot space isn’t what you’d call enormous, but then it never is with a Mini. You’ll get 211 litres of space with the seats up, and 731 litres with them down.
We love the Mini in all its styles and engine types. The Mini Electric is no different, if the 145-mile battery range doesn’t have you worried, she’s a good choice for taking a step towards cleaner motoring. She’s fun to drive, in keeping with the rest of the range and, as with the other Mini’s, a generally reliable and easy to take care of set of wheels.