MINI Electric Review
The Mini Electric is a stylish small car that’s fun to drive and cheap to run
Strengths & weaknesses
The Mini Electric is a small car closely linked to the petrol-powered Mini Hatchback, but with electric power only. It looks just like its sibling, but benefits from near-silent motors, low running costs, plenty of performance and a fun driving experience.
The model was launched in 2020, then updated in 2021, but the car didn’t change too much - just a new grille, more paint options, a new media system and some more equipment. There is only one power option: a 184hp electric motor.
It uses a 32.6kWh battery, which is quite small but it allows a range of 143 miles according to official figures. This is quite a way off some of its rivals, such as the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208, so the Mini’s main appeal is its style and enjoyable drive.
Another rival that’s more closely aligned to the Mini’s ethos is the Honda e, which is also focused on style and comfort above driving range.
It’s just as much fun as the petrol-powered versions of the Mini Hatchback, plus it looks just as good inside and out. It’s a three-door model so it’s not ideal for families, especially as rear-seat space is really tight. There’s not much boot space either, so it will mainly appeal to people who live in towns and cities and need something for short trips.
If you’ve driven a Mini before then you’ll know what to expect, as the Electric (which is called the Mini Cooper SE in other markets) is nippy, has responsive steering and a great, low-slung driving position. It’s also quite comfortable, plus there’s lots of kit on offer even though it can be pricey to add extras.
Read on to find out more about the Mini Electric and see if it’s right for you.
Should I get a Mini Electric?
✔ Enjoyable to drive
✔ Looks great inside and out
✔ Lots of modern tech available
✘ Short driving range
✘ Cramped interior
✘ Not the best value for money
If you are looking for a car to do short trips in and save a lot of money while doing so - and you want something stylish and fun to drive - then the Mini Electric is a good option alongside the Honda e. However, there are some thorns in its side in the shape of the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208, as these rivals are nearly as good in those areas and yet can travel a useful 200-plus miles on a single charge.
Since the Mini won’t get past 143 miles - and expect much less in winter - it’s limited to local trips, unless you fancy spending a lot of time waiting at public charging stations. It’s not a bad car, but its limited practicality and range mean it’s hard to recommend to anyone but a small subset of buyers.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Batteries and range
- Charge time
- Best Mini for
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
There’s only one version of the Mini Electric, and it uses a 184hp motor and a 32.6kWh battery to bring a range of 143 miles. There was an update in 2021 that brought a new grille and some new equipment to the mix, but the fundamentals of the car weren’t changed - it’s still closely linked to the petrol-powered Mini and looks almost identical.
It uses 50kW charging, which seems a little slow next to some newer electric cars, but it’s enough to allow an 80% top-up in about half an hour. See below for more info on charging and range.
|Level 1||Limited stock: The trim range is easy to understand - Level 1 is the entry-level model and comes with 16-inch alloys, LED lights, sat-nav and cruise control.|
|Level 2||Limited stock: Level 2 adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated seats and a reversing camera, plus ambient lighting, leatherette seats and a leather steering wheel.|
|Level 3||Limited stock: The top-spec model comes with a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display and an upgraded Harmon Kardon stereo system. There’s also Nappa leather seats, different headlining and customisable badges.|
The Mini Electric uses a 184hp motor to drive its front wheels, which is slightly more powerful than the 178hp petrol-powered Cooper S model. Whereas that will get to 62mph in 6.6 seconds, the Electric model is a fair bit slower at 7.3 seconds. This is thanks in part to the extra weight of the batteries.
Despite this, the Mini Electric is quicker than many of its rivals like the Peugeot e-208 and Renault Zoe. Its 0-62mph time is identical to the 204hp Volkswagen ID.3 - a larger car that's a lot more expensive.
The Mini has a pretty small battery of 32.6kWh, of which 28.9kWh is actually used for driving. This is a lot smaller than the 55kWh battery in a similar Renault Zoe, which has 52kWh usable. This means range isn’t very strong: only 143 miles at most according to official figures, next to 238 miles in the Zoe.
These figures are taken as a best-case scenario, so in winter it’s likely that even 100 miles on a single charge will be a stretch in the Mini Electric.
The maximum charging speed for the Mini Electric is 50kWh, which matches its rival, the Renault Zoe - but newer electric cars such as the VW ID.3 can charge faster.
The truth is, the Mini doesn't need high rapid charging speeds because it has such a small battery. Charging at a 50kW public charger can take the battery to 80% in 35 minutes. At a 7.4kWh home wallbox charger, which you should certainly have installed if you buy an electric car, a full charge takes just over four hours, which means many drivers who benefit from cheaper overnight rates can fully charge the car during the off-peak window, helping to save some considerable cash.
Unlike with the normal Mini, there’s very little choice in the range for the Electric. Usually, we would list a handful of different versions here and pick out the best version for value for money, families and so on, but there’s really only one thing you need to consider here - the equipment you want.
There’s only one motor, and three trim levels, so just pick the model that has the kit you want. The entry-level model is probably the best value for money, but the mid-spec model is close and comes with a few extras that might be worth it, including larger alloys. The high-spec model is a little expensive and we’d avoid it unless you really want some of the kit it brings.
BuyaCar prices Limited stock
The main rivals for the Mini Electric include the Renault Zoe, Honda e and Peugeot e-208. There are more and more small electric cars arriving all the time, though, and you might also consider a Mazda MX-30 or a Vauxhall Corsa-e when looking for an electric runabout.
There’s also an electric version of the Fiat 500 that will hold plenty of appeal for people who want a stylish car, as it’s just as smart as the petrol version of that car, just like the Mini. It’s quite a bit cheaper than the Mini, though, and isn’t as upmarket - yet it has a similar kind of appeal all the same.
Mini Electric practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Mini Electric is 3.8m long, 1.9m wide and 1.4m high, so it’s shorter, lower and thinner than a Renault Zoe by a noticeable margin. It’s not as tiny as the name suggests, but since it’s a three-door car, it’s certainly compact and easy to park.
There’s very little space in the rear seats, and even kids will find that legroom is tight. The low-set seats mean that there’s lots of headroom, though, and in the driver’s seat there’s more than enough room for taller adults because the driving position is fantastic. It’s much more comfortable and easier to drive than the Zoe for taller people, in fact.
|Length 3,845mm||Width 1,928mm|
|Height 1,432mm||Weight 1,440kg|
The Mini’s boot is just 211 litres in capacity, plus the hatch to access it is quite small, so it’s really not a very practical car. You can fold down the seats, but even in this configuration there’s only 731 litres of space in total.
The Renault Zoe has 338 litres of space in the boot and this expands to 1,225 litres with the seats folded, which gives you an idea of just how cramped the Mini’s interior is.
You can read more about the Mini Electric’s boot space and dimensions in our full article here.
|Seats up 211 litres||Seats down 731 litres|
The Mini finished in 11th place in the 2022 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, which was an excellent result and shows that the car should be really reliable and good to own. In fact, the electric model should be even better, since there are fewer moving parts to go wrong. Electric cars in general are proving to be more reliable than petrol cars, so the Mini Electric should be really dependable.
The Mini Electric gets a three-year warranty from the factory, and it’s not limited at all by mileage. It also comes with an eight-year warranty covering the batteries for loss of range, though this is limited to 100,000 miles. It’s unlikely that you will do that many miles in this kind of car, though - it’s designed to be used in short bursts, rather than for a lot of miles in a short space of time. This warranty is fine, and a little better than some other car makers offer, but it’s nowhere near as good as the seven-year cover on a Kia electric car, for example.
|3 years||Unlimited miles|
The Mini Electric is great in isolation, and makes a fantastic car for people looking for something small, easy to drive, stylish and fun for short, local trips. However, it’s not as good value, nor as useful and usable, as a similar-priced Renault Zoe or Peugeot e-208. It falls into the same camp as the Honda e, which is another stylish small electric car with not enough range or practicality to be really worth recommending to a wide range of buyers.
A used example is better value than a new one, though, and reliability is likely to be pretty good, so you can buy with confidence. If it suits your lifestyle, the Mini is great: it’s fun to drive, quiet, small, has all the equipment you really need and an upmarket, pleasant cabin.
There are three versions of the Mini Electric: Level 1, 2 and 3. All these refer to is the equipment you get, as all cars have the same 184hp motor and small battery pack. Level 1 cars get quite a bit of kit including sat-nav, so they are pretty good value.
If you want to get good value for money but also want larger wheels and a bit more luxury inside, the Level 2 model is a good option. This is the mid-range model and true to that it brings a good level of kit with a lower price than the top-spec car, so it’s easy to recommend.
The high-end stereo and upgraded leather trim in the top-spec Level 3 model are nice to have, but they’re not essential. If you can afford to spend a little more and really value these things, this version is good.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.
The fun, Mini three-door hatchback is one of the most stylish small cars you can buy