MINI Electric Review logo

MINI Electric Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2020
      Body type
      Small hatch
      Fuel type
      EV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Retro classic with futuristic drivetrain

Best bits

  • Fast and fun to drive
  • Feels very posh and stylish inside
  • Really intuitive infotainment system

Not so great

  • Rear space is very tight and a small boot
  • Limited range, even compared with other EVs
  • Ride is rather firm

Read by

MINI Electric frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

MINI Electric front interior

On the inside

MINI Electric backright exterior

Driving

MINI Electric charging

How much does it cost to run

MINI Electric bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"They say that with great power comes great responsibility, but is it possible to have great power, and to generate it in a really responsible way? Well, with an electric car, or EV for short, it sure is."

MINI Electric frontleft exterior

Like all pure EVs, the MINI Electric puts out zero tailpipe emissions: what could be more responsible than that? However, while most small EVs feel faster than their modest power and acceleration figures suggest, MINI’s offering has the performance figures to match, making it the fun choice in the class.


Yep, the MINI’s straight-line speed is seriously impressive, its 184PS electric motor hauling it from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, and with the generous all-at-once torque you get from an electric motor, the car feels a whole lot brisker than that. It’s not simply speed that makes the MINI Electric fun, either. MINIs are famed for their go-kart-like handling, and while the switch from combustion to batteries has dented that a fraction, it’s still a very enjoyable car to drive, with tight body control and quick steering. It’s certainly a lot more agile than any other small EV we’ve tried, although at the same time, it’s also less comfortable.


The interior is standard MINI fare, with hugely impressive quality, attractive design, strong ergonomics and plenty of luxury toys. The big difference you’ll notice in the electric version is the digital instrument display behind the steering wheel in place of the regular dials, and this looks great and works well.


There’s another difference between regular MINIs and the electric one, too, but this one’s less positive. No MINI is the last word in practicality, sure, but because the car’s batteries are stored under the rear seats, rear space is even more cramped, while the boot is just as tiny. 


If you’re planning to regularly carry people or cargo, then rivals such as the Renault Zoe or Peugeot e-208 will suit you much, much better. Those rivals also have a considerably higher driving range, so if you’re planning to use your car for anything more than short-hop weekday commutes, then again, they’ll be a better bet than the MINI.


Other gripes? Well, it’s pretty rubbish that the entry-level car misses out on automatic emergency braking - a must-have safety feature in this day and age - and Android users won’t like the fact that they can’t integrate their smartphones. However, the MINI Electric is like any other MINI in that it’s desirable, charming and likeable, and if anything, the fact that it’s electric makes it even more likeable.


If you're looking for the standard version, you need our MINI Hatch review.


Is the MINI Electric right for you?

We can see the MINI Electric being really popular with people who are looking for a stylish, luxurious and fun way to undertake their (extremely short) daily commute, and for either financial or environmental reasons, fancy doing it on electric-only power. Let’s get this straight from the get-go: for most people, this won't work as your family’s only car. 


The range is far too limited for that, and so is interior space, and there are lots of electric hatches that do a lot better on both scores. However, if your commute is only a short hop, and you also have access to a bigger, more practical combustion-engined car at weekends, then the MINI Electric could make a very appealing weekday runabout.


What's the best MINI Electric model/engine to choose?

Well, there are no choices to make on engine, obviously, because the MINI Electric doesn’t have one. What’s more, all versions have exactly the same 184PS power output and a (theoretical) range of around 140 miles.


Breaking with MINI tradition, there’s no dizzying array of trim levels, special editions, optional extras and option packs, either, just a mercifully straightforward choice of three equipment grades, named 1, 2 and 3. For us, it’s the mid-range 2 version that strikes the best balance between kit and cost, so that’s the one we recommend.


What other cars are similar to the MINI Electric?

Arguably the most direct EV rival to the MINI Electric is the Honda e. It’s similarly stylish, similarly sized, similarly priced, and has a similarly limited range. If you’re considering buying one of them, you’re probably considering the other as well. Other small hatchback-sized EVs on your radar will include the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208, not to mention the Vauxhall Corsa-e and DS3 Crossback e-Tense, both of which share their underpinnings with the Peugeot. Meanwhile, the Nissan Leaf is a bit bigger, while the Volkswagen e-Up is a bit smaller.


Learn more

MINI Electric front interior

On the inside

MINI Electric backright exterior

Driving

MINI Electric charging

How much does it cost to run

MINI Electric bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

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