2020 Mini Cooper SE review: A fun EV on the cheap

The Mini Cooper SE will not have a lengthy range, but it would make up for it with oodles of fun.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

I’ve often had a substantial roadblock when it comes to electrical cars. No, I’m not conversing about range nervousness — it is really the absence of an EV which is as fun to drive as it is economical. Teslas are fantastic, but they surely usually are not affordable. A Nissan Leaf is not going to definitely crack the lender, but it is really not exactly a blast to drive. Luckily, Mini’s new electrical Cooper SE checks both of these packing containers.


  • Ridiculously fun to drive.
  • Affordable selling price with incentives.

Really don’t Like

  • Driving range is reduced.
  • Driver’s aids are lacking.

The Mini Cooper SE is only offered in two-door Hardtop guise, in Signature, Signature Plus and Legendary trims. Guaranteed, the Mini SE only gets a hundred and ten miles of range from its 32.6-kWh battery, which is much at the rear of competition like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt, but the trade-offs are a reduced selling price and fantastic on-road manners.

Electric desires

The Mini can behave like a staid EV, quietly streaming down the freeway or battling midcity visitors with ease. You will find plenty of regenerative braking electrical power for a single-pedal driving, and there is an eDrive screen in the offered eight.eight-inch central infotainment system that shows possibilities for Environmentally friendly, Environmentally friendly Plus or Mid options that control the electrical power shipping and climate control utilization. If I want utmost range then I have to be well prepared to go without having air conditioning. The Environmentally friendly options can even estimate effectiveness and can alert me when I strike my desired threshold. Driving at 70 mph on the freeway translates to 94{fb741301fcc9e6a089210a2d6dd4da375f6d1577f4d7524c5633222b81dec1ca} effectiveness, but I’m Ok with dropping to ninety two{fb741301fcc9e6a089210a2d6dd4da375f6d1577f4d7524c5633222b81dec1ca}, so my velocity warning is established at seventy five mph. It can be a neat little attribute. 

When it is really time to have a little fun, the Mini is not going to speed up like a Tesla. In simple fact, it usually takes the SE about seven seconds to arrive at 60 mph. Which is a little faster than a conventional Mini Cooper Hardtop, but slower than the Cooper S. Certainly, the Mini SE would make 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, but it is really also lugging all-around three hundred lbs additional than the conventional car or truck.

Nevertheless, as soon as I strike a corner, I forget about all about off-the-line functionality. At the time this little guy begins rolling it is really unstoppable. The rigid, nicely controlled suspension is up for anything, and Mini’s popular go-kart dealing with is in total influence. This is the form of pizzazz that compact EVs have been lacking. The fun aspect very easily would make up for anything else.

Individuals wheels are every thing.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

It can be the packaging that definitely allows listed here. The SE’s center of gravity is 1.two inches decreased than the Cooper S Hardtop, even however its journey height is elevated a bit to make area for the battery. Even further, the SE is less nose-significant than the S, so it gives additional balanced dealing with characteristics. 

I like that the SE gets genuine significant-functionality tires. Guaranteed, they may be all-seasons, but the Goodyear Eagle F1s are by much the most intense tire offered on a smaller electrical hatchback. In Sport mode the regenerative braking is less intense, but when I definitely need to sluggish down, the mechanical brakes are a bit squishy.

Demand it up

The Mini SE can cost a measly two{fb741301fcc9e6a089210a2d6dd4da375f6d1577f4d7524c5633222b81dec1ca} for every hour on a conventional domestic plug, although a Degree three DC rapid charger at fifty kW will give you 80{fb741301fcc9e6a089210a2d6dd4da375f6d1577f4d7524c5633222b81dec1ca} of a cost in 36 minutes. On my Chargepoint Degree two household charger the Mini SE goes from 33{fb741301fcc9e6a089210a2d6dd4da375f6d1577f4d7524c5633222b81dec1ca} to ninety nine{fb741301fcc9e6a089210a2d6dd4da375f6d1577f4d7524c5633222b81dec1ca} in a little over three hrs.

Common in-car or truck tech is made up of the Mini Link infotainment system, located on a 6.five-inch touchscreen housed in a shade-modifying circular ring, however my Legendary-trim tester has the more substantial eight.eight-inch screen alternative. Mini Link is in essence a cuter edition of BMW iDrive, which means it has the exact professionals and cons. It can be difficult to pair a mobile phone to take benefit of the wi-fi Apple CarPlay, and once I’m there, it is really difficult to swap in between it and the indigenous system. Android Automobile stays a no-go.

The optional onboard navigation is uncomplicated to use and has no problems with voice instructions. I can also use a single-box entry to come across my community ice cream parlor, which is wonderful. In the conclude, having said that, I come across myself just working with Google Maps through Apple CarPlay. Previous patterns die hard, I guess.

Mobile mobile phone charging duties are managed by two USB-A ports as very well as a twelve-volt outlet in the front. My tester also has optional wi-fi charging. There is a head-up display screen of sorts, but it takes advantage of a smaller screen that pops up in front of the windshield. It can be small and variety of annoying, so I prefer to just leave it off.

Within, the Cooper SE is as roomy as a Mini can be. It is pretty impressive how much headroom is in listed here for this kind of a smaller car or truck. At five feet, 9 inches tall, I have no trouble fitting, even in the backseat the place my hindquarters slide farther back again so my knees are truly pretty close to the seat base. The electronic sprint is related to the steering column, and I’m a bit way too tall to get a seem at the complete factor, as the leading of the steering wheel obscures the screen a bit. 

Driver-guidance features are lacking in the Mini SE. The little guy only has forward-collision warning, pedestrian alert and regular cruise control. In the meantime the Nissan Leaf can be had with the superb ProPilot Help tech that brings together adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping support, and the Chevy Bolt can be optioned up with blind-place checking, lane-keeping support and rear cross-visitors alert.

Regardless of its diminutive exterior, the interior of the Mini SE is really roomy.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Regardless of its measurement, the Mini has additional cargo house than both the Leaf and the Bolt, with 34 cubic feet of house with the rear seats folded. As for more compact-item storage, there is a small center console, but there is also a constructed-in mobile phone holder that usually takes up most of the house. Raise it up and you’ll come across some open up house beneath, but not much. The door pockets are very shallow, and although there are two cup holders up front, rear seat passengers will be battling over the single house for cradling a beverage.

Priced proper

Just one of the finest issues about the Mini Cooper SE is its selling price: $thirty,750, like $850 for desired destination, and which is before any federal, state or community incentives. Which is for the base Signature trim, of training course the Legendary design you see listed here begins at $37,750, however it is really the only way to get the awesome Electricity Spoke (not Corona Spoke) wheels.

Even with its shortcomings, the 2020 Mini Cooper SE is an EV I would acquire. No, it will not have the range of its closest competition, but you can not argue with that selling price. It can be superfun to drive, way too, and which is a substantial offering stage for me. Considering most folks you should not use smaller hatchback EVs for lengthy-range driving, I consider a lot of them may be willing to sacrifice some range for a complete lot of design and fun.