MINI Cooper Electric Review 2024

Written by Andrew Brady

8/10
heycar ratingAn electric car you'll actually want to drive
  • 2024
  • Small hatch
  • EV

Quick overview

Pros

  • Fun to drive
  • Fab interior
  • Much improved electric range 

Cons

  • Complicated model line-up
  • Ride is very firm (particularly on the SE)
  • Cramped rear seats and small boot

Overall verdict on the MINI Cooper Electric

"Fun to drive and packed with character, the MINI Cooper Electric is an electric car you'll actually want on your driveway. Chuck in a very useable electric range, an affordable price tag and a long list of standard equipment, and the MINI Cooper Electric is an excellent all-round package. That's as long as you don't want to bring many friends along for the ride, anyway."

MINI Cooper Electric Review 2024: rear dynamic

While the old MINI Electric offered traditional MINI drivers a compelling introduction to electric vehicles, the new MINI Cooper Electric is likely to sell in much larger numbers. That's partly due to the range figures - the old model would struggle to break 100 miles on a cold day; the new model is good for up to 249 miles according to official figures.


It'd be wrong to judge the MINI Cooper Electric solely on how far it can travel between charges, though. What's more important is whether the MINI Cooper Electric can put a smile on your face - and it can certainly do that.


For a start, the interior is lovely. It feels more upmarket than most of the competition - think more Volvo EX30 than Vauxhall Corsa Electric. You get an impressive central speedometer that doubles up as a user-friendly infotainment system, while the knitted textile dash means it feels surprisingly homely inside.


And then there's the way the MINI Cooper Electric drives. It feels darty and eager to change direction, while the electric powertrain means it's surprisingly quick. That's especially true for the MINI Cooper SE, which has a bigger battery and more powerful electric motor than the standard car - in fact, it can accelerate to 62mph in 6.7 seconds. That's almost quick enough to count as a hot hatch. 


The new MINI Cooper Electric is on sale now, with prices starting from around £30,000. That pitches it against the likes of the Peugeot e-208, Abarth 500e and the bigger Cupra Born and MG 4 EV. If you're not fussed about having a big boot (the new MINI Aceman will cater for that market), we think the MINI Cooper Electric is a very desirable choice.


Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of MINI Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of MINI Cooper Electrics for sale.

If you're looking for a trendy little electric car that's fun to drive, the MINI Cooper Electric is a great choice. It's got a huge amount of kerb appeal (more so than most competitors), while its interior is modern and surprisingly upmarket. It's not got the biggest boot, while space for rear-seat passengers is tight, but that's the only real criticism we can only level at the new MINI Cooper Electric.

Don't assume you need the Cooper SE for its bigger battery. We actually think the cheaper MINI Cooper E is slightly more enjoyable to drive (even if it's not as quick), while its 190-mile range will be more than enough for many drivers. If you can, look for one with one of the desirable option packs - stretch to the Level 2 pack and you'll get a panoramic sunroof and premium Harman Kardon sound system.

If you're considering a new MINI Cooper Electric, you probably also want to consider the equally retro Fiat 500e and the sportier Abarth 500e. The bigger Cupra Born is another electric car that's fun to drive, as is the MG 4 EV. The Volvo EX30 is a premium competitor that's priced dangerously close to the MINI Cooper Electric, while you might also want to look at the Renault Megane E-Tech and Peugeot e-208.

Comfort and design: MINI Cooper Electric interior

"The MINI Cooper Electric's cabin represents a clear evolution from older models. That's not to say it's dated - far from it, it's actually thoroughly modern, with impressive technology and also some surprisingly premium finishes."

MINI Cooper Electric Review 2024: front seats

There are two distinct features that are a clear nod to the original classic Mini. The first is the large round instrument cluster (that doubles up as an infotainment screen) in the centre of the dashboard.


The second is a toggle bar that houses all the important driving functions: parking brake, gear selector, start/stop key, experience mode toggle and, erm, volume control. This eliminates the need for a conventional gearshift, freeing up more interior space.


It's a very comfortable and user-friendly interior which shouldn't be particularly overwhelming, even if you're new to the world of modern electric cars. Finding a comfortable driving position is easy, thanks to an impressive amount of adjustment in the driver's seat, while visibility out is generally pretty good - although, like all MINI hatchbacks of the last few years, some might find the shallow windscreen makes the interior feel ever-so-slightly claustrophobic.

There are some really neat finishes to the MINI Cooper Electric's interior, including knitted textile surfaces on the dashboard. It feels comfortable and homely, and a lot more upmarket than other affordable electric cars. Sit in a MINI Cooper Electric back-to-back with an MG 4 EV, and we suspect you'll struggle to resist the appeal of the MINI's more upmarket cabin.

A highlight of the MINI Cooper Electric's cabin is the super thin, circular touchscreen display in the centre of the dashboard. It's intuitive and easy to use, however, it does house the heater controls. We'd much prefer the tactile satisfaction of physical buttons, but we're losing that battle in 2024. The trend towards touchscreens is inevitable but at least this one makes the transition almost painless.


If fiddling with the central display isn’t your thing, you’re in luck. Simply shout ‘hey MINI!’ and the intelligent personal assistant springs to life. This smart assistant can adjust the climate control, skip radio stations, and perform a range of other tasks with ease. MINI claims it’ll even learn your routine habits - like automatically opening a window when you pull up to a car park payment machine.


Opt for one of the option packs and you'll get a welcome bonus in the form of a handy head-up display. This feature allows you to check your speed without ever taking your eyes off the road.

Practicality isn't exactly the MINI Cooper Electric's forte. Its boot can accommodate just 210 litres of luggage up to the parcel shelf; a Vauxhall Corsa Electric, GWM ORA 03 and BYD Dolphin are all more practical. In reality, we suspect most MINI Cooper Electric drivers will use the rear seats as an extension of the tiny boot. They can be dropped if necessary to provide up to 800 litres of luggage space.


In fairness, though, there are other cars in the MINI range that are better suited to carry luggage. If you're looking for an electric car that doubles up as a family vehicle, the new MINI Aceman or bigger MINI Countryman Electric will both be better choices.


And, for those sitting in the front of the MINI Cooper Electric, it feels a perfectly spacious little car. The front seats slide back quite a long way, so taller drivers should be able to get comfortable, while there's plenty of headroom.

Handling and ride quality: What is the MINI Cooper Electric like to drive?

"Batteries are heavy, so balancing driving fun (a MINI trademark) with comfort has been quite a challenge for the MINI Cooper Electric's engineers. There are some compromises but it is quite a chuckable little car that's sure to put a smile on your face."

MINI Cooper Electric Review 2024: front dynamic

The MINI Cooper Electric is at its best around town or on smooth motorways. Take it on a bumpy, rural road and you'll be bounced around - especially in the SE model with its bigger (heavier) battery. It can get quite uncomfortable at times and it's not the car for you if you're looking for magic carpet ride.


The flip side of that, though, is it's one of the most agile electric cars on the market. It's genuinely very fun to drive, thanks to a combination of responsive steering, impressive composure and that punchy electric powertrain.


It's very easy to drive, too. Obviously there aren't any gears to worry about, while its reactive steering and decent visibility (more so than older MINIs) provide a confidence boost. There are driving aids to prevent minor bumps, too, including the Driving Assistant pack (more on that in the safety section below). Parking sensors and a rear-view camera are standard across the range, too.

Initially there'll be two flavours of MINI Cooper Electric available: the MINI Cooper E and the MINI Cooper SE.


The MINI Cooper E is powered by a relatively small 40.7kWh battery pack, which powers a single electric motor that produces 184PS and 290Nm of torque. As with a lot of electric cars, that provides surprisingly sprightly acceleration - it'll sprint to 62mph in just 7.3 seconds, which is quicker than the standard petrol MINI Cooper C. It's also quicker than a lot of other electric hatchbacks, including the Peugeot e-208 and GWM Ora 03.


We think a lot of buyers will be tempted by the MINI Cooper SE's bigger 54.2kWh battery pack which, as well as increased range, also provides sportier performance. With a power output of 281PS and 330Nm of torque, the MINI Cooper SE will sprint to 62mph in 6.7 seconds. It certainly feels pretty darty in the way it drives, helped by the lack of gear changes and instantaneous acceleration. There are faster electric cars on sale, but few drivers will find the MINI Cooper SE to be lacking.

If you want to travel as far as possible between charges, you'll need the MINI Cooper SE with its bigger 54.2kWh battery pack. This officially has a range of up to 249 miles - a very useable figure, even if the real-world range is likely to be significantly less, particularly at motorway speeds or during the colder months. We actually found our test car's range predictor to be slightly pessimistic, though, suggesting that - with some careful driving - you might be able to travel a significant distance before having to top up.


Don't just automatically assume you need the bigger battery, though. If you're looking for a city car and rarely travel more than 100 miles in a day, the entry-level MINI Cooper E will be well up to the job. With its 40.7kWh battery, it can officially travel up to 190 miles between charges. That's more than a Mazda MX-30 or Abarth 500e, and a healthy chunk more than the old MINI Electric, too.

The level of refinement in the new MINI Cooper Electric depends a little on which Experience Mode you're in. Toggling between the different modes switches between a variety of bold soundtracks - you'll love them or hate them; fortunately, they can also be turned off entirely.


With the fake sound effects turned off, the MINI Cooper Electric is a thoroughly refined little car. There's the slightest tyre roar (nothing you'll notice over the radio, however), while wind noise is barely noticeable.

MINI claims that 'maximum fun needs maximum safety’. That’s why the Driving Assistant pack is standard across the range, with cameras and sensors powering a wide range of helpful (and, in some cases, not-so-helpful) features. These include blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and the slightly annoying speed limiter warning, which beeps the second you exceed the speed limit by 1mph. Fortunately the latter is easily turned off, although it could help keep your licence clean.


At the time of writing, the new MINI Cooper Electric is yet to be crash-tested by Euro NCAP.

Charging times: How much does it cost to charge the MINI Cooper Electric?

"With 95kW charging capabilities, the MINI Cooper SE can be charged up to 80% in just half an hour. There are other electric cars that can be charged quicker, but this will be more than rapid enough for most drivers."

MINI Cooper Electric Review 2024: charging

The basic MINI Cooper E can only be charged at a rate of up to 75kW but, since it has a smaller battery, it takes a similar amount of time to reach 80% of its capacity. The speediest public rapid chargers are quite expensive - expect to pay around 80p per kWh, which means a 10-80% charge will cost you around £22 to charge the smaller-battery model, or £30 for the Cooper SE.


The most economical way to charge a MINI Cooper Electric will be by plugging it in at home overnight. A typical 7kW home charger will take around six hours to fully charge the Cooper E at a cost of around £10 (depending on your home electricity tariff), while the Cooper SE will take eight hours at a cost of around £13.

We'd expect nothing less than exceptional reliability from the MINI Cooper Electric. It's actually the result of a partnership between BMW and Chinese carmaker Great Wall, both of which have a huge amount of experience building electric vehicles. Generally electric cars are more reliable than their petrol counterparts, too, as there's less to go wrong.

Insurance groups for the new MINI Cooper Electric are yet to be confirmed. It's worth getting some quotes before you commit to buying one - EVs can be a little more to insure than a conventional petrol car, thanks to expensive replacement parts and relatively high performance.

You won’t currently pay road tax on the MINI Cooper Electric, although that’s set to change in 2025. Expect to pay the same as hybrid models - currently £180 a year - unless, of course, the new government makes a surprise road tax announcement.

How much should you be paying for a used MINI Cooper Electric?

"While the MINI Cooper Electric hasn't been on sale very long, we've already seen dealers slashing thousands of pounds off the retail price."

MINI Cooper Electric Review 2024: front dynamic

If you're buying a brand new MINI Cooper Electric, you can expect to pay from around £30,000 for an entry-level MINI Cooper E in Classic trim. The MINI Cooper E Exclusive starts from a little over £32,000, while the MINI Cooper E Sport is £33,500.


The more powerful MINI Cooper SE Classic is priced from £34,500 or £36,700 as an Exclusive model. The ultra desirable MINI Cooper SE Sport is priced from £38,000.


While these prices are slightly more than you'd pay for a Vauxhall Corsa Electric, we don't think the MINI Cooper Electric is outrageously expensive by any stretch of the imagination. The cheapest model is more affordable than a Peugeot e-208 or GWM Ora 03 (and the MINI is a much better car), while you get an impressive amount of standard kit for your money.


And, as we've touched on above, you can save cash by searching for a used MINI Cooper Electric. These will be ex-demonstrator or pre-registered models with a handful of miles on the clock and a considerable discount off the list price. As an example, we've seen one dealer offering a MINI Cooper SE Sport for a smidgen over £33,000 - that's nearly £5,000 less than list price.

Standard equipment on all MINI Cooper Electric models include MINI experience modes, a heated steering wheel, floor mats, front armrest, two-zone air conditioning, cruise control, parking assist, a rear-view camera, navigation, front ISOFIX points and MINI’s Driving Assistant.


On top of this, there are three levels of equipment available. Level 1 is standard on MINI Cooper Electric SE and adds Comfort Access, the Exterior Mirror Package, anti-dazzle mirrors, heated front seats, extended LED lights, high beam assist, wireless charging and a head-up display.


The optional Level 2 pack builds on this with a Harman Kardon surround sound system, panoramic roof and sun protection glass. Level 3 adds Active Seat for Driver, electric seats, interior camera, Driving Assistant Plus, Parking Assistant Plus, personal eSIM and MINI navigation AR.


There are also three trim levels to consider: Classic, Exclusive and Sport.


MINI Cooper Electric Classic models come in a choice of four colour options (Midnight Black, Nanuq White, Melting Silver, and Sunnyside Yellow) and two roof colour options (body colour or Jet Black). 16-inch wheels are standard, while 17-inch alloys are available as an option. Inside, the Classic trim comes with Grey/Blue Vescin/Cloth or Black/Blue Vescin/Cloth.


The MINI Cooper Electric Exclusive is offered in four exterior colours: Midnight Black, Nanuq White, British Racing Green and Blazing Blue, along with three roof colours (body colour, Jet Black or Glazed White). 17-inch alloy wheels are standard with 18-inch available as an option. There are two interior upholstery options: Vescin Beige or Vescin Nightshade Blue.


The MINI Cooper Electric Sport model comes with four colour options (Midnight Black, Nanuq White, Chilli Red and Legend Grey) and three roof colour options (body colour, Jet Black or Chili Red). 18-inch JCW two-tone alloy wheels are standard, while the interior is finished in a Vescin/Cord combination JCW Black (dash knit in black with red accents).

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

The new MINI Cooper Electric has an official range of up to 249 miles.
The MINI Cooper Electric's battery can be topped up from 10% to 80% in around half an hour.
The battery in the MINI Cooper Electric is covered by a warranty for 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

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