Mini Cooper Electric: Pros, Cons, and Who Should Drive It

Woman sits in Mini Cooper Electric

The Mini Electric, officially known in the U.S. market as the Mini Cooper SE Hardtop 2 Door, is an all-electric two-door hatchback that debuted in 2020. Since its initial release to American drivers, the Mini Cooper Electric’s iconic look and small, fun-to-drive design have made it quite popular and easily recognizable.

If you’re in the market for a new electric vehicle, you might have some questions as to whether the Mini Cooper Electric is the right car for you. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of the Mini Cooper Electric to help you decide whether it’s the best EV for you and your driving needs.

2022 Mini Cooper Electric SE Hardtop 2 Door: Specs

Screenshot of Mini Cooper Electric home page

The Mini Electric is currently available as the 2022 Mini Cooper Electric SE Hardtop 2 Door. It’s one of four available trim levels for the 2022 Mini Hardtop, but the only one available with an all-electric motor. The latest model of Mini’s “electrified hatch” was designed with a variety of new features that were absent from previous model years.

Among these features are redesigned grilles on both the front and back of the car, a new wheel design, an interior ambient lighting setting, and a variety of new safety features.

The suite of safety features on the ’22 Mini Electric includes standard lane departure warning with steering wheel vibration, as well as pedestrian and front collision warning. Below is a list of the ’22 Mini’s other basic specs:

  • MSRP: $29,900
  • Curb weight: 3,143 pounds
  • Top speed: 93 mph
  • Fuel economy: 119 MPGe city; 100 MPGe highway; 110 MPGe combined
  • Range: 114 miles of range on full charge
  • Max power: 181 horsepower
  • Max seating: 4
  • Cargo space: 8.7 cubic feet

Mini Cooper Electric Pros and Cons: Performance

The ’22 Mini Cooper SE is powered by a 32.6-kWh battery pack that’s capable of a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds — acceleration that’s nearly identical to the gas-powered versions that preceded it and quicker than rivals such as the Chevrolet Bolt.

Critics have also lauded the car’s go-kart-like handling, which makes it easy to maneuver, particularly in crowded garages and densely populated urban environments.

Drivers in search of an all-wheel drive powertrain will be disappointed, however, as the Mini Cooper Electric is only available in a front-wheel drive configuration.

One drawback to the Cooper SE’s performance is the fact that its rigid steering can make it a stiff and choppy car to maneuver, particularly in highway environments. The car also comes with a traction control system that anticipates slip.

While it’s effective, it might take drivers some time to get used to. The same can be said for the car’s “one-pedal” function, which makes the car brake when you take your foot off the acceleration pedal. In addition, drivers can choose two levels of regenerative braking severity to customize how quickly the brake pedal reacts to interaction while driving.

Mini Cooper Electric Pros and Cons: Interior

​​The interior of the ’22 Mini Electric is where the most notable changes from previous models can be seen. A new heated steering wheel also has touch controls for both onboard audio and cruise control features. The car’s new center instrument cluster is concentrated around an 8.8-inch touchscreen navigation system easily accessible by both front seats. The vehicle’s black, faux-leather upholstery is both stylish and easy to maintain.

Behind the steering wheel is Mini’s new Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster, which allows drivers to view key information like speed, driving modes, navigation coordinates, Apple CarPlay integration, and more.

While critics have praised the car’s interior from a driver’s seat perspective, the car can be relatively cramped for passengers, particularly those in the rear seats. The Cooper SE offers just 30.8 inches of legroom in the back seat.

Mini Cooper Electric Pros and Cons: Exterior

Man strums guitar next to Mini Cooper Electric

Mini’s short, squat, taxi-like exterior styling is recognizable anywhere. However, the latest in Mini’s iconic trim has a variety of differences compared to previous year’s models.

The car’s refreshed exterior has newly implemented body-colored panels that trail off the edges of the chrome front grille. There’s also new badging, door handles, and standard LED headlights. The ’22 Mini Electric carries on the brand’s tradition of Union Jack-style tail lights.

The car’s contrasting roof color can be ordered in blue, yellow, and gray, as opposed to the white and black options available on previous models.

The car’s array of available customizable exterior features certainly set it apart from competitors while allowing owners to infuse a bit of their own personality to the design.

Mini Cooper Electric Pros and Cons: Warranty

The 2022 Mini Electric comes with robust warranty coverage that covers both the vehicle and its lithium-ion battery. The car’s high-voltage lithium-ion battery is covered for 8 years and 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

In addition to general use and wear-and-tear, the warranty also covers defects in materials and workmanship, which means new car buyers can purchase with confidence.

Is the Electric Mini the Right Electric Car for Me?

The 2022 Mini Cooper Electric offers decent acceleration and handling, and its low profile is terrific for navigating dense neighborhoods and narrow city streets.

In terms of pricing, it’s difficult to beat the Mini Cooper Electric’s low initial price point, particularly when compared to the price of all-electric cars produced by rivals Tesla and Volkswagen.

That said, the Mini Electric is probably best suited to young professionals, students, and drivers who frequently travel with just one passenger. The obvious reason for this is Mini’s small interior capacity and minimal legroom. The Mini Cooper Electric just doesn’t have the cargo space that drivers who carpool or travel with families need on a day-to-day basis.

So while younger drivers and retirees in search of an affordable, all-electric new car will love the Mini Electric’s zip and handling, those in search of a roomier ride should explore alternative options or even plug-in hybrid vehicles that offer more cargo room and passenger space.

Before You Hit the Road

Remember, there are a variety of things to consider before you drive home a Mini Cooper Electric or any other new electric vehicle.

The car’s low entry-level price can be reduced even further when drivers take advantage of state and federal tax incentive programs that offer generous rebates for purchasing an all-electric vehicle.

And while there are over 35,000 public Level 2 charging stations available in the United States, new Mini Electric drivers need to make sure that their place of residence has capability to support a home charging station if they intend to use one.

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