Here to clear the air

MINI Electric

Priced from £24,900-£30,900

The original Mini was developed as a result of a fuel crisis in the 1950s. And we think the new MINI Electric is the perfect re-invention of the brand for the world we live in today.

Watch Ginny and Tom's review here.

  • Battery: 32.6kWh
  • Miles per £: 31.8
  • Battery warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles
  • Emissions: 0g/km
  • Range: 145 miles

Nicki Says

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9/10

“As a fan of the BMW i3 I’m reassured by the fact that a lot of its proven tech has gone into the MINI Electric. Its range means it works best for city driving, regular shorter journeys or as a second car. But that smaller battery means it weighs less and is faster to charge, both of which are a big plus.”

Ginny Says

10/10

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“It’s low-ish range divides opinion. So I’ll say once again that the average UK car is driven for just 20 miles a day. I love that it's familiar, fun to drive and is at the affordable end of the EV spectrum. In fact we think it's the best value MINI of the bunch and it definitely puts a smile on my face.”

When the original Mini was launched over 60 years ago, it was meant to be an economy car, built to provide fun yet practical transport in a world where fuel had become scarcer as a result of the Suez fuel crisis. Now there is another fuel crisis as drivers realise we can’t all drive petrol and diesel cars indefinitely.

As such, the MINI has reinvented itself again, this time as an all-electric car. It uses the well-proven motor and running gear from the BMW i3 which helps keep the cost down too – in fact the electric MINI is cheaper than some top versions of the petrol car.

There’s another reason for the cost being lower than you might expect though – the battery. Rather than try and match the long-range power packs offered by rivals, MINI has settled on a comparatively small (32.6kWh) battery which means you’ll need to plug in after around 145 miles – or fewer in less-than-ideal conditions. This might be plenty for you, but it does mean the MINI’s key rivals such as the Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul, Vauxhall Corsa-e and even the cheaper Renault Zoe will all go further. The MINI does beat the 136 miles claimed from Honda’s e though, despite the Japanese car having a slightly larger 36kWh battery.

Where the MINI claws back some advantage over most rivals is on quality. The interior has the characterful look we’ve come to expect from a MINI, with features that manage to look bang-up-to-date and a bit retro at the same time. It certainly looks and feels more special than ‘normal’ competitors.

The exterior is instantly recognisable as a MINI and has a few little details which mark it out as an electric model without shouting about it. That might appeal to some drivers who don’t appreciate the wild styling of a car like the BMW i3 or Toyota Prius.  

We’ve only driven the MINI Electric on a test track, but all of the indications are that it drives in much the same way as any MINI. So, it’s fun, with steering that feels as though it’s truly connected to the wheels, so small inputs result in quick changes of direction. It’s pretty fast too, especially from a standstill. Owners swapping from the sporty Cooper to an Electric won’t be disappointed.

The MINI, then, is a welcome addition to the electric car party but it’s not without its compromises. If you can live with the fact that it’s only available as a three-door and don’t need the extra range then it’s funky looking, drives well and has a sense of quality that’s a cut above rivals.

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