Getting into and out of the back seats of the Mini Electric isn’t the easiest task in the world, as it has just three doors (two side doors and a boot), unlike some of its five-door rivals. The back seats are best kept for children. There are cubby holes around the cabin and pockets in the doors to keep odds and ends, but this is a car designed more for style and fun than practicality. That said, the boot is larger than in the Honda E.
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Thinking of getting a Mini Electric
Why buy the Mini Electric?
If you love the Mini hatchback’s style, but want electric power rather than petrol, then the Mini Electric could be just what you’re after. Rather than create an all-new, all-electric model, Mini has simply taken the regular hatchback and put an electric motor into it, keeping just about all the appeal of the petrol models.
Mini Electric range and updates
The Mini Hatch has been around for decades, and pays tribute to the famous original Mini of the 1950s. This Electric version was launched in 2020. It’s a small three-door hatchback – there’s no five-door model – so if you’re after a family car it may not be right for you. But if you want something fun and eco-friendly, its zippy electric motor, agile feel and stylish interior could fit the bill nicely. Four versions are available, called Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and the top-spec Mini Electric Collection, each capable of 145 miles on a single battery charge. Cars from March 2021 onwards had a slight upgrade, with a few extra options and added driver-assistance features.
Mini Electric tech and features
You can choose from four versions of the Mini Electric, but all have loads of features to make things comfortable and fun. You’ll get bright LED headlights across the range, as well as stylish alloy wheels and extra-supportive sports seats to keep you firmly in place around the corners. Design touches include a Union Jack design in the rear lights – a reminder that the Mini is built in the UK. A big touchscreen infotainment system sits in the middle of the dashboard, and includes Apple CarPlay so you can easily connect your smartphone. Higher-spec models have features like a rear-view camera, parking sensors, heated seats and a panoramic sunroof. With a wide choice of paint colours, wheel designs and accessories, you’re unlikely to find two Mini Electrics that look exactly the same.
Mini Electric running costs and value
Electric power usually means a considerable reduction in day-to-day running costs compared with petrol and diesel cars. Recharging the Mini Electric’s battery will be less expensive than refuelling a car with an engine, although how much less will depend on how you charge it. For the best results, charge overnight at home, using an off-peak tariff from your electricity supplier. Maintenance costs will likely be lower too, because electric motors don’t have as many moving parts to service. All electric cars are also exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) and low-emission-zone charges.
Mini Electric vs rivals
There are new small electric cars on the market almost every week, so if you’re keen on the Mini Electric, you should also consider its rivals. The Peugeot e-208 also has stylish looks and a longer range, although its electric motor isn’t as powerful. Renault’s Zoe will likely be more affordable and has more space inside than the Mini, but it isn’t as fun to drive. You could also look at the futuristic Honda E, or the BMW i3, which uses the same electric motor as the Mini. If you like the retro look, then check out the electric Fiat 500, which is newer than the Mini, will go further on a battery charge and has plenty of standard features.
Mini Electric common questions
The Mini Electric is the same size as the regular Mini Hatch, although the petrol and diesel models are available with a more practical five-door body and as convertibles. The Electric is the smallest car in the Mini range, sitting below the Clubman estate and the Countryman small SUV.
Safety organisation Euro NCAP hasn’t yet tested the Mini Electric. While the regular Mini Hatch scored four stars out of five in 2014, the Electric has some substantial differences in its design, so it’s difficult to guess how it would fare. Still, you do get many of the latest safety features as standard in the Mini Electric, including automatic emergency braking. You also get Isofix child-seat mounting points on the outer back seats and front passenger seat. Level 2 cars and higher have a lane-departure warning system and adaptive cruise control, which can make life less stressful on the motorway.
There’s no hybrid version of the Mini Electric. If you want a plug-in hybrid Mini, check out the Countryman SUV, which will do up to 31 electric-only miles per battery charge and has a petrol engine too.