MINI Electric (2020) Review

MINI Electric (2020) At A Glance

4/5

+Fast and fun to drive, feels very posh and stylish inside, really intuitive infotainment system.

-Rear space is very tight and a small boot, limited range, even compared with other EVs, ride is rather firm.

There are other electric hatchbacks that do a much better job on range and interior space than the 2020 MINI Electric, so it won’t cut the mustard as a family’s only car. However, if you’re only viewing it as a weekday runabout, then it could still make sense for you if your commute is particularly short. What’s more, it has the kind of style, desirability and fun-factor that few rivals can match, making it a very appealing proposition among small EVs. For image-conscious EV buyers, it’ll be a toss-up between this and the Honda e.

They say that with great power comes great responsibility, but is it possible to have great power, and to generate it in a really responsible way? Well, with an electric car, or EV for short, it sure is.

Like all pure EVs, the MINI Electric puts out zero tailpipe emissions: what could be more responsible than that? However, while most small EVs feel faster than their modest power and acceleration figures suggest, MINI’s offering has the performance figures to match, helping to make it the fun choice in the class.

Yep, the MINI’s straight-line speed is seriously impressive, its 184PS electric motor hauling it from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, and with the generous all-at-once torque you get from an electric motor, the car feels a whole lot brisker than that.

It’s not simply speed that makes the MINI Electric fun, either. MINIs are famed for their go-kart-like handling, and while the switch from combustion to batteries has dented that a fraction, it’s still a very enjoyable car to drive, with tight body control and quick steering. It’s certainly a lot more agile than any other small EV we’ve tried, although at the same time, it’s also less comfortable, too.

The interior is standard MINI fare, with hugely impressive quality, attractive design, strong ergonomics and plenty of luxury toys. The big difference you’ll notice in the electric version is the digital instrument display behind the steering wheel in place of the regular dials, and this looks great and works well.

There’s another difference between regular MINIs and the electric one, too, but this one’s less positive. No MINI is the last word in practicality, sure, but because the car’s batteries are stored under the rear seats, rear space is even more cramped, while the boot is just as tiny.

If you’re planning to regularly carry people or cargo, then rivals such as the Renault Zoe or Peugeot e-208 will suit you much, much better. Those rivals also have a considerably higher driving range, so if you’re planning to use your car for anything more than short-hop weekday commutes, then again, they’ll be a better bet than the MINI.

Other gripes? Well it’s pretty rubbish that the entry-level car misses out on automatic emergency braking - a must-have safety feature in this day and age - and Android users won’t like the fact that they can’t integrate their smartphones.

However, the MINI Electric is like any other MINI in that it’s desirable, charming and likeable, and if anything, the fact that it’s electric makes it even more likeable.

What does a MINI Electric (2020) cost?