First Drive Review: MINI Electric

Independent review by Chris Russon

5-minute read

MINI Electric

First Drive: MINI Electric

Explore the key features of the MINI Electric in our expert first drive review

View Offers


Iconic MINI looks with efficient electrified performance, the MINI Electric offers a superb all-round experience.


  • Iconic MINI styling
  • Fun to drive
  • Packed with tech
  • Zero emissions
View Offers


MINI has added an electric model to its line up in the shape of a battery powered, 3-door version of the Cooper S.

With a range of up to 145 miles and the capacity to take a fast recharge of up to 80 percent in just over half an hour, MINI is hoping its zero emission Electric model will hit the mark with Britain’s new breed of eco-conscious drivers.

A facelifted version of the MINI Electric was unveiled in 2021, bringing with it a range of updates. A pre-facelift version was tested during this review.

Powertrains and Performance

The powertrain develops the equivalent of 184bhp, and that is very similar to that of the petrol powered 2.0-litre Cooper S.

Technically, the MINI Electric is the same at all levels, with two settings for brake regeneration and four drive modes.

Acceleration is brisk – especially from a standing start – with 0 to 62mph taking around 7.3 seconds. Maximum speed is 93mph.

On the handling front, the car is pure fun, and it drives just as a MINI should.
Chris Russon

The balance is almost 50/50 and if anything the steering feels slightly heavier – though no less responsive, and in its default settings the MINI Electric is set up to deliver maximum regeneration which makes single pedal driving almost the norm.

At 1.365 tonnes kerb weight, the electric car is just 145 kilos heavier than a standard Cooper S with an automatic transmission and its ride height is slightly higher – by 18mm.

The lower regeneration setting is less aggressive and makes for a smoother experience, but is really best saved for cruising speeds to get the best from the 32.6kWh battery.

We tried the new MINI Electric in Level 2 and Level 3 grades and on both drives a full charge was showing a 129 miles range in cold, wintry weather conditions.

After 75 mile runs the battery gauge was showing 49 percent capacity with some 45 miles range remaining, and given the vagaries of EVs that’s about par for the course.

Recharging from a 7.4kW charger – the sort most EV users will fit at home - takes 3.2 hours to 80 percent or 4.2 hours to full capacity.

Design and Practicality

Externally it is set off with special badges front, rear and on the wings, the charging point is in the same place as the fuel filler cap and at the front the grille is blanked off.

There is also a wheel design which MINI has created as an option exclusively for the Electric model.

Space inside on the Electric model is identical to the regular Cooper S three door and boot space at 211 litres is the same with 731 litres available with the rear seats folded.

Equipment and Technology

With sat nav, an electronic parking brake and LED headlights all as standard, it is nicely equipped, and with the special driving modes for electric enjoyment everything for genuine sporty performance to maximum efficiency without air conditioning.

The MINI Electric is very much a car of the times and in Level 3 grade comes fully fitted with a head up display, a larger central screen, and a high-end hi-fi system among its features.


Overall, the Electric is a zero emission all-electric car with the classic retro MINI styling that many drivers love. MINI says it has tried to create ‘a normal car for a changing market’ and it certainly has with the efficient Electric model.