MINI Electric interior, dashboard & comfort
The MINI Electric’s interior holds plenty of style appeal, but it can’t match rivals for high-tech feel
The interior quality in MINIs has always been excellent, while a facelift for the MINI Electric at the end of 2021 added some new interior options and an updated infotainment system.
MINI Electric dashboard
The MINI’s dashboard is not without appeal. After all, it’s simple to operate and there’s genuine functionality in the iDrive-style infotainment controller. It’s just that alongside more modern rivals like the Honda e, it feels a little dated inside. Quality is good, however; the MINI’s cabin seems built to last.
Alongside the central infotainment screen, there’s a digital instrument cluster, but the display isn’t as high-tech or customisable as the systems in modern Audi and VW models. That said, it offers all the necessary features and information in an easy-to-read format and presented on a smart-looking frameless readout.
The driving position could have broader adjustability and the manual seat adjustment can be a little awkward, but the seat itself is comfortable. Elsewhere, the MINI Electric separates itself from the petrol models with a smattering of lurid yellow details on the passenger side of the dash, as well as the gearlever and stop-start button. Otherwise, it’s business as usual. We’ll leave you to decide whether that’s a good thing or not.
Equipment, options & accessories
The MINI Electric is currently available in five specification levels. They don’t mirror the standard car’s trims; instead, they're called Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Collection, Shadow Edition and Resolute Edition.
Starting from around £27,000 after the government grant, the Level 1 represents the best value for money. It gets the same eight-inch touchscreen as the top-of-the-range cars, with Apple CarPlay and MINI Connected, which offers live information like charging-point availability and current traffic conditions. It also has the digital cockpit display from the John Cooper Works GP hot hatch, cruise control and two-zone climate control.
Level 2, for an extra £2,000 or so, adds the Driving Assistance Package with speed-limit and traffic-sign information, city collision mitigation for pedestrians and high-beam assistance. It also adds a rear-view camera and heated part-leatherette seats. Choosing this trim also opens up extra paint and wheel options.
The Level 3 starts from around £34,500 and so doesn’t qualify for the grant. It heralds big-car kit like a head-up display, a panoramic sunroof, a Harmon Kardon stereo, adaptive LED headlights and full leather seats. While this makes the MINI Electric feel like a truly premium car, they’re luxuries rather than essentials.
At the top of the range are the Collection, Shadow Edition and Resolute Edition special models. Collection comes with a multitone roof, the 'Island Blue' metallic exterior paint colour, 17-inch alloys and a piano-black interior. The Shadow Edition comes in 'Midnight Black' metallic exterior paint with badging around the car, a different set of 17-inch black alloy wheels to the Collection edition and a piano-black interior.
Introduced in early 2022, the Resolute Edition comes in 'Rebel Green' with a 'Pepper White' roof finish and mirror caps. All chrome elements are removed on the outside, while the headlight surrounds, radiator grille, rear lights, side scuttles, doorhandles and tailgate are finished in bronze. The bonnet stripes and door sill panels feature a pattern of parallel lines with a gold colour gradient and 'RESOLUTE' lettering, while this version also sports 17-inch alloys in the 'Electric Collection Spoke' design. Inside the Resolute has fabric-leatherette sports seats, a sports leather steering wheel and anthracite roof lining, plus LED lighting.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The MINI Electric's interior is logically laid-out and simple to operate, with the large eight-inch touchscreen display situated within the familiar central roundel. For 2021, the system was updated with split-screen functionality. There’s also a click wheel on the lower console, which makes the system easy to navigate on the move, while additional touch operation gives it further functionality, which is useful when you're parked.
Apple CarPlay is standard, so if you’re an iPhone user, you’ll be fine. MINI still refuses to offer its cars with Android Auto, however, which feels somewhat restrictive in this day and age. At least the sat nav works well – so those without the latest smartphone software are reasonably well catered for. Every car comes with MINI’s Connected App, which shows the location of public charging points, as well as stats on the car’s energy consumption and charge status, plus the ability to pre-heat or cool the cabin.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe MINI Electric is a fun, fast and chic small electric car, but its relatively modest driving range may put some buyers off
- 2Range, battery & chargingA relatively modest 145-mile range may put some buyers off the MINI Electric, but for a lot of suburban and urban dwellers, that'll be enough
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe MINI Electric is one of the most affordable electric cars you can buy, despite its premium finish, and it also promises to be cheap to run
- 4Performance, motor & drivePerformance from the MINI Electric is strong – and most importantly, the hatchback has lost none of the petrol model's sense of fun
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingThe MINI Electric’s interior holds plenty of style appeal, but it can’t match rivals for high-tech feel
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe MINI Electric isn't particularly practical, but the interior and boot are at least the same size as the petrol model's
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe MINI Electric is too new to give an accurate reliability assessment yet, but the brand’s other models tend to fare well in owner surveys
- 8Living with itDid a short range and limited three-door practicality taint our time with the MINI Electric?