MINI Electric review: interior, dashboard & comfort
The MINI Electric has a stylish, premium-feeling cabin - but rivals are starting to offer better tech
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. There are flashier options out there – note the BYD Dolphin with its striking two-tone cabin – but the MINI exudes retro charm, with strong build quality across the board.
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 BMW iDrive-style infotainment controller. It's not as tech-centric as the Honda e's cabin, but build quality in the MINI is great and the interior seems built to last.
Alongside the central infotainment screen, there’s a digital instrument cluster, but this 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 goes some way in making the now nine-year-old third-generation BMW MINI interior feel up-to-date.
There’s plenty of adjustment in both the driver and passenger seats, with the ability to sit very low like in a sports car. 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 gear selector and stop-start button. Otherwise, it’s business as usual, with handy physical knobs for the climate controls and plush-feeling materials on the dashboard and door cards. One annoyance is the centre armrest which has to be folded away in order for you to operate the charmingly retrogressive manual handbrake.
Equipment, options & accessories
The MINI Electric is currently available in three specification levels at the time of writing. These don’t reflect the specifications of the petrol MINI, with buyers instead having the choice of Level 2, Level 3 and the limited-run Resolute Edition.
The MINI Electric in Level 1 was discontinued in 2023 and used to start from under £30,000. This got the same eight-inch touchscreen as the top-of-the-range cars, as well as a digital cockpit display from the John Cooper Works GP hot hatch, cruise control and two-zone climate control.
The Level 2 starts from around £32,500. The new entry point in the range gets 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, heated part-leatherette seats, plus some additional paint and alloy wheel options.
The Level 3 starts from £34,500. 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.
Finally, there’s the Resolute Edition special model. Introduced in early 2022, it 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, door handles 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.
There's been several other special editions of the MINI line-up over the years, too, including the Shadow Edition from 2021 and 2022's Multitone Edition, each receiving numerous styling tweaks and unique touches.
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, though, 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 isn't as cheap as it once was, but it should be very affordable to run
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe MINI Electric delivers on the brand's promise of 'go-kart' handling
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingThe MINI Electric has a stylish, premium-feeling cabin - but rivals are starting to offer better tech
- 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 should be reliable and safe thanks to a suite of safety systems
- 8Living with itDid a short range and limited three-door practicality taint our time with the MINI Electric?