MINI Electric review: performance, motor & drive
The MINI Electric delivers on the brand's promise of 'go-kart' handling
The MINI Electric offers impressive performance for a car of this type. Around town, instant shove allows you to dart into gaps in traffic that you’d think twice about seizing in a petrol car, while the direct steering and sharp handling give it agility often missing in small hatchbacks. In fact, it feels very similar to the standard MINI hatchback – a car that has long been one of the most entertaining superminis on sale.
MINI Electric 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
MINI says the Electric will hit 37mph from rest in less than four seconds, while sprinting from 0-62mph takes 7.3 seconds. Like all electric cars, you just point and shoot. The electric motor’s instant torque fires the car off the line, but it never seems to run out of puff; it’ll rocket from 50-75mph in just 4.6 seconds. While the whir of the electric motor is almost silent on the motorway, there is an audible warning at lower speeds so that pedestrians hear it coming.
It’s amazing how little driver appeal this heavier MINI Electric has lost in the transition from petrol power, but then it also only gained 145kg over its petrol sibling and the centre of gravity is actually 3cm lower. So perhaps it isn't so surprising that it still handles with precision and confidence.
As you’d expect from a MINI, the Electric is incredibly keen to turn-in, with nicely-weighted and sharp steering. It may not feel as natural as the Honda e, but the MINI Electric is incredibly eager to tackle a good road – especially when switched into its ‘Sport’ setting, which gives the peppiest throttle and steering responses.
Electric cars are notorious for having firm suspension in order to manage the weight of the batteries. Given the standard MINI already tends to thud into potholes, it’s no surprise that the Electric isn’t much better in this regard. On the motorway, the MINI Electric does like to bounce over small imperfections, but a well-tuned chassis does mean it never feels unsettled. The MINI’s iconic shape with its upright windscreen does mean there’s quite a bit of wind noise, though.
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 & drive - currently readingThe MINI Electric delivers on the brand's promise of 'go-kart' handling
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe 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?