MINI Electric review: boot space, seating & practicality
The MINI Electric isn't particularly practical, but the interior and boot are at least the same size as the petrol model's
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Depending on your viewpoint, the MINI Electric is either a compromise-free alternative to the petrol model, or a small electric car with a tiny boot and restricted rear-seat space. Allow us to explain: due to the MINI’s clever packaging, there’s no compromise on the standard car's practicality or boot space. The batteries are mounted under the transmission tunnel, so the 211-litre boot is unchanged.
MINI Electric interior space, storage & comfort
The thing is, while the space is no smaller overall, it wasn’t all that big in the first place. The same goes for rear passengers – with still no five-door alternative, it’s not only difficult to get back there, once you’ve clambered in you’ll discover head and legroom are restricted. There's only four seats, too, so unlike the Vauxhall Corsa Electric, the MINI cannot seat five. The front seats are comfy enough, though, so if you only ever travel with a single passenger you’ll find the MINI Electric more than up to the job.
Cabin storage isn’t great, however. The door bins are small – definitely not big enough for a 500ml water bottle – while the centre armrest will hold little more than a mobile phone. There are two cupholders ahead of the gearlever, as well as a small tray for coins and keys. The glovebox is an adequate size, but nothing more.
The 211-litre boot is the same size as the one in the petrol MINI Cooper S, which is handy if all you need is a car to occasionally pop to the shops in. MINI claims it’s big enough for a couple of small suitcases, but we’d recommend softer bags if you really want to maximise the space on offer. There’s a movable boot floor, although we expect most buyers will use the storage area beneath for the cables. Total boot space with the rear seats folded flat is 731 litres – again, the same as the petrol MINI.
For comparison’s sake, it’s worth mentioning that the Honda e’s 171-litre boot is smaller than the MINI’s, although the Japanese car's five-door layout makes it much easier to get into the back. The Renault ZOE is a better bet if you regularly carry lots of luggage; its 338-litre boot is pretty much unrivalled in this class.
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 & comfortThe MINI Electric has a stylish, premium-feeling cabin - but rivals are starting to offer better tech
- 6Boot space, seating & practicality - currently readingThe 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?