MINI Electric practicality & boot space
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MINI Electric interior space, storage & comfort
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.
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 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. The front seats are nicely adjustable, mind, 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.