MINI Electric interior & 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, and the facelifted MINI Electric receives 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 new digital instrument cluster, but the display isn’t as high-tech or customisable as the systems in modern Audi and Volkswagen 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 a broader range of adjustability and the manual seat adjustment can be a little awkward, but the seat itself is comfortable enough. Elsewhere, the MINI Electric separates itself from the petrol models with a smattering of lucid yellow details on the passenger side of the dashboard, 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 available in four easy-to-understand specification levels. They don’t quite mirror the standard car’s Classic, Sport and Exclusive trims; instead, they're called Level 1, 2, 3 and the Collection Edition.
The basic Level 1 car represents the best value for money. It now 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. Plus, the Level 1 still gets 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, 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 additional paint and wheel options.
The Level 3 costs an additional £4,000 (or £6,000 more than the basic version) and 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 equipment makes the MINI Electric feel like a truly premium car, they’re luxuries rather than essentials.
At the top of the range is the Collection Edition, which is new for the 2021 version of the MINI Electric. For £550 more than the Level 3, you get all the same equipment, but also some customisation options including the multitone roof, Island Blue metallic exterior paint colour, exclusive 17-inch alloys and a piano-black interior.
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 has been updated with split-screen functionality. There’s also a click wheel mounted to the lower console, which makes the system easy to navigate on the move, while additional touch operation gives it further functionality, which is especially useful when you're parked up.
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 costsThe 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
- 4Electric motor, drive & performancePerformance from the MINI Electric is strong – and most importantly, the hatchback has lost none of the petrol model's sense of fun
- 5Interior & comfort - currently readingThe MINI Electric’s interior holds plenty of style appeal, but it can’t match rivals for high-tech feel
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe MINI Electric isn't particularly practical, but the interior and boot are at least the same size as the petrol model's
- 7Reliability & safetyThe 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