MINI Electric vs Renault ZOE: interior and infotainment
Both cars get strong infotainment systems and well designed interiors, but the MINI edges ahead of the Renault
When it comes to build and quality, these two cars feel evenly matched. Each takes a different approach to design, however: the MINI’s retro-styled dashboard is carried over from other models with some detail changes, while the latest ZOE has some commonality with the Renault Clio.
The ZOE’s interior feels more modern – its large infotainment screen and clean lines appear less fussy than the MINI’s bulbous dashboard. The screen in the Renault works well; on GT Line models such as our test car, it measures 9.3 inches and features sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, while an extra 10-inch digital dashboard sits behind the steering wheel.
The MINI Electric uses the same BMW-derived system as other models in the range, supplemented by an extra digital display mounted behind the steering wheel for showing info about its electric functionality. Apple CarPlay is standard, but Android Auto isn't supported.
The driving position in each car is good: you sit higher up in the Renault, while the MINI allows for the same low-slung sporty position that’s so well received in its internal-combustion counterparts. It’s worth trying both to see which best suits you.
The ZOE is available in three trim levels: all get automatic wipers, LED headlights, the aforementioned 10-inch driver’s screen, keyless entry and cruise control as standard. A step up to Iconic trim adds climate control, wireless phone charging, rear parking sensors and 16-inch alloy, while top-spec GT Line (tested here) gets the largest infotainment screen, extra parking sensors and a reversing camera. It’s also worth noting that Iconic and GT Line cars get recycled seat fabric.
MINIs are all about customisation and design appeal, and as with the ZOE there are three base trims to pick from. These don't follow the usual MINI pattern of Classic, Sport and Exclusive; they're instead labeled Level 1, 2 and 3. Entry-point Level 1 cars get a 6.5-inch screen alongside the standard driver’s display, as well as two-zone climate control. Level 2 adds part-faux-leather seats and a driving assistance package along with some customisation options, while Level 3 gets a glut of high-end equipment, including a panoramic sunroof and Harmon Kardon stereo. The MINI feels more in line with its Renault rival in Level 2 trim, tested here.
In This Review
- 1IntroMINI's new kid on the small electric-car block takes on our 2020 Car of the Year, the refreshed Renault ZOE
- 2Range & chargingThe Renault ZOE wins the range competition, with the MINI Electric geared towards urban motorists
- 3Running costs & warrantyThe ZOE is cheaper to buy than the MINI and offers more standard equipment; both cost peanuts to run
- 4Performance & handlingThe MINI Electric is the more fun to drive of this pair, although the Renault ZOE is more comfortable
- 5Interior & infotainment - currently readingBoth cars get strong infotainment systems and well designed interiors, but the MINI edges ahead of the Renault
- 6Space & practicalityThe Renault beats the MINI when it comes to both passenger and luggage space
- 7Safety & reliabilityRenault and MINI have strong reputation for safety; both cars should prove reliable transport
- 8Verdict & specificationsBoth of these are great small electric cars, but the Renault ZOE is a more complete package than the MINI Electric