I’m going to start with some bad news first about the 2021 Electric Mini Cooper SE. Mini claims that the cooper SE can only drive up to 177 kilometers (or 110 miles) on a full charge. However, in reality on cold December days, like when I drove the cooper electric, the trip computer was only estimating a range of around 172 kilometers. Turn on the climate control, and that range further drops to around 167 kilometers with a full charge.
This short driving range is due to the fact that the Electric Mini Cooper SE has a small battery pack, it’s just 32.6-kilowatt-hours, pretty much half of what other EVs, like the Chevy Bolt and Nissan leaf, have, but on the flip side, the Electric Mini Cooper SE has such a small battery pack, and it doesn’t take that long to charge it from a level two charger, you’re looking at around four to five hours to 100 percent.
From a DC level three fast charger it’ll do zero to eighty percent in about 35 minutes. All that juice goes to the front wheels, which are powered by an electric motor that has 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, 0-60 gets done within 3.9 seconds.
You didn’t believe that did you, on many Canadian websites they do show the 0 to 60 time, but it’s 0 to 60 kilometers per hour. It is 3.9 seconds, but from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour, which is 62 miles per hour in 7.3 seconds, and that’s more realistic for a car like this.
Still, 7.3 seconds is not too bad for the 2021 Electric Mini Cooper SE that weighs 1430 kilograms or about 200 kilograms heavier than a gasoline-powered Mini. This being an electric car torque is instant, I’m sure it doesn’t really pin you to the back of your seat. For a city car, it’s more than enough power, and because of that instant torque regardless of what speed you’re going, as soon as you put your foot down you’re always far away, you can always overtake anyone very quickly.
There is also regenerative braking, and by default, it’s always going to be on the more aggressive braking, so as soon as you lift off you’re slowing down quite drastically, and actually, it’s pretty much one-pedal driving.
There are certain situations where you still have to use the regular brake pedal, but you can just use the accelerator pedal, I was going to say the throttle pedal.
It’s not a thorough pedal, but you can just use the accelerator pedal to just modulate it, and you can come to a complete stop, if you judge the distances well enough like that, of course, you can switch it to a low regen braking mode. Then it just becomes like a normal car, where you have to use a brake pedal to slow down and come to a complete stop.
It still feels sprightly around twisty roads, as the battery pack lowers the center of gravity so the Cooper SE feels planted around corners, as well the suspension was re-tuned to account for the extra weight of the battery. The quick steering and the more centralized weight distribution make the Cooper electric still feel like a go-kart when zipping around a busy city.
The interior of the Mini Cooper SE electric is that it looks exactly the same as its gasoline counterpart, it has the same infotainment screen layout, has the same climate controls, and same toggle switches for turning on and off the motor or changing the drive modes.
The infotainment system is pretty responsive, it’s nice and quick and you can use it obviously as a touch screen, or the rotary knob, and buttons down next to the shifter. the only difference is the instrument cluster, which is specific to the Cooper SE electric; it tells you your power rating on the left side, your battery charge on the right side, and obviously key information like your speed and range down in the center.
The headliner legroom is really good. However, good luck to the people sitting behind, there’s literally no room back there, it will probably be better for you to just fold those rear seats down, and have more cargo space.
For the front seats, plenty of side bolsters, the leather is pretty nice, and there is also extendable thigh support with the seats down.
The Cooper SE has 1048 liters of cargo volume, and with the seats up its 246 liters of cargo. There’s also a small compartment under the floor, but that’s only big enough for the charging cord.
The base trim of the Mini Cooper’s electric comes nicely equipped with heated seats 16-inch alloy wheels navigation, keyless start automatic climate control, and led headlights.