History of the electric Mini Cooper
CNET, the Mini Cooper originally launched in 2020 as “the first electric Mini”.
Technically, there was a Mini E produced by BMW, but since it was never sold, we suppose it’s alright to be lenient and allow the Mini Cooper to have the title.
Electric Mini vehicles could have been tremendously successful due to Mini being an early electrification pioneer. Unfortunately, the brand chose to unplug and go dark on electric vehicles, fading as Tesla started to take over the market.
Until 2020, when they released the 2020 Cooper SE. And now that it’s been updated for 2022, the Mini Cooper is even better at what it does.
What makes the Mini Cooper SE good?
As with all cars, appearance is important. If you don’t like how it looks, there’s no point in purchasing it, unless you’re some sort of car collector or reseller.
This Mini looks eye-catching in an adorable way. Stylish and colorful, it’s perfect to pilot in your city.
The Cooper SE starts at $30,750 (including $850 for destination). Since it’s an electric vehicle, you might qualify for tax credits when purchasing.
All of the trims come standard with heated front seats and steering wheel, as well as a nice 8.8-inch infotainment system.
CNETextensively tested the 2022 Mini Cooper SE on the streets of Southern California. The Cooper passed with flying colors.
For the test, CNet upgraded their model by $7,000 to snag the fully-loaded Iconic trim.
That got them a panoramic sunroof, sweet leather seats, a Hartman Kardin sound system, adaptive cruise control, parking assist, and an Enigmatic Black exterior trim.
If you buy a city car like the Cooper SE, you typically want it to be a good daily driver. It doesn’t need to be flashy or have unparalleled range.
The main reason why the Mini Cooper didn’t stir up that much attention when it was first released was actually because of its unimpressive range.
At an estimated 114-mile driving range, the Cooper pales in comparison to similar EVs with better stats, making it easily overlooked by car buyers.
However, the performance of the Cooper SE turned out to be fantastic.
CNET drove the car for 1,000 miles. The Mini turned out to be perfect for running errands and heading across town. It’s so much more convenient and fun to drive to the grocery store than any other city car.
The performance on the road exceeds the Cooper SE’s specs on paper
The 114 miles range was not a problem as the Cooper was driving in an urban setting as a daily driver.
The battery has a maximum charge speed of 50 kilowatts. It bears mentioning that this performance test was done in Los Angeles, one of the cities with the best EV charging infrastructure, so your mileage may literally vary based on where you live.
The 32.6-kWh battery pack generates a total output of 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. It doesn’t sound so impressive, but when you actually drive the Mini Cooper, it feels good.
Whether you’re driving on Sport, Green, or Green Plus mode, the Cooper accelerates quickly with a satisfying boost. It’s comfortable to drive and sit in, and has a nice airy cabin.
All in all, the Cooper SE is a solid, affordable city EV that car buyers should consider. It stands out in a good way, without feeling out of place, and is good for the occasional long drive on the highways too.
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