2020 Mini Cooper SE evaluate: It’s electrical
“The 2020 Mini Cooper SE offers electrical automotive customers an reasonably priced various to the standard suspects.”
- Appears to be like like a gasoline Mini
- Peppy acceleration
- Nimble dealing with
- Fashionable inside
- Low value
- Lack of vary
- No Android Auto
- Not probably the most sensible
It’s not typically that you simply get the selection of gasoline or electrical powertrains for a similar automotive, however that’s the case with the 2020 Mini Cooper SE. This new mannequin has the identical retro styling as a standard Mini, however now with zero emissions.
Most different automakers have given up on electrical variations of present internal-combustion automobiles, choosing purpose-built fashions. So did Mini make the fallacious name by launching the Cooper SE as a substitute of a clean-sheet design, and the way does the electrical Mini examine to its gasoline siblings?
Let’s begin with value. With a base Signature trim stage that begins at $30,750, the Cooper SE undercuts most different electrical automobiles. Energy and efficiency are closest to the Mini Cooper S, which begins at $28,250. However the Cooper SE additionally qualifies for the total $7,500 federal tax credit score, dropping the efficient value all the way down to $23,250. State and native incentives might slash much more off of the worth, relying on the place you reside.
Mini additionally presents Signature Plus ($34,750) and Iconic ($37,750) trim ranges. Our check automotive was the latter, including a head-up show, bigger infotainment display screen, wi-fi telephone charging, and park help to the tools record.
Design and inside
Inside and outdoors, the 2020 Mini Cooper SE is essentially unchanged from the usual Mini, which dates again to 2014. The one visible adjustments are a barely greater experience top (to accommodate the floor-mounted battery pack), an enclosed grille for higher aerodynamics, and (on our check automotive) yellow trim and electric-specific wheels.
The electrical powertrain is simply obtainable within the primary “2 Door Hardtop” physique type, so you may’t get a convertible, or the extra spacious “Four Door Hardtop” or “Clubman” wagon physique types. Passenger house and cargo capability are an identical to the gasoline 2 Door Hardtop, in line with Mini, that means you don’t get a lot of both.
Little touches like toggle switches give the inside a little bit of character.
The present-generation Mini appears like an SUV in comparison with the 1959 authentic, and is a full 9 inches longer than the primary trendy Mini, launched in 2001. Nevertheless, that is nonetheless a small automotive. The again seats aren’t actually appropriate for people, and the trunk is tiny. Entrance-seat house is first rate, although, and the tall home windows give the cockpit an ethereal, open really feel. Like different Mini fashions, little touches like toggle switches give the inside a little bit of character.
As with the gasoline Mini, the electrical model is a superb commuter automotive for city-dwelling singles. A Chevrolet Bolt EV or Nissan Leaf is a greater match for everybody else.
Tech, infotainment, and driver help
The Cooper SE will get an all-digital dashboard, consisting of a typical 6.5-inch touchscreen (Iconic fashions get an 8.8-inch display screen), and a digital instrument cluster that appears a bit just like the gauge pods utilized in race automobiles. Apple CarPlay and navigation are normal, however Mini doesn’t provide Android Auto.
The display screen sported good graphics and was straightforward to make use of, due to a management knob and shortcut buttons for vital features. The display screen’s placement inside a spherical housing was just a little odd, although, because it was a literal instance of placing a sq. peg in a spherical gap. The pinnacle-up show makes use of a bodily plastic display screen, quite than projecting photographs onto the windshield, however that’s to be anticipated on this value vary. Data was straightforward to learn, even in direct daylight.
The display screen sported good graphics and was straightforward to make use of, due to a management knob and shortcut buttons.
As with mother or father BMW’s i3, Mini makes use of a clip-in equipment as a substitute of a standard wi-fi charging pad, nevertheless it’s too small for some telephones. The one various is to put your telephone in a cupholder, the place it’ll get tossed round like unfastened change in a dryer.es embrace ahead collision warning, rain-sensing wipers, and automated headlights. Park distance management and park help are non-compulsory.
The Cooper SE’s low base value may clarify the shortage of ordinary options, however we’re nonetheless shocked to see so few non-compulsory options. The Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf provide extra driver-assist tech, though you’ll should pay additional to get it.
The driving expertise is the place we anticipated the Mini to face out, and it didn’t disappoint. The automotive’s small footprint and the electrical motor’s on the spot torque make a very good mixture.
That electrical motor sends 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque to the entrance wheels. Mini quotes zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a high pace of 93 mph. Output is fairly near a gasoline Mini Cooper S, which has 189 hp and 207 lb-ft. The gasoline model will do zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, and attain 146 mph, in line with Mini. Observe that the Cooper S is the center baby in relation to efficiency, sitting between the bottom Cooper and the sportier John Cooper Works gasoline fashions.
At 3,153 kilos, the Cooper SE weighs about 300 kilos greater than a gasoline Cooper S (due to its heavy battery pack). That makes a noticeable distinction in dealing with, however the SE nonetheless feels fairly nimble, and the moment response supplied of its electrical motor felt like a good tradeoff. The power to get away rapidly from stoplights and exploit gaps in visitors is extra related to on a regular basis driving than the slower responses of the steering and chassis in corners that outcome from the additional weight. That peppy acceleration is simply plain enjoyable, too.
The driving expertise is the place we anticipated the Mini to face out, and it didn’t disappoint.
In comparison with different electrical automobiles, the Cooper SE’s smaller dimension makes it a bit extra entertaining on twisty roads than the Nissan Leaf, however the Chevrolet Bolt EV is more durable competitors. The Chevy weighs a bit greater than the Mini nevertheless it’s additionally extra highly effective, with 200 hp and 266 lb-ft. The Bolt EV will do zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, in line with Chevy, and feels virtually as nimble because the Mini in corners.
Like most electrical automobiles, the Mini makes use of aggressive regenerative braking to reap additional power. This permits for “one-pedal driving,” the place the automotive slows down as quickly as you raise off the throttle. Electrical-car followers will admire the robust regen, which boosts effectivity. Mini additionally included “Inexperienced” and “Inexperienced+” driving modes to additional increase effectivity, together with a “Sport” mode for lead-footed drivers.
Electrical vary, charging, and security
The primary motive why Mini can undercut different electrical automobiles in value is as a result of it makes use of a smaller battery pack. At 32.6 kilowatt-hours (with 28.9 kWh of usable capability) the Cooper SE battery pack is about half the dimensions of the Bolt EV’s. A smaller battery pack means much less vary. At 110 miles, the Cooper SE has one of many shortest ranges of any electrical automotive presently on sale. Most different mass-market electrical automobiles provide a minimum of 200 miles of vary though, once more, you’ll should pay extra for them.
The Cooper SE is supplied with a 7.4-kilowatt onboard charger, permitting for a full recharge from a 240-volt Stage 2 AC supply in 4 hours, in line with Mini, though we discovered cost instances to be considerably longer if the battery wasn’t totally warmed up first. Normal DC quick charging can do an 80% recharge in 40 minutes, with most energy of 50 kW. The facility stage is pretty low, however that isn’t a lot of a problem in the true world due to the automotive’s small battery pack.
The Cooper SE has an effectivity ranking of 108 MPGe mixed, which isn’t very spectacular. The Bolt EV and Hyundai Kona Electrical manages 118 MPGe and 120 MPGe, respectively, with extra inside house and vary.
Mini presents a four-year, 50,000-mile, restricted guarantee, in addition to free scheduled upkeep for the primary three years or 36,000 miles of possession. Mini has a blended popularity for reliability, however the Cooper SE ought to a minimum of require much less common upkeep as a result of it’s electrical.
Gasoline variations of the two-door Mini carried out pretty properly in crash checks, however these outcomes will not be transferrable to the electrical mannequin. Lack of an engine and the floor-mounted battery pack might trigger the Cooper SE to carry out otherwise when the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) get round to testing it.
How DT would configure this automotive
It could harm the Mini’s worth proposition, however the most suitable choice for tech is the highest Iconic trim stage. This provides a head-up show, wi-fi telephone charging, and a much bigger touchscreen. It additionally will get the upgraded Harman/Kardon audio system from the mid-range Signature Plus trim stage.
Mini didn’t have a full on-line configurator for the Cooper SE prepared on the time of publication, but when it’s something like different Mini fashions, the Cooper SE ought to get loads of customization choices as properly. Will probably be fascinating to see if the aftermarket takes to the Cooper SE the best way it has to gasoline Mini fashions as properly.
On paper, the 2020 Mini Cooper SE doesn’t look very spectacular. Certainly, the Mini’s lack of vary and lack of ability to hold greater than two individuals comfortably appear to place it at a drawback to different mass-market electrical automobiles.
But lack of practicality can also be a problem with the gasoline two-door Mini, and that automotive sells fairly properly. Folks don’t purchase a Mini for cargo capability, they purchase it for its type and driving dynamics — which carry over to the electrical Cooper SE.
Vary can also be cheap given the Mini’s value. Different automobiles might provide extra vary, however in addition they price considerably extra. The bottom Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq Electrical provide 149 miles and 170 miles of vary, respectively, at costs nearer to the Mini’s, with extra inside house besides. Neither automotive has the Mini’s persona, nonetheless, and whereas all three are small automobiles suited to metropolis commutes, the Mini is the smallest.
As with earlier gasoline Minis, the Cooper SE presents one thing distinctive that will not be for everybody. With so few selections obtainable to electric-car customers, that’s a giant deal.
Do you have to get one?
Sure, should you’re a metropolis driver searching for a reasonably priced, nimble commuter.
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