Auto123 reviews the 2021 Mini Cooper SE all-electric motor vehicle.

Previous 12 months, when Mini unveiled its pretty very first electric motor vehicle, now acknowledged as the Cooper SE, the principal criticism lobbed its way had to do with the model’s somewhat disappointing selection. With an optimum selection of 177 km concerning recharges, the only Mini driven exclusively by electrical energy is not precisely slice out for long journeys.

Like its historic ancestor from the nineteen sixties – the very first to carry the title was released in 1959 – the Cooper SE appears to be typically confined to city use. In reality, if you might be interested in the strategy, you have to be eager to go over shorter distances concerning visits to the charging station. On the other hand, the notion of combining the driving pleasure of a Cooper S with 100% electric propulsion appears to be quite darn appealing to me. Through a week of testing in the Better Montreal region at the end of August, I set out to determine if the fact matched the genius of that notion.

Be aware: In theory, I was scheduled for an before introduction to this new kind of Mini in the spring, but the coronavirus pandemic postponed this very first speak to until finally late summer season. Here is what I took absent from my take a look at travel of the 2021 Mini Cooper SE with the Premier+ package deal, the most high-priced in the selection, which raises the monthly bill to $47,990 in its place of the $39,990 tag attached to the no-frills design.

2021 Mini Cooper SE

Obviously a Mini Cooper
The designers of the electric Cooper S did not truly have a option: an icon like the Cooper has to maintain its characteristics to catch the eye of the curious. On the outside the house, in addition to the distinctive bumper with a grey and yellow panel in its place of the typical grille and the asymmetrical wheels that in good shape it beautifully, the Cooper SE also sees some specific badging additional to the bodywork. Oh, and no exhaust tip is bundled with this variant. In a natural way.

It is really the very same within the very same dashboard as the Cooper S is present, the only placing change staying the smaller slender screen powering the steering wheel – an addition created previous 12 months. Not much from the air flow controls, there is also a swap that modulates the energy restoration program through braking. For the rest, you would swear you might be sitting in a Cooper S with a number of added dazzling yellow stripes.

Also, the T-formed battery pack has no damaging impression on the volume readily available in this town motor vehicle, which is a very good detail for the reason that truly the modern Cooper is however as restrictive as at any time for its 2nd-row passengers. And the very same applies to the 226 litres of trunk space, which scarcely manages to get in groceries for two adults.

Yes, it is obviously a Mini Cooper!

2021 Mini Cooper SE, interior

2021 Mini Cooper SE, interior

2021 Mini Cooper SE, main screen

2021 Mini Cooper SE, principal screen

Each within and out, the Cooper SE will come out of the very same mildew as the other Coopers with combustion engines. But when you get started ‘er up, the hum of a a few- or four-cylinder unknit is nowhere to be listened to, changed by an artificial audio that announces the get started of the motor housed concerning the two front travel wheels. After that quick burst of audio, the Cooper SE gets to be as silent as a parked motor vehicle, just like other EVs on the highway.

Of system, a quick glance at the info screen on best of the steering column is a ought to just before each individual excursion, if only to make certain the battery is charged, specially supplied the car’s limited selection. But at the time which is taken care of, the Cooper SE is just waiting around to be pushed. And absent you go, like a bat out of heck if you so choose.

Like any electric auto, entire torque from the powertrain is felt instantaneously, from the very first number of turns of the wheels. A tiny way too considerably stress on the suitable pedal can even make the tires squeal, but only if traction regulate is deactivated. No, the Cooper SE is not precisely a rubber-burning beast, but front wheel spin is probable.

2021 Mini Cooper SE, profile

2021 Mini Cooper SE, profile

An additional not insignificant depth: the energy-restoration program is positioned by default in its “Sturdy Recovery” manner at every single get started, which will shock you at very first when you release the suitable pedal to decelerate when approaching a end. For much less intense deceleration, a uncomplicated push of the swap turns the Cooper SE into a motor vehicle as docile as any gasoline-driven design. I endorse bearing with the jerky travel at the starting although: the learning curve is quick, and you quite speedily master to dose the stress you implement on the suitable pedal to get clean braking. Recall, selection is at a premium in the SE, so you want to improve it.

What I like about this electric Mini is that it delivers the very same kind of driving expertise as a Cooper S – minus the raspy audio of the exhaust program of system! The steering is as specific and quick as at any time, the suspension is company and the braking is efficient. Chassis rigidity is also a reassuring aspect when driving, even although the weather-worn pavement reminds us how considerably of a go-kart the Cooper SE is.

As for the electrical power and torque of the synchronous magnet motor, 181 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque are just suitable for a “toy motor vehicle” like the Cooper SE. Nonetheless, I ponder if the engineers at John Cooper Works will at any time put their signature on a far more-dynamic version of the Cooper SE. We can dream, cannot we?

2021 Mini Cooper SE, three-quarters rear

2021 Mini Cooper SE, a few-quarters rear

The previous phrase
At the risk of repeating myself, the 177 km selection is the Cooper SE’s Achilles’ heel. But for lots of motorists, which is far more than enough distance for day by day commuting. After all, you never visit the backcountry each individual working day, do you?

As for the pretty hefty price tag affixed to my Premier+ trim ($47,990), it is a tiny much less unpleasant in Quebec wherever the town dweller is suitable for the two degrees of governing administration rebates. In other phrases, this pretty high-priced MINI electric motor vehicle is priced at $34,990 (just before planning charges and taxes) in La Belle Province. Be aware that in other places in the state, prospective buyers of the Cooper SE can at least get gain of the federal program that takes $5,000 out of the equation, even though in British Columbia, the program however makes it possible for up to $3,000 in rebates.

We like

A Mini Cooper S… devoid of the combustion motor
Sharp accelerations
Top quality of execution

We like much less

Array way too quick
Vitality-restoration manner is a tiny intense
Restricted interior space

The competitors

Chevrolet Bolt
Hyundai IONIQ / Kona Electric
Kia Niro EV / Soul EV
Nissan LEAF
Volkswagen e-Golfing

2021 Mini Cooper SE, rear

2021 Mini Cooper SE, rear

2021 Mini Cooper SE photos