The iconic Mini that defined the 1960s is now making a statement again with its electric model. Fueler was offered the chance to review the Level 1 version, so Jeremy charged ahead of the other writers to drive it.
Currently, every car I am reviewing is electric as every manufacturer looks towards 2030, the year the Government wants all new vehicles to be electric or hybrid. I am happy with this as I am enjoying seeing the developments happening in the sector.
An electric car I have been so looking forward to driving is the Mini Electric. Being a child of the seventies, Minis were everywhere on the roads, and many people learnt to drive in them or get them as a first car. They were popular for many reasons, and those remain the same. Getting in the Mini Electric took me right back to the mid-80s when I first experienced driving a Mini. What a great feeling it was almost like time travel.
Although modern Minis are larger than the original 1960s versions and far more variants are available, the design is still recognisable. The shape is iconic; you can see why all versions of the vehicle are desired.
There are four seats with plenty of room for all occupants and a good amount of luggage. I took three passengers out on several occasions, and they all commented on how spacious the rear is, also how comfortable. The interior is adaptable, allowing the rear seats to fold, offering more carrying space—two hundred and eleven litres of room inside a car that looks small from the outside.
The driver and passengers have all the latest technology to keep them safe and entertained inside the car. A fully digital display is impressive, with a larger circle in the centre of the dashboard providing Infotainment for the driver and passengers. The round theme continues for the driver display, with all the relevant information clearly presented. What I particularly love about the car are the switches sat below the main central display and circular temperature controls. They are reminiscent of classic sports cars and older planes.
Driving the Mini Electric is a joy; it is precise, exhilarating, and comfortable. As with the original Mini, handling is exceptional with Go-Kart like agility and response to inputs. You get a real push back in your seat experience when you put your foot down, and the electric motor delivers power straight to the wheels.
As with the majority of new cars, the Mini Electric has an array of safety features, but these do not make the vehicle sterile to drive. They are there in case required.
The Mini Electric has four driving modes to allow your choice of performance for economical through to what I would call warp speed. Green plus is the most economical, with less response from the accelerator and more regenerative braking. Next is Green which lessens the braking regeneration as acceleration improves. Mid is a compromise where acceleration and braking return is comparable, and then you have Sport, which I employed most of the time I had the vehicle. Acceleration is rapid and regenerative braking is at its lowest.
Charging is not an issue if you can plug the car in at your house, which will have a Home Charge Unit fitted with the purchase of the Mini Electric. You can also use a standard three-pin socket if you can’t have a unit fitted where you live. Lastly, there are charging stations being located everywhere now, from supermarkets to churches. The MINI can be recharged from empty in around four and a half hours.
It is difficult to fault the Mini Electric as it does everything so well. The slightest of issues is the range of 180 Kms but as this is a car designed for urban use, as was the original, most owners will find it sufficient for their requirements. It is small, so it is easy to park, easy to drive in cities, cheap to run and reflects what Alec Issigonis wanted in his original design a fun car to drive. I drove my two younger nephews around a fair bit while I had the car, and they loved it too; both had smiles on their faces on all journeys. The twenty-year-old is starting to save for one he was that enamoured, and so was I.
There are four Mini Electrics in the range, starting at Level 1 $41600
Level 2 $44800, Level 3 $51200 and finally the Collection $52080
Level 1 is available in White Silver and Moonwalk Grey.
The battery has an eight-year warranty or 100k miles offering peace of mind.
Find out more about Mini Electric here