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Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Wed, 23 Sep 2020, 13:09
by jsvader
Sorry, couldn't help the title.

I picked up the SE the other day, so I thought I would present my first day review of the little beast.

Firstly, the mini is quick. Not just a straight line type of quick, which it is by the way. It feels more sporty than any, and I mean any other EV I have driven (I can't afford to even test drive a Taycan). To get faster acceleration, you need a model 3 at minimum, and a lot more cash. In its price range, there is nothing that comes close. The figures quoted by MINI are woefully pessimistic. Where the mini excels is handling. The engineers at MINI have been blasted for putting in such a small battery, however the result of this small battery is exquisite handling. Coupled with Good Year Eagle F1 low profile tyres, the MINI eats corners for breakfast. It is a real blast to drive.

With my first day experimentation (read highly un-economical driving), I still returned 14.7kWh/100k. When I calm down I'll have another go, but readings of around 12.8 on the freeway (90kph limit) look promising. This should mean the mini has an easy 200km range, including a fair amount of spirited driving. Not enough I hear you say - well I don't do more than 200k very often, especially in town, and I will take the driving dynamics over range every day.

The mini exudes quality inside, although some may consider it dated next to the millennial single screen layout of several other manufacturers. The front two seats are very comfortable with ample support around the corners (which you really need). The back two seats are, well, small. You can fit bigger people in them, but the front two seats have to move forward. Overall, it is a very comfortable and friendly place to be.

What can you say. Short of a Taycan (again), got to be the best looking EV out there. Subjective I know, but I believe it. If you want, it can look very similar to the ICE model, so if you don't want to shout "EV" you can. There are no gaps in panels, or mismatched paint - as you would expect.

Its a mini. If you wanted a boot, why would you buy one :) Seriously though, it holds more than you would think, but it is not cavernous by even the most optimistic interpretation. I think I would call it big enough. No Frunk.

This is what EVs should be like. Nobody who drives one of these won't have a smile at the end of their drive. They have ample range for their intended use, are very comfortable inside - for the front two at least, and look great inside and out. Even in the most expensive, top level trim (that is all that came to Oz) they are still thereabouts with the competition like the leaf, ioniq and kona. Give one a go, and you'll end up taking it home :)

PS. if anyone has any questions about it - fire away!

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Fri, 25 Sep 2020, 11:48
by jsvader
As a quick update - day 2, average economy up (down?) to 11kWh/100k. All city driving, with short bursts on the freeway (90 or 100).

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Sat, 26 Sep 2020, 15:07
by Chuq
Great info! Welcome to AEVA and the forum.. probably the first Mini electric owner on here :)

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Sat, 26 Sep 2020, 16:39
by jsvader
I actually picked up the first one. The whole covid thing made the shipping times extend, so the mid-year deliveries ended up in September. All the first batch were sold out in days after being announced. I was lucky, because I ordered one before they were announced :)

If you want any info about it, feel free to ask. It is very different to any EV I have driven before. It is very engaging, and performs really well.

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Wed, 30 Sep 2020, 13:54
by jsvader
Ok, small update - charged after 170km and still 26% battery left. I was actually doing a lot better (120km with 65% left), but I had some fun :) . This works out to about 229km range (142miles) which is smack bang where the WLTP puts it. The GOM (guess 'o' meter) gave it 56km left which, for once, seems quite accurate. I averaged 12.8kWh/100k with city, freeway and spirited driving. Air con was on most of the time, and I was in either Sport or Mid mode (no green). You should easily be able to hit 250km if you use green mode and drive sensibly. The mini seems to go a lot further than most people claim.

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Wed, 07 Oct 2020, 16:32
by jsvader
Another update. So now I have calmed down, and I am now averaging 10.5kWh/100km, which would put the theoretical maximum range at about 270km. Not bad I think for a city car, and somewhat better than the US EPA's 177km :)

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Thu, 08 Oct 2020, 09:51
by Rusdy
jsvader wrote: Wed, 23 Sep 2020, 13:09 PS. if anyone has any questions about it - fire away!
Thanks @jsvader ! I wonder how the mini cooper SE compared with id3 (If it ever comes to Oz :lol: ). From what you've described, sounds like a better car than id3, what do you think?

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Thu, 08 Oct 2020, 11:20
by jsvader
It is better in some things, and worse in others. As far as performance goes, the mini is better all round except top speed. In Australia, top speed isn't really important, unlike Germany and the autobahns. The mini is much lighter, and smaller which makes it more efficient. Space wise, the id.3 wins hands down - minis are not known as spacious.

It also depends on your desired car behaviour. The mini out handles the id.3, but at the expense of a stiffer ride. If you want better handling then the mini is the go. If you want a more comfortable ride then the id.3 is your better pick.

Now I have never been in an id.3, but from all accounts the interior is quite good, however the mini feels premium. This is probably quite subjective, but mini is a premium brand after all.

The id.3 costs more than the mini in a like for like comparison, but it has more tech (eg. auto driving, adaptive cruise etc). So it boils down to what you want. If you want an efficient (when required), but highly entertaining (otherwise) premium car, then the mini is your obvious choice. If you value comfort, room/space, tech, range (much bigger battery) then the id.3 is the way. We'll see what the price is here - and whether mini brings out the cheaper versions of the SE.

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Thu, 08 Oct 2020, 11:56
by Rusdy
jsvader wrote: Thu, 08 Oct 2020, 11:20 ...

The id.3 costs more than the mini in a like for like comparison, ...
This what surprises me most. Mini being the 'premium' brand, I think will attract more 'EV-mature-city-dwellers' buyers, i.e. those who know that range is not everything.

I should say the fast charging capability of id3 is impressive though:

VS the mini:

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Thu, 08 Oct 2020, 20:25
by g4qber
Which colour did you get
Do you have the British power plug wheels ?

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Fri, 09 Oct 2020, 06:45
by jsvader
@Rusdy that is quite an impressive charging curve for the id.3 - for longer trips where you visit a DC charger, that will make a difference. Personally, well at least for the moment, I slow charge at home. With the mini's small battery, it is an easy overnight charge - 100% in the morning.

@g4qber I got the BRG (British Racing Green) with obligatory white bonnet stripes :) The wheels were the new "Tentacle spoke" ones, not the plug style ones.

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Fri, 06 Nov 2020, 14:18
by RCW
I've had "Plugga" (sorry, tragic St Kilda supporter) for 2 weeks and it's probably the most fun car I've ever had. I think BMW made a good decision on weight/performance vs range for a city car. Plenty of people criticize the range but its fine for a metro commuter - why pay for and carry battery capacity that you will rarely use.

Still trying to work out a few things (maybe i3 guru's can assist)
- how to change the default driving setting. Would be ideal if it could be matched to a key (eg green mode for me, sports mode for the wife - or vice versa)
- I'm expecting to use the basic 8A granny charger until someone brings out a smart "smart" home charger (eg Zappi with demand response ++). In the meantime, the in-car charging schedule only allows single off-peak tariff setting. My off-peak is midnight to 6am plus all weekend so it'd be great to set that up
- is there a way to set an overspeed alert? eg beep at me when I'm 5km over the local limit. I'm impressed with the traffic sign recognition picking up roadworks 40km limits but why won't it alert me? seems act on speed signs in cruise control. The 0-60km performance is brilliant (I hear that the manufacturer spec on this is way conservative)

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Sat, 07 Nov 2020, 05:24
by g4qber
Mini would be my choice too for commuter/city car

5th Most efficient production EV in the world ... -efficient

Had imiev, i3 and now SR+
All EVs that were in the top 10 for efficiency in their time.

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Wed, 11 Nov 2020, 07:16
by jsvader
@g4qber The ev-database figure seems *really* high. The best (worst) I ever managed, when trying, is 14.5kWh/100k. I stick to the speed limit, but you would need to travel a constant 110-120kph to get 15kWh/100k or more. My average, since new, is 12.5, and I sometimes get 10.5 between charges. According to Bjorn Nyland, the mini is actually the most efficient he has tested.

@RCW Congrats and welcome to the club (of MINI ev owners that is). It always resets to mid, and high regen. You can, however, set speed alerts. I went to MyMINI->Vehicle settings->Speed warning. There were a few options there. I actually use the speed limiter more than anything else now. On the steering wheel, on the left side, the LIM button (right side of the 4 way switch) turns on the speed limiter. Use the same controls as the cruise control to set the limit. I haven't tried, but it may be able to be automatically set. Be careful when decreasing the limit - it brakes quite heavily :) The limiter stops you going over the preset limit, unless you floor it (for safety). You still drive normally, it just keeps to the limit. I manually set it rather than auto, as it can sometimes misread signs like off ramps on the freeway, when you are still on the freeway. You get max braking (regen) when slowing down using the limiter, which could be dangerous on the freeway when it reads the exit speed limit. I also use the 8A plug - you don't have to worry about overcurrent on pretty much any normal plug outlet. The MINI charges overnight.

The 0-60, and indeed 0-100 performance is quite stunning for this price/size car, and definitely understated by the official figures. It is only marginally slower than a base model 3 to 60mph as tested in the US by car and driver magazine (6.1 vs 5.6). I also love the driving feel of this little electric go kart.

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Thu, 12 Nov 2020, 20:45
by sleeperpservice
That EV database takes into account cold weather as a worst case when driving in -10 conditions. Not really comparable to Australian conditions. We're way under those figures in our Ioniq - 11.9 average since new in May. Will be interesting to see how the hot weather affects range as much as the colder mornings.

Re: Mini Cooper SE mini review

Posted: Wed, 18 Nov 2020, 15:07
by jsvader
The last few days have been 35+ degrees here - and I had the aircon set to 23. Didn't really notice much, if any difference in range/efficiency at all. It may have gone from 250 to 240 - a drop of about 4%, but that is well within my "how much fun did I have this charge" variance. As the MINI was only released in March in the UK, I wonder if anyone has actually driven one in the cold (as in -10C). I remember seeing an advertising video in the snow, so it probably has been done. The best efficiency I have recorded (per charge) is 10.5, which equates to 275km, which is nearly the upper limit. That includes aircon and probably 10-15% freeway driving (90-100k limit). It will never get to -10 where I live until the overdue ice age hits us ;)

At least they don't trot out the overly pessimistic EPA figures. I actually tried to see if I could get down to 110miles range. Every opportunity I floored it in sport mode (without speeding), and turned down the regen. Aircon was blasting, as was the stereo. Still had about 10% left as I was passing 175km :) Did about 40% on the freeway too (100kph limit). It was fun, but at least in Oz you can't reach (down to) the EPA estimate.