A Class Of Its Own

2021 Mini Cooper SE review | Car Reviews

Auto123 testimonials the 2021 Mini Cooper SE all-electric powered vehicle.

Past calendar year, when Mini unveiled its very 1st electric powered vehicle, now recognized as the Cooper SE, the principal criticism lobbed its way had to do with the model’s fairly disappointing array. With an exceptional array of 177 km concerning recharges, the only Mini driven completely by energy is not precisely slice out for long journeys.

Like its historic ancestor from the 1960s – the 1st to carry the identify was introduced in 1959 – the Cooper SE would seem primarily confined to urban use. In point, if you are fascinated in the strategy, you have to be prepared to include shorter distances concerning visits to the charging station. On the other hand, the thought of combining the driving pleasure of a Cooper S with a hundred% electric powered propulsion would seem fairly darn appealing to me. In the course of a week of tests in the Increased Montreal area at the conclude of August, I set out to ascertain if the reality matched the genius of that thought.

Take note: In principle, I was scheduled for an previously introduction to this new variety of Mini in the spring, but the coronavirus pandemic postponed this 1st contact right up until late summer season. Here is what I took absent from my take a look at push of the 2021 Mini Cooper SE with the Leading+ offer, the most costly in the array, which raises the bill to $47,990 alternatively of the $39,990 tag attached to the no-frills product.

2021 Mini Cooper SE

Plainly a Mini Cooper
The designers of the electric powered Cooper S did not definitely have a choice: an icon like the Cooper has to maintain its characteristics to capture the eye of the curious. On the outside the house, in addition to the distinct bumper with a gray and yellow panel alternatively of the usual grille and the asymmetrical wheels that match it beautifully, the Cooper SE also sees some certain badging added to the bodywork. Oh, and no exhaust idea is incorporated with this variant. The natural way.

It is really the exact inside the exact dashboard as the Cooper S is existing, the only hanging variance getting the tiny slim display screen driving the steering wheel – an addition created final calendar year. Not much from the ventilation controls, you can find also a swap that modulates the power recovery method through braking. For the relaxation, you’d swear you are sitting down in a Cooper S with a handful of additional bright yellow stripes.

Also, the T-formed battery pack has no damaging impact on the quantity accessible in this town vehicle, which is a great detail due to the fact definitely the modern-day Cooper is continue to as restrictive as ever for its second-row travellers. And the exact applies to the 226 litres of trunk house, which scarcely manages to take in groceries for two grown ups.

Yes, it is clearly a Mini Cooper!

2021 Mini Cooper SE, interior

2021 Mini Cooper SE, inside

2021 Mini Cooper SE, main screen

2021 Mini Cooper SE, principal display screen

Both equally inside and out, the Cooper SE comes out of the exact mildew as the other Coopers with combustion engines. But when you start out ‘er up, the hum of a a few- or 4-cylinder unknit is nowhere to be heard, replaced by an artificial sound that announces the start out of the motor housed concerning the two entrance push wheels. After that short burst of sound, the Cooper SE will become as tranquil as a parked vehicle, just like other EVs on the road.

Of training course, a swift glance at the info display screen on prime of the steering column is a ought to just before every journey, if only to make positive the battery is billed, specifically supplied the car’s limited array. But when that’s taken care of, the Cooper SE is just waiting to be driven. And absent you go, like a bat out of heck if you so choose.

Like any electric powered car, full torque from the powertrain is felt instantaneously, from the 1st handful of turns of the wheels. A little way too much force on the correct pedal can even make the tires squeal, but only if traction command is deactivated. No, the Cooper SE is not precisely a rubber-burning beast, but entrance wheel spin is attainable.

2021 Mini Cooper SE, profile

2021 Mini Cooper SE, profile

One more not insignificant element: the power-recovery method is put by default in its “Solid Restoration” mode at each start out, which will shock you at 1st when you release the correct pedal to decelerate when approaching a end. For a lot less extreme deceleration, a straightforward push of the swap turns the Cooper SE into a vehicle as docile as any gasoline-driven product. I endorse bearing with the jerky push at the starting while: the discovering curve is short, and you fairly promptly discover to dose the force you use on the correct pedal to get clean braking. Try to remember, array is at a premium in the SE, so you want to improve it.

What I adore about this electric powered Mini is that it presents the exact variety of driving encounter as a Cooper S – minus the raspy sound of the exhaust method of training course! The steering is as specific and swift as ever, the suspension is business and the braking is efficient. Chassis rigidity is also a reassuring ingredient when driving, even while the temperature-worn pavement reminds us how much 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 correct for a “toy vehicle” like the Cooper SE. Continue to, I question if the engineers at John Cooper Functions will ever set their signature on a extra-dynamic version of the Cooper SE. We can desire, can not we?

2021 Mini Cooper SE, three-quarters rear

2021 Mini Cooper SE, a few-quarters rear

The final term
At the threat of repeating myself, the 177 km array is the Cooper SE’s Achilles’ heel. But for numerous motorists, that’s extra than sufficient distance for everyday commuting. After all, you will not go to the backcountry every day, do you?

As for the very hefty cost tag affixed to my Leading+ trim ($47,990), it is a little a lot less unpleasant in Quebec the place the town dweller is suitable for the two levels of government rebates. In other phrases, this very costly MINI electric powered vehicle is priced at $34,990 (just before planning fees and taxes) in La Belle Province. Take note that elsewhere in the region, buyers of the Cooper SE can at least take gain of the federal application that will take $five,000 out of the equation, while in British Columbia, the application continue to lets up to $three,000 in rebates.

We like

A Mini Cooper S… without the need of the combustion engine
Sharp accelerations
High-quality of execution

We like a lot less

Vary way too short
Electrical power-recovery mode is a little extreme
Minimal inside house

The competitors

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

2021 Mini Cooper SE, rear

2021 Mini Cooper SE, rear

2021 Mini Cooper SE photographs