2022 MINI Cooper SE. Still A Great Driving Pleasure

2022 Mini Cooper SE: Overview

2022 MINI Cooper SE

The electirified Mini combines the traditional go-cart like Mini handling with tomorrow’s reality of BEV’s

For about 10 years, we tested almost all the models of MINI sold in Canada. We as Autoandroad are very familiar with this iconic British car in German hands. If we should summarize Mini in one sentence it would be “The driving pleasure.”

This was true also for the first all-electric Mini we tested. Furthermore, it was also the Mini, we could get an idea about fastest. Before I hit the road with the fully charged electric Mini, seeing the range of 170 kilometres was a cause for concern. My early conclusion was: This car would put your Mini love and admiration to the test.

2022 Mini Cooper SE: Engine and powertrain

The maximum power of the Mini Electric is 135 kW (181 hp) and 199 lb-ft of torque

With the 32.6 kWh battery pack, the all-electric Mini has 177 kilometres of driving range. The maximum power is 135 kW (181 hp) and 199 lb-ft of torque. You may argue that this is fine for daily urban commuting in most cases. I would say for a smoother transition to the all-electric era, Mini could have a range-extender as we had with the BMW i3, its corporate cousin. I even insist that a range extender could be an excellent transformational solution until BMW would introduce the next-gen Mini EV with a significantly better range in a couple of years.

2022 Mini Cooper SE: Interior

It was and is no small challenge for BMW Group to maintain the character of Mini’s classic design while creating a modern and premium interior for a small car. As we have observed over the years, it worked well. Congrats to the Mini design team. They executed every detail very well with high-quality materials and workmanship.

There is no doubt that you are in a premium vehicle. One design feature I love about Mini, in particular, is the almost vertical A-pillar, which gives you more headroom and makes entry and exit so much easier. We owe this feature to the classic original and less aerodynamic design.

The interior is typically Mini: Modern interpretation of traditional design elements with premium materials and execution

The 5.5-inch digital gauge cluster displays the battery’s charge level, driving range, nav info, and other infotainment functions. The old central speedometer of the classic Mini is now the 8.8″ infotainment display which you can control with a BMW style “i-drive” easily and precisely. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are standard

With the dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, heated front seats, Harman-Kardon Sound System and a heat-pump design that uses 75 percent less energy than a traditional electric heater for warming the passenger cabin, the electric Mini offers unique solutions and premium level equipment. Mini also has a cool feature: Ambient interior lighting, complete with six different colours.

For the full list of equipment, see the window sticker below.

The big, round central instrument is not a speedometer as in the days of the old Mini but houses the infotainment display

The instrument cluster is attached to the steering column and moves with it

Rear seats are for short drives or for kids only. This is not a surprise for a Mini

2022 Mini Cooper SE: Driving Impressions

With its go-cart-like handling, this Mini did not disappoint us. And the battery pack lovers the centre of gravity and improves the already good road-holding and handling. Not so much with charging. We should probably call this section “charging impressions”. As we planned before, we did not charge the vehicle at a regular household outlet with 110V since we simply did not have the time to do so. A Mini SE driver living in a condo unit could not do this either. And with a fast-charging unit, we “collected” 7.1265 kWh is one hour, 11 minutes and 36 seconds to be exact. This is only 20 percent of the battery capacity.

Excepting the range anxiety, the driving pleasure is always a strong selling point

 

17″ two-tone wheels are standard

2022 Mini Cooper SE: Pricing and Specification

The MSRP of our tester is just shy of 50K. This is a competitive price for a well-equipped premium vehicle.

2022 Mini Cooper is eligible for federal credits of up to $5,000 depending upon leasing and purchasing options. However, you should pros and cons. This vehicle does not only have a significantly shorter range than the Chevrolet Bolt EV or Nissan Leaf EV but is also smaller and less practical with only 3 doors.

Nevertheless, for fans of Mini, and because of its cool image and great driving dynamics, these cons can be disregarded.
For pricing and specification details, please see the window sticker of our tester below:

2022 Mini Cooper SE: Conclusion

As we returned the vehicle, the range was next to nothing. A drive that also tested our nerves

In terms of driving pleasure, this one is a true Mini. However, the range is too short and the range anxiety is high.

Anyone who opts for a BEV and a Mini at the same time, should and will consider this vehicle as a second car and have a fast charger at home. Considering the premium character of a Mini and the rich equipment, this is a very competitively priced and relatively affordable Mini. However, the range is significantly shorter than main rivals such as; Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf. Mini Cooper SE will remain as a niche model in an already competitive and small market segment. At least until the next generation.

It is also worth mentioning that The Ford Focus Electric I tested 8 years ago had a slightly better range.

For more information, please visit: http://www.mini.ca