MINI Cooper review

MINI Cooper Electric

We get behind the wheel of the next-generation pure electric MINI hatchback…

As the saying goes, you wait ages for a bus and then two come along at once. MINIs are a bit like that.

After a lean period on the launch front, this year has already seen the unveiling of the all-new MINI Aceman crossover, and the introduction of the third generation MINI Countryman family SUV.

Now there’s the subject of this road test – the fifth-generation MINI hatch. Or to be precise, the MINI Cooper, as it’s now known.

Built on a new EV platform, there are two versions so far – the Cooper E and SE.

MINI Cooper Electric

Priced from £30,000, the entry-level Cooper E gets a 40.7kWh battery that’s good for 190 miles of range in official tests. Power output is 187bhp, which means it’s capable of a swift 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds.

Splash out on a Cooper SE (from £34,500) and battery capacity increases to 54.2kWh for a range of up to 250 miles. Its 215bhp means it can sprint to 62mph in an even quicker 6.7 seconds.

Just as importantly, the E and SE can be charged at 75kW and 95kW respectively, meaning a 10-80% recharge takes around 30 minutes.

Like the rest of the new MINI family, the Cooper embraces a more minimalist look. There’s no chrome trim, but there’s still that iconic body shape with the wheels pushed out to the corners, plus trademark circular headlights.

MINI Cooper Electric

At the rear, the lights are customisable, so customers can choose between three different light signatures, including the familiar Union Flag option.

It’s paired back inside too, and now the centrepiece is the world’s first circular OLED display.

Serving as an instrument cluster and onboard infotainment hub, the stunning touchscreen is 9.4 inches in diameter. The upper half displays vehicle-related information such as speed and battery status, with the lower area is used for navigation, media, phone and climate.

Frankly, it’s a little overwhelming at first because there’s an awful lot going on there, but we reckon it would all start to make sense after a week or so of ownership. Thankfully, MINI has kept a few signature toggle switches below the touchscreen.

MINI Cooper Electric

The display’s party trick is a range of different ‘Experience’ modes, which change the look of the infotainment system and the car’s driving characteristics.

The default ‘Experience’ mode is referred to as Core – the others are Green, Go-Kart, Personal, Vivid, Timeless and Balance. Whenever you change the mode there’s a corresponding animation and jingle that plays. You’ll either find these quirky or irritating.

There’s are three trim levels (Classic, Exclusive and Sport) – each with its own theme. Classic’s highlights include a 2D knitted textile dashboard covering and black synthetic leather sports seats. Exclusive gets a two-tone houndstooth pattern for its knitted textile trim on the dash panel and perforated sports seats, while Sport delivers multi-coloured knitted textile and black synthetic leather with red stitching.

Premium quality of the cabin has always been a MINI strength. Except for the soft synthetic leather seats, I’d say the new model isn’t quite as classy, with its blend of rough-textured ‘knitted’ fabric made from recycled materials wrapped round the dashboard and door cards, and scratchy plastic surfaces below.

MINI Cooper Electric

There’s also the small matter of rear seat and boot space. Same old story here, because despite being a tad longer, the new MINI is still snug in the back, while luggage space is a modest 200 litres, rising to 800 litres with the rear seats folded.

That said, it is well equipped. Every MINI Cooper comes with adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera, ambient lighting and a heated steering wheel, for instance.

MINIs are known for their go-kart driving experience, and the EV version doesn’t disappoint. There’s fantastic performance thanks to all that instant torque, while sharp-steering, superb grip and almost no body lean make it feel like it’s running on rails.

That said, some may find the ride on the stiff side, and the handling can get fidgety if you push too far.

Gareth Herincx driving the MINI Cooper Electric

I suspect owners will probably stick to default Core mode with its light steering feel and moderate throttle response, but it’s fun to shift it into Go Kart for short bursts too, with its heavier steering, quicker downshifts and sharper throttle response.

Frankly, there not a huge gulf between the E and SE on the road. If anything, the lighter E (smaller battery) is slightly more nimble, despite having fewer horses. Naturally, the E and SE are particularly easy to drive around town.

Unlike many EVs, the brakes are progressive, while the regenerative system works well, with a good selection of levels.

Gareth Herincx driving the MINI Cooper Electric

It always seems unfair to criticise road and wind noise when reviewing an EV, because obviously it’s going to be more noticeable, but it was higher than expected – especially on poorer road surfaces.

We drove both models back-to-back during an entertaining, sunny day in the Cotswolds. In real-world driving, we’d expect the Cooper E to manage around 160 miles and the SE closer to 200 miles, depending on the weather and location. And, if you drive mainly in urban areas, your range should be closer to the official WLTP figures.

Overall, the retro cool new Cooper is not perfect, but in many ways it’s everything you’d hope for from an electric MINI.

Verdict: The all-new, all-electric MINI Cooper is a worthy descendant of the iconic original. Yes, it’s much bigger, but it still oozes character, puts a big smile on your face, and it’s packed with cutting-edge tech. Job done.

MINI Cooper Electric


All-new MINI Cooper goes into production in the UK

Gareth Herincx

21 hours ago
Auto News

First fifth-generation MINI Cooper rolls off the production line at Plant Oxford

The first fifth generation MINI Cooper has been manufactured at Plant Oxford, the home of MINI.

The first three-door model was driven off the production line by Charlie Cooper, grandson of the legendary John Cooper, whose heritage inspired the Cooper moniker.

The new MINI Cooper is the latest generation to be built in the UK, with all three BMW Group UK manufacturing sites contributing to production: 

BMW Group Plant Swindon produces body pressings and sub-assemblies, while the latest highly-efficient three and four-cylinder petrol engines are built at BMW Group Plant Hams Hall in North Warwickshire. 

Finally, these parts come together at MINI Plant Oxford where body shell production, paint and final assembly take place.

Since the launch of the first modern MINI in 2001, more than 4.4 million MINIs have been produced in the UK – including 150,000 MINI Electric models (built between 2019 and 2023).

The new MINI Cooper is the third member of the new MINI family, joining the MINI Cooper Electric and the new MINI Countryman. Available in two model variants: the MINI Cooper C and performance-enhanced MINI Cooper S, the latest three-door merges traditional brand values with innovative technology.

“This milestone underscores the commitment to our roots while propelling us into a dynamic future of driving,” said Stefanie Wurst, Head of MINI.

“Plant Oxford is the heart of the MINI brand, and today, as we witness the birth of this new chapter, we renew our pledge to craftsmanship and the thrill of motoring.”

Dr. Markus Grüneisl, Head of Plants Oxford and Swindon added, “We are delighted to welcome the new MINI Cooper to our lines in both Oxford and Swindon. 

“The new MINI Cooper is an incredibly important car for our team and UK manufacturing. We are proud to produce this iconic car, loved all over the world.”

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MINI Aceman

The upcoming MINI Aceman electric crossover has been undergoing final testing in the desert in strong sunlight and temperatures of up to 50 Degrees C.

The Aceman, which has already successfully completed tests at the Arctic Circle, combines “the features of the two most successful MINI models, the MINI Cooper and the MINI Countryman, to create a new vehicle concept”.

MINI Aceman

In addition to driving dynamics and comfort, the test team is focusing on the demanding aspects of an electric vehicle, such as the air conditioning, charging and cooling of the battery in extreme conditions.

The MINI Aceman will bridge the gap between the MINI Cooper and the MINI Countryman and is expected to be unveiled at the Auto China show on 24 April.

Only available as an EV, it will have a modest battery size of 54.2kWh and power will come from a single electric motor at the front axle. Range is expected to be up to 248 miles.


Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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New MINI Cooper Electric

BMW Group has announced a new investment of more than £600 million in the MINI factories at Oxford and Swindon.

The Oxford plant is gearing-up to build two new all-electric MINI models from 2026, the 3-door MINI Cooper and the compact crossover MINI Aceman.

This development has been supported by the UK Government and will help to secure jobs at the Oxford manufacturing plant and at the body-pressing facility in Swindon.

“With this new investment we will develop the Oxford plant for production of the new generation of electric MINIs and set the path for purely electric car manufacturing in the future,” said Milan Nedeljković, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for production.

MINI Plant Oxford

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said “BMW Group’s investment is another shining example of how the UK is the best place to build cars of the future. By backing our car manufacturing industry, we are securing thousands of jobs and growing our economy right across the country.”

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said, “This decision is a big vote of confidence in the UK economy and the work of this Government to ensure the continued strength of our world-leading automotive sector. We are proud to be able to support BMW Group’s investment, which will secure high-quality jobs, strengthen our supply chains, and boost Britain’s economic growth”.

The MINI Plant Oxford currently produces the MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door as well as the MINI Clubman and the MINI Electric.

From 2024 the plant will start producing the next generation MINI 3-door and MINI 5-door with combustion engines, as well as the new MINI Convertible, before they are joined by the new all-electric vehicles in 2026 – the MINI Cooper 3-door and the MINI Aceman.

The factory will reach a production capacity of around 200,000 cars per year in the medium term, with ICE and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) initially being built on the same production line. From 2030, the Oxford Plant will produce all-electric MINI models exclusively.

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Video,Gallery, Stats: 2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP

MINI John Cooper Works GP Specifications

Performance & Economy 2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP 2012 MINI John Cooper Works GP 2006 MINI John Cooper Works GP
Engine 1,998cc turbocharged inline 4-cylinder 1,598cc turbocharged inline 4-cylinder 1,598cc supercharged inline 4-cylinder
Transmission 8-speed Steptronic, front engine, front-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front engine, front-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front engine, front-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) 310 / 306 218 / 215 at 6,000rpm 218 / 215 at 7,100rpm
Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 450 / 332 260 / 206 at 2,000 – 5,100rpm 250 / 184 at 4,600 rpm
0 – 62 mph (seconds) 5.2 6.3 6.5
Top Speed (mph) 165 150 149
CO2 Emissions (g/km) 167 165 207
VED Band I G K
Combined Economy (mpg) 39 39 32
Weight (kg) TBC 1,235 1,120
Price (OTR) £34,995 (in 2020) £28,795 (in 2012) ££22,000 (in 2006)

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