Donna Kelly has over 12 years of experience in the motoring industry, writing, test driving and tweeting about cars. Her weekends are spent trackside, covering racing events.
Retaining MINI’s fun handling and unique styling, with the efficiency and economy of an all-electric engine, the MINI Electric is a popular lease choice in the increasingly competitive EV market.
Fitted with a 32kWh battery and 181bhp electric motor, the MINI Electric can travel up to 145 miles between charges, making it an attractive alternative to rivals such as the Honda E, Mazda MX-30, Peugeot e-208 and Renault Zoe.
Our MINI Electric review covers:
Similar in size and shape to the three-door MINI hatchback, the latest generation MINI Electric was refreshed in 2020 to entice more drivers to make the step to all-electric motoring.
The new model boasts subtle changes, including a smart-looking body-coloured grille, new paint colours, new alloy wheel design and a Multitone roof with three colours sprayed onto each other.
As expected from a small car, space inside the MINI Electric is a little tight, with less headroom than the petrol model due to the position of the battery pack. The reduced headroom is even more noticeable in Level 3 models due to the panoramic sunroof, which slightly drops the ceiling height. As such, if you plan to carry passengers often, rivals such as the Peugeot e-208 and Renault Zoe are better suited, with all offering seating for up to five.
At the rear, boot space is the same as the three-door MINI hatchback. At 211 litres, it's around 100 litres less than the Peugeot e-208 and Renault Zoe but can still carry a single large suitcase or a couple of carry-on cases. On the plus side, a two-level boot floor comes as standard, as does 50/50-split rear seats, which come in handy when carrying larger items.
Inside, the MINI Electric boasts the same funky design as other cars in the range, with MINI's trademark circular centrepiece on the dashboard. There's plenty of soft-touch plastics on display, as well as solid-feeling controls and switches. The MINI Electric also boasts some fantastic new digital dials with a classy matte finish, which display key stats, such as your range, power use, speed and trip info.
All models get an 8.8-inch infotainment system as standard, with Bluetooth, DAB radio, sat-nav and Apple Carplay smartphone mirroring. The system is impressive for its class, with clear graphics and good screen quality, and can be controlled via the touchscreen or via the rotary dial and menu shortcut buttons between the front seats.
There are three models to choose from, including Level 1, 2 and 3.
The entry Level 1 comes well-equipped with climate control, cruise control, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers.
Level 2 offer the best value for money, adding keyless entry, power-folding door mirrors, heated front seats and automatic emergency braking (AEB).
The top-of-the-range Level 3 trim boasts a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, an upgraded sound system and a self-parking feature.
The MINI Electric is powered by a front-mounted 181bhp electric motor, which combines both power and efficiency. Its 0-62mph time is nearly as quick as the turbocharged petrol Cooper S at just 7.3 seconds, which makes it fun to drive both in and around town, as well as out on country roads.
In terms of range, MINI state the Electric can travel up to 145 miles on a single full charge. Charging times vary from just under five hours using a 7kW home wall box charger to 28 minutes from 10-80% using a 50kW public rapid charger.
Out on the road, the MINI Electric is great to drive, thanks to its excellent grip and precise steering. As expected, it feels sportier than the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208 but does feel a little firm over lumps and bumps in the road, which impedes the comfort slightly.
Prices for the new MINI Electric start from £27,920.00 OTR* or to lease from £279.61 per month.
Thinking of going electric for 2022? Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has some fantastic lease deals on the MINI Electric, which could make car leasing cheaper than buying outright with a bank loan or dealer finance.
All our lease deals include road tax, breakdown cover, free mainland GB delivery and the full manufacturer's warranty. We also work with the MINI UK franchised dealer network, meaning you can not only benefit from a great lease price but also the trust and reliability that comes from a main dealership.
*'On the road' price is correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change. Always check with your nearest retailer.