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2021 MINI Electric Hardtop

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$29,900 - 29,900 MSRP

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2021 MINI Electric Hardtop Review

The 2021 Mini Electric Hardtop has less range than many EVs, but it's more fun to drive than most hybrid and electric cars. It also has a stylish interior and intuitive tech. This Mini doesn’t have an overall score or ranking because it hasn’t been fully crash tested or rated for reliability.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • Fashionable interior
  • High maximum cargo capacity
  • User-friendly infotainment
  • Shorter driving range than several other EVs
  • Cramped back seat
  • Poor cargo capacity with rear seats up

Research & Ratings

The 2021 MINI Electric Hardtop is unranked in Hybrid and Electric Cars due to missing safety data. Currently, the MINI Electric Hardtop's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 9 pieces of research and data.

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Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 6.0
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other hybrid and electric cars.
N/A
Reliability:
This model has never been fully tested for reliability. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other hybrid and electric cars.
N/A

Thinking of leasing a MINI Electric Hardtop?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Mini Electric Hardtop a Good Car?

Yes, the Mini Electric Hardtop – also known as the Mini Cooper SE – is a good car. It has an energetic powertrain and adept handling, and it gets terrific fuel economy ratings. The cabin is attractive and well-built, the infotainment tech is user-friendly, and this Mini has a higher maximum cargo capacity than most other hybrid and electric cars.

The Electric Hardtop has a few shortcomings as well. The big one is its range. With a maximum range of 110 miles, this Mini won't take you as far on a charge as most other EVs. The Mini Electric also has cramped rear seats, and its cargo capacity is pretty paltry unless the rear seats are folded down.

Why You Can Trust Us: 9 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This 2021 Mini Electric Hardtop review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2020.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

Should I Buy the Mini Electric Hardtop?

The Mini Electric Hardtop has a lot going for it, as detailed above. And its below-average battery range is unlikely to cause problems for most people, except in road trip situations. That said, there are several worthy options in the class, and it's not as if this Mini – and its above-average starting price – are a slam dunk from a value standpoint. You may want to see how it stacks up against alternatives such as the Nissan Leaf, Kia Niro EV, and BMW i3.

Compare the Mini Electric Hardtop, Leaf, and i3 »

2020 vs. 2021 Mini Electric Hardtop: What's the Difference?

The 2021 Mini Electric Hardtop, also known as the Mini Cooper SE, sees no major changes, meaning it's virtually identical to the 2020 debut model.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Mini Electric Hardtop »

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2020 Mini Electric Hardtop review to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Mini Electric Hardtop Cost?

The Mini Cooper SE starts at $29,900 for the base Signature trim. That's higher than several other hybrid and electric vehicles, but it's not unreasonable in a class where starting prices can reach the mid-$30,000s.

The mid-$30s is where the top trim of the Mini Electric Hardtop sits, with a starting cost of $36,900. That, too, is a little high for the class, but several competitors approach or exceed that price.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mini dealer.

Can I Lease the Mini Electric Hardtop?

Yes, Mini offers lease options on its vehicles.

Mini Electric Hardtop Versus the Competition

Mini Electric Hardtop vs. Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is one of the most well-known hybrid and electric cars. While it isn't as athletic as the Mini Electric Hardtop, it's better in a few key areas. The Leaf comes with a 147-horsepower 40-kWh or a 214-horsepower 62-kWh electric motor. Both deliver quick acceleration, and both provide the Leaf with a longer range than the Mini Electric. The Mini handles better and has a more stylish cabin, but the Leaf has more rear-seat space, a standard touch-screen infotainment system (complete with Android Auto, which the Mini doesn’t offer), and more cargo room behind the rear seats.

Compare the Mini Electric Hardtop and Leaf »

Mini Electric Hardtop vs. BMW i3

The BMW i3 sits in the luxury hybrid and electric car class, and it's a better car than the Mini Electric Hardtop. However, it's also much more expensive, with a starting MSRP that’s nearly $15,000 higher than the Mini's. The i3 has more power, a longer range, more passenger and cargo space, and a longer standard features list. The BMW isn't as athletic as the Mini Electric, but it's still highly maneuverable.

Compare the Mini Electric Hardtop and i3 »

Compare the Mini Electric Hardtop, Leaf, and i3 »

Mini Electric Hardtop Performance: A Fun-to-Drive EV

Mini Electric Hardtop Powertrain

The Mini Cooper SE features an electric motor that puts out 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. It's mated with a single-speed transmission. Those numbers may not wow you, but this is a punchy powertrain. The Mini Electric zips off the line, and it has ample power when merging or passing on the highway.

Mini Electric Hardtop Mileage

The Mini Electric has incredible fuel economy ratings. It gets 115 MPG-equivalent in the city and 100 MPGe on the highway. By any measure, those are terrific numbers, though a few other EVs manage to surpass them.

For more information, read What is MPGe?

What Is the Driving Range of a Mini Electric Hardtop?

The Mini Electric Hardtop has an estimated driving range of 110 miles. Many other EVs, including the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt, have longer ranges. Still, this Mini's range should easily be enough for most drivers' daily commute.

How Do You Charge the Mini Electric Hardtop?

The Mini Electric Hardtop comes with a charging cable that's set up to plug into a standard three-prong outlet, so you can charge it at any 120- or 240-volt outlet in your home without requiring any special equipment. However, you can buy a specialty Level 2 home charger, which will lead to faster charging times.

How Long Does it Take to Charge the Mini Electric Hardtop?

With a 120-volt household-style power outlet, you can recharge the Mini Cooper SE in about 24 hours. That drops to about eight hours with a 240-volt power supply and to around four hours with a 32-amp Level 2 home charger.

As for charging on the go, it'll take you about four hours to get a full charge with AC public charging, but you can get an 80% charge in about 36 minutes at a DC fast charging station.

The Mini Cooper SE comes with a programmable locking feature for the charging port. When active, it prevents the cord from being unplugged while the vehicle is charging and will automatically unlock once the Mini is fully charged, thus allowing others to use the charging station.

Where Can I Charge the Mini Electric Hardtop?

In addition to charging at home, you can charge this Mini at thousands of public charging stations around the country. You can find these locations at gas stations, rest areas, parking garages, store parking lots, and many other areas.

How Long Will the Mini Electric Hardtop's Battery Last?

Mini provides an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for the Electric Hardtop’s battery.

Mini Electric Hardtop Ride and Handling

People think of Minis as agile little go-karts, and while the Mini Cooper SE may lag a little behind its siblings, it still fits that mold. It has a low center of gravity, helping it feel planted around turns and corner at speed without much body roll. The steering is sharp, and this Mini is much more fun to drive than many EV competitors.

The ride is firm but not uncomfortable, and there are two levels of regenerative braking, including one that helps the regen brakes feel more like traditional brakes.

How Fast Is the Mini Electric Hardtop?

The Mini Electric isn't lightning-quick, but it goes from zero to 60 mph in about seven seconds. This Mini has a top speed of 93 miles per hour.

Is the Mini Electric Hardtop Available with All-Wheel Drive?

The Mini Electric is not offered with all-wheel drive. All models have front-wheel drive.

Read more about performance »

Mini Electric Hardtop Interior: Stylish but Small

Mini Electric Hardtop Cargo Space

Cargo space in the Electric Hardtop is good or bad, depending on how you look at it. The 8.7-cubic-foot area behind the rear seats is one of the smallest in the class. However, many hybrid and electric cars don't have fold-down rear seats like this Mini, so the Electric Hardtop's 34-cubic-foot maximum capacity is one of the best in the class.

How Many People Does the Mini Electric Hardtop Seat?

This Mini seats four people. The front seats provide enough head- and legroom for almost anyone to sit comfortably. It's easy to find a suitable driving position, and you'll enjoy good visibility. The rear seats aren't as spacious as those in the front, however, and most adults will probably feel cramped back there.

Mini Electric Hardtop and Child Car Seats

The Mini Cooper SE has two full sets of LATCH connectors for the rear seats.

Mini Electric Hardtop Interior Quality

Opinions are all over the place regarding the Mini Electric's interior. A lot of reviewers agree that it's stylish, but not everyone appreciates the unique design elements. Some critics argue that this is a quiet, luxurious cabin, but others say the interior feels low-rent because of the prevalence of hard plastics.

Mini Electric Hardtop Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The infotainment system works pretty well, and it's not overly complicated. The display, as well as the physical buttons and knobs, are all easy to see, identify, and reach from the driver's seat, making it easy to adjust settings on the go. However, some components, such as the gearshift, were clearly designed with form rather than function in mind and aren't as easy to use as they could be.

This Mini also offers some interesting features that aren't available in most class rivals. The energy-efficient heat pump uses excess heat from the electric motor to provide warmth to the cabin. The pre-conditioning feature lets you use the Mini Connected app to remotely heat or cool the Mini's cabin before you enter the vehicle.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 6.5-inch display, navigation, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and the Mini Connected telematics system
  • Available infotainment features: an 8.8-inch touch screen and a Harman Kardon audio system
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, an energy-efficient heat pump, and pre-conditioning
  • Other available features: a panoramic moonroof and wireless device charging

Read more about interior »

Mini Electric Hardtop Reliability

Is the Mini Electric Hardtop Reliable?

The 2021 Mini Cooper SE currently does not have a predicted reliability rating.

Mini Electric Hardtop Warranty

This Mini comes with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty. It also comes with an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for the battery.

Read more about reliability »

Mini Electric Hardtop Safety

Mini Electric Hardtop Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Mini Electric Hardtop.

Mini Electric Hardtop Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Speed limit information
  • Rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Head-up display
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Parallel park assist

Read more about safety »

Mini Electric Hardtop Dimensions and Weight

The Mini Electric Hardtop has a curb weight of 3,153 pounds. Though Mini hasn't published exact length figures for this car, the Mini Electric Hardtop is expected to have nearly identical dimensions to the gas-powered Mini Cooper Hardtop, which is about 12.7 feet long.

Where Is the Mini Electric Hardtop Built?

Mini builds the 2021 Mini Electric Hardtop in the United Kingdom.

Which Mini Electric Hardtop Model Is Right for Me?

The Mini Electric Hardtop, also called the Mini Cooper SE, comes in three trims: Signature, Signature Plus, and Iconic. Every model features a 181-horsepower electric motor, a single-speed transmission, and front-wheel drive.

Even the base Signature trim comes well-equipped, so many buyers won't feel the need to step up from there. The Signature Plus only adds a few features, but the Iconic comes with some nice driver assistance and infotainment upgrades, albeit for a fairly significant price increase: It’s $7,000 more than the base trim.

Mini Cooper SE Signature

The Mini Cooper SE Signature carries a base price of $29,900. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display, navigation, Mini Connected, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay.

Standard driver assistance features include forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, speed limit information, and a rearview camera.

Mini Cooper SE Signature Plus

The Mini Cooper SE Signature Plus starts at $33,900. In addition to the Signature's features, the Signature Plus comes with a panoramic moonroof, rear parking sensors, and a Harman Kardon audio system.

Mini Cooper SE Iconic

The Mini Cooper SE Iconic costs $36,900. The Iconic trim comes with distinctive styling options, front parking sensors, parallel park assist, a head-up display, an 8.8-inch touch screen, and wireless device charging.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mini dealer.

See 2021 Mini Electric Hardtop specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Mini Electric Hardtop is an intriguing choice among hybrid and electric cars. It has an energetic powertrain and handles better than most rivals, making it one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class. It has a stylish interior as well, though it's not as spacious as many competitors. The big issue with this Mini is its below-average range. If that's not a deal breaker for you, then this small EV is worth a look.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Provided that you can live with the Mini Cooper SE's relatively limited range, it's a thoroughly appealing car. It has one of the most powerful electric powertrains you can get for the money, and its (sic) as fun to drive as any other Mini – which is a lot. It even has classically appealing styling in a segment where offerings are strange, drab, or worse. It even offers plenty of great comfort and convenience features for an attractive price. Not only is this a thoroughly appealing electric city car, it's arguably the best Mini Cooper hardtop value you can get." -- Autoblog (2020)
  • "Ultimately, the 2020 Mini SE Electric is fun to drive and priced well enough that it deserves to earn its way on to shopping lists -- especially among those who never thought they could afford to go electric." -- CNET (2020)
  • "The Mini Cooper SE is a different sort of electric car, one predicated on the assumption that you don't need to drive 200 miles on a charge. Thus, the compromises that we've come to expect in the name of extended range – slave-to-aero styling, rock-hard tires, porcine curb weight, higher price – are nixed from the beginning, rendering the rest of the car better in every way. If you don't have too far to go, this might be the best electric way to get you there." -- Car and Driver (2020)
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