2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric: EV zip that won't break the bank
2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric: EV zip that won't break the bank
3:27

2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric: EV zip that won't break the bank

Cars
This is the 2020 Mini Cooper electric. And on one hand, it promises to be fun to drive efficient, and a surprisingly good value. But on the other hand, its lack of ambition is bothering me a little bit. Let's hop in, take a drive through Miami, and I'll explain to you what I mean. This is minis first production EV the first that lets you buy at any rate. Way back in 09 the company built and leased hundreds of electric hatchbacks called Mini E as part of a global test. That's way back at the dawn of modern electric cars, even predating Tesla's Model S. After that study, many went dark on EV's, and it's taken over a decade but now this Cooper SE is finally here. Many stylists have applied a light touch in differentiating this battery powered Cooper from its gas relatives. There's a smooth Dover grill for better arrow, a new rear bumper cap and a bunch of yellow accents you can opt out of if they're not your thing. The SE's most striking feature is this funky 17 inch asymmetric wheel but you're going to have to splurge for the top end iconic model if you want a set Under this front driver's skin, there's an electric motor borrowed from BMW three, and it's good for 181 horsepower and 199 pound feet of torque. It's motivated by a T shaped to 33 kilowatt hour battery slung low in the frame rails. Zero to 60 happens in a shade under seven seconds and top speed is a modest 93 Fortunately, acceleration feels better than those numbers might suggest. And with plenty of torque for off the line punch and freeway passing this electric Mini is fun, especially set to sport and one pedal drive modes. Plus with 5050 weight distribution and a lower center of gravity than a gas Cooper, the SEC ought to be good fun to fling through the twisties Unfortunately, while Miami's got loads of sunshine, the only curves you'll find are on the beach. And there's a catch with the SE's performance. There's always a catch, right, its range. This car is only estimated at 110 miles, which is less than just about any new EV you can name. Even for a city car, that's likely to rub some buyers the wrong way especially those living in cold weather states. On the plus side, that small battery means quick charge times. A 7.4 kilowatt AC charger will net you a full battery in four hours and if you can find a 50 kilowatt DC fast charger, you can expect 80% replenishment in 36 minutes. Fortunately, there's also a big saving grace for this car and it's a pretty unexpected one for a mini price. The SE starts at 29,900 bucks plus destination, the same price as the new Nissan LEAF and that is before any tax incentives, score the full federal credit and maybe a state or local one, and you could be looking at under 20k in your driveway. That makes this just about the least expensive way to plug into electric motoring. And even the base model comes with loads of gear including LED lighting, navigation, Apple, CarPlay and Android Auto. In the end, it's the SES range that bothers me some, it points to a slight lack of ambition with this model, especially coming from the same company that gave us the radical carbon fiber intensive I three. Plus the underlying F56 platform mini dates from 2014. Thankfully that does help keep costs down and means it's entertaining. So in a nutshell, that's the 2020 Mini electric. It may not be the most ambitious or high tech EV on the market, but with value pricing like this. And a great fun to drive character. It should be enough to really move the needle when it hits dealers this March.

Up Next

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: This Big Bronco Is Here
ford-bronco-raptor-still-v1

Up Next

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: This Big Bronco Is Here

2022 Ford F-150 Raptor Goes Big With 37-Inch Tires
f-150-raptor-still

2022 Ford F-150 Raptor Goes Big With 37-Inch Tires

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Is a Sharp-Looking Swedish EV
volvo-c40-recharge-still

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Is a Sharp-Looking Swedish EV

EVs vs. Gas Engines: We Do the Math on Carbon Emissions
evs-exposed-still

EVs vs. Gas Engines: We Do the Math on Carbon Emissions

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid
yamaha-still

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts
nissan-z-2023-first-drive-holdingstill-cms

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!
gt4-e-perf-still

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport
land-rover-range-rover-sport-fl-still-v1

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy
sierra-at4x-still

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

One Day With Samsung's New Galaxy S23 Ultra
24-hours-with-the-s23-ultra-3

One Day With Samsung's New Galaxy S23 Ultra

'Prehistoric Planet': The Visual Effects Behind the Apple TV Plus Show
prehistoricplanet

'Prehistoric Planet': The Visual Effects Behind the Apple TV Plus Show

Apple's Mysterious New Music App
230201-yt-apple-new-music-app-v05

Apple's Mysterious New Music App

Boston Dynamics' Stretch Robot Is DHL's Newest Helper
dhl-image-without-bug

Boston Dynamics' Stretch Robot Is DHL's Newest Helper

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, S22 Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro Max: How Do They Compare?
yt-samsung-s22-s23-iphone14-pro-max

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, S22 Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro Max: How Do They Compare?

Samsung Galaxy S23 Event: Everything Revealed
1203860653352361-tosb2t0zztw5ftnk6qic-height640.png

Samsung Galaxy S23 Event: Everything Revealed

Most Popular All most popular

Easy Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills and Save Money
yt-reduce-your-utility-bills-v3

Easy Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills and Save Money

How See-Through Solar Panels Could Bring Renewable Energy to Your Windows
trans-solar-panels-seq-00-06-11-19-still001

How See-Through Solar Panels Could Bring Renewable Energy to Your Windows

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account

We Tried These 48-Megapixel AR Glasses From DigiLens With Our Voice
digilens-7-005-mov-17-50-56-10-still002

We Tried These 48-Megapixel AR Glasses From DigiLens With Our Voice

Moto Edge 2022: First Look at Motorola's $498 Phone
motoedge-fl-00-02-03-08-still003

Moto Edge 2022: First Look at Motorola's $498 Phone

Big tech explains how it will fight foreign government hacks in US elections
senate-ceos-facebook-russian-interference-00-07-11-09-still083

Big tech explains how it will fight foreign government hacks in US elections

Latest Products All latest products

Samsung's Galaxy S23 Lineup Is Here With Big Camera Upgrades
cnets23

Samsung's Galaxy S23 Lineup Is Here With Big Camera Upgrades

Testing Apple's New M2 MacBook Pro and Mac Mini
macbook-pro-and-mac-mini

Testing Apple's New M2 MacBook Pro and Mac Mini

Hands On: Google Android Auto in Volvo's New EX90
google-booth-seq-00-08-05-25-still002

Hands On: Google Android Auto in Volvo's New EX90

Hands On: Acer's 3D Stereoscopic Screen
c0270-mp4-02-36-54-21-still001

Hands On: Acer's 3D Stereoscopic Screen

'Hey Disney' Comes to Amazon Echo Devices
ces-disneyalexa-00-01-11-14-still001

'Hey Disney' Comes to Amazon Echo Devices

Hearing Dolby Atmos in a Car Blew Me Away
ces-dolby-00-00-55-13-still001

Hearing Dolby Atmos in a Car Blew Me Away

Latest How To All how to videos

Connect a Meta Quest 2 VR Headset to a PC
pc-vr-5

Connect a Meta Quest 2 VR Headset to a PC

Cast Your Meta Quest Headset to a TV, Phone or Browser
cast-2

Cast Your Meta Quest Headset to a TV, Phone or Browser

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam
1203246975312353-pnmdl8bwygpxcjffhlcf-height640.png

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys
3keyboards

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC
psstill

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account