Affordable Mini Cooper SE earns rave reviews despite low range and no Android Auto, Indian launch on February 24
The BMW Mini Cooper SE, also known as the Mini Electric in the UK and Australia, has grabbed the attention of car and electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts given its highly affordable pricing. Reviewers have been testing out the Mini Cooper SE for quite some time now, and they seem to be highly impressed with what's on offer for the US$29,900 starting price (before incentives).
The base model of the Mini Cooper SE includes heated seats and steering, auto LED headlights and wipers, and an 8.8-inch infotainment system. The car can be additional spruced up with adaptive cruise control, Harmon-Kardon audio, and self-parking. The pricing is not without compromises, however.
The 32.6 kWh battery supports 50 kW DC fast charging but can offer just about 177 km EPA or 235 km WLTP, so the Mini Cooper is better suited for local commute than long drives. Apple CarPlay is included but not Android Auto. Also, the car lacks a level 2 ADAS or Wi-Fi hotspot support leaving you only with basic LTE and Amazon Alexa voice control. There are no power seats either.
Techradar notes that the Mini Cooper SE is fun to drive and is comfortable for two adults. The retro design largely resembles the ICE Mini Cooper S. The publication notes that the car's 181 bhp/135 kW engine can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in about 7 seconds, making it one of the fastest Minis on the market. The car offers four drive modes — Sport, Mid, Green, and Green+ — to choose from depending on your requirements. Apart from the 50 kW DC fast charge, the Mini Cooper SE also supports the slower level 2 AC charging up to 7.5 kW, In the US, the car comes with a 120V 16A level 1 charging adapter.
While the Mini Cooper SE isn't really cut out for long-distance trips or for extra space, it does come across as an affordable electric car if the aforementioned weaknesses don't matter. The pricing can further drop to just about US$20,400 with applicable state rebates and federal tax credit.
In India, the Mini Cooper SE will launch on February 24 as a completely built unit (CBU) and will be followed by the BMW i4 later. According to the Hindustan Times, all first 30 units of the Mini Cooper SE have already been booked. The car will be available in White Silver, Midnight Black, Moonwalk Grey, and British Racing Green colors and will be priced around the ₹50,00,000 mark (ex-showroom).