City slicker: Mini relaunches electric hatch

Craig Duff

Posted September 14, 2022

The electrified Mini Classic starts at $55,650 before on-road costs.
The Mini has the handling and build quality to be a classy city car.

How does the Mini Electric stack up?

The Mini Electric is the best-driving EV city car on the market. It is also one of the most expensive in terms of value for volume, a testament to how Mini positions itself in the market.

The kick-off price of $55,650 plus on-roads compares to $54,500 for the five-door Hyundai Kona EV, with a claimed range of 305km and the MG ZS EV at $46,990 driveaway.

The Mini also lacks some safety gear standard on its cheaper rivals, including blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist.

Boot space in the three-door is also minimal at 211 litres and the rear seats aren’t going to cope with adults on anything other than the shortest trips.

The Mini Electric uses a 32.6kWh battery pack derived from the BMW i3 that is good for 135kW and 270Nm. The top speed is limited to 150km/h and the 0-100km/h time is a claimed 7.3 seconds.

The latter figure endorses Mini’s “go-kart” handling ethos, with a solid power delivery up to 100km/h and a steering response that is closer to sports car than city hatch.

Mini’s problem is that it is, for now, dealing with a legacy platform in terms of the chassis and drivetrain. This version of the Mini first exited the production line in 2014 and the battery is similarly dated, being derived from the BMW i3 electric car than has since been discontinued.

It is also competing amongst more than 30 hybrid and electric vehicles on sale in Australia right now.

That number is expected to increase exponentially in the next couple of years, backed by the expansion of the charging infrastructure that will make fast-charging more appealing to buyers.


Cleaner energy with EV's | RACV

What’s in the Mini Electric?

The base Classic packs 17-inch alloy wheels, heated seats up front, front and rear parking sensors with park assist software, wireless charging, adaptive cruise control with traffic sign recognition, dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity (Android Auto users need to plug in) and an 8.8-invh infotainment touchscreen with satellite navigation and realt-time traffic updates.

The Mini Yours and Resolute versions add extra exterior colour and wheel options, a panoramic sunroof, head-up display and leather upholstery.

The Mini Electric has a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, with pre-paid six-year servicing costs ranging from $1,280 for the Basic deal, which covers standard servicing along with filters and fluids to a $4,055 Plus pack that includes a change of brake discs and pads and windscreen wiper blades.

How does the Mini Electric drive?

This is where the Mini redeems itself. It mightn’t have the size, or the battery capacity, to be a viable family car. It does, however, have the handling and build quality to be a classy city car, providing it can be charged at home every couple of days.

Given most Australians travel less than 50km a day, the Mini’s range won’t be an issue for urban dwellers.

Those who can afford to buy a three-door car for around $60,000 on the road will be rewarded with typical Mini finesse.

The suspension is geared towards hooking around corners rather than handling city corrugations, but that’s part of this brand’s appeal.

In short, the Mini Electric is dated, but dutifully follows the Mini approach to building engaging cars. 


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