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In March 2020, BMW launched the MINI Electric. The battery-powered version of the three-door hatchback is an exciting addition to the range, retaining most of the features of this iconic car. We let our new Digital Communications Manager, Andy, try one out for his first week with Sandal.
I’ve had some interesting starts to new jobs in the past but being offered the chance to live with a MINI Electric on my first day at Sandal is definitely top of the pile. Having followed the advent of hybrid and all-electric vehicles since working at the London Motor Show in 2006, it was an exciting opportunity to get behind the wheel of an iconic, eco-friendly, fun machine.
At first glance it’s most definitely a MINI – all the expected DNA is there. It is an electric version of the classic design with some subtle tweaks to set it apart from the rest such as a lowered bumper and simplified grille. The interior follows suit and as a 6 foot plus fella with a questionable man-bun I had plenty of room inside the cockpit.
I was deliberately not given a handover and had to rely on intuition to fire it up and get moving. However, me being me, I researched the functionality beforehand, studying MINI UK’s excellent how-to videos to master the basics. I was initially anxious about the regenerative braking having never experienced anything like it in the past, but after the initial half a mile it soon became instinctive.
To my home in Bramley, Leeds (or The Big Apple, as it’s known locally) it’s a quick 15 mile jaunt up the M1 from Sandal MINI in Wakefield and the 124-144 mile range is perfect for a commute like this. It offers a comfortable cruise through the city and the responsive throttle gives you a great boost on the motorway. It does 0-62 in 7.3 seconds, so you completely forget that you’re driving an EV at times. I genuinely had a smile on my face during every second of driving it. I even got a ticking off from my other half when I got a bit giddy on the ring road and showed her what it was capable of.
It’s not just easy on the environment but easy on the wallet too. A full charge costs just over £5 and with it running at around 4p per mile, you’re getting so much enjoyment while spending next to nothing!
I do like my infotainment and the MINI Electric has great features and connectivity. The satnav reroutes to charging points if the need arises and on a cold day you can pre-condition your MINI to be toastie-warm when you’re ready to set off. The ability to set up different driver profiles and control them from the MINI app is a big plus for those households who share vehicles and have different preferences.
In terms of interior space, I had no issues. There’s enough room for a small family and plenty of capacity in the boot for the big shop.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the MINI Electric and it ticked all the boxes for me. It’s perfect for a professional couple and with it being both fuel and budget-efficient offers great peace of mind for the future. I really didn’t want to give it back and it’s certainly top of the list for my next car.
Don’t just take my word for it though! Experience the MINI Electric with a no-obligation test drive at your local Sandal MINI Retailer.
"The Mini Electric is a very complete little EV. It preserves pretty much everything we like about a standard Mini Cooper S, but it’s more accelerative where it matters, and has zero local emissions. It proves that the hot hatch will have a future as an EV. And it reinforces something we learned with the VW e-Golf – that an electric car doesn’t have to be wantonly radical to be a success."
"Like all cars of its kind, it’s at its most brisk from rest up to around 50mph, where it has plenty of urgent response to bigger pedal inputs... There’s enough grunt available above 50mph for the car to easily mix it with quicker-moving traffic, though, and there is fun to be had in digging into the accelerator pedal and feeling the car whizz away so keenly, and with such little apparent inertia."
"The Mini Electric is a bit like a Georgian-style country house that’s just been built. No, not because it’s made from bricks and shaped like a box – rather because it takes the appealing aesthetics of yesteryear and fills them with thoroughly modern internals.
That’s right, the Mini might have its roots in 1959, but this one has the heart of a Generation Z eco-warrior."