The Mini Cooper SE asks more questions than it answers.  At least today

The Mini Cooper SE asks more questions than it answers. At least today

When I come across a modified car, I look for change. Fixes what annoyed me in the previous version. Meanwhile, driving the refreshed Mini Cooper SE, I had the impression that the world around it had changed a lot. And it’s not about competition.

Mini Cooper SE (2021) – test

I will not write here about “new” minibecause it is difficult to explain this normal surface improvement. The Cooper now has a redesigned front end, black painted logo, a different steering wheel and allegedly altered graphics for the multimedia system. Others remained unchanged. Calling it a “new” mini would be like inviting it to a housewarming party after two walls have been repainted. In the dressing room.

There is still no trunk under the Mini’s hoodPhoto source: © Photo. Michał Zieliński

The 184 HP electric motor is still running under the hood and there is still no trunk there. The battery still has a total capacity of 32.6 kWh and can still be charged up to 50 kW. The trunk is still 211 liters, the back seat is still small. Inside, everything is still controlled using knobs and buttons, although I include this in the list of pluses. Others start to get a little frustrated.

The Cooper SE now lives in a different world. When he made his debut two years ago, he was competing with cars that offered more: be it space, be it coverage, or often space and coverage. Now more powerful players have entered the market like Fiat 500 or the same price Volkswagen ID.3and trust me, painting the logo black doesn’t make the mini a more attractive proposition. Although it must be admitted that the opponents do not give such a story.

Mini Cooper SE

Mini Cooper SEPhoto source: © Photo. Michał Zieliński

However, is that a problem? Not at all, and I have simple proof of that. No mini is immune to competition. These cars are always very expensive, very tight, outdated. However, they are always sought after and eventually eagerly bought. It was no different from the electric before the facelift, and since the Cooper SE hasn’t changed much, it’s still the same. You buy an electric mini when you want to have an electric mini. Point.

9 years ago

After all, since its PREMIERE in 2019, the Cooper SE has become the most important model. When he made his debut two years ago, it could be considered a curiosity. I get the impression that the producer himself saw it that way. Instead of creating an electrician from scratch and returning to the roots of small but spacious interiors (see: BMW i3), he only put the known components in the internal combustion engine. Today he announces the future.

The interior of the Mini Cooper SE is cramped but comfortable

The interior of the Mini Cooper SE is cramped but comfortablePhoto source: © Photo. Michał Zieliński

Mini announced that from 2030, it wants to be an electric brand only. This means that all new Oxford-branded cars will be electric. Forget the fun-to-drive Cooper S, goodbye diesel-clad Clubman, rest easy for the no-nonsense Citizen in the John Cooper Works edition. In 9 years, their photos will remain in the Wikipedia archives.

That’s why I decided that the Cooper SE must go where you can taste the future now. Where you get the feeling that electric cars have already replaced combustion cars. And though Norway It sounded convincing, the advertised range of about 300 km in the urban cycle made me zoom in on the map. Fortunately, I didn’t even have to leave Poland.

The future is electric

Characteristic rims refer to British sockets

Characteristic rims refer to British socketsPhoto source: © Photo. Michał Zieliński

I’m well aware that there won’t be many surprises on this tour. I have been driving an electric mini for a few days and I know that it is very economical (in the city, you can easily get results under 11 kWh / 100 km) that the driving position is good and that the time-changing display is moderately visible in sunlight.

I choose when I go on the phone, and the map is immediately shown on the main display, because I have no wireless here. Apple CarPlay. I sigh – unfortunately, sometimes the interface jams and the phone is only connected via Bluetooth. I installed the conditioner and the knife, reset the board computer. I turn on the podcast and head southwest from Warsaw.

Wireless Apple CarPlay is a great convenience.  The phone is inductively charged on the palm rest

Wireless Apple CarPlay is a great convenience. The phone is inductively charged on the palm restPhoto source: © Photo. Michał Zieliński

With battery capacity in mind, I set the cruise control to 110 km/h. Traffic on the S8 expressway is light, so I’m not an obstacle. It’s surprising how the mini feels on the track. I remember that in the Fiat 500, after an hour of driving, I had enough. Here you can see that the Cooper SE is a very mature car.

I look at the column. Still a lot. What if what, but BMW drives allow you to achieve good wear results at high speeds (here I do not exceed 15 kWh / 100 km). I accelerate to 120 km/h because I know I will get there anyway. Mini says that the Cooper SE should be a short distance car, while I plan to drive more than 170 km.

At the level of Piotrków Trybunalski, I leave the path. I travel the last 17 kilometers to Bełchatów. I can see the solar fields in the area, although the road takes me to a large coal-fired power plant.. At the end of June, we learned that the process of its decomposition will begin in 2030. Then, when the Mini finishes its green transition, here it will simply leave. It’s a little scary. The computer shows a consumption of 14.2 kWh / 100 km.

An abandoned station near Bełchatów

An abandoned station near BełchatówPhoto source: © Photo. Michał Zieliński

However, I do not go to the power plant. I get off literally a few kilometers before Bełchatów, parking in front of an already closed petrol station. The distributor’s guns are dusty, and on the windows, instead of information about the development of washer fluid, there is the text “Sell” and a phone number.. The car shows me a range of 52 km. If it was a diesel mini, I would have to seek my fortune elsewhere. It’s easy with an electrician here.

I connect the car to a fast charger installed in the station. It is not impressive with its power, because it is only 40 kW, but it is enough. After 30 minutes, I have enough energy to go back to Warsaw. A meaningful sticker reminds you of that electricity shipped with this charger is green. Yes, most operators of public facilities ensure that they have the appropriate certificates.

Meaningful photo - an electrician is charging green energy at a closed petrol station

Meaningful photo – an electrician is charging green energy at a closed petrol stationPhoto source: © Photo. Michał Zieliński

The future is full of question marks

I started the journey back. When I go home, I wonder if this is going to be like this. Will gas stations be shut down and replaced with chargers? After all, that’s what they do in Norway. Or maybe we’ll just treat it as a blank card and put the charger in a whole new place? It should also be remembered that with electricity it is slightly different. Many drivers charge them at home. I don’t think anyone fills up diesel fuel in the garage.

I also think about what the Mini will look like in 2030. Will these still be small cars with classic designs? The Cooper SE doesn’t reveal this, because it wasn’t designed from the start as an electric mechanic. The BMW i3 model shows that you can let your imagination run wild with electric cars. Another thing is that not only Mini has announced the departure of internal combustion engines. We are facing a dynamic change that is full of opportunities and pitfalls.

Will Mini still put this badge on their cars after 9 years?  I don't think there will ever be such a need again

Will Mini still put this badge on their cars after 9 years? I don’t think there will ever be such a need againPhoto source: © Photo. Michał Zieliński

I arrive in Warsaw, driving at the speed of other cars on the route and with 40 kilometers in reserve. I go to the underground parking and reach my place. I look at the diesel mini parked there. He had his keys next to the electrician’s keys all week. It never occurred to me to reach out to them. Only I have been convinced for a long time.

So I guess the big question is, Will manufacturers be able to convince everyone to choose electric cars in the next 9 years?. And the answer to them is the most interesting to me in this whole electrical puzzle. The Cooper SE won’t convince everyone. But those who choose it carefully probably won’t regret it.

Our rating Mini Cooper SE::

8/ 10


  • in Small World: attractive price (especially after surcharge)
  • excellent driving characteristics
  • efficient electric vehicle
  • ergonomic interior
  • A wonderful look for years

  • out of Small World: high price for the range offered
  • no trunk under the hood
  • a facelift can cause an increase in battery capacity
Mini Cooper SE (2021)
Storage Type: Electricity
Battery capacity: 28.9 kWh net
Maximum power: 184 hp
Torque: 270 Nm
Cargo capacity: 211 l
Catalogue: Measure yourself:
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7.3 seconds
Maximum speed: 150 km / h
Energy consumption: 13.5 kWh / 100 km
Reception: 230 km 214 km