Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular by the year, and car manufacturers are taking notice. The only problem with that popularity though, is that unlike traditional gas-powered cars, there aren’t a lot of options to pick from when it comes to more affordable EVs. And while they’re becoming more popular, that higher price point is a main reason behind why electric vehicles haven’t penetrated the market in a more impactful way. Luckily though, more affordable options are being rolled out every year, with the Mini Cooper SE leading the pack in affordable EV cars. 

But is the Mini Cooper SE worth it as an EV, or are you better off investing more into another electric pick? Let’s take a look at whether or not this electric Mini Cooper may be right for you. 

The case for the Mini Cooper SE

First things first, let’s talk price. The Cooper SE starts at $30,750 – but after the federal tax credit, that price tag comes down to $23,250, and if you live in certain states like Colorado, state tax credits knock that price tag down even lower. Either way, the SE is one of the most affordable EVs on the market by far. And don’t forget about all of the money you’d save on fuel, too.

When it comes to performance, the electric Mini Cooper doesn’t play around. Drivers will enjoy the SE’s 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque through its front wheels. And while other EV options like the Chevy Bolt have this beat, the Mini Cooper SE beats out all of the budget EV competition in speed, offering 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

Also, coming from my own experience as a former Mini owner, these cars are just fun to drive. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about fitting into a parking place. 

The case against the SE

One of the biggest things holding this vehicle back from being the greatest budget EV to date is its low driving range. With a range of only 110 miles per charge, this is strictly a commuter car. And while that may work just fine for many people, it’s definitely something to think about if you like taking weekend trips or have a bit of a longer commute. If you’re also located somewhere without a lot of accessible charging stations, that too could be hard to reconcile. 

mini cooper se

In terms of performance drawbacks, the Mini Cooper SE currently doesn’t offer adaptive cruise, and has a traction control that may prove too controlling for some drivers. 

If this is your first foray into EVs and you’re looking for a solid entry-level car, this electric Mini Cooper could be a great pick. Just make sure you don’t forget to charge up every night!

Learn more about how to choose the right electric vehicle on the Headlights blog!

Claire Biggerstaff
Claire Biggerstaff is a freelance writer and photographer from Charlotte, NC. Her curiosity leads her to write about a wide variety of topics. On her off days, she enjoys reading Polygon articles, and curling up to a good YouTube playlist.

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    1. That drawback is a big one. If you work close to home and don’t go anywhere it is fine. But it seems like a second car would be required.

    2. I agree the range is a problem, other than that it looks like a great entry EV

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