Flash Drive

2020 Mini Cooper SE

Model Tested: 2020 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop 2 Door Iconic Trim

Outwardly the 2020 Mini Cooper SE looks like any other Mini 2 Door Hardtop, except for the unique wheels and bright yellow mirrors, but under the skin it’s all electric power.

Engine:135 kW electric motor, 181 horsepower 199 lb-ft torque

Transmission: single speed automatic, front-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 115-mpge city, 100-mpge highway, 108-mpge combined

Base Price: $29,900

As Tested: $37,750


Very strong acceleration

Super smooth, linear power application

Regenerative braking

Car slows almost without using brakes

Like all Mini Coopers the SE is fun to drive. The electric power provides very responsive acceleration and the low center of gravity improves handling.

Four wheel disc brakes

Range rated at 110 miles

AC and DC charging modes

Driving modes: sport, mid, green, and green plus

Sport mode is very fun/engaging

Batteries help keep center of gravity low

Lots of informative gauges relative to EV conditions


Front sport seats

Heated front seats (3 temperatures)

Recharging is done via a port in the right rear quarter unlike most electrics that have ports in their front fenders.

Great front seat room and comfort

Back seat—no thank you unless fronts are moved

Very thick, contoured steering wheel

Stretch-out driver and front passenger legroom

Excellent headroom


This is a vehicle for hauling two (sometime four) people, not cargo

Hatchback and folding rear seats maximize available space

Recharging cable stored under rear deck

The grille is unique to the SE electric because there isn’t a need for fresh air to cool the radiator.

Panoramic moonroof brightens interior

WOW Factors:

Impressive acceleration

Rapid response—power comes on NOW!

Very agile, fun handling

Driving a Mini makes us smile

Attractive base price relative to other electric vehicles


Slow charge times

Limited cargo capacity

Oddly styled wheels

Bottom Line:

Fun and frugal are two good words to describe the 2020 Mini Cooper SE. Too many all-electric vehicles appear to be mere transportation modules or appliances, but the Mini Cooper SE is (like its fossil fueled variants) a lot of fun to drive. The same dynamics that endow regular Mini Coopers with verve are at play with the electric

The Mini Cooper SE is a hatchback like all 2 Door Hardtops. Access is good, but cargo space is tight.

version. The shorter range than most competitors can be a concern, but for most commuting/daily driving the Mini Cooper SE is a very fun way to go green.