mReview: MINI Electric Collection - Here for a Good Time, Not a Long Time

Published by on . Updated on 9 Apr 2024

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684605625763 Front

It's not easy to make an electric car fun to drive.

Many EV manufacturers often like to boast about their latest and greatest machines' face-ripping acceleration times, or the amount of advanced gadgetry they're able to cram inside.

They say, "Look at us, we've got a superior product because of the impressive numbers found in our spec sheets!".

But the truth is, technical details on the brochure only tell half the story. A nimble and engaging driving experience can hardly be conveyed through numbers alone, and electric cars are notorious for feeling a bit boaty around the corners, no thanks to heavy battery packs and numb steering. 

There's simply not much else for enthusiasts to look forward to, but we reckon MINI's found the remedy for that problem with their 2023 Electric Collection.

Retro-Futurism in Full Swing

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606256641 Front2

It's a MINI, so you can already expect its design to stay faithful to the original. Much like Porsche did with their latest 911 Carrera, MINI's design philosophy takes on an evolutionary approach, rather than revolutionary. After all, why ruin an iconic profile?

You still get an impressively compact package, with the Electric sporting a classic three-door shell that measures at just 3.8 metres end-to-end. Round LED headlights and daytime running lights dominate the front, just like every other model in the lineup.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606288916 Front Studio

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606353883 Night2

The Electric seamlessly blends visual elements from both the One and Cooper S, with restrained air intakes up front lifted from the former, and blacked out trim pieces from its more powerful S sibling.

Other Cooper S-derived parts include the S badges strewn across the sheet metal, albeit in fluorescent yellow to highlight its electric guts (no pun intended), as well as the aggro-looking but faux hood scoop. Its rear fascia does not scream for attention, although you won't be mistaking it for another car thanks to the Union Jack design motif on its tail lights. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606319812 Rear

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606365267 Charging2

This being the Electric Collection, you get a unique blue paintjob with subtle racing stripes on the bonnet and sides, decked out in a slightly lighter shade of blue for visual contrast.

It's also gorgeous when viewed from the top, with its gradient-coloured roof panel that alternates from blue to black. It's not particularly flashy at first sight, but we like this restrained chic personality!

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606336714 Wheel

Several stylised "E" emblems can be found on the Electric, from the yellow-and-chrome rear badge to the embossed fuel cap. And to further drive home the point that this is not an petrol-powered MINI, it comes equipped with 17-inch "Power Spoke" wheels, which are meant to resemble the UK three-pin power socket. 

Chic Cabin That Makes Sense

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606397359 Interior1

Things remain similarly fashionable but more importantly, logical, once you step inside. The snug front seats provide excellent lumbar and back support, and are wrapped in a unique fabric-and-leather upholstery to keep the MINI's carbon footprint down. 

That also means the Electric Collection does not come with a sunroof, although you won't be struggling to lighten the cabin up, thanks to the wide open greenhouse which aids greatly in all-round visibility.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606405998 Interior2

Apart from its eco-friendly design considerations and a new dash trim element, the Electric Collection uses the exact same cabin parts list as its Resolute Edition twin. You still get the massive 8.8-inch circular infotainment display and an oval digital instrument cluster up front, plus a head-up display for the driver.

We found the interface fairly easy to navigate through, further enhanced by the crisp resolution. Shortcut buttons located on the centre console also help with day-to-day use. And those physical HVAC dials? Just excellent, although we'd prefer them to have a tad more resistance.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606424377 Interior7

While the infotainment screen and metal toggle switches add some pizzazz to the MINI's interior space, they do attract fingerprints very easily, so keep a wiping cloth handy at all times. Perhaps for the next iteration, the carmaker can consider using other non-glossy panels to keep things clean yet visually appealing, à la Mazda MX-30?

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606456238 Interior4

Manual seats are the standard here, which we love as it saves so much time and cost. Best of all, the backrest can be adjusted via a simple lever, and not a ridiculously counter-intuitive dial on the side that many European cars are guilty of having.

Pull yet another lever behind the driver or front passenger seat, and you gain access to the strictly two-seater rear cabin. Even so, it's best suited for a child due to the impossibly small legroom.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606465449 Interior5

211 litres of cargo space up back is all you get, although if you desperately need more real estate, flattening the 60:40 split rear seats is as easy as pulling a lever. The aperture is thankfully square-ish, so loading and unloading bulky items should not be an issue for most users.

MINI says that their engineers had to slot in the battery cells evenly throughout the chassis so as not to compromise on the boot space, but even so, it falls painfully short compared to rivals like the MG 4, which boasts close to double the capacity.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606474780 Motor

With the bonnet open, you are not greeted with more storage areas, but a bay filled to the brim with transmission and electronic components, as well as an electric motor that powers the front wheels.

Warp Speed Ahead

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684606496205 Night1

Press down on the start lever, and the Electric powers on with a playful and futuristic sound that reverberates throughout the cabin. You get the option to select one of four driving modes, ranging from exuberantly exciting (Sport) to exceedingly eco-friendly (Green+). 

Depending on which one you go for, the MINI Electric performs very differently, which means it should cater to a wide variety of users easily.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684607652951 Rear Studio

With that said, you are in a MINI, so superior driving dynamics is a guarantee regardless of driving mode. It pushes out 181 electrified horses and 270 Nm of torque, which is quite a punchy package when you consider that the Electric weights just under 1,400 kilograms. 

Along the straights, this electric hot hatch can easily outpace far more powerful German saloons looking to give it a hard time, and ultimately tops out at 150 km/h. It's not exactly an Autobahn weapon, but it'll definitely keep road bullies at bay with its spritely nature.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684679149079 Front3

Its Cooper S-like power and balance also means that the Electric darts around the corners very much like a go-kart would, except that you have plush seats, arctic cold AC, and a banger Spotify playlist at your disposal. Steering feedback remains razor-sharp and tight, despite it being 145 kilos heavier than its petrol-powered S brother. 

Body roll is near-absent, but it's also surprisingly soft when driving over bumps. Unlike the madhatter Clubman JCW, you won't be needing to see your chiropractor after every drive.

You'll Need Power Banks for This One

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684607697043 Charging

All of that driving fun comes at a cost, however. While the MINI Electric can thank its compact 32.64 kWh battery pack for its relatively light kerb weight, it can also blame it for providing an abysmal charge. Fully juiced up, we found that the Electric can hold just south of 200 kilometers of range, which is strangely lower than what we had recorded in the Resolute Edition despite both of them sharing the same powertrain.

As such, we opted to putter around the city mostly in Green mode and AC temperature set in the lower 20s, which helped us save a few kilometers of precious range. But even with mostly frugal driving, we managed to clock only 169 km of real-world range. 

Thankfully, the MINI Electric supports both AC and DC charging. With the latter power source plugged in, you can expect the car to complete its charging in just under an hour. With AC charging, about 2.5 hours is needed. 

Fun Drive With a Time Limit

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1684607862474 Badge

Like the MX-30, the MINI Electric suffers from a shockingly (again, no pun intended) poor range. Unless you have many charging stations along your regular routes, it's far from being a practical daily driver.

But if you're looking for a fun secondary car to drive enthusiastically over the weekends, the Electric might be the perfect candidate.

While the 2023 MINI Electric Collection is very much the same as last year's Resolute Edition mechanically, it's a reminder that EVs are not all cut from the same boring thread. It's a perfect example of how carmakers are capable of preserving the analogue "old-school" sensation in an electric format.

MINI Electric Collection Specifications
Price: POA  VES Band: A1
Single Motor
181 bhp, 270 Nm
Single-Speed Automatic
Driven Wheels:
6.6 km/kWh
7.3 s
Top Speed:
150 km/h
Battery Capacity:
32.64 kWh
3,850 mm x 1,727 mm x 1,432 mm
2,495 mm
Cargo Capacity:
211 litres

Photo Credits: Muhammad Mu'tasim (@mutasimdrives)

Download the Motorist App

The easiest and smartest way to manage your vehicle in Singapore.

Download Now

Read More: mReview: 2022 MINI Cooper Electric Resolute Edition - One Conflicted Cooper

Download the Motorist App now. Designed by drivers for drivers, this all-in-one app lets you receive the latest traffic updates, gives you access to live traffic cameras, and helps you manage LTA and vehicle matters.

Did you know we have a Motorist Telegram Channel? Created exclusively for drivers and car owners in Singapore, you can get instant info about our latest promotions, articles, tips & hacks, or simply chat with the Motorist Team and fellow drivers.