The interior layout, fit and finish
The Mini has an upmarket image and its interior lives up to that; there’s plenty of soft-touch material to the dashboard, as well as solid-feeling knobs, switches and stalks. It looks great, too, with a cheerful, retro design – and thankfully this doesn’t compromise usability, once you’re used to one or two quirks.
The driver's seat is comfortable, supportive and has a wide range of adjustment, and the 5.5in digital screen behind the steering wheel (in place of conventional instrument dials) makes it easy to see how much charge there is in a battery at a glance, as well as how fast you’re going. A head-up display is included on the top Level 3 trim as standard; it shows information such as sat-nav instructions and the speed limit in front of you so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.
Due to fairly slim pillars, visibility is surprisingly good – even when looking back over your shoulder – and the Mini’s compact shape makes it easy to judge the car’s extremities. As such, it’s not a difficult car to park, although you’ll need to pay for at least Level 2 trim if you want rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. Level 3 adds front sensors as well.
To light the way at night, bright LED headlights come as standard, while adaptive headlights that dip automatically when another car is approaching come on range-topping Level 3 trim. Meanwhile, the tail lights have a lighthearted Union Jack design when illuminated.
As standard, the Mini Electric gets a 6.5in infotainment screen, with Bluetooth, a DAB radio, sat-nav and Apple Carplay smartphone mirroring. The system is controlled by a rotary dial between the front seats; twisting and pressing this to navigate the menus is considerably less distracting than using a touchscreen when you’re driving.
Go for Level 3 trim and the screen size grows to 8.8in, plus you also get wireless phone charging and a more powerful Harman Kardon sound system.