What's the Mini E like?

* Who needs diesel and petrol? * Electric commute is coming * Renault Kangoo Be Bop Z.E and Mini E...

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What Car? Staff
7 Jul 2009 10:58 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

It's fun. It's heavier than a 'normal' Mini because of the batteries, but it certainly doesn't feel cumbersome or slow.

It was a touch hesitant away from the start line of the Goodwood hill climb, but it wasn't fazed in the least as the gradient increased and pulled strongly when asked. Many electric cars can feel sprightly at slower speeds, because their motors provide all of their torque almost instantly, but the Mini E also felt responsive at higher speeds.

Your writer has never attempted the Goodwood climb before, so the Mini E wasn't exactly pushed through the racing line. The fact that it happily dealt with unexpected, inappropriate braking and strange steering inputs, without becoming unstable, demonstrated that it's a perfectly capable car.

The steering felt responsive and informative but, as with most electric cars, the regenerative braking might take a little getting used to.

In day-to-day driving we rarely jump as fast as possible from the throttle to the brake pedal, which is exactly what the regenerative braking system makes you feel like you're doing in the Mini E.

Come off the throttle and the nose of the Mini E will dive as energy is recovered and used to recharge the batteries. It's not as bad as we've experienced in the Citroen C1 Evie, but it's more noticeable than with the Renault.