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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago in the AAA Green Car Guide, which initially focused entirely on rating fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles.

For the 2021 edition, we've expanded the focus of the guide to include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and the development of autonomous vehicles.

home Home » Search Results » 2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric
How The Car Guide Rating Works
Test Results and Rankings:
The green cars tested by the ARC are evaluated on the basis of 13 categories: emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration, handling, cargo-carrying capacity, ride quality, interior noise, ease of entry and exit, maneuverability, roominess, and visibility. The scores for the categories are totaled, and the cars are ranked from high to low.

2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric

Vehicle Type: Small Electric
 overall score
Category Ranking: 2
Vehicle Price
Base Price: $29,900
Price as Tested: $37,750
Fuel Information
Fuel Type: Electricity
120V Charge Time: 5.3 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 27.5 miles per hour
DC Fast Charger: 80% in 40 minutes
EPA City MPGe115
EPA Highway MPGe100
EPA Combined MPGe108
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 110
Advanced Safety Features
Advanced Headlights [S]
Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
Forward-Collision Warning [S]
[S] Standard, [O] Optional
Overall Observations
Remember playing with slot cars, those small electrically-powered models that provided preadolescent thrills as they zoomed around a winding track? Well, the Mini Cooper SE is a lot like that. That's because this version of the compact Cooper coupe - a.k.a. hardtop - is Mini's first electric car. As such, it melds an electric motor and a relatively small floor-mounted battery pack with the brand's distinctive styling cues. But that's only half the story, because it wouldn't be a Mini if it didn't have that trademark slot car - like handling. The sport-tuned suspension and low center of gravity combine to make the Cooper SE great fun to drive, though some may find the firm ride quality a little off-putting. Of course, the problem with its small battery pack is range, with the Cooper EV rated at just 108 miles on a full charge. Given the enthusiastic driving style its brisk acceleration is liable to promote, range anxiety could be a very real issue. An equally practical downside are the diminutive dimensions of the car itself: Passenger and cargo space are both at a premium inside. And the Mini's quirky control layout may also take some getting used to.
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Strengths and Weaknesses
Strong Points
  • Fun to drive
  • Good acceleration and handling
  • Excellent visibility
  • Competitive price for an EV
Weak Points
  • Range anxiety due to small EV range
  • Tight interior passenger and cargo space
  • Firm suspension
  • Quirky interior and exterior styling
Vehicle Specifications
Model year tested: 2020
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/2
Curb weight (lbs): 3100.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 151.4 / 75.9 / 56.4
Wheelbase (in): 98.2
Number of air bags: 8
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Goodyear Eagle F1
Front and rear tire size: 205/45 R17
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 1-speed
Drivetrain type: Front wheel
Engine/motor: AC Synchronous
Electric motor horsepower: 181
Test Data
Test Vehicle Scores
Advanced Safety Features: 3.75
Fuel Efficiency: 9.82
EPA Emissions Score: 10.00
Acceleration: 6.74
Braking: 6.44
Crashworthiness: 3.84
Handling: 9.41
Ride Quality: 7.25
Interior Size: 2.96
Easy of Entry and Exit: 5.86
Visibility: 7.24
Interior Noise: 5.68
Cargo Capacity: .57
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Small
More Details
Vehicle Type:  Small
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/108
Price as Tested:  $43,735
 out of 130
2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place SUV/Minivan
More Details
Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/114
Price as Tested:  $53,190
 out of 130
2020 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE
More Details
Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 80/72
Price as Tested:  $84,276
 out of 130
2020 BMW X3 XDrive30e
More Details
Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 21/27
Price as Tested:  $65,020
 out of 130
2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Large
More Details
Vehicle Type:  Large
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 28/31
Price as Tested:  $73,840
 out of 130
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