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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

For the 2022 edition, we 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 new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2022 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop 2 Door

Vehicle Type: Small Electric
 overall score
Category Ranking: 3

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $29,900
Price as Tested: $38,250

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Electricity
120V Charge Time: 5.5 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 28.5 miles per hour
DC Fast Charger: 80% in 35 minutes
EPA City MPGe119
EPA Highway MPGe100
EPA Combined MPGe110
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 114

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

Driving an electric car can be fun—if it’s the Mini Cooper SE, that is. At the heart of this subcompact coupe is an electric powertrain (181 hp) that produces zippy acceleration. Its small battery pack is good for just an EPA-estimated 110-mile range, but DC fast-charging capability makes replenishing electrons a relatively quick procedure. Apart from its powertrain, the SE is pure Mini, which is to say that it's notably enjoyable to drive, especially on curvy stretches of road that play to its lively handling. As you might expect from its sporty suspension, though, the ride quality can be a bit firm. The Cooper SE offers sufficient room up front, but the backseat is cramped, and cargo room is also limited. The extensive standardfeatures list includes a 9-inch touch screen and LED headlights and cornering lights; the infotainment system, however, is difficult to use. However, the Mini SE is affordable for an EV, with a base price just under $30K, and that’s before any federal or state tax credits
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Zippy, quick acceleration
  • Tight, sporty handling
  • LED headlights withcornering lights

Weak Points

  • Short EV range
  • Limited interior space forpassengers and cargo
  • Bumpy, overly firm ride

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2022
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/2
Curb weight (lbs): 3100.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 151.7 / 68.0 / 56.4
Wheelbase (in): 98.2
Number of air bags: 9
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Hankook Ventus S1 evo3
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 perm-magnet synchronous
Electric motor horsepower: 181

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

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