Fully Charged Compares BMW i3s With Mini Cooper PHEV


BMW i3s and MINI PHEV are from two different worlds.

Fully Charged’s Jonny Smith recently test drove two plug-ins made by the BMW Group – the sporty version of the i3, the BMW i3s and the MINI with a long name, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.

Well, not only is the approach to names is different. The BMW i3s is a ground-up built electric car that looks more futuristic than ordinary cars (especially in late 2013 when it was introduced). On the other hand, the MINI is a plug-in hybrid built on the base of the conventional version and is way more conservative.

Performance of both are similar. i3s does 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds, while the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 in 6.7 seconds and offers all-wheel drive, by the way.

Jonny Smith’s choice would be the i3s, because it’s a proper driving machine. And just recently the i3/i3s received a major upgrade in form of 42.2 kWh battery, available from November/December in first few markets in Europe.

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8 Comments on "Fully Charged Compares BMW i3s With Mini Cooper PHEV"

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Very cool test and I can’t wait for the Mini E to be revealed.

Very Correct conclusion.
People should look into the i3 thru TrueCar dot com, and check out BMW leasing deals.
It leases better than a Prius Prime Advanced.

Yup, and also true that most people that have actually lived with the I3 love it. I just took a 400-mile trip to Palm Springs this weekend and it was such a pleasure to drive the i3. And that was cruising on the freeways often 75 to 95 miles per hour. Met up with a Ioniq owner and a Chevy Bolt owner. The Bolt owner said at speeds of 80 mile-per-hour his range is killed. On the same charger the i3 charged right with the much-vaunted ioniq in charging time. The Bolt was not in the same league.

Did you ask the bolt owner how many miles/kwh they got at 80mph?

We love our pair of i3 – however their range is also horrendous at a consistent 80mph – For us, we would be lucky to get 3miles/kwh holding 80mph …Turning our 80 mile range EV into a 56 mile range EV…..

I REALLY hope that the paltry 7.6 kWh battery in the Mini is a sign that it’s a “foot in the door” design, meaning they’ve done all the expensive R&D to make a PHEV and can ramp up the battery size very easily (relative to the initial work). That size battery in 2018 is not just too small but ridiculously small, to the point it makes the manufacturer look clueless.

What compounds this is how awful the efficiency is. My 5.5 kWh battery on my 5-year-old C-Max still regularly gives me 20+ miles AER, and this is rated at 12 brand-new – with a 38% larger pack.

Yeah, I was scratching my head at the comment about 26 miles. I was thinking that number sounded a bit wrong. Maybe on some crazy European test. But everything I have heard is that it’s like 12 miles or something ridiculous. The Prius Prime will get you over twice that.

Jonny is such a Rockstar! Bobby Lew, that was such a coup to get Jonny for fully charged! I3s is the better of the i3 because it’s a driver’s car. Range is still a deal breaker. If it had 250 mile real world range I probably could get past the suicide doors and justify the price.