We fully charged a nearly brand-new MINI Cooper SE before taking it out on the highway to perform the InsideEVs 70-mph highway range test and see just how far the pint-sized plug in will go.
For the 2022 model year, the MINI Cooper SE added 4 miles of range to its EPA range rating and is now rated at 114 miles. Previous model years had a 110-mile range rating since the Cooper SE launched in 2020.
We actually performed a 70-mph range test on a MINI Cooper SE two years ago in slightly warmer weather and ended up with 108 miles driven. Besides the temperature, that vehicle had the 17" Power Spoke wheels which have better aerodynamics and produce less drag than the 17" Tentacle wheels that were on the 2022 Cooper SE we tested this time. Both vehicles came with the same 205/45 R17" tires.
|Segment Of The Test
|100% to 75%
|75% to 50%
|50% to 25%
|25% to 0%
The Cooper SE has a 32.6 kWh battery pack, of which, 28.9 kWh is usable. We finished up this range test with 103 miles driven which, perhaps not so coincidentally, is the Cooper SE's EPA highway range rating. The 114 mile EPA rating is the combined (city & highway) range rating.
That's 5 miles less than we achieved in 2020, but it was a little colder this time - and temperature plays a role in EV range. Additionally, the Tentacle wheels on the new Cooper SE are less aerodynamic than the Power Spoke wheels that were on the 2020 car we tested. Those two factors are enough to knock 5 miles off the range as we witnessed.
As with all of the vehicles we range test, we set the climate control to 68° F and the fan on the lowest setting. We placed the vehicle in "Green" driving mode and set the cruise control to 72 mph. After checking our GPS apps, we found out that at 70-mph indicated, the Cooper SE was actually only going 68 mph, so we needed to adjust the cruise control to 72 in order to be driving at a true 70 mph.
While the Cooper SE may not have enough driving range for everybody, it's still a viable option for many people, especially those that live in urban areas, provided they have the ability to charge at home or work daily.
With such a short driving range, most people will need to plug in daily - or at least every other day in order to have enough driving range to account for the unexpected. But for those that can live with its low range, the Cooper SE is a lot of fun to drive and it's priced very aggressively, starting just under $30,000.
The BMW Group hasn't hit its 200,000 tax credit limit yet, so the Cooper SE still qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, as well as state rebates where applicable.
About our 70-mph range tests
We want to make it clear our range tests aren't perfect. There are variables simply out of our control like wind, traffic, and weather. However, we do our best to control what we can. We always set the tires to the manufacturer's recommended pressure, crosscheck the speedometer with a GPS for accuracy, place the vehicle in eco driving mode, DC fast charge up to 100 percent, and enter the highway either immediately or within a couple of miles. We then drive at a constant 70 mph and in long loops so we end up either where we started, or very close by.
Driving conditions, temperature, and topography will affect an EVs driving range and our 70-mph range tests serve only as a guideline of approximately what you should expect if you drive the same EV under similar conditions.