What is it like on the inside?
Very little new here – but also little that’s going to offend or distress. The Mini cockpit is dating hard now – the top-spec 8.8-inch oblong screen (now touch-sensitive as well as iDrive-operable) looks absurdly obtuse shoehorned into the circle motif that used to house a speedo. Though the screen itself is a joy to use, the caricature design is starting to grate.
But at least we’ve still got tactile, physical climate controls instead of a touchscreen sub-menu. The toggle switches still look charming even if they’re a little fiddly to use, and the new screen behind the steering wheel showing speed, charge, range and trip data is a huge improvement on the previous do-it-all dial.
Mini is at pains to point out the battery has been housed deep in the chassis where it can’t impinge on boot volume, which remains 211 litres. That’s on the small side for a supermini, but splits the likes of the Honda e (151 litres) and the Renault Zoe (335 litres). Both of those rivals are five-doors too, while the mini is stubbornly a three-door. Again, Mini says its research suggests most owners treat their Mini like a two-seat coupe and use the back seats chiefly as a parcel shelf, so the meagre rear access and pinched rear space needn’t matter.
As ever, the driving position is low, straight-legged, the steering wheel telescopes plenty from the dash, and overall, the driving position is superb. There’s a useful bevy of stowage in the door pockets, under the charging sockets and in the armrest. It’s all very well put-together too, certainly more expensive-feeling than say, a Renault Zoe or conventionally-fuelled Audi A1. A Honda e might well feel homelier, though. It’s the new face of retro, inside.