Initial Driving Impressions

Discussion in 'MINI Cooper SE' started by bldxyz, May 3, 2021.

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  1. bldxyz

    bldxyz Well-Known Member

    Now that I've had the car (and been in town) over a weekend, I have had a decent chance to drive it. I've probably put about 125 miles on it myself at this point.

    I'll offer these impressions:

    Getting used to turning it on
    It's an electric car. None of my prior cars had an On switch. I think it took a little bit for me to do this, but now I just put my foot on the break and turn the car on. I do like how you can turn it on before you get it in Ready Mode, but it is nice to learn how to just crank and go. I have also gotten used to the electric parking break and the lock from Park to gears.

    Obvious. I love being able to instantly get up to speed when changing lanes on a freeway. I love being able to tear it up when I want to. It's so clean, has this throw-you-back in your seat feel. It just feels fast.

    Now, if you are in Green, rather than Mid or Sport, the accelerator just feels a bit heavier, but you can still crank it, mostly.

    So balanced. I mean, when turning a corner hard, it doesn't feel like even an open cup of water would slosh (though of course it would). The road feel is bumpy when the road isn't smooth, but I don't care about that.

    One Pedal Driving
    I like this. In Green Mode, I barely use the breaks, ever. It took little time for me to get used to regenerative breaking, and I sort of miss it in Sport Mode.

    Adaptive Cruise Control
    So. Freakin'. Cool.

    It took a little to figure out how to work it, in that you need to set a maximum speed (like classic cruise control) and then set a following distance (measured in 1-4 bars on the display). But the display is very clear, and it works really well. It beeps loudly and shows red on your display when a car cuts into your following space.

    I can really see using this on a 400 mile drive.... if I ever have a car with Adaptive Cruise Control that I would take on a 400 mile drive, that is.

    Steering Wheel
    I like the feel of the Iconic's leather steering wheel. I am stuck with the fact that my other car, an Acura, has the volume/track controls on the left and cruise control on the right (opposite what the SE has). Gah!

    Touchscreen Interface / Navigation
    It did not take me long at all to get used to that. I like how the solid "Nav" and "Media" buttons bring up the Apple CarPlay apps in use for those things, when Apple CarPlay is selected.

    I haven't used the built in navigation, but I asked my wife to when she was 40 miles from home and at around 40% SOC. She tested three destinations and was warned only about one of them. I wonder how accurate it can predict.

    Key Access
    While I can't get the Driver Profile to be triggered by the use of my key, I do think it is super cool and easy to just carry the key in my pocket and never really need to take it out.

    Driving Modes
    I have already concluded that I like to either drive Sport or Green, not Mid. I am either interested in driving for fun (Sport) or trying to be efficient (Green).

    Little Things
    The doors feel really solid. The Enigmatic Black is so often black looking and has picked up a lot of dust already. The moonroof is great, especially the dual section part. The seats are comfortable and I am so glad they are leather (Iconic).

    I love this car.
    Norbu72, miatadan, F14Scott and 5 others like this.
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  3. GvilleGuy

    GvilleGuy Well-Known Member

    We pretty much have the same reactions! What do you mean you miss regenerative in Sport mode? It’s still there, isn’t it?
  4. bldxyz

    bldxyz Well-Known Member

    Only that by default, it isn't as strong as in Mid or Green. I suppose I could flip the switch but I forget.
  5. MichaelC

    MichaelC Well-Known Member

    Interesting. In my 2021, the regen setting does not change when I switch driving modes, and it always defaults to the high regen setting each time I start the car.
  6. GvilleGuy

    GvilleGuy Well-Known Member

    Same with my 2022 as far as I can tell. That’s why I was confused. But I have not even set regenerative to low yet.
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  8. vader

    vader Member

    My 2021 also doesn't change the regen when you change modes. I have only used low regen once, and that was to clear the rust from the brakes due to them being unused :) Does the 2022 model have the speed limiter functionality, or is the real estate taken over by ACC. In the 2021, you can set a speed limit, and the car won't exceed that, unless you plant the accelerator. Has meant I get to keep my license.
  9. GvilleGuy

    GvilleGuy Well-Known Member

    The LIM speed limit button is there. It's on my list of features to test this week. I'm currently making a new video about the steering wheel controls. It is difficult to get video footage of the HUD showing the ACC and GPS in action, but I think I managed it.

    The last time I washed my car, I noticed some spotting coming in on my brakes. I guess I need to use the brakes every once in a while to keep them cleaner.
  10. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I ran some tests today on regen in sport and mid mode, both modes have the same amount of regen braking. There are two levels, as shown in the bottom left corner of the binnacle.

    I ran the car up to 45 mph, hit a mark and took foot off accelerator, noting how far it took to get to (near) 0 mph. It was the same distance in both sport and mid modes, although there seems to be a different feel to the braking in sport mode. I suspect that could just be perception because of how everything seems faster in sport mode.

    (Note this is on 2021 SE, but I don't think any of that has changed with the LCI model.)
    MichaelC and GvilleGuy like this.
  11. bldxyz

    bldxyz Well-Known Member

    It could be that impression there was subjective and inaccurate.
    GvilleGuy likes this.
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  13. Curious about the Sport mode...

    Seems like this be one of the few EV's fun to drive

  14. Carsten Haase

    Carsten Haase New Member

    I'm guessing you may currently have a Miata?

    My current daily is a decently modified 97 Miata and I'm hoping to be able to keep most of the go-kart feel with the Mini. I should be getting mine in about a month and will definitely provide a comparison!
    GetOffYourGas likes this.
  15. bldxyz

    bldxyz Well-Known Member

    It’s really a fun drive. It zips. It corners. It flies! I can’t even believe how it accelerates at times. Zoom!
    Lainey, MichaelC and miatadan like this.
  16. I look forward to the comparison. Thanks
  17. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I like how I can get in, hit the On switch right away to turn on the radio without setting off the seat-belt warning. Then, after fastening my seat belt and pressing the brake pedal I can hit the On switch again and begin motoring instantly.

    Our Clarity Plug-In Hybrid takes an agonizing 2 seconds before the Ready light comes on to tell me I can start driving (and it's definitely "driving" not "motoring").
    GvilleGuy and AndGuz like this.
  18. polyphonic

    polyphonic Active Member

    Probably the same amount but the regen curve is sharper with sport. I just can't get used to it! Mid all day for me...
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Not by any means an initial driving impression, but this slogan came to me as I was lapping a nearby roundabout:


    How many here have taken more than a full lap around a roundabout in their SE? There's no better car for the task!
  20. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    Oh me for sure. I go through a number of them daily and sometimes I have to, just for fun.
    insightman, GvilleGuy and MichaelC like this.
  21. MichaelC

    MichaelC Well-Known Member

    Guilty. And thanks to a MINI club drive earlier this year, I learned about a nearby stretch of glorious road that has a series of 5 roundabouts in the span of just over 1 mile, then intersects with another road which has 7 roundabouts over the span of about 1.5 miles. YES!
    insightman and GvilleGuy like this.
  22. GvilleGuy

    GvilleGuy Well-Known Member

    Speaking of driving impressions - with my entire family Covid-vaccinated - we had a Mother's Day gathering for the first time since Covid began with my parents (80+ years old), one of my brothers, and his adult kids and spouses. Of course I took the Mini over there, since several had not yet seen it. We took turns with me throwing the key at one of them and letting them take the Mini out for a test drive (with me giving pointers as passenger). The accolades were universal! We were lucky no speeding tickets were issued on the local roads.

    They could not get over the:
    • Price to value proposition, especially with the tax credit
    • The solid, BMW driving feel
    • The tech features
    • The headlights
    • The quiet, instant acceleration
    • The addictive, one-pedal driving - no one took the option to turn off the high regenerative setting
    It's a lot of fun to see others have the same reactions I had last September when I test drove the SE for the first time.
  23. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Two weeks ago I finally got to let my similarly vaccinated best friend (who drives a dowdy Prius) try driving my SE. Great reaction, no tickets, and big cred for my choice of a car.
    GvilleGuy and Lainey like this.

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