Mini SE ownership experience and what we are learning about the car

Discussion in 'MINI Cooper SE' started by Matt Shumaker, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    Hey Everyone!

    Ok, so, we took delivery of our car yesterday and I am starting this thread to share what we have learned so far.

    #1 The 110 mile range is actually a low estimate. Even using the heat a modest amount, we are seeing longer range than that. I think 125 miles is more realistic.

    #2 The glass roof opens (the front sunroof). This may be obvious to some people. But to us, it was very unclear. Mini doesn't mention it in their description of the car.

    #3 This car is a simplified BMW. We own a 2019 BMW M240i convertible and the Mini is very similar in operation of much of the tech.

    I will post more info as I have it.

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  2. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to hear that you believe your MINI Cooper SE will get at least 125 miles of range. This guy in the UK barely went 95 miles using the heatless Green+ mode in chilly weather: MINI Electric Review and Range Test: How Far Does It Really Go?
  3. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    Another video
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  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    A walk-around well-done. Thanks.

    Tesla should buy MINI Cooper SE instrument panels and charge $3K to put them in front of Model 3 drivers. They would sell a ton of them, but that would be admitting the error in not including such a display in the first place. I like how that instrument panel goes up and down in concert with the MINI's adjustable steering wheel so it's never obscured by the wheel (unlike with our 2010 Insight).
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
  5. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    For $3k you can get the Motec dash from Mountain Pass Performance for the Model 3. Or, for $80 you can use a Samsung tablet with the Scan My Tesla app as a gauge display like I did.
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  6. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Matt, I wondered what that extra screen was in front of you in your Model 3. The only thing I don't like about the Model 3 (other than I can't afford one) is that it doesn't have a head-up display or an instrument panel like the Model S/X.

    I didn't know Tesla made it possible for third-party products to tap into their data stream. Following your lead, I went to Mountain Pass Performance to look at the $3,360-$3,890 MPP MoTeC C125 Display for the Model 3. If I could afford a Model 3, I'd definitely afford one of those, too. However, IMO its appearance doesn't hold a candle to the MINI Cooper SE's instrument panel.

    Isn't it interesting that MINI went to the trouble of adding a mechanical needle for their E-POWER Gauge instead of simply programming an LCD needle? Perhaps they tried an LCD needle and didn't work because it sometimes appeared as a jagged line due to the narrow needle vs the resolution of that panel.

  7. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    The issue with the Motec is the specific look. It is small and doesn't match the Model 3 interior. However, it is programmable with a crazy number of adjustable variables you can display on the screen.

    Also, $3k+ is steep.
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  8. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric New Member

    Thanks for posting Matt. Big fan of your channel. I am a Tesla S and Smart ED owner in Toronto Canada. Went to my local Mini dealer and they have an SE on display. Am looking forward to your review of the driving dynamics. I am a biased on RWD, and both my EV's are RWD, so the FWD Mini is slightly less desirable from the fun to drive perspective because of that alone. Perhaps you might shed some light on that.
  9. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    So far so good. I know what you mean about driving dynamics. But, so far it drives great!
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  10. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    So, more info for you guys;

    #1 Reviewers have stated that the traction control has a stranglehold on the drive unit and it will not allow wheelspin ever. I can attest ti the fact that it does, indeed, wheelspin with TC off! I think the factory changed the software from the test cars to the production cars because my car spins wheel pushed. Oh, it has Hancook tires (I don't remember the model though).

    #2 This thing sticks around corners ferosiously! It is almost goofy how hard it hangs on. It is a blast!

    You enter a corner with speed that just seems wrong, then you hammer it upon exit and hang on through the wheelspin!

    I'm in love.......
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  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for all the info you're providing. You were wise to reveal your love for your MINI in this forum instead of admitting such heresy to your Tech Forum Tesla followers.

    Did your MINI come with both a tire-repair kit and run-flat Hankook tires?

    From what I saw (over and over) in your walk-around video, I'm guessing you have Hankook 205/45R17 Ventus S1 EVO 2 HRS Ultra High Performance Summer run-flat tires ($210 apiece on Tire Rack). Does your Tesla Model 3 have run-flat tires?


    I loved the handling of my two front-wheel drive Honda CRX Si cars (sadly, Hondas kept growing bigger). Your description of the cornering in your MINI Cooper SE is mouth-watering! Do you find the traction control too controlling? Will you always turn it off? How does the ride-comfort compare to other MINIs you've driven (especially through pot-holes)?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  12. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Wow! It appears the MINI Cooper SE is the rare MINI that doesn't come with run-flat tires. Here's a clip from the tire photo Matt included in his post in the MINI Cooper SE Owner's Manual thread:


    These tires will provide a softer ride and less unsprung weight than run-flats. Now it's clear why MINI packed a tire-repair kit with Matt's SE.

    I pulled the image of this Ultra High Performance Summer tire from the Tire Rack page on the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 tire (interestingly, Tire Rack says there are no Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 tires in the 205/45R17 size). They look very appropriate for the only electric hot-hatch car on the market:


    Hankook has one YouTube video, Hankook Ventus S1 evo, which describes the benefits of the S1 evo line. Then there are three info-free videos of the evo 3 tires in action: Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 - Handling Performance, Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 - Wet braking, and Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 - Handling.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
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  13. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric New Member

    Sounding better to me!

    Was wondering how this compares to the Chevy Bolt / Spark which were way overpowered on front and spin front wheels in all sorts of situations.
    One of my hesitations is the front bias during hard corner entry/exit transition where RWD cars like my Tesla and Smart "hunker down" and shift weight to rear and have that pleasant "shimmy" when driven hard out of a corner.
  14. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    Today I did a range test. I drove 20 miles round trip with normal flow of traffic and averaged 204wh per mile. That gives a range of 142 miles on a full charge.
  15. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    That's a good first take, but there's only one way to conduct a true maximum range test: drive 'til discharged.

    When I was hypermiling my gen-1 Insights, I used USGS topological maps to determine the flattest road course near my city. In the distant future, when the MINI factory starts up again and makes my SE, I'll drive my test course until the car won't go anymore. I'll do it in the summer and I'll do it in the winter (using GREEN+ mode below 20 degrees will require layers of sweaters). After the start-from-cold test, I'll charge while pre-conditioning the cabin and battery. Then I'll do it again to see how preconditioning improves the cold-weather range. On another cold winter day, I'll do it in MID mode with the heat on. Such tests provide the true antidote to range anxiety: predictability.
  16. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    I understand your sentiment. I will be doing a full discharge range test soon. However, from a preliminary standpoint, 204wh per mile gives us a 142 mile range with 28.9kwh of useable energy.

    Also, in 30 minutes the car is going up on a lift so I can get footage of the undercarriage of the car.
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  17. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I agree with your calculations, but they assume the Watt-hour read-out is accurate (and consistent throughout the discharging process) and the battery provides exactly 28.9 kWh. Do MINI or BMW dealers have a way to verify the capacity of the battery the way Honda dealers can with the Clarity PHEV? If not, then it's not possible to verify the accuracy of the Watt-hour read-out by conducting an actual range test.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  18. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    I am uploading a range test video right now. I ran the car almost "Empty" and I saw 126 mile range. This was in 37 degrees F and raining.
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  19. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

  20. Matt Shumaker

    Matt Shumaker Member

    The Mini undercarriage
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