Most of the new electric vehicles arriving on the market aren’t cheap.
But the two-door Mini Cooper SE is a rare exception, and one of the three cheapest electric vehicles. It’s arguably way more exciting and image-boosting than the Chevy Bolt EV or Nissan Leaf, all of which start around $30,000 or less—if you’re prepared to work with its 114-mile range.
It was also one of the few EVs on the market that hadn’t seen a big price hike in the past year.
That is, until now. While the base Cooper SE held the line on pricing into this 2023 model year, carrying over its $30,750 sticker price (including the $850 destination fee), the price leader is no longer available. And the next-most-affordable EV option in the lineup costs $4,325 more.
According to Mini USA head of corporate communications Andrew Cutler, the base Cooper SE has been “made temporarily unavailable due to supply-chain-related issues.”
Mini had no further details on what that supply-chain constraint is. But it leaves quite an affordability gap versus the cheerful EV value leader that was.
2023 Mini Cooper SE Resolute Edition
The 2023 Mini Cooper SE gained more standard features, including a new steering wheel design plus an Apple CarPlay–compatible 8.8-inch center screen, a heated steering wheel, lane-departure warning, and SiriusXM satellite radio.
At that, you might as well go to the top-trim Iconic 2.0 model, as we see it. The Signature 2.0 is mostly a step up in appearance and luxury versus the sought-after base model. At $35,075, it gets a panoramic sunroof plus multiple exterior, roof, and upholstery choices. In top Iconic 2.0 trim, costing $37,550, the Cooper SE gets Harman Kardon audio, a head-up display, front parking sensors, a parking assistant, and active cruise control.
But both are a big jump, for an affordability-minded shopper, from the base version.
If you can claim the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, that amounts to an effective price of $30,050 for the Iconic 2.0, versus $23,250 for the now-unavailable base model.
2022 Mini Cooper SE
Mini suggests that while the base SE isn’t gone for good, it can’t provide a timeline for when it might return. In the meantime it’s dropped that version from its order tool, which notes even for those pricier versions, “Due to increased customer demand, production availability of model year 2023 MINIs is limited.”
There are many more fully electric models to come from the brand. Mini has suggested that it will shift entirely to EVs by the early 2030s, and Mini just last week teased a look at the design direction of the brand and a future all-electric crossover—in the Concept Aceman. It also recently teased the possibility of a fully electric convertible with a one-off Cooper SE Convertible.