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MINI Aceman 160kW SE Exclusive 54kWh 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Electric
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 7.1 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 218 bhp Engine power
  • 248.5 mi Combined range
  • 54.2 kWh Battery capacity
  • 8 yrs Battery warranty

Ten Second Review

MINI ramps up its EV model line-up with this car, the Aceman. It's the brand's very first EV-only design, a small crossover based on the MINI Electric hatch. If you like the idea of a small electric MINI but need a trendy dose of extra practicality, read on.

Background

MINI wants to transition into being an EV-only brand as quickly as possible and a milestone on that journey comes with the introduction of this car, the Aceman. It's the first of the company's models that will be sold only as an EV and is essentially an SUV version of the latest J01-series model MINI Cooper Electric hatch. Which means that it's very much a Chinese product. The Cooper Electric was designed by Spotlight Automotive, a joint venture partnership between BMW and Great Wall Motor which has also produced another model, the GWM Ora 3 supermini. Acemans will also be initially built at a Spotlight factory in Zhangjiagang north of Shanghai, before European production moves to BMW's usual MINI Oxford plant in 2026. The Aceman fits into the MINI line-up between the Cooper Electric hatch and the Countryman Electric, though unlike both of those models, Acemans can't be had in petrol form as an alternative. There seems to be a bit of overlap with both those other MINIs (particularly perhaps with the 5-door version of the Cooper Electric hatch). So does the Aceman have what it takes to stand out? Let's see.

Driving Experience

When final touches to the engineering of this Aceman were being completed at the beginning of this decade, it must have seemed a clever and forward-thinking idea to make it electric-only. Today though, as EV sales and public charging infrastructure programs falter, you wonder whether MINI wishes that, as with the current Cooper hatch and Countryman, a combustion-powered variant had also been allowed for in the line-up. Anyway, what we have here is an EV-only range that kicks off with a base Aceman E variant propelled by 184hp front-mounted motor energised by 42.5kWh battery offering a 193 mile range. 62mph takes 7.9s en route to 99mph. The alternative is the Aceman SE, which gets 218hp motor, again front-mounted (unlike Countryman Electric, there's no twin motor AWD version). This variant uses a larger 52.4kWh battery, hence its longer 252 mile range. 62mph takes 7.1s en route to 106mph. As with other current MINIs, there's a choice of 'Experience' drive modes, not many of which have much to do with driving. Select from 'Core', 'Green', 'Go-Kart', 'Personal', 'Vibrant', 'Timeless', 'Balance' and 'Trail'. 'Go-Kart' is obviously the setting for speed. If you're interested in that, then you might want to wait for the forthcoming John Cooper Works performance version of this model.

Design and Build

Essentially, the Aceman is a shrunken MINI Countryman; that's certainly what it looks like. Both cars employ the same so-called 'charismatic simplicity' design philosophy and share quite a few styling cues - rhombus-shaped headlamps, an octagonal grille and a 'floating' roof effect that the brand has achieved by blanking off the pillars. The wheelarches on the Aceman are more pronounced and angular though, contributing to an SUV vibe embellished by roof rails, front and rear skid plates and lower side cladding. Dimensionally, the Aceman measures 4,079mm long, 1,754mm wide and 1,514mm tall. That's about the same as a Jeep Avenger, but another obvious rival, Volvo's EX30, is about 150mm longer and nearly 100mm wider. Since this car is fundamentally based on the MINI Cooper Electric hatch, you wouldn't expect its interior to differ much from that car - and it doesn't. So as usual with modern MINIs, the cabin is dominated by an ultra-slim dinnerplate-sized 9.4-inch OLED circular screen that takes care of both the infotainment and drive instruments. Most customers will add a head-up display, viewed through the unusual wheel with its fabric 6 o'clock lower spoke. The knitted recycled polyester fabric dashboard covering is also recognisable from other modern MINIs, bringing what the brand thinks is a 'homely' feel. Given that this Aceman is so much shorter than Countryman, there's a surprising amount of space in the back; a six foot passenger could sit behind a similarly tall driver. But that's because the designers have compromised a bit on boot space; there's just 300-litres of it (55-litres less than Jeep Avenger EV). Fold the 60/40 rear bench and that extends to 1,005-litres. There's no under-bonnet 'frunk' space for the charging leads.

Market and Model

Prices start at around £32,000 for the 42.5kWh Aceman E; it's just under £36,500 for the 54.2kWh Aceman SE. And MINI boasts that both variants are amongst its most connected cars ever, courtesy of a revised 'My MINI' app; and a "Hey MINI" personal assistant voice control system, via which owners can choose digital depiction of a British bulldog named Spike as their screen avatar of choice. There are three available trim levels - 'Classic', 'Exclusive' and 'Sport' - and all are well equipped. Standard equipment across the range includes the round OLED fascia screen with its wireless smartphone connectivity. Plus you get a rear view camera, a heated steering wheel, cruise control and various bits of drive assistance tech. The Aceman SE gains a head-up display as standard, and also features a wireless charging pad, heated front seats, customisable front and rear light signatures and keyless entry. Key available features include 'Park Assist Plus' parking set-up, 'Digital Key Plus' (which allows you to unlock the car with your smartphone) and the 'Remote 360' surround view monitoring system. On longer journeys, the Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, and the 'MINI Driving Assistant' enhance comfort. That central round 'MINI Interaction Unit' screen offers 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto', but only the former fills the whole circumference of the 24cm-diameter OLED round display. Third-party apps like Spotify fit and work in it too.

Cost of Ownership

We gave you the battery range figures in our 'Driving' section - 193 miles from the 42.5kWh battery in the Aceman E; and 252 miles from the Aceman SE variant's 54.2kWh battery. Various tools help you maximise range: the 'Green' 'MINI Experience' mode - and a charge-optimised routing function for the navigation. Opting for the rangier variant gets you an increase in charging speed from 75kW to 95kW. Neither figure is particularly impressive, but at a rapid DC public charger, a 10 to 80% spell of replenishment can be completed in around 30 minutes. AC home charging as possible via the usual 7kW or 11kW wallbox options. By using MINI Navigation, the vehicle will ensure the high-voltage battery reaches the ideal temperature for efficient charging in advance, thus reducing charging time. Customers can also optimise charging for their schedule, setting charging start times, active charging windows, and target battery capacity by departure time. Finally, drivers can instruct that the interior cabin is air conditioned by a set departure time. The 'My MINI' app provides a convenient overview of the vehicle status and charging process, including current battery status, charging-optimised route plan and charging history.

Summary

One day, somewhere in the future, MINI believes the Aceman might well be its best selling model. At present, that day looks pretty far in the future and it would have helped this car's sales prospects right at present if the brand chose to offer it with the combustion power option you get in an equivalent MINI Cooper hatch. But the Chinese underpinnings here are all EV-orientated - so is the Aceman and so will be those who really want one. Such customers will see this small electric MINI crossover as so fashionable and forward-thinking that a fossil fuelled powerplant would be inappropriate. Perhaps they're right. More than any battery-powered MINI model before it, this one most clearly shows the company's future. The adventure awaits.

  • DAB Digital radio
  • Personal eSim
  • Logos in Vibrant Silver
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Roof rails
  • Vibrant Silver Grill Surround
  • Cupholders
  • Dark headliner
  • Front compact armrest
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Lidded storage box in blue knit
  • Sport Vescin Steering Wheel
  • Vescin synthetic leather upholstery
  • Level 1 pack - Mini Aceman
  • 3 point seatbelts on all seats
  • 6 Airbags - front, side, head and seat belt tensioners
  • Acoustic pedestrian protection
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Front ISOFIX (iSize)
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Alarm
  • Immobiliser
  • Remote central locking
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: N
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 54.2
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 1725
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 540
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 7.4
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 345
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 11
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): 31
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: 10-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: 95
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Right Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: CCS Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 95
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - City: 11.3
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 14.1
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEH: 14.7
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEL: 13.9
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Extra High: 18.3
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - High: 12.7
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Low: 10.9
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Medium: 11.3
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - City: 5.5
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 4.4
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEH: 4.2
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEL: 4.5
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Extra High: 3.4
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - High: 4.9
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Low: 5.7
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Medium: 5.5
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City: 506
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 400
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEH: 384
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEL: 407
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Extra High: 312
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - High: 446
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Low: 517
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Medium: 502
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City: 314.4
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 248.5
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEH: 238
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEL: 252
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Extra High: 193.9
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - High: 277.1
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Low: 321.2
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Medium: 311.9
  • CO: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • HC: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • CC: 1
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • Engine Code: HC0002N0
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Combined (mpg): N
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Badge Power: 218
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: 54kWh
  • Coin Series: SE Exclusive
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.1
  • Engine Power - BHP: 218
  • Engine Power - KW: 160
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 243
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 33.7
  • Engine Torque - NM: 330
  • Top Speed: 105
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N/A
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/45 R18
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/45 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: NIGHT FLASH SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Height: 1514
  • Length: 4079
  • Wheelbase: 2606
  • Width: 1754
  • Width (including mirrors): 1991
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2235
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1005
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 300
  • Max. Loading Weight: 525
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1710
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.1