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Mini Cooper SE vs. Volvo EX30: Which One Wins?

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Mini Cooper SE vs. Volvo EX30: Which One Wins?

Key Points

  • The Mini Cooper SE and the Volvo EX30 are two electric vehicles competing in the compact car market.
  • The Mini Cooper SE is a compact hatchback with an iconic vintage design, while the Volvo EX30 is a larger compact SUV with a rugged look.
  • The Volvo EX30 outperforms the Mini Cooper SE in terms of power, acceleration, range, and charging time.

In a growing EV world, automakers have no choice but adapt and launch their fully electric lineups. Two players that currently compete in the compact electric car market are Mini and Volvo. The former relies on good performance and an iconic design that conquers the masses. The latter has released various EVs in recent years, but none as small as its new EX30 model.

Despite their compact size, however, the two cars couldn’t be more different. This comparison between the Mini Cooper SE and the Volvo EX30 highlights the advantages and drawbacks of each vehicle.

Let’s dive right in!

Mini Cooper SE vs. Volvo EX30: Side-by-Side Comparison

Mini Cooper SEVolvo EX30
Year of Release20202023
DrivetrainFWDRWD, AWD
Power181 hp272 hp to 422 hp
Range per ChargeUp to 114 milesUp to 275 miles
Charge Time (10% to 80%)36 minutes26.5 minutes
Acceleration (0 to 60 MPS)6.9 seconds3.4 seconds
Number of Seats45
Cargo Capacity8.7 cubic feet14.1 cubic feet
Wheel Size16” or 17”18” or 19”
Starting Price$30,900$34,950
ManufacturerMiniVolvo
ClassHatchbackCompact SUV

Mini Cooper SE vs. Volvo EX30: What’s the Difference?

An iconic British make, Mini spun off as its own brand in 1969. BMW acquired it in 1996 and launched the new-generation Mini Cooper in 2001. The compact hatchback evolved over the decades, but one thing remained the same — its attractive vintage style. Things are no different with the model’s electric version, which was originally launched in 2020.

The new Mini Cooper SE, now in its fourth edition, blends contemporary and vintage elements in a customizable design. Throw in good performance on the road, and you’ve got one of the best minicars on the market.

However, if you want to carry more than one suitcase and one passenger, the Volvo EX30 might be a better choice. This compact SUV is only slightly more expensive than the Mini Cooper SE and brags with a more comfortable cabin, a higher cargo capacity, and better performance.

So, which of the two vehicles should you consider? Let’s find it out.

Design

One of the main differences between the Mini Cooper SE and the Volvo EX30 is the vehicle class and design.

The Mini Cooper SE is a compact hatchback with a design based on the legendary Mini Cooper S. Some elements set apart the electric version from its gas-powered sibling, but the overall style is the same as the original 2-door hardtop model.

Improvements include better aerodynamics and a smoother ride, while the iconic vintage elements can convince hardcore fans to switch from gas to electric. Three trims and multiple customization options make it easy to build the electric Mini Cooper of your dreams. A few sought-after options include Union Jack taillights, a Nappa leather steering wheel, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, and a panoramic moonroof, should you opt for one. You can also choose from a bountiful range of exterior and roof paint colors.

The Volvo EX30 is a compact SUV. Even if it is the automaker’s smallest electric vehicle, it is larger than the Mini Cooper SE.

Its style is not something to write home about, but the car does manage to pull off a rugged look. Some hallmarks include designer headlights, black panels on the front bumper and tailgate, and the Swedish flag on the hood. Another highlight is the 6.5-inch of ground clearance that, when paired with an AWD trim, makes the vehicle perfect for off-road adventures.

Performance

The design might work in the Mini Cooper SE’s favor, but the tables turn when it comes to performance. In this round, the Volvo EX30 shines bright with its 272 horsepower on the single-motor trims and 422 horsepower on the dual-motor variant. Depending on the trim, the SUV can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds and reach top speeds of up to 112 miles per hour.

BMW equipped its Mini Cooper SE with a 181-horsepower motor that can accelerate to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. This performance is in line with the manufacturer’s gas-powered counterpart but around two times slower than the Volvo EX30. The top speed of 93 miles per hour is also unimpressive.

However, the Mini Cooper’s poorer benchmarks are unsurprising when considering the differences in drivetrains between the two vehicles. Volvo equips its EX30 with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive motors. The Mini Cooper SE comes with a single front-wheel drive motor that, in Europe, is much more common than RWD.

Obviously, the choice goes beyond the market preference. FWD motors help steering, improve traction in slippery road conditions, and boost fuel economy — something the Mini Cooper SE desperately needs, given its less-than-stellar range. RWD systems are better for ultimate acceleration, but they have a poorer fuel economy and can be more challenging to control in tough road conditions.

Range

Despite the alleged poor fuel economy of RWD motors, the Volvo EX30 is on top of the Mini Cooper SE in this round, too. Its Single Motor Extended Range trim can cover up to 275 miles per charge, while the Twin Motor Performance has an estimated range of 265 miles per charge. The EPA hasn’t yet released any fuel economy estimates for this car, but we expect it to compete with the Kia Niro EV and similar cars.

Meanwhile, the Mini Cooper SE has a significantly shorter range of only 114 miles. It goes without saying that the fuel economy is not outstanding, and the 110 MPGe combined is disappointing compared to other compact alternatives, such as the Bolt EV.

In addition to a longer range, the EX30 also wins in terms of charging. At a fast-charging station, its battery can go from 10 to 80 percent in just over 25 minutes. The Mini Cooper SE needs about 36 minutes to charge to 80 percent. At home, the Volvo EX30 charges from 0 to 100 percent in about eight hours. Depending on the outlet’s power (kW), the Mini Cooper SE charges at a speed of 2 to 20 percent per hour.

Popular EVs South Dakota
The 2023 Mini Cooper SE EV only has a range of around 100 miles.

Technology

As far as infotainment is concerned, the Mini Cooper SE comes with an 8.8-inch touchscreen display running a proprietary system. You get Mini navigation maps, real-time traffic information, and built-in Apple CarPlay and SiriusXM. Bluetooth connectivity is also included for hands-free calls and audio streaming. The car’s standard audio system includes six speakers and can be upgraded to an outstanding 12-speaker Harman Kardon.

The Volvo EX30 comes with a 12.3-inch tablet-style display that runs the updated version of Volvo’s Google-based interface. You can expect all the usual perks, such as Google Maps and Google Assistant, compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, smart shortcuts, and driver display views. The sound system is similar to the Mini Cooper SE, but it can only be upgraded to a 9-speaker Harman Kardon.

Comfort

Inspired by the Mini Cooper S, the Mini Cooper SE is better known for its unique design and drifting abilities than its comfort. The front is spacious enough for two adults to sit comfortably, but the rear seats offer almost zero legroom and are definitely too small for adults. The cargo space is equally limited, and you may struggle to get anything larger than a cabin-sized suitcase in the trunk.

However, the driver and front passenger can enjoy heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control. The ambient interior lighting, complete with six different colors, adds a fun touch to the cabin design.

That said, if you want your adult friends to sit comfortably in the back, the Volvo EX30 is a better choice. This SUV has a 5-passenger capacity and a spacious rear that offers plenty of leg and headroom. The seats are comfortable, and you can choose from various types of eco-friendly upholstery. A nice touch is the glove box that Volvo relocates under the infotainment screen, making it a lot easier for the driver to reach.

Safety

Modern cars come with all sorts of safety systems, and things are no different for the Mini Cooper SE and the Volvo EX30. Some of the most important safety features on the Mini Cooper SE include eight airbags, an active driver assistant with collision and lane departure warning, and tire pressure monitoring. On the Iconic trim, additional safety features include active cruise control and parking assistance.

The Volvo EX30 comes with similar features, including pilot assistance and collision avoidance systems, door opening alerts, a high-resolution birds-eye view camera, and park pilot assistance. Dual-stage airbags and a manual child safety lock are other highlights.

Price

The Mini Cooper SE and the Volvo EX30 are two of the most affordable EVs. The former has an MRSP of $30,900 for the Classic trim, which can go up to $36,700 for the Iconic trim.

In its standard version, the Volvo EX30 starts at $34,950. The company hasn’t yet announced its prices for the RWD Long Range and the AWD variants, so we can only guess they will align with the rest of the automaker’s electric SUVs.

Tax Credit Eligibility

Buying an electric car is a smart choice if you want to claim a tax credit. However, what you can claim varies from vehicle to vehicle and state to state. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Washington, DC, currently offer tax incentives for the Mini Cooper SE. You can receive anywhere from $500 to $5,000 in tax credits, depending on where you live.

Volvo hasn’t yet confirmed whether its EX30 will be eligible for a tax credit. Considering that the automaker sources the batteries from its Chinese partner, Geely, it is unlikely to see this vehicle on any tax credit lists. However, some models, such as the Volvo XC60, are still eligible for over $5,000 in tax deductions, so we have to wait and see.

Volvo EX30 exterior
The Volvo EX 30 is a fully electric vehicle set to be released in 2024.

Mini Cooper SE vs. Volvo EX30: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • The Mini Cooper SE is the brand’s first electric car. It was initially launched in 2020, and it is now in its fourth edition.
  • The Volvo EX30 is the smallest and cheapest electric SUV from the Swedish automaker. It was announced in 2023, and it is expected to hit the roads in 2024.
  • Both models are affordable compared to other EVs, but the Mini Cooper SE is the cheaper of the two.
  • The Volvo EX30 boasts superior performance compared to the Mini Cooper SE, but the latter is easier to handle on slippery roads than the EX30 RWD.
  • The EX30 has a rugged but unremarkable design, whereas the Mini Cooper SE maintains the iconic lines of the legendary 2-door hardtop.

Mini Cooper SE vs. Volvo EX30: Which One Should You Buy?

The Mini Cooper SE and the Volvo EX30 are two different vehicles, so choosing the right one for you comes down to preference. If you usually ride alone or with your favorite person, the Mini Cooper SE can deliver an exhilaratingly fun experience. Driving this car feels similar to driving its gas-powered counterpart, while the iconic style can capture everyone’s attention.

If you’d rather sacrifice style for performance and comfort, the Volvo EX30 is a better choice. This compact SUV provides plenty of space for five adult passengers. It also has excellent acceleration and a longer range compared to the Mini. Moreover, it charges in a shorter time, so you can get wherever you need to be a lot faster.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does SE mean on a Mini Cooper?

The SE is the fully electric variant of the gas-powered Mini Cooper S.

Where is the Mini Cooper SE made?

While the first editions of the Mini Cooper SE were made in England, BMW moved the production of its electric Mini to China in 2023.

What is the size of Volvo EX30?

The Volvo EX30 has a wheelbase of 104.3 inches, and it measures 166.7 inches in length, 72.3 inches in width, and 61 inches in height.

Where is the EX30 made?

Like most Volvo vehicles, the EX30 is designed in Sweden and built in China.

Is the EX30 an all-wheel drive?

Yes, the EX30 is offered in an AWD trim. However, the base trim comes with a single RWD motor.

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