With more than 10 years in the EV game, the 2022 Nisan Leaf appeals with a low price and nearly 150 miles of electric range, while the 2022 Mini Cooper SE wows with great handling and loads of personal style. Let’s compare them.
2022 Nissan Leaf
Starting price: $28,800
Above average: Spacious cabin; standard driver assistance features; wide dealer network; eligible for EV tax credits.
Below average: Lots of interior plastic.
Consensus: With a city-friendly 149-mile range, the 2022 Nissan
Leaf makes for a pleasant drive and comes with good standard features. If you want more range, you have to step up to the more expensive Leaf Plus.
2022 Mini Electric
The Mini Electric
Starting price: $30,750
Above average: Terrific handling; original style; numerous customization options.
Below average: Short driving range; tight back seat; single body style.
Consensus: The EV version of the Mini Cooper, the 2022 Cooper SE boasts inimitable style, great driving manners, and lots of options for personalization. Range makes it a city-only proposition, however, and the rear quarters are pretty tight.
Leaf vs. Mini Cooper SE: sensible shoes or stylish sneakers
A veteran among electric cars, the Nissan Leaf has been around for more than a decade, with the 2022 Leaf representing the little EV’s second generation. A maximum range of 149 miles makes it a decent city car, and a DC fast charger can bring it back to 80% capacity in 45 minutes. The optional Nissan Leaf Plus has a maximum range of 226 miles, but prices start nearly $5,000 higher. All 2022 Leafs are eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit for even more savings.
Handling is good, about as expected from an EV, and the Leaf can be driven using a single pedal only. Press down to go and lift off to slow down or stop. There is still a brake pedal for traditional braking, too.
The Leaf’s 5-passenger interior is clean and simple, although there’s a fair amount of plastic. Higher trims get features such as leather and an upgraded audio system. Given that it’s a hatchback, the Leaf offers 23.6 cubic feet of cargo or 30 cubes with the rear seats folded. There’s good space in front, and the rear legroom is decent.
Standard equipment includes keyless start, automatic climate control, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and Apple
CarPlay/Android Auto. On the safety front, all Leafs come standard with Nissan’s Safety Shield 360. The suite includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot intervention with rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic braking, automatic high beams, and a rear door alert.
Higher trims get such things as a 360-degree camera system, a Bose 7-speaker audio system, and ProPilot Assist, Nissan’s sophisticated adaptive cruise control.
Mini Cooper SE
There is nothing quite like a Mini. Seeing one on the road tends to bring a smile to one’s face, and numerous interior and exterior personalization options only add to the fun. While there are several iterations and both 2-door and 4-door body styles, the 2022 Mini Cooper SE electric comes only as a 2-door hardtop.
While the Cooper SE is a great city car, its rather paltry 114-mile range doesn’t make it terribly ideal for road trips. If you’re ambitious, however, the Cooper SE can fast-charge to 80% in 35 minutes.
It may be a cliché, but Minis have been praised for “slot car-like handling,” and the Cooper SE is no exception. Batteries in the floor lower the center of gravity to improve handling. Combined with the quick acceleration that EVs are known for, the Cooper SE is an absolute blast to drive.
Inside, the Cooper is fun and quirky, although the back seat is pretty tight, and the 8.7 cubic feet of space in the trunk is meager. Like the standard Mini Hardtop 2-door, the SE seats four passengers.
Standard features include a new 8.8-inch central information screen, Sirius
satellite radio, a leather-covered steering wheel, and a height-adjustable passenger seat. Safety features include lane-departure warning and a forward collision warning system with automatic navigation. It’s worth noting that Apple CarPlay does not come standard, only coming bundled with the optional navigation system.
Other options include an upgraded audio system and numerous options for both interior and exterior personalization. Prices start just over $30,000 and can climb up to nearly $36,000 for the higher trims, but it’s worth noting that the 2022 Cooper SE qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
Both cars are eligible for $7,500 federal tax credit; quick acceleration; starting price.
2022 Nissan Leaf advantages
Range; cargo capacity; interior space; standard Apple CarPlay; NHTSA 5-star safety.
2022 Mini Cooper SE advantages
Unique style; handling; warranty; charging time.
Which one is right for me?
If you’re looking for an EV that’s practical, spacious, and has decent range, the 2022 Nissan Leaf is a great choice. It’s fun to drive and well equipped.
For those who favor personal style over practicality and do the vast majority of driving close to home, the 2022 Mini Cooper SE has a unique look and is a blast to drive.
2022 Nissan Leaf
2022 Mini Cooper SE
110 kW AC synchronous
135 kW AC synchronous
EPA Driving Range
EPA Fuel Economy
111 combined/123 city/99 hwy MPGe
108 combined/115 city/100 hwy MPGe
Level 2 Charging Time
40 kWh Li-ion; 192 cells
32.6 kWh Li-ion; 94 cells
3 years/36,000 miles
4 years/50,000 miles
8 years/100,000 miles
8 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating
Max Seating Capacity
Shoulder Room, Front
Shoulder Room, Rear
EPA Passenger Volume
92.4 cubic feet
80.0 cubic feet
23.6 cubic feet
8.7 cubic feet
This story originally ran on KBB.com.