The 2022 Mini Cooper is an icon in the automotive world, with its cheeky styling, notoriously sharp handling, and cornucopia of personalization possibilities. Offered in hardtop three- and five-door body styles as well as a ragtop convertible, the Cooper is the brand’s bread and butter. Buyers can choose between a 134-hp three-cylinder or a 189-hp four-cylinder engine, the latter of which is the better match to the Mini’s fun-to-drive chassis. While base models offer an affordable price tag, the better-equipped S models encroach on entry-luxury car territory, putting them in contention with small sedans and hatchbacks from Mercedes-Benz and BMW—a tough crowd. Still, the Cooper is a good choice for drivers who value style as much as they appreciate driving enjoyment.
What’s New for 2022?
Mini has given the Cooper a facelift for the 2022 model year, which consists of updated front and rear bumpers, a revised grille, new wheel designs, and the introduction of some bold new colors, including a cool color-shifting Multitone roof option. The interior sees several upgrades as well, including a redesigned steering wheel, a new checker-patterned upholstery option, and tweaked air vents. Mini has also revised some interior trim and made changes to the infotainment system, making the larger 8.8-inch display standard across the lineup. Also newly standard is a digital gauge display, lane-departure warning, and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Now that the manual transmission is back, we’d choose it and put it in the more powerful 189-hp Cooper S Hardtop to maximize the fun-to-drive factor. The five-door Hardtop costs a bit extra, but we’d stick with the three-door since neither Mini is all that spacious. Beyond that, the personal-customization options are numerous, and we’ll leave them up to you; we’re sure you’ll find a color combination and set of accessories to strike your fancy.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The standard engine is a turbocharged 134-hp 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, which provides plenty of pep in this small, lightweight vehicle. All of the Minis in this line come with front-wheel drive. These Minis have responsive handling and feel quick regardless of engine choice, but we like the S models that come with a turbocharged 189-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. With the larger engine, the S proved to be a little more than a second faster than the 1.5-liter engine in our zero-to-60-mph test, clocking in at 6.2 seconds. We found the automatic transmission shifts well, but the manual transmission is still our favorite. The firm suspension lends itself to enthusiast-oriented driving, which can make the Mini Cooper exciting, but it can be unforgiving on rough roads.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The base three-cylinder engine in the entry-level Mini Cooper three-door, five-door, and convertible rings in the same EPA-estimated fuel efficiency for all models. With the three-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual, we managed 38 mpg during our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route. The more powerful 2.0-liter engine in the Cooper S is rated slightly lower by the EPA, ranging from 27 mpg to 30 mpg combined depending on configuration. For more information about the Cooper’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Mini’s interior is charmingly quirky, but at the cost of user-friendliness. Rear-seat passenger space is tight, but front-seat occupants will find little reason to complain. The Convertible model’s power top will fold in 18 seconds to unlock the joy of unlimited headroom. Too bad its trunk is tiny. Hardtop models offer more practicality inside their hatchback bodies. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats come standard on the Mini Cooper, and a leather interior is optional. The Hardtop model’s trunk also is quite small, offering room for just three carry-on suitcases in our testing. But drop the rear seats, and there’s room for 12. The five-door Hardtop offers more space for cargo with the rear seats folded, but the Convertible offers less.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All Mini Cooper models come standard with an 8.8-inch infotainment display and a digital gauge cluster. SiriusXM satellite radio is also standard across the lineup but buyers seeking Apple CarPlay, in-dash navigation, or wireless phone charging will need to pay extra for those features. Android Auto is not available at all.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Mini Cooper comes with standard automated emergency braking and offers adaptive cruise control and park assist as options. For more information about the Cooper’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mini offers a slightly better warranty than other small-car manufacturers, particularly with complimentary scheduled maintenance. Volvo and BMW both offer complimentary scheduled maintenance plans that match Mini’s policy.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles
More Features and Specs