The fun and feisty little Mini Cooper is slightly remodeled for 2022, with modifications to its grille and both bumpers, a new 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen, standard satellite radio and lane departure warning, new wheel-arch trims, and several lively new exterior colors.
Mini Cooper is available in two-door or four-door hardtop models. For folks who count the rear hatch as a door, they’re known as three-door or five-door models. There’s also a Mini Cooper two-door soft-top convertible, and an electric Mini Cooper SE model.
Pricing starts at $20,600 (including an $850 destination charge) for a new Oxford Edition hardtop model. Apropos of the base trim level, it goes lighter on standard features in favor of keeping the bottom line under control, enabling a larger segment of buyers to experience Mini’s captivating personality long-term. And it’s a real bargain. Pricing escalates pretty quickly from there, concluding with $45,750 for a John Cooper Works (JCW) model in convertible form.
A 134-horsepower turbocharged three-cylinder engine powers the Oxford and standard Cooper models. Cooper S and JCW versions put more power into play. The Cooper S gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 189 horsepower, and the JCW’s turbo-4 is good for 228 horsepower.
The transmission selection, depending on model and trim, includes a six-speed manual, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, or eight-speed automatic. All Mini Coopers have front-wheel drive.
The Cooper, Cooper S, JCW, and Cooper SE electric model are available in Classic, Signature, and Iconic trim levels. I drove a 2022 Mini Cooper S two-door hardtop, $27,750 with destination and an EPA rating of 28 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined.
Standard features for this model include sport seats with six-way manual adjustment for driver and front passenger, a 60/40 split folding rear seat, and rear park distance control. The nice new 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes SiriusXM satellite radio.
Driver-assistance tech includes forward collision, pedestrian, and lane departure warnings, and high-beam assist.
My tester’s Iconic trim level package ($8,000) includes a heated steering wheel, the seven-speed automatic transmission (a six-speed manual would be standard), power folding mirrors, remote start and keyless entry, panoramic moonroof, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a sweet Harman Kardon premium audio system.
A trippy Multitone Roof option added another $500. Using an innovative “wet-on-wet” painting process, three areas of the roof are painted with different colors (San Marino Blue, Pearly Aqua, and Jet Black) that flow together seamlessly.
The Touchscreen Navigation Plus grouping on the Iconic trim includes a head-up display, connectivity and concierge services, Apple CarPlay integration, wireless charging, navigation, and a dynamic digital cluster.
Interior space in the Mini Cooper two-door hardtop is understandably limited, but the driver and front passenger are given adequate room for comfort. Claustrophobia is warded off by an abundance of headroom, and the back seat provides a handy overflow storage area for the tiny trunk.
Mini’s adorableness and fantastic handling abilities are legendary. They remain 100-percent intact for 2022.
2022 MINI COOPER S TWO-DOOR HARDTOP
Base price, including destination charge: $27,750
Price as driven: $36,250
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.