- 2022 Mini Cooper S Convertible: [$22,900-$44,900] ($40,850 as tested)
- Mini has a long, prestigious, and often overlooked racing history
- Pro: Pound-for-pound one of the most fun cars on the market
- Con: poor reliability history and expensive repairs
Full disclosure: I own a 2015 Mini Countryman S. I drive one of these little go-karts all the time. And still, the 2022 Mini Cooper S convertible is an absolute hoot. The Countryman might be the more practical option within the Mini lineup, but the original Cooper S is a hard act to follow. The 2022 Mini Cooper S review is a list topper for sure.
I spent the past week ripping around the Hudson Valley, kicking freshly fallen leaves off the winding tarmac during my 2022 Mini Cooper S review. There is almost nothing practical about this little machine dripping in Union Jacks. There is no space, it’s expensive, and one of the most smile-educing cars you’ll ever drive. I love the 2022 Mini Cooper. I love it. However, it’s not all fluttering turbo noise and face-ripping cornering; there are some downsides to buying a 2022 Mini Cooper, too. The 2022 Mini Cooper is a lesson in practicality vs. joy.
Choosing the best 2022 Mini Cooper trim is easy
The 2022 Mini Cooper is available in hardtop and soft-top convertible. The hardtop is available as a Cooper, Cooper S, John Cooper Works (JCW), and the Cooper SE electric model. And, each is available in Classic, Signature, or Iconic trim.
While there are a bunch of options available, the main thing to consider is the powertrain. The standard Cooper comes with the naturally aspirated 1.5-liter three-cylinder making an underwhelming 139 hp. Choosing this engine feels like a waste of a Mini Cooper.
The Cooper S comes with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making a spritely 189 hp. While that may not seem like much, believe me when I say that amount of power for this little car is a blast. This is without question the best version to get, but we’ll get to that later.
Lastly, there is the JCW verison which is the hottest of the little go-karts. This trim is easily the most fun due to its 228 hp, bigger brakes, sport suspension, sport exhaust, and styling package, but it will not be the best fit for most casual drivers.
Our 2022 Mini Cooper S review unit was the Cooper S convertible in the Iconic trim, which is the priciest trim level. It comes with loads of features including, heated everything, a Nappa leather steering wheel, Harman/Kardon speakers, convertible wind deflectors, and more.
Love it or hate it, the 2022 Mini Cooper has style
Mini has always been a standout when it came to looks. From the very first Mini to this modern batch, Mini has always put style at the forefront of their cars. They may be too cute and bubbly for some, but they are distinctive and objectively unique cars.
The 2022 Mini Cooper review unit got a little facelift for this year. Mini removed the fog lights in the grill (which I was not pleased with), replaced the old front and rear bumpers with a new design. The removed foglights now live in the headlight housings. While this may be a practical move, it’s a bit boring, especially coming from Mini.
Mini also changed the fender flare’s design and color. But the biggest change is the new colors for the hardtop models. The multitone roof blends Soul Blue, Pearly Aqua, and Jet Black paint in an artistic way that really adds some flair to an already stylish little ride.
Are Mini Cooper interiors comfortable?
Surprisingly, yes. I am 6’5, and I fit in the driver’s seat plenty comfortably. The passenger seat is equally roomy, and even the semi-bolstered, racing-inspired seats are pretty comfortable. Although, after about 2-3 hours without a break, my tail did get pretty antsy for a walk around the gas station.
However, the back seats are quite tiny. The 2022 Mini Cooper review had to be done solo this time. I tend to try and take friends along to see how the back seat works for folks, and for the Mini Cooper, the back seat was simply too small for my monstrous friends. It is small.
How is the Mini Cooper on tech?
All 2022 Minis get an 8.8-inch digital display mounted front and center. The all-new user experience has a modernized look and feel. It also comes with two available color schemes: Lounge and Sport. This is a big upgrade from the previous generation interface. All in all, it’s a nice system to use.
Although Mini has optional adaptive cruise control, backup camera, and other tech features, you can still have a very analog experience in one if you care to.
The Mini still comes with a six-speed manual as standard! Yes, you read that right. Mini being the racing company they are at heart, still gives enthusiasts the three-pedal car they want. The dash even still has toggle switches to add to the racer experience.
The 2022 Mini Cooper S review highlights one of the best handling cars on the market
I don’t think people give the Mini Cooper the credit it deserves. These are sports cars in every sense of the word. Like a Miata, the Mini Cooper isn’t going to pin you back in the seat with its raw horsepower, but it will damn near rip your face off if you throw it through a corner.
The 2022 Mini Cooper S gave plenty of speed and allowed that speed to carry through corner after corner. I only got it to its cornering limit maybe once or twice; the rest of the time during my 2022 Mini Cooper review, I didn’t have the guts to corner as hard as it would allow. Few cars are as fun to drive as a turbocharged Mini Cooper. The only thing that would have made my test unit better in the corners would have been the optional all-wheel drive.
How fast is the 2022 Mini Cooper S?
The Mini Cooper S is extremely fast if you know how to use it. But, to answer the question a little more directly, the Mini has a bit of snap from its turbocharged 2.0-liter, but it isn’t what most people would consider super powerful with only 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.
According to Car and Driver, the turbocharged 2.0-liter that comes with the 2022 Mini Cooper S is a full second faster than the non-turbocharged 1.5-liter in a 0-60-mph sprint. The Cooper S hit its mark in only 6.2 seconds.
All in all, the Cooper is a quick little car, and in the right hands, this car becomes a seriously quick little number. Not to mention, you get all that sporty quickness while still pulling down a combined 30 mpg.
Are Mini Coopers safe cars?
The Active Driving Assistant standard safety suite includes automatic emergency braking and rear parking sensors. It has been improved with the addition of lane-departure warning, which vibrates the steering wheel if you’ve begun to drift out of your lane.
For the eight-speed automatic and seven-speed dual-clutch cars, Mini offers Active Cruise control, which can even come to a complete stop and resume driving again. This new version is only available on the 2022 Mini Coopers.
Are Mini Coopers expensive to maintain?
As much as I love driving the 2022 Mini Cooper S, I hate how expensive parts and repairs are. Minis aren’t known for their reliability either. The average cost of maintenance per year for a Mini Cooper is $846. For reference, the average cost for maintenance for subcompact cars across the board is only $456, according to RepairPal.
If we are going to call the Mini Cooper a sports car, which we are, then this aligns nicely with what we know of sports cars. No one cares how much it costs to repair a Ferrari, do they? Of course not! It’s a Ferrari. Sports cars are supposed to be expensive; the Mini Cooper just makes you pay for it over the long run instead of at the dealership.
Fortunately, you won’t need to worry too much about repairing the 2022 Mini Cooper S in the first few years because it’s also backed by the brand’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty.
The 2022 Mini Cooper S is too fun to let anything else matter
Sure, the Mini Cooper is small, a bit expensive for what it is, and expensive to fix, but what it gives in return is worth all the hassle. I don’t think Mini Coopers get their propers in the world of sports cars. The Mazda Miata has everyone singing its praises, and while Minis are popular, they aren’t often talked about in the enthusiast world like Miatas are. I think that’s a shame.
They are fun, fast, sporty cars that come in manual and all-wheel drive. What else could you possibly want? Hell, my 2022 Mini Cooper Review unit even came in a convertible. I may be basic, but damn it, if convertibles ain’t fun, I don’t know what is.
All week long, I found myself making excuses to leave my great parking spot in Manhattan to drive the Mini. They truly are great cars to drive, and if you let them, they might even give you a scare. Few cars are as fun to drive as a Mini Cooper.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 Mini Cooper S an expert rating of 8 out of 10
The Mini has its drawbacks. The reliability and maintenance are easily the biggest black marks against this spirited little sports car. But its character and unrelenting joyfulness can make up for that if you are cool with a steep mechanics bill. Overall the 2022 Mini Cooper S is good-looking, quick, great on gas, and most importantly, really, really fun to drive.