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The 2022 MINI Cooper is an engaging subcompact that brings style to the typically drab segment. Its three body types—two-door hardtop, four-door hardtop, and convertible—have sporty credentials, deluxe cabins, and several trim levels. Therefore, there’s a configuration for nearly anyone seeking a slice of Cool Britannia.

High points aside, every car has its downfalls, and the MINI is no different. U.S. News points out four things it doesn’t like about the 2022 MINI Cooper.

Reason #1: Subpar trunk space

2022 MINI Cooper
2022 MINI Cooper convertible | MINI USA BMW North America

Since there are various MINI body styles, cargo space varies with the car in question. MINI’s convertible, as can be expected, has 5.7 cubic feet of cargo space in its trunk. Although it expands to 7.6 cubic feet thanks to folding rear seats, it’s not very convenient for weekly shopping trips.

Fortunately, the hardtop models fare better. However, the two-door and four-door only offer 8.7 cubic feet and 13.1 cubic feet, respectively—minuscule for the segment. It’s a good thing the rear seats fold down. Afterward, the two-door offers 34 cubic feet, and the four-door a more manageable 40.7.

Reason #2: Small rear seats

Another area where the 2022 MINI Cooper sticks to its fun-size sobriquet is in the rear seating row. Both two-door configurations will seat four people, and the four-door, five. Yet, each will present a struggle for comfort in the back.

Of course, the sedan-style MINI will transport passengers the best. But reviewers say, “the rear feels confining on anything more than a short trip.” At least those in the front can enjoy well-bolstered seats—heated ones in the upper trim levels.

Reason #3: Stiff ride

2022 MINI Cooper
2022 MINI Cooper four-door | MINI USA BMW North America

MINI Coopers have always boasted nimble, rabbit-like agility, perfect for backroad sprints with hard cornering. Despite its enlarged size over the years, the MINI remains true to its roots. For relaxed commuting, however, this poses a slight problem.

The MINI’s ride is quite stiff. With a short wheelbase and a suspension set up for racier pursuits, it won’t provide a cloud-like ride. Such is particularly true of the John Cooper Works (JCW) models. Regardless, U.S. News says the ride is “seldom harsh” to quell concerns.

Reason #4: High base price

2022 MINI Cooper
2022 MINI Cooper convertible | MINI USA BMW North America

The base MINI Cooper S has a starting MSRP of $26,900. Four-door models are $1,000 more, and the convertible is $5,000 more. While the MINI is an upscale selection in the segment, it’s nearly 50 percent more than some four-door subcompacts.

Checking the options list will also lead to a pricey MINI. For example, the JCW MINI begins at $38,900, just over $1,000 less than a base 2023 Nissan Z.  

Do these mean the 2022 MINI Cooper is a bad car?


5 Good Mini Cooper Alternatives Under $35,000

The aforementioned reasons why U.S. News doesn’t like the 2022 MINI Cooper don’t mean it’s a bad car. They only indicate the MINI is an expensive car. But that’s predictable, considering MINI’s reputation. The MINI Cooper is an example of luxury in the subcompact segment. With a wealth of standard entertainment, tech, and safety features, potential buyers won’t be left wanting while piloting a MINI.