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Is it just me, or does the new 2022 Mini Cooper look like it’s crying out in pain? The iconic car’s recent facelift is sure to be controversial amongst purists.

The Mini Cooper has always been quirky; that’s part of its charm. However, the Cooper’s newest design missed the mark by a mile.

Most drivers say they want a vehicle with personality, but Mini may have gone a step too far. The once fun-loving car now has an expressive personality we can actually visualize. And it appears to be screaming for help.

The 2022 Mini Cooper’s design has taken a strange turn

A yellow 2022 Mini Cooper S Convertible on display with a pink background
The 2022 Mini Cooper S Convertible on display | Photo via Mini

Mini Coopers traditionally have a festive look you just love to see. However, you won’t want a 2022 Mini Cooper creeping up behind you at night.

Mini’s press released announcing the facelift detailed how the updates gave the Cooper “expressively designed” LED headlights. The automaker eliminated the round headlights’ old chrome inner housing from previous model years, replacing it with black. This seems like a minor change at first, but it drastically alters the car’s appearance in reality.

Motor1 aptly described the 2022 Mini Cooper’s new headlights as “googly eyes.” Matters are made worse by its new radiator grille with a hexagonal surround that looks oddly like a mouth. Meanwhile, its new air intakes on the front bumper only accentuate the car’s face-like appearance.

While Mini Cooper may have been trying to make the 2022 Mini Cooper more fun to purchase, this style choice is undoubtedly a bold tactic. Thankfully, the horrors end there, and the other design changes aren’t nearly as egregious.

Mini now offers stylish new wheel designs and three new exterior paint colors – Zesty Yellow, Island Blue, and Rooftop Gray. Plus, shoppers can equip 2022 Mini Cooper Hardtop models with an available gradient blue and purple multitone roof.

Beauty, or the terror, is only skin deep 

An above view of the 2022 Mini Cooper family, including the Hardtop 4-Door, Hardtop 2-Door, John Cooper Works (JCW), and Cooper S Convertible
The 2022 Mini Cooper Family | Photo via Mini

While the outside of the 2022 Mini Cooper sets a bizarre tone, the interior is much more subdued. 

Additional changes include updates to the Cooer’s front dash, which has been given a much sleeker look than previous models. It features re-positioned air vents with new surfaces. 

Meanwhile, a stylish piano-black finish surrounds the infotainment system’s 8.8-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay capability. Astonishingly, the Mini Cooper still lacks Android Auto, to the dissatisfaction of many.

Further updates include new ambient light packages, which can easily turn your cockpit into an oasis. And for the first time, the company is offering an optional leather heated steering wheel to heat up your morning commute. 

Unfortunately, the 2022 Mini Cooper doesn’t feature any exciting powertrain updates. It retains the same engine lineup as the outgoing model.

A 134-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine powers the base trim. Meanwhile, the Cooper S features a spirited 189-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. 

As always, thrill-seekers will want to opt for the John Cooper Works, which houses a 228-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

Will this new face haunt Mini Cooper for years to come?

The Mini Cooper is a niche vehicle beloved for its charm. However, the car’s latest facelift makes it lose some of its luster.

Those who were awaiting the latest changes to the new 2020 Mini Cooper may want to steer clear if they don’t like the updated design.
Instead, we recommend purchasing a classic mini, which, all things considered, might be the right way to go. Cars as controversial as this may not retain value well in the resale market, So in this case, it may be best to protect your investment and stick with the brand’s more subdued design of years past.  


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