The Mini Hardtop and Convertible range gets a bold new facelift.
The Mini has become a beloved fixture in the automotive world. It's a reminder to all that the world is better off for having small, uniquely styled cars with go-kart-like handling, something the 2001 redesign of an icon embraced wholly. The Mini Hardtop and Mini Convertible are in their third generation after launching in 2014, and the styling has evolved smoothly and without losing its identity.
For the 2022 model year, the Mini Hardtop and Convertible models are getting their most significant makeovers yet. There aren't any significant performance updates for the refresh, barring the new option of "Frequency Selective Dampers" on the Cooper S, but we're still not complaining; a lot of the love for the Mini models is tied up in its styling.
All the models have their own distinctive takes on the new design elements, and new paint colors are available for the refresh. The interior also gets an upgrade and features a new steering wheel, an upgraded touchscreen, a digital instrument cluster as standard, and a newly available upholstery choice. What's going to grab everyone's attention, though, is the new front end. So let's start there.
The headline for the new design elements is the revised bumper and bolder grille inserts, and the reason you think it also looks a lot cleaner is that the fog lights have been deleted. They're now part of the headlights, and a slim air intake replaces them for a less cluttered look. A new single unbroken hexagon front grille now adorns all models, running behind Mini's "safety bar" across the front.
There are differences between models, albeit minor ones that you might miss. The hexagonal grille surround on the Mini Cooper is chrome, while the Mini Cooper S has a black inner surround similar to the John Cooper Works GP, and the safety bar is now body-colored rather than black.
The Cooper S also has extra air intakes within the surround that are trimmed with the high gloss black material. The JCW then gets a front-end update with larger intakes arranged to emphasize the width of the car. For all-electric models, Mini has toned down the yellow accent trim that tells the world you're driving an electric Mini.
The hexagonal matte black rear apron mirrors the front on the Cooper, while the Cooper S keeps its mesh design diffuser. The twin exhaust is then accented to add to the feeling of width using body-colored surfaces. The JCW gets a new rear diffuser that emphasizes its place in the Mini's performance hierarchy.
The Hardtop and Convertible models also get a new side scuttle design and wheel arch trims, and the choice of wheels to fill the arches has increased. Both 17- and 18-inch wheels are available, including the new 18-inch Circuit Spoke 2-Tone and Pulse Spoke 2-Tone designs. Also available are new colors, including Island Blue, Rooftop Grey, and Zesty Yellow. Hardtop owners can then option a Multitone Roof in a color gradient featuring Soul Blue, Pearly Aqua, and Jet Black. LED headlights are now standard, along with the Union Jack patterned LED taillights.
Mini hasn't forgotten to upgrade the interiors of the Mini Hardtop and Convertible models. A new 8.8-inch screen with improved hardware runs an upgraded user interface for the infotainment system. Sirius Satellite Radio will become standard for the 2022 model year, and Apple CarPlay is available. Android Auto, however, is still missing from the Mini range. A newly designed leather steering wheel is now heated and has design variants for more sporty models. Aiding safety, Lane Departure Warning is now standard on all US-market Mini models.
The all-electric Mini Cooper SE will see the most of the interior upgrades and exterior changes, and Mini is keen to point out the $29,900 starting price remains the same for the third year in a row. Despite additions like the LED headlights, a new digital instrument cluster, and Lane Departure Warning as standard, most trim levels will only see a rise in starting price of $500. The models and trim levels seeing the biggest price increase are the JCW Hardtop and Convertible in the mid-level Signature trim.
The nominal price increase means the base two-door Cooper Hardtop model starts at $22,900 in Classic; the Signature trim starts at $26,900, and the Iconic starts at $30,900.
The choice is still between a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine producing 134 horsepower or upgrading to the Cooper S and its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine making 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. The Cooper S now starts at $31,900, the Signature trim starts at $35,900, and the Iconic trim level comes in at $39,900. If you want four doors instead of two, add $1,000 to the starting price. The Convertible range mirrors the Hardtop but starts at $27,900 for the Cooper Classic and tops out with the JCW in Iconic trim at $44,900.
The JCW, with its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder amped up to make 228 horsepower, starts at $38,900 in base form. The Signature sub-trim bumps up by $750 to $40,650, and the Iconic remains the same at $44,900. Production on the 2022 model year Mini Hardtop and Convertible models starts in March of 2021 and will hit dealers lots soon after.