Review by Veeno Dewan
For 2022 there are attractive additions to the venerable MINI. New is a larger range of standard and optional equipment, new exterior paint finishes, alloy wheels, interior and seating surfaces as well as innovative technology in the areas of chassis, driver assistance systems and connectivity round off the latest updates for the conic British small car models. The British heritage is celebrated with lit motifs such as the Union Jack detailed taillights and mirror caps— and available racing stripes, plus literally hundreds of accessories. Base MINI’s are well equipped as standard with the three- cylinder engine, while upgrading to the Cooper S and the larger four-door model adds more horsepower and versatility without comprising the fun factor.
The 2022 MINI Cooper arrives in a number of versions including convertibles, Hybrid and EV models with cosmetic and performance upgrades – the John Cooper works version being the top performer. with a spectacularly potent 228-hp turbo-4 with an 8-speed automatic. Available in various trims and four powertrains, the MINI arrives with standard synthetic leather seats and a 6.5-inch display or touch screen. Available leather seats with 6-way adjustability are also optional in the different packages. The five-door model Cooper S as tested is 6.3 inches longer and have a 2.9-inch longer wheelbase than the three-door versions for more interior room., including 1.5 inches more rear leg room. Unlike the two-door, the four-door’s hatch is functional with 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space that opens to 40.7 cubic feet with the seats down.
Our five-door hardtop Cooper S tester was equipped with: the uprated turbo-4-cylinder engine, 18-inch Pulse spoke wheels with Run Flat Tires and was clothed in a very nice Island Blue Metallic paint with a contrasting white roof. Also added was the white bonnet (Hood) stripes, white door mirror roof caps and the very cool looking Chester Satellite Grey leather interior trim. Options on our tester included the PREMIER package ($8,600) with such niceties as: Heated Nappa leather Steering Wheel, 7-DCT Sport transmission with Paddle’s shifters, Panorama Sunroof, Heated Front Seats, Automatic Climate Control. Also ticked on the options box was: MINI Driving Assistant, MINI Head-Up Display, MINI Connected XL App Integration, Wireless Charging w/Extended Bluetooth and USB, MINI Navigation System, and a Full Digital Instrument Display.
Also added was the Style Package comprising power folding mirrors, the Driver Assistant package with Active Stop n Go Cruise Control and Park Assistant. Further technology included: Intelligent Emergency Call, Teleservices, and MINI Connected App Integration. The cost of options added up to a substantial $43,630 from a base price of a reasonable $30,090. So, choose options wisely.
Inside there is the cool trademark circular dash display with an optional 8.8-inch touchscreen. The exterior bezel color of the dial changes and there are all sorts of interesting design touches, and wonderful details in and around the dash and cabin that are always pleasing to the eye and touch. Great detailing, and an emphasis on quality and refinement are much in evidence, very much as expected from a company owned by BMW. Good materials, a nice tactile feel to the controls and surfaces and a premium look to everything is a hallmark. Load up on options and the “S” rivals luxury car territory.
As far as safety goes, there is automatic emergency braking as standard on the 2022 Mini Cooper. Safety options include a $1,000 Driver Assistance Package that adds adaptive cruise control and parking sensors.
On the road, the MINI is a real screamer to drive. Upshifts come quickly from the excellent 8 speed Double Clutch automatic gearbox. Driving dynamics are wonderful, the quick spooling turbo unit provides wonderfully quick acceleration at highway speeds. The exhaust note, and quick shifts add addictive high notes to the driving experience. Put it into sport mode and the loud pops, rasps and urgent exhaust note is simply wonderful. At a compact 13 feet long, low and planted with a poised meticulously designed and tuned set up chassis allows all drivers from novice to experienced to wring performance driving easily. The point and squirt steering and finessed handling turn a simple run to the stores into simply wonderful on-road fun. You can channel your inner race driver in the MINI! Downsides are few, buyers may find the price creeps up surprisingly when you load up on options, but the MINI is a premium product, with an outstanding- world class pedigree and heritage. The five-door MINI has a lot going for it. Unique looks that have not been bettered, a quirky, fun interior and excellent performance. Highly recommended for those who enjoy driving and the MINI ownership
2021 MINI Cooper “S” 5 –Base priced from: $30,090. Price as tested with options- $43,630. More info at: www.mini.ca