By on January 27, 2021

2022 Mini Cooper

Sorry folks, that headline isn’t some coded reference to the return of a Morris Minor.

No, Mini has unveiled updates from 2022 that the brand calls “significant” but in actuality fall under what we cynical scribes would categorize as a minor refresh.

To wit – the exterior changes that go into effect for the models in question (Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE, John Cooper Works two-doors; four-door Cooper and Cooper S; Cooper, Cooper S, and JCW convertibles) involve the integration of the air curtains into the front bumper, a new hexagonal grille, and the removal of fog lamps. A body-color panel now hides a safety bar. S and JCW cars get a pair of air intakes with gloss-black on the left and right sides of the center intake.

2022 Mini Cooper

The rear bumper is changed, and the rear apron apes the grille’s hexagonal shape, while the exhaust surround is now body-color. JCW variants get a rear diffuser.

2022 Mini Cooper

The side scuttles of the cars get tweaked, the wheel-arch trims are changed, and there are new wheel designs across the board for the 17- and 18-inch wheel choices.

Three new exterior colors are available, as well, and hardtops can be had with a multi-tone roof.

2022 Mini Cooper

LED headlamps are standard, and the turn-signal indicators are LED, too. The Union Jack LED taillights remain, and the available piano black exterior trim is now extended to door handles, fuel-filler lid (S, JCW), exhaust end pipes (Cooper, Cooper S), Mini logos, and model badges (Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE).

2022 Mini Cooper

Inside, the changes include a standard 8.8-inch infotainment screen, updated infotainment software with two color choices, standard satellite radio, and ambient lighting. The steering wheel is redesigned and heating is available.

Driving Assistant is now standard and it includes lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control – with the latter being unavailable on manual-transmission models.

2022 Mini Cooper

The SE EV gets the new bumpers, grille, tweaks to the side scuttles, multi-tone roof, and piano black trim, plus a closed-off radiator grille and unique badging. It will be available with 16- or 17-inch wheels. It will also get most of interior changes, include the new steering wheel, new infotainment screen, heated steering wheel, lane-departure warning, and standard satellite radio.

2022 Mini Cooper

A limited-edition SE will be available, and Mini is vague on the specific differences.

Most trim levels will get a $500 price increase, though at least one (two-door JCW Classic) sees a $1,000 increase. Some trims hold the line in pricing, including the SE. Destination remains $850.

Minor or major, these changes do give Mini a fresh face. At a familiar price.

[Images: Mini]

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15 Comments on “Mini Has Minor Updates in Store for 2022...”

  • avatar

    I’m probably less of a “car enthusiast” than most folks here, but also way more knowledgeable than the average Joe. And unless this car was parked side-by-side with a 2003 model, I’d have a hard time knowing which was which. How long can MINI keep this up?

    • 0 avatar

      Mini is well past its “sell by date”. When your entire brand is based on having a retro vehicle with a retro look your options are very limited. So the next model will get slightly different mirror housings? Ohhhhhh.

      Despite all the tweaks the interior still features a dinner plate in the center. My wife rejected this car based on that single interior design element.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        “the interior still features a dinner plate in the center”

        I call that slavish dedication, sort of like how Subaru only builds opposed engines, and Mazda keeps trying with the rotary. Tesla is committed to the Spartan center-screen-only look.

        Not to mention the “Mini” name, which keeps the brand locked in a market niche of fewer and fewer dedicated fans each year.

        Somebody somewhere has convinced the BMW/Mini leadership that Mini is on the right course with these decisions. Too bad for them.

        Just imagine the Mini designer who suggests a dashboard without the dinner plate. They’d be shown the door.

    • 0 avatar

      The new one has a (much) uglier front end, and uglier wheels.

      The problem with Mini is that it’s too far removed from its heritage. It also needs a TV show or movie to make it relevant and fun to people in 2021.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    It’s called trying to create just a little buzz without spending alot of money.

    It’s a dead brand rolling………….

  • avatar

    Are these things still a nightmare to own once they get past 60K? I haven’t called mini in a long time.

  • avatar

    Well the tooling has long been paid for, and I think most of the stores are sort of adjuncts to the (highly profitable) BMW points. So Mini can probably limp along for a while. It looks like they sold 18,000 cars from about a 100 stores in the US last year.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Since the Mini shares a number of bits with the 1 and 2 series BMW its kind of a no brainer for them to keep it going.
      Now a retro Morris Minor sounds interesting. The seating position in the original like other cars of the era is almost CUV like.

  • avatar

    When Mini was introduced to the U.S. market in 2002, it was a potential challenger to the long-standing “Small = Cheap” (and therefore “Small” = “Not Very Good”) paradigm which afflicts the USA. (Plus it was relatively space-efficient [‘small’ outside, ‘big’ inside]).

    We see how Mini has been treated in the intervening years:

  • avatar

    My understanding is that Mini’s are pretty unreliable and trouble prone. In other words, typical BMW’s.

  • avatar

    They are urban-sized, have outgoing personalities (vivid colors), can be easily had with a stick shift, and can be a bit of a present to oneself in ways a Toyota/Hyundai/Kia will never be. I’ve seen worse niches than that.

  • avatar

    They should of removed run-flats and made seats more comfortable..

  • avatar

    You gotta be careful how you order one of these; you can get one in a color and style that’s goofy, or you can temper your options and get one that’s stealthy, but either way, these cars are fun AF to drive no matter what anybody says. I test drove several different versions of the Cooper and the Clubman (and there are a lot of versions, btw), but I ended up with something that offered a better deal at the time within the BMW fold. Even so, I still think about how fun those MINIs were to drive, and will consider one again after my lease is up. From somebody who drove an ’09 CooperS with a manual trans, and back-breaking sports suspension for six years, the latest gen doesn’t feel nearly as raw, but with the 7-speed DSG, the CooperS is lit. Really lit. Like, you’ll be an a-hole on the everyday road lit. It’s one of the reasons I hesitated getting one because I’m already intolerant of my fellow roadsters and the MINI would have made it worse. Also, I drove the GTI during it all, and the GTI doesn’t really come close to how alive the MINI feels. I’m tired of VW’s excuse of it being a proper gentleman’s hothatch, because, proper gentlemen are who’s buying the GTI???

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