Mini Has Minor Updates in Store for 2022

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Slavuta Slavuta on Jan 28, 2021

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

  • DumblikeyouTu DumblikeyouTu on Jan 29, 2021

    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???

  • Lorenzo Are there any naturally aspirated engines available?
  • Lorenzo Six percent here, ten percent there, and pretty soon you've got a dead brand.
  • ToolGuy Tungsten trim? I am holding out for the Depleted Uranium trim.
  • Proud2BUnion Mr. Allen Wrench needs tungsten to live!
  • Lorenzo All the efforts made over decades to reduce/eliminate NVH in ICE cars, and now they're putting noise and vibration into electric cars. It reminds me of efforts to make veggie burgers taste like meat. Vegetarians don't want the taste of meat, and meat eaters will want meat, not veggie burgers.
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