I remember driving the first MINI that came to America over twenty years ago. They were fun to drive then, and they are fun to drive now. The Hardtop 2 Door is the vehicle you think of when someone says Mini Cooper.
The MINI product line has evolved to encompass a 3-Door Hatch, 5-Door Hatch, Electric, Convertible, Clubman, Countryman, Countryman Plug-In Hybrid, and John Cooper Works.
Inside the John Cooper Works are MINI John Cooper Works
MINI John Cooper Works Convertible
MINI John Cooper Works Clubman
MINI John Cooper Works Countryman
MINI John Cooper Works Coupé
MINI John Cooper Works Paceman
MINI John Cooper Works Roadster
MINI John Cooper Works GP
MINI has proven to have legs, like a fine wine. MINI itself has a cult-like status among the owners, but MINI Cooper surpasses fan clubs for all other Mini clubs.
The look of the MINI Cooper S has slight exterior feature changes for the ’22 model year. From new wheels to redesigned front and back grilles, standard LED Headlights, and Union Jack taillights to air curtains that give you a more aerodynamic drive.
The MINI Hardtop 2 Door distinguishes itself from the rest with its sleek Piano Black Exterior, all Piano Black everything. This includes the door handles, front wings, fuel filler cap, grille blade, side scuttle, taillight rings, model badge, headlight rings, rear wings, and tailpipe finisher.
Inside, additional updates for 2022 include a handsome new steering wheel, redesigned HVAC vents. Look closer, and you’ll notice the ambient lighting, a visually updated dashboard design, and new designs for the steering wheel and air vents.
The large round center display and the toggle switches are iconic to MINI, and I’m so happy to announce they are still there. Options include a heads-up display that pops up from the dash in front of the driver, leather upholstery, and sport seats. CarPlay is standard, but Android compatibility is still not offered.
The Analog Cluster has been replaced with the brand new Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster. This model features the larger 8.8” Touchscreen with an updated user interface and High Gloss Black detail. Now, you can easily view information like Vehicle Speed, Driving Modes, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Communications, Multimedia, and much more digitally.
My Cooper S hardtop test car is powered with a 189-horsepower twin-power turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The engine’s maximum torque output is 207 lb-ft, which it achieves at 1,250 rpm. Standard Coopers get a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine good for 134 horsepower.
Transmission choices are six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automated. I averaged 30 miles per gallon with the six-speed manual, front-wheel drive. The EPA estimated fuel economy is 28 city/ 38 highway/ 31 combined.
The safety includes the new standard Lane Departure Warning, built to ensure your safety on the road with visual warning and vibrations in the steering wheel to notify you when you are drifting from your lane. We’ve also included standard Active Driving Assistant with active safety features such as Pedestrian and Front Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation.
Power to weight ratio is great, compliments of a curb weight of around 3,000 pounds. Even with what sounds like rather tame output for a contemporary 2.0-liter four, having peak torque available so low in the rev range makes the Cooper S driving experience quite energetic.
Which, in turn, complements the tightness of the Cooper S suspension setup wonderfully. Handling is sharp agile, the car is delightfully responsive, and threading traffic makes driving delightful. Still, there are few cars as fun to drive on a twisty road as a MINI Cooper S Hardtop. I wish I had the 6-speed manual. I would change gears sooner on the 3rd gear than the 7-speed automatic changes.
If you like to dance, you will love driving the Cooper S.
2022 MINI Cooper versus Its Competition
Mini Cooper Countryman
Mazda MX-5 Miata
2022 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 door specs and pricing
COOPER – $23,400
COOPER S – $26,900
JOHN COOPER WORKS HARDTOP – $32,900
COOPER SE – $29,900
TwinPower Turbo, 1.5-liter, inline 3-cylinder direct-injection engine with double VANOS
0-60 MPH – 7.6 seconds
Cooper S and John Cooper Works Hardtop:
TwinPower Turbo, 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder direct-injection engine with double VANOS
S – 6.4 seconds
JCW Works – 5.9 seconds
0-60 MPH – 6.9 seconds
Specs for the Cooper S hardtop 2-door
Length – 152.8 inches
Width – 68 inches
Width Including Mirrors – 75.9 inches
Height – 55.7 inches
Wheelbase – 98.2 inches
Legroom Front – 41.4 inches
Legroom Second Row – 30.8 inches
Shoulder Front – 50.6 inches
Shoulder Rear – 47.8 inches
Headroom Front – 40.3 inches
Headroom Second Row – 36.9 inches
Trunk Volume – 8.7 feet
Cargo Volume – 34 feet
Seating – 4 Adults