2022 MINI Convertible Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
Owning a convertible should be exhilarating, and your vehicle should really speak to who you are as a person. That's just what the 2022 MINI Convertible does. This drop-top version of the MINI 2-door Hard Top made its debut in 2016 and has proven to be a quirky and fun ride ever since. The past couple of model years have looked a little dated, but this year's refresh has the MINI Convertible looking a bit more rejuvenated and contemporary.
There is now a body-colored panel that spans around the bumper surrounds and the edge of the chrome grille, which you will see on both the front and rear fascia. The door handles, tailpipes, surrounds, and badges can all be ordered in a glossy black trim. You will also notice a new 8.8-inch infotainment display and a digital instrumentation panel equipped on the refreshed MINI Convertible.
As far as its performance goes, the MINI Convertible isn't able to outperform some of its toughest competitors. The ride quality can be a bit too stiff for the liking, especially if you opt for the bigger tire sizes. Passenger and cargo space are also both limited, so you will feel cramped for space inside this truly mini MINI.
The neat thing is, you get to customize the MINI until your heart is content. There are three trim levels (the Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works), each of which comes with their own engine option. On top of that, you can choose from one of three sub-trims that define which features you will get on the vehicle - the Classic, Signature, and Iconic.
Will you be making the MINI yours this year? Or should you find another drop-top to cruise around in? We'll go over what's new for 2022, what there is to enjoy about the MINI Convertible, what holds it back from being best-in-class, and how it stacks up against a few top rivals. That way, you can decide whether you want to add the 2022 MINI Convertible to your list of vehicles to test-drive in 2022.
What's New for 2022?
The 2022 MINI Convertible receives updates front- and rear-end styling. Inside, there are now a standard 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen display and a lane departure warning feature. A heated steering wheel and black-painted exterior trim are among some of the freshly available features added for the model year.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 MINI Convertible – The Pros
1. Quick Acceleration
One of the things that buyers like about the 2022 MINI Convertible is that they can opt for three different engine options. What's more, these engines are all pretty strong options. The base Cooper's turbocharged 1.5-L three-cylinder engine puts out a respectable 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. Opting for the mid-tier Cooper S snags you a more powerful turbo 2.0-L four-cylinder that generates 189 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. If you go for the line-topping John Cooper Works (better known as the JCW), you get a turbo 2.0-L engine that is good for 228 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque. All of these engines feel perfectly capable on the highway or in the city. The JCW can get from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6 seconds.
2. Nimble Handling and Steering
The MINI Convertible is able to produce some engaging handling and steering capabilities, even on the base trim. You do not need to spend a bunch of money on the JCW to get a spirited handling performance, and the MINI Convertible feels well composed while rounding through turns.
3. Well-sculpted Front Seats
While the cramped rear seats probably won't be sat in that much, the front seats feel comfy enough. These seats are sculpted for support and are height adjustable. They are bolstered in order to keep you secure while rounding through turns. The Signature sub-trim gives you heated front seats that feel extra cozy, and the also come on the Cooper S Sidewalk Edition sub-trim.
4. User-friendly Controls Up Front
The cockpit is full of user-friendly controls. In the past few years, MINI has tweaked the controls just enough to keep enough physical ones while putting enough of them onto the touchscreen's menus. The physical controls are placed within the driver's reach and are clearly labeled for ease of use. And the main controls are easy to access with just a few clicks in the touchscreen's system.
5. A Well-made Soft Top
The MINI Convertible's soft top is made from quality material and should certainly hold up over time. While it can obstruct view somewhat when down, when put up, you get decent rear visibility. And the black material looks good with whichever color scheme you choose for the body.
6. The New 8.8-inch Infotainment Touchscreen System
MINI seems to have sifted through the bins of their parent company, BMW, for their tech gear. And this new 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen system is a nice upgrade for the 2022 model year. The colorful MINI interface looks nice, and the menus are easy to sift through.
7. Good Sound Quality From the Optional Harman Kardon Sound System
If you opt for the Signature sub-trim, you can get the Premium package. This nabs you a premium 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. Mind you, with the microchip shortage, this system might be hard to get. But if you are able to order, it is a "must-have" for music lovers. The sound fills the cabin and doesn't distort at high volume. When you are cruising around on the highway, it almost feels like an essential.
8. Functional, Well-tuned Driver Aids
The driver aids MINI puts inside of the Convertible are functional and well-tuned. A forward collision warning, rear parking sensors, and lane departure warning come standard across the board. On the Signature, you can add the Driver Assistance package in order to get the automated parking system and adaptive cruise control. The latter maintains tight gaps in stop-and-go traffic, and overall, it works rather well. The former allows the vehicle to steer itself into a parking spot with little-to-no intervention on your part.
9. Decent Fuel Economy
The MINI Convertible gets an EPA estimated 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway on the base trim. The line-topping JCW is rated for 28 mpg combined (coming from 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway). Real-world tests show that these estimates hold up with the JCW getting about 29 mpg combined with some spirited driving used.
10. Generous Road Assistance and Maintenance Coverage
Although warranty coverage is fairly standard for its segment, the MINI Convertible gives you three years of free scheduled maintenance. On top of that, you get four years of free roadside assistance. This certainly adds to the overall value of this vehicle.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 MINI Convertible – The Cons
1. Mediocre Panic Braking
Panic braking on the 2022 MINI Convertible is less than stellar, at least on the JCW. Its narrow tires are partially to blame. Trying to panic brake from 60 mph results in a 119-foot stopping distance, which is quite average for this class. Quite a few top rivals do much better in this regard.
2. A Stiff Ride Quality
The stiff ride quality is made all the more stiff on the sport-tuned JCW. A JCW with the Signature sub-trim gives you adaptive suspension dampers or a non-adjustable sport suspension. The adaptive dampers don't show much difference between Normal and Sport modes, which makes the added expense seem to not be worth it.
3. Restricted Cabin and Cargo Space
Quite obviously, the biggest drawback to owning the MINI Convertible is its limited space. The trunk is smaller than you might like with just 7.6 cubic feet of space available. What's worse is that accessing it is downright difficult, rendering the cargo area virtually useless. And the rear seats are about as useless since you cannot fit two adults comfortably back there, nor can anything bigger than a small booster seat be placed back there to accommodate children.
4. Lets In A Lot of Road Noise
Whether you're rolling down the street or on the highway, with windows up or the top down, you get some serious amounts of road and wind noise. The cabin cannot be well-muted for comfort due to how much noise gets in.
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How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 MINI Convertible vs. 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Priced to compete, the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata offers an engaging driving performance whether you are driving it in the city or on the highway. As far as sport cars go, it is one of the most fuel efficient models that you can buy. You can easily raise or lower the manually operated soft top, and you get a smooth ride quality from the Miata. However, there is very little room in the cabin or cargo area. At highway speeds, you can be riding with the top up and still get a ton of wind noise coming into the cabin.
2022 MINI Convertible vs. 2022 Ford Mustang
The 2022 Ford Mustang offers ample power from both the 4-cylinder and V8 engines, and its calm demeanor and quiet interior make it feel quite comfortable. The cabin has a retro 'stang feel but also comes with all the modern day conveniences you could possibly want. On the downside, the back seat is cramped and hard to use. The ride quality from the Performance package can be rough, and the access to the cabin can be difficult due to the heavy, lengthy doors.
The 2022 MINI Convertible is definitely something to be used as a two-seater for fun day trips. As a commuter vehicle, it is not entirely practical. Sure, it can be fun to drive thanks to its powerful engines and nimble nature, but the Convertible isn't for everyone. Carefully construct your vehicle, though, and you could have a fun cruiser on your hands.