2022 MINI Cooper vs 2021 MINI Cooper

2021 MINI Cooper
2021 MINI Cooper
$22,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2022 MINI Cooper
2022 MINI Cooper
$22,900MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 MINI Cooper
$22,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 MINI Cooper
$22,900MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 MINI Cooper was 5.0 out of 10, while the 2022 MINI Cooper scored a slightly higher 5.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings and the detailed comparison, the 2022 MINI Cooper offers more modern tech features, improved safety equipment, and subtle upgrades in both performance and comfort. Therefore, the 2022 MINI Cooper is the recommended choice, providing a more well-rounded and contemporary driving experience.

Overview

MSRP

$22,400

MSRP

$22,900

Average price

$24,434

Average price

$25,775

Listings

188

Listings

301
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

5.0 out of 10

Expert reviews

5.2 out of 10
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Manual transmission available
Cons
  • Poor value for money
  • Poor ergonomic design
  • Cramped back seat
Pros
  • Fuel-efficient
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Not much cargo space
  • Poor value for money

2021 MINI Cooper Reviews Summary

The MINI Cooper is a funky little car with a big attitude that screams nostalgia. The BMW-owned automaker marches to the beat of its own drum, and while the MINI Cooper isn’t the most practical or best equipped car in its class, its unique styling and classic fun-loving attitude will be just what the doctor ordered for many buyers.

The Cooper is available in body styles that include the two-door Mini Cooper Hardtop, a four-door hardtop, and a convertible. Other variants of the Cooper go by different names, such as the larger MINI Countryman crossover and the Clubman wagon.

Updates for the 2021 model year includes several new features and the re-addition of a manual transmission option. Two new special editions are also available: MINI Sidewalk and John Cooper Works GP.

The MINI Cooper's odd place in the market pits it against several competitors from various classes. New car buyers may cross-shop the Mazda MX-5 Miata, BMW 2 Series, Kia Soul, Kia Seltos, Subaru BRZ, Toyota GR86, Hyundai Kona, or Mazda MX-30 when making a buying decision on the MINI. Prior to their discontinuation, the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit were solid Mini competitors as well.

2022 MINI Cooper Reviews Summary

MINI characterizes its lineup as the “definitive” premium small cars in the United States market. Based on a BMW platform, equipped with BMW engines, and featuring BMW technology, MINIs can substantiate this claim through engineering. But it’s the range of choices and personalization options that make them unlike any other premium small cars.

Naturally, this is true of the refreshed 2022 MINI Convertible, which is available in Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works (JCW) specification and with Classic, Signature, or Iconic trim. Once you’ve made those decisions, you can select from a wide variety of colors, materials, wheels, packages, and options to make your MINI your own. Or you can choose a pre-packaged special edition like our Sidewalk Edition test car.

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Popular Features & Specs

Engine

1.5L 134 hp I3

Engine

1.5L 134 hp I3

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

FWD

Seating Capacity

4

Seating Capacity

4

Horsepower

134 hp @ 4400 rpm

Horsepower

134 hp @ 4500 rpm

MPG City

26

MPG City

27

MPG Highway

37

MPG Highway

37
2021 MINI Cooper
2021 MINI Cooper
$22,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 MINI Cooper
2022 MINI Cooper
$22,900MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 MINI Cooper
$22,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 MINI Cooper
$22,900MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 MINI Cooper was 5.0 out of 10, while the 2022 MINI Cooper scored a slightly higher 5.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings and the detailed comparison, the 2022 MINI Cooper offers more modern tech features, improved safety equipment, and subtle upgrades in both performance and comfort. Therefore, the 2022 MINI Cooper is the recommended choice, providing a more well-rounded and contemporary driving experience.

Overview
MSRP
$22,400
$22,900
Average price
$24,434
$25,775
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.7
4.7
Expert reviews

5.0 out of 10

Read full review

5.2 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Manual transmission available
Cons
  • Poor value for money
  • Poor ergonomic design
  • Cramped back seat
Pros
  • Fuel-efficient
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Not much cargo space
  • Poor value for money
Summary

The MINI Cooper is a funky little car with a big attitude that screams nostalgia. The BMW-owned automaker marches to the beat of its own drum, and while the MINI Cooper isn’t the most practical or best equipped car in its class, its unique styling and classic fun-loving attitude will be just what the doctor ordered for many buyers.

The Cooper is available in body styles that include the two-door Mini Cooper Hardtop, a four-door hardtop, and a convertible. Other variants of the Cooper go by different names, such as the larger MINI Countryman crossover and the Clubman wagon.

Updates for the 2021 model year includes several new features and the re-addition of a manual transmission option. Two new special editions are also available: MINI Sidewalk and John Cooper Works GP.

The MINI Cooper's odd place in the market pits it against several competitors from various classes. New car buyers may cross-shop the Mazda MX-5 Miata, BMW 2 Series, Kia Soul, Kia Seltos, Subaru BRZ, Toyota GR86, Hyundai Kona, or Mazda MX-30 when making a buying decision on the MINI. Prior to their discontinuation, the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit were solid Mini competitors as well.

MINI characterizes its lineup as the “definitive” premium small cars in the United States market. Based on a BMW platform, equipped with BMW engines, and featuring BMW technology, MINIs can substantiate this claim through engineering. But it’s the range of choices and personalization options that make them unlike any other premium small cars.

Naturally, this is true of the refreshed 2022 MINI Convertible, which is available in Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works (JCW) specification and with Classic, Signature, or Iconic trim. Once you’ve made those decisions, you can select from a wide variety of colors, materials, wheels, packages, and options to make your MINI your own. Or you can choose a pre-packaged special edition like our Sidewalk Edition test car.

Video
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
1.5L 134 hp I3
1.5L 134 hp I3
Drive Train
FWD
FWD
Seating Capacity
4
4
Horsepower
134 hp @ 4400 rpm
134 hp @ 4500 rpm
MPG City
26
27
MPG Highway
37
37
Look and feel
2021 MINI Cooper
5/10
2022 MINI Cooper
7/10
The 2021 MINI Cooper stood out in the subcompact car segment with its iconic styling and unique charm. Its rounded shape, compact dimensions, and broad range of colors made it easily recognizable, rivaling only the Jeep Wrangler in terms of immediate identifiability. MINI offered a plethora of customization options for the exterior and roof, including graphics like the Union Jack flag and hidden Easter eggs such as tail lights with the Union Jack design. While it retained a small footprint, the 2021 model was notably larger than the original Mini, offering various wheel and trim upgrades depending on the model. Inside, the 2021 MINI Cooper continued its distinctive aesthetic with heavily rounded shapes for the seats, dashboard, and center stack. This included a quirky infotainment touchscreen set inside a circular light ring and round air vents. Despite its high-quality materials, the interior’s lack of space was glaring. The back seats were more practical for additional storage rather than passengers, as even children found the back cramped. For the 2022 MINI Cooper, the brand revisited its roots while firmly planting the model in the modern era. The result was a vehicle full of personality, especially in Cooper S and JCW trims. Over the years, the MINI expanded its lineup to include a convertible, a wagon, and a crossover, growing in size for utility and safety. The 2022 model was refreshed with updated bumpers, a new grille, standard LED headlights, and redesigned side scuttle graphics and wheel arch trims. The addition of new paint colors such as Island Blue, Rooftop Grey, and Zesty Yellow, along with extended Piano Black Exterior treatment for door handles, fuel lid, and exhaust outlets, kept the MINI appealingly fresh. Inside, new digital instrumentation became standard, along with a new steering wheel and an upgraded infotainment system featuring an 8.8-inch touchscreen. From the inside, the 2022 MINI Convertible offered a retro-modern mix, and with a variety of colors and materials, personalization was easy. The downside of this model was the added bulk, making the dimensions feel slightly awkward. Its new grille with an overbite was noticeable, particularly in lighter paint colors, yet there was still no mistaking it for anything but a fun, visually distinctive MINI.
Performance
2021 MINI Cooper
7/10
2022 MINI Cooper
4/10
The 2021 MINI Cooper offered four powertrain options depending on the trim. The base model featured a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine delivering 134 hp. The Cooper S upgraded to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 189 hp, while the JCW came with a potent 228-hp turbo-four. The JCW GP topped the range with a 301-hp turbo-four. All models came with front-wheel drive, and transmission options varied from a six-speed manual, a seven-speed automatic, to an eight-speed automatic for the JCW GP. Performance-wise, the MINI felt agile and spirited due to its small size, though the turbocharged four-cylinder engines offered a noticeable performance boost, particularly at highway speeds. The JCW GP, in particular, felt like a rocket ship with its rapid acceleration. However, all models had a stiff ride, making long journeys less comfortable. Road imperfections were magnified, and the car felt twitchy on high-speed drives, but it remained fun to drive through corners with minimal body roll. Fuel economy ranged significantly, with the most efficient being the Convertible at 28/37/31 mpg city/highway/combined, while the Cooper S Convertible managed 23/32/26 mpg. By 2022, the MINI Cooper continued to offer notable engine choices. The base model retained the turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine with 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, taking over eight seconds to hit 60 mph. The Cooper S maintained the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, delivering 189 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque, accelerating to 60 mph in under seven seconds. Transmission options included a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, with the same FWD setup and driving modes (Green, Mid, and Sport). The 2022 JCW models came with a tuned version of the Cooper S engine, offering 235 hp and 228 lb-ft, paired solely with an eight-speed automatic. The Cooper S, with ample torque and manual transmission, provided a fun, spirited drive, achieving slightly better fuel economy than expected at 27.1 mpg. Performance tires and adaptive-damping suspension remained options, but the reviewed Sidewalk Edition featured a compliant ride and subtle handling. However, inconsistent steering, gooey brake pedal feel, and unimpressive tires reduced overall driving satisfaction. The cramped rearview mirror and noisy cabin at higher speeds further detracted from the driving experience, making the 2022 model feel less connected and more refined compared to earlier versions.
Form and function
2021 MINI Cooper
4/10
2022 MINI Cooper
4/10
The 2021 MINI Cooper carried forward its form-focused interior, where the rear seat primarily served as cargo space rather than for passengers. The front seats were comfortable, providing decent head and legroom for average-sized adults. However, taller drivers struggled with knee placement due to the dashboard's design, which positioned a prime knee-bashing spot under the steering column. Despite being cozy, the interior space was undeniably limited. Swapping cargo and passenger configurations was relatively straightforward in the hatchback models, with the rear seats folding down to enhance storage. Convertible versions, however, offered a minimal cargo area under the folding top compartment, further limiting usability in the back. In the 2022 MINI Cooper, form took precedence over function, especially in the Convertible. The front seats were supportive and comfortable, but the rear seats were practically unusable, even for pre-teens. This rendered the rear space more suitable for extra luggage. The trunk, accessed via a bottom-hinged lid akin to a pickup truck’s tailgate, offered a scant 5.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity. This sufficed for a full-sized suitcase and a few small items but left little room for more. Cabin storage was also limited, partly due to MINI's emphasis on design over functionality and the location of the infotainment controls on the center console, occupying essential space. Given its moniker, it was no surprise that the MINI did not excel in cargo or passenger space, a point less concerning for buyers opting for other models in the lineup, such as the Hardtop 4-Door, Clubman, or Countryman.
Technology
2021 MINI Cooper
5/10
2022 MINI Cooper
7/10
The 2021 MINI Cooper provided a mixed bag of standard and optional tech features. The base model came with a 6.5-inch screen, with an upgrade to an 8.8-inch screen that included SiriusXM satellite radio and Apple CarPlay. Additional options included a Harman Kardon sound system, automatic climate control, and LED headlights. While MINI provided more physical controls than some rivals, hence improving in-car tech usability, it lacked Android Auto, leaving Android users to rely on Bluetooth. Using BMW's iDrive software, the infotainment system in the MINI featured a physical controller on the center console, which could be challenging to access due to tight space and the car's armrest. In 2022, MINI introduced a new Connected infotainment system with a standard 8.8-inch touchscreen within the dashboard’s LED-lit décor ring. This ring and the screen graphics changed colors based on vehicle settings, offering a visually engaging experience. The system allowed swiping between widgets for radio, maps, and more, with standard features like Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa integration, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Navigation, wireless charging, and a Harman Kardon sound system were also available. Consistent with its BMW base, the 2022 MINI retained intuitive iDrive technology, now paired with a standard digital instrument cluster. Visibility issues were minimal despite the convertible's nature. Additionally, a head-up display on a plastic panel provided essential information without hindrance from polarized sunglasses. The Harman Kardon system performed admirably, ensuring clear sound even on the open highway with the top down.
Safety
2021 MINI Cooper
5/10
2022 MINI Cooper
3/10
The 2021 MINI Cooper did not receive the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation, although it achieved top "Good" ratings in crash tests and "Advanced" scores for its front crash prevention systems. Its headlights earned mixed ratings, while the LATCH system received a "Marginal" ease-of-use rating. The NHTSA had yet to rate the 2021 model. Standard safety features included forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and rear parking sensors, with optional features ranging from front parking sensors to lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. For 2022, the MINI Convertible's larger size inherently suggested better collision protection. Still, neither NHTSA nor IIHS crash-test ratings were available. New standard safety features for 2022 included forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning. Adaptive cruise control was optional with the automatic transmission. However, the lack of blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert was a notable oversight, given the convertible's visibility challenges. A digital rearview mirror option would have addressed these issues effectively.
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By: CarGurus + AI

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