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2022 Mini John Cooper Works Convertible Review: Easy to Love

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Auto123 reviews the 2022 Mini John Cooper Works convertible.

There's no need to introduce the Mini, a car with a rich, varied and sometimes glorious history. But we’ll do it anyways:

The first little car to bear the name was created in 1959 by John Cooper and Alexandre Issigonis. It immediately stood out because of its size (small) and shape (boxy), but also for its rally exploits. John Cooper, a driver and also a tuner, was intrigued by its very low centre of gravity and its handling. He began modifying it, and pretty soon the Mini was a rally champion.

At the time, its 998-cc engine produced 55 hp and could reach 140 km/h - enough to make a name for itself, let's say.

A little more recently, we had the chance to test drive the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work convertible. Sixty-two years separate these two models. Sadly, we never had the chance to drive the 1959 model, but for having driven one in the 1970s, we can assure you that the Mini of today hasn't aged a bit: it's still tons of fun to drive, even if it has its good and bad sides. 

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2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, profile
Photo: Auto123.com
2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, profile

What's new for 2022?
For the 2022 model-year, the Mini John Cooper Works convertible gets a refreshed grille with a larger opening and air intakes. LED headlights are now standard on all versions; the result is impressive.  

At the rear, we find a new bumper that integrates fake diffusers. In the centre of the bumper, the exhaust pipes still deliver a melodious sound without being too aggressive.

This year Mini also adds a palette of three new colours, for a total of 10. To make sure you don't end up with the same Mini as your neighbor, you can still customize elements and accessories like the roof, the mirrors and decorative stripes on the hood.

Design, interior equipment
Inside, there's plenty of choice as well. You can pick from no fewer than seven colours, either one- or two-tone, to further personalize your Mini. You can even choose the type of lock button you have inside your car. Mini doesn’t kid around when it comes to offering personalization options. In fact, there are so many options and accessories to choose from that it can be a headache if all you want to do is sign on the bottom line and get your hands on your new car.

2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, interior
Photo: Auto123.com
2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, interior

In open-top mode
The added pleasure of this version lies in the fact that it’s possible to open the roof completely and drive with your hair blowing in the wind, while enjoying the sound of the John Cooper Works powertrain. To open the roof, all you do is press a button on the roof console. The operation takes less than 20 seconds. Another very interesting option if you don't want to open it completely is to open just the top of the roof, to have a large sunroof over your head.

A wind deflector can be installed on the rear seats. This purchase is highly recommended, because otherwise the air blowback inside the cabin is really significant, and frankly unbearable on the highway.

Technology
Perusing the inside, you’re left with little doubt this here is a car produced under the big BMW banner. The 8.8-inch main screen offers impeccable graphic quality. It's touch-sensitive and can also be controlled via the wheel located between the two front seats. Happily, you won’t find it hard to master the ins and outs of the multimedia system, unlike in some BMW models. Apple Carplay connects wirelessly, but unfortunately Android Auto is still absent. In 2021, this is almost unforgivable...

2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, three-quarters rear
Photo: Auto123.com
2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, three-quarters rear

Powertrain(s)
The John Cooper Works convertible gets a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine good for 228 hp and 231 lb-ft of torque. The 8-speed ZF transmission, which is used in all the BMW Group's vehicles, does a remarkable job and is a pleasant companion to this model. Too bad the manual transmission is only available in the hardtop version.

The 0-100 km/h time is 6.6 seconds, which isn't bad for a small vehicle that's primarily concerned with driving pleasure. Speaking of which, that’s where this car really delivers, in spades. This is a road hugger that’s fantastic in the city and on winding roads. If you want to understand why Mini owners love their brand so much, there’s your answer.

As far as fuel consumption is concerned, well, while you’re having all that fun at the wheel of your Mini you'll want to overlook the 12.6L/100 km (of super) it consumes on average.

Price / versions
The version we tested started at $43,640, but with add-ons: $7,300 for the Premier+ package, the only package available, $2,250 for leather and micro suede seats and $950 for a driver assistance package plus a few options here and there at $500 each; you arrive at a grand total of $56,530. With the shipping costs at $2,245 the total bill climbs to nearly $59,000. For a Mini convertible! Way too expensive. Take note: the basic JCW version at $43,640 should be more than enough to satisfy you if you want to drive around in a super fun car with your hair blowing in the breeze.

2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, front
Photo: Auto123.com
2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, front

We like

The drive
BMW-level quality
Interior quality
Turbo engine

We like less

Price
Uncomfortable on some roads
Very limited rear seats
Lack of manual

The competition

BMW 2 Series
Audi TT Roadster
Mazda MX-5
Ford Mustang Convertible
Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, front grille
Photo: Auto123.com
2022 Mini Cooper JCW convertible, front grille

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