Friday, September 22, 2023

2022 Mini Cooper S Convertible Review, Road Test

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Last year when we drove the Mini Cooper Convertible we were taken back by the fact that it is a seriously capable machine to drive but at the same time, it appealed to every single person on the road. This was new in the Indian context because worldwide Mini is celebrated, is a Hollywood icon and is all things to everyone. A chic car for the chics, an enthusiast car with a roof that can be tucked away, and an everyday car if you wanted it to be as it is a true all-rounder. Mini India was quick to launch the facelifted variants of the three variants that it had earlier on sale. We have spent time with the car with memories from not so distant past of the previous generation. What are the changes? We find out!


On the outside, the grille size is the biggest change we can be seen on the facelifted Mini Cooper. The shape of a goatee or a U-shaped grille, however, you see it looks new and makes the car look refreshed. The build quality on the outside seems and sounds great and it scores high on crash tests like any other Mini. The side and rear profile remain almost identical. The color of our test car with the contrast black roof with a union jack on it grabbed serious attention. With the roof down, you can see this car from a kilometer away. The elements on the car, such as the grille, LED lights on both ends, 3.8-meter length along with a short wheelbase, classic-looking wheels and low stance add substance to the stance of the 2022 Mini Cooper S Convertible.


On the inside, the build and quality are good and so is the sparse feature list. The dual-tone interior is on offer with retro seat covers for the car and beige and black used for the dashboard uplifts the already airy cabin. Carbon fibre finish on the dashboard, contrast stiching, and new vents make the car look refreshed. The seats are comfortable as you get extra under-thigh support and good lumbar support for small to medium drivers. To fold and unfold the top, it takes 18 seconds and it can be done while driving under 30 km/hr.

You get every feature possible in the infotainment area but not much in other areas. The iDrive inspired system works flawlessly with touch being slightly far away but the knob below does most of the job, which takes some extra time getting used because of the position. There are the obvious automatic lights and wipers, reversing camera, rear parking sensor and projector LED lamps is on offer the Lack of wireless apple car play and wired android auto missing continues along with front parking sensor, electric and ventilated seats are miss at this price point.


There is ambient lighting and the switch for it is on the roof to toggle between different colors. a good sound system is on offer with the car. The LCD screen in the instrument cluster area is a new and welcome move. It replaces the old iconic dial-like instrument cluster with a physical needle for the speedometer, which is now gone. It continues to show a host of features including navigation and all fuel economy indicators and other bits can be seen with a touch of the toggle button on the left indicator stalk.

Space is adequate at the back for short trips for short adults and kids only. Be it leg or shoulder room. The headroom continues to be in good supply and with the roof down, you have 60 kms of safe headroom space inside. As always it is a strict four-seater. The boot space is good enough for every day trips and not for weekend cross-country trips. With the seats down, it has over 700 litres which is great for two people tripping anywhere. Road and wind noise inside the cabin is also well-controlled thanks to massive insulation all around. Like any other Mini, it is still a pleasant place to be. Safety kit continues to be high with electronic stability control and four airbags, Hill Hold Assist, ABS and EBD, and more come as standard.


All BMW engines are smooth, free-revving, and low on NVH and the one on the Mini from BMW is no different. Be it in any part of the rev range. Low and mid-range are good on the petrol that makes the 190 PS and 280 Nm of torque going through the fantastic 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The engine is flexible, efficient and powerful all at the same time making it a no-compromise car.


0-100 km/hr under 8 seconds is mighty quick and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/hr is on offer Top-end is good enough and it cruises at legal speeds and higher than that, quite easily. This makes it good enough for city and highway runs and makes driving comfortable enough thanks to the precision in every driving mode such as Green, Mid, and Sport. 9 km/l for in the city and 17 km/l on the highway is what we got in our Mumbai-Pune run which is a respectable number given the A/C was on and the top was down with the windows rolled up.


The ride quality is good at all speeds and it does feel slightly softer over the previous version. We found ourselves enjoying this much more as our roads are far from perfect in the Mumbai area. High-speed stability is spot on thanks to the ideal balance of underlying stiffness and compliance. Body roll exists while changing lanes at high speeds but it is obviously a very confidence-inspiring car to drive at any given speed.


Steering is lighter than before too, by a subtle margin, making it easy to live with to a certain extent. It continues to be pinpoint precise and has just about enough feedback on offer which makes the car fun and 100% confidence-inspiring to push harder in the twisties like any other Mini. Brakes are good with good pedal bite and more than enough stopping power. Overall, a very easy-to-drive car with a much more improved manner for our roads, the Mini just become tempting.

2022 Mini Cooper S Convertible Review, Verdict


The changes to the car are subtle in every area clearly stating a proverb that is used widely. Why fix that is not broken. Mini also does the same. A nip-tuck with a proven platform that gives it great practicality, exclusivity, bespoke looks and iconic silhouette that has stood the test of time. Mini continues to offer everything to everyone but it still isn’t everyone’s cup of tea as the prices continue to be on the higher and sparse standard equipment means you have to dig in the accessory list to add what you like. If you can do that or live with the idea of the no-frills Mini, which is anyways a great value as it does offer a lifetime experience behind four wheels every single time you drive.

Mohit Soni
Mohit Soni
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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