New Car

Three MINI models get a fresh face and tech enhancements for 2022 model year

Three MINI models have been refreshed inside and out for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of MINI

The 2022 model year will be the first time at three of the five MINI models have received simultaneous updates. It's worth noting that the MINI Countryman was updated for 2021.

The three models getting refreshed are the MINI Hardtop 2 Door (Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE and John Cooper Works), the MINI Hardtop 4 Door (Cooper and Cooper S) and the MINI Convertible (Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works) variants.

Each model wears a new exterior design that makes modern the classic MINI looks while the interior of the cars has gotten a fresher look and tech updates.

2022 MINI Cooper 2 Door

Photo courtesy of MINI

The MINI Hardtops and Convertibles have gotten a new hexagonal front grille that extends low to the road. There are now feature air curtains the front bumpers and the MINIs have had their fog lights removed. Cooper S and John Cooper Works variants also include a pair of air intakes with high-gloss black surrounds to the left and right of the central intake.

At the rear, new bumpers are designed to emphasize the wider stance of the car and its inherent sportiness. The rear apron has a hexagonal graphic that plays on the grille design. MINI has retained the car's twin-tailpipe exhaust system. John Cooper Works models now have a diffuser at the tail.

MINI will sell the models in three new paint jobs: Island Blue, Rooftop Grey, and Zesty Yellow. MINI Hardtops are available with a Multitone Roof, a color gradient of Soul Blue, Pearly Aqua, and Jet Black in combination with black mirror caps.

LED headlights with a high global back inner housing are standard and coupled with Union Jack LED taillights. The optional Piano Black Exterior is now available on door handles, fuel lid (Cooper S/JCW), exhaust end pipes (Cooper/Cooper S), MINI Logos and model badges (Cooper/Cooper S/Cooper SE) in black.

2022 MINI Cooper 4 Door

Photo courtesy of MINI

MINI has given the model new 17- and 18-inch wheels including fresh 18-inch Circuit Spoke two-tone and 18-inch Pulse Spoke two-tone options.

The cabin of the MINI models has also been updated. There's a standard 8.8-inch screen in front of the driver. The screen has configurable live widget and is available in two color schemes (Lounge and Sport). SiriusXM is also standard. MINI Ambient Light with six different colors, and a heated steering wheel are available. The cars' steering wheel features a new design with integrated buttons and a Piano Black finish.

All U.S.-bound MINI Hardtop and Convertibles will feature Driving Assistant, which includes lane departure warning technology. Adaptive cruise control is available on automatic and dual-clutch transmission models.

2022 MINI Cooper Convertible

Photo courtesy of MINI

2022 MINI Cooper SE

The fully electric variant of the MINI Hardtop will get the same exterior updates to the front and rear bumpers, side scuttles, and grille, along with the Piano Black Exterior contents mentioned above and the Multitone roof. Additional wheels will be available for the MINI Cooper SE starting in March, including 16-inch Victory Spoke black, 17-inch Tentacle Spoke black, and 17-inch Scissor Spoke two-tone options. The MINI Cooper SE will also receive most of the interior updates.


Model year 2022 MINI Hardtops and Convertibles will see only a $500 increase across most trim levels. Some grades, like the MINI Cooper S Hardtop and MINI Cooper S Convertible, the Iconic trim on the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop and MINI John Cooper Works Convertible will have no price increase. The MINI Cooper SE has also not had a price increase.

The 2022 MINI Cooper 2 Door starts at $22,400 and the 4 Door has a starting MSRP of $23,400. The 2022 MINI Cooper Convertible starts at $27,400. There is an additional $850 destination fee for all vehicles.

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New sports car

The Acura Integra is coming back in 2022

This is all we know about the new Integra's styling.


Secrets are hard to keep these days. It seems like new products always end up being leaked by one of the hundreds of people involved in the development process, to the point that even the most secretive companies have a hard time unveiling a product that people don't already know about. That wasn't the case this week, though. After announcing the final version of its NSX supercar at Monterey Car Week, Acura took to the skies with an impressive drone show that eventually spelled out a message no one expected to see: The Integra is coming back in 2022.

The original car launched in 1986, and its legend grew over time. After accumulating dozens of awards and spawning an entire industry around customizing and enhancing the Integra, Honda and Acura discontinued the car in 2001. We saw a successor to the crown in the Acura RSX for a few short years afterward, but it's been 15 years since a small, tossable sports car has graced the Acura catalog. Granted, Honda has been on a tear with the Civic Si and Civic Type-R, but there has been a hole in the Acura lineup for some time now.

Acura Integra The original Integra is the stuff of legend.Acura

Waiting is the hardest part, as they say. Other than the gorgeous drone display and tantalizingly mysterious teaser photo, we know nothing, which is a difficult spot to be as a car enthusiast. There are a few details, though. The car will return in 2022 as a "compact premium entrant," according to the press release. Company VP and Acura Brand Officer Jon Ikeda also said that the car is "returning to the Acura lineup with the same fun-to-drive spirit and DNA of the original, fulfilling our commitment to Precision Crafted Performance in every way – design, performance and the overall driving experience."

Given parent company Honda's success with performance versions of the Civic, we're optimistic that the 2022 Integra will put its compact dimensions to good use on the road and on the track. We'll have to be patient, though, because official details won't become available until closer to the car's introduction in 2022.

2022 Acura Integra Acura shared the new Integra's logo.Acura

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Family driving

Can your family live with a convertible?

Convertibles are fun, but can your family handle the size and driving experience?


Testing convertibles is always great fun, but they sometimes show up when the weather isn't ideal. Here in Maine, our drop-top driving season is fleeting, which can make for a tricky time driving with the top down. This year, however, a 2021 BMW 430i Convertible showed up in early August and I had an entire week of sun to soak up in the open air. I have two children, however, and own a three-row SUV to haul them, their friends, and all the accompanying gear. Squeezing into a convertible is possible and even fun at times, but it got me thinking: Could a convertible be a car we could live with on a daily basis? The answer for me is no, but there's more to the story, and I'm certainly not ruling out a drop-top purchase for my family at some point in the future.

Of course, none of this came as a surprise to me. Last year, I tested the BMW M850i Convertible, and while it was a blast, there was nothing about it that screamed "family car." This BMW is no different, but my younger daughter's shift to a booster seat from a full-size harness car seat made the back-seat fit for both of my kids much easier. Now, it's a little easier to see how the 430i Convertible could be a perfect weekend or summer car for a family that is already set with roomy daily drivers.

Here's how owning a convertible might play out for your family.

2021 BMW 430i Convertible The BMW 430i Convertible is premium, inside and out.BMW

Open-Top Fun – At a Cost

This BMW's price tag lands in the mid-$50,000 range with a few desirable options, which is about right for a premium brand convertible. There are much cheaper options to be had, however, in the Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro. Both cars come in a convertible format and can be found for around half the price of the BMW. There are performance and luxury penalties when moving to the less expensive options, but for most people the draw of a convertible is the open-top experience itself. You don't absolutely need screaming performance or a top-notch interior to get the full convertible experience.

Good in Small Doses

My kids are over the moon about riding in a convertible for a while, and then spend the rest of the time complaining about noise, bugs, and wind. Rolling the side windows up helps, and models with a retractable rear windscreen are even better, but the reality is that some kids are not the best at dealing with outside-the-norm car experiences. More often than not, we'd end up driving for half an hour or so with the top down, a few more minutes with the windows up, and then the rest of the time with the top closed. That's no fun in a small car that feels even smaller with the top up.

2021 BMW 430i Convertible If your kids are like mine, the open-top experience comes with some tradeoffs.BMW

Weather Woes

I get that most of you don't live in Maine like I do, and that your spring, summer, and fall months extend longer throughout the year. You're able to enjoy the open-top driving experience more often than those of us in New England, but there will still be times that driving a convertible is less than enjoyable. If you live in Florida, for instance, how often are you going to want to drive with the top down when it's 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity under the bright sun? Even with the wind in your hair, that will get old. Keep this in mind if you're shopping for a convertible.

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