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Eric's Autos: 2022 BMW Mini Cooper

Eric Peters on

What does the Mini Cooper have that the VW Beetle lacked?

The question arises because the Mini is still here while the Beetle isn't. The resurrected icon was initially very popular when VW brought it back in the late '90s but became less so after it was significantly restyled in 2010 -- made to look sleeker and more aggressive.

VW cancelled it in 2019.

Lesson: Don't fix what isn't broken.

Mini didn't make that mistake, which probably explains why it's still around.

What It Is


The BMW Mini Cooper is the resurrected, modernized version of the iconic British Mini Cooper of the '60s. Like its ancestor, it is small and pugnacious while managing to maintain a friendly, approachable demeanor.

Almost everyone seems to like them.

It is also currently the smallest new car you can buy. The hardtop coupe is only 152.2 inches long end to end. For some sense of scale, a subcompact sedan such as the Hyundai Accent is 172.6 inches long.

It also has the smallest standard engine put into a new car -- just three cylinders and 1.5 liters. And it is also one of the very small handful of new cars still available with a manual transmission.


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