The Car Connection MINI Paceman Overview
The Mini brand--the classic Mini brand, run under the auspices of the British Motor Corporation and its successors--built a reputation on very small, capable, affordable, and, to most eyes, adorable cars. It didn't stick to just one body style, either, branching out into Moke, Clubman, Traveller, Countryman, and even a Mini pickup and a van.
The modern MINI brand, owned by BMW, has ventured into many of the historic niches, but it has also created a few new ones. One of the newest is the Paceman--but is it a niche too far?
Based on the four-door modern interpretation of the Countryman, the Paceman still seats four, but has just two doors and a hatch. Its roof slopes noticeably to the rear, and wider, flared haunches protrude over the rear wheels. At the nose, the styling is very similar to the Countryman, which is to say, an enlarged, almost cartoonish interpretation of the smaller MINIs.
Inside, the Paceman wears all of the modern MINI style you'd expect, complete with the quirks and ergonomically questionable decisions as to controllers and switchgear. You'll either love or find it too busy and irksome to use--there isn't a lot of middle ground with the MINI interior, and the Paceman is no exception.
Under the hood of the U.S.-market Paceman, you'll find one of three engines, though they're all variants on the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The base MINI Cooper Paceman uses a normally aspirated version of the engine to generate 121 horsepower that helps it rate up to 28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission (as with all Paceman models except the John Cooper Works, a six-speed automatic transmission is optional).The Cooper S Paceman steps up the pace with a turbocharger and 181 horsepower, nipping nearly three seconds from the Cooper Paceman's 0-60 mph time, clocking in at 6.9 seconds. The John Cooper Works Paceman goes one better, bumping power up to 208 horses, and shaving the 0-60 mph time to 6.5 seconds. Both the Cooper S Paceman and John Cooper Works Paceman are available with ALL4 all-wheel drive; the base Cooper Paceman is front-drive only.
As with all modern MINI vehicles, the Paceman can be configured almost without limit, with a myriad of paint colors, contrasting roof & mirror options, vinyl graphics packages, and a number of interior convenience and entertainment upgrades available. For the full details on the latest model, including driving impressions and more, visit our review of the 2013 MINI Cooper Paceman.