- Stylish aesthetics
- Retro interior
- Powerful JCW model
- Not the most practical
- Expensive to buy
- Only room for four
Stylish 3-door SUV crossover
The Mini Paceman, first introduced in 2013, is arguably the most controversial car in the Mini lineup. Sitting in between the iconic hatchback, and the Countryman estate, the Paceman is a 3-door crossover SUV that caters for buyers who value style above all else. What makes the Paceman controversial is that it is more expensive to buy than both, but isn’t as fun to drive as the hatchback, and isn’t as practical as the Countryman. Nevertheless, the Paceman features some impressive engines, boasts an exceptional interior, and it’s styling will be enough for buyers who think with their hearts to seriously consider the Paceman.
Retro-design and exceptional build quality, but not the most practical
Stepping into a Mini is always a special experience, and the Paceman is no different. The retro styling is unique, whilst build quality and finish are both excellent. The Paceman isn’t the most practical SUV however.
The dashboard of the Paceman is almost identical to that of the Countryman estate, but with a few welcome tweaks. The retro-design is beautiful to look at, whilst controls are reasonably well-laid out and easy to use. Material quality is also impressive, with soft-touch materials adorning most of the cabin. Chrome and glossy plastics finish things off nicely, giving the Paceman a real premium feel.
Space and practicality aren’t the Paceman’s strong points. There’s only really room for four passengers, whilst the 3-door layout means that getting into the back is an issue, especially if you want to fit a child seat, or load bulky items. The 350 litre boot capacity is impressive for a coupe, but not so impressive for an SUV. There’s enough room for a big family shop, or even a small foldable buggy, but it’s no more practical than a conventional family hatchback.
Equipment levels in the Paceman are generous, no matter which spec you choose to go for. The entry-level Cooper trim comes with plenty of kit, with air-con, electric windows, rear parking sensors, a DAB radio, and Bluetooth connectivity all featuring. Cooper S trim adds a leather steering wheel, and bigger alloy wheels, whilst range-topping John Cooper Works trim adds sportier cosmetics, though no trim comes as standard with the excellent iDrive infotainment system.
All in all the interior of the Paceman is a reasonably impressive package. It’s stylish, well-built, and comes with plenty of equipment. It’s not the most practical car for family buyers however.
Sporty ride hinders comfort and refinement
The Mini Paceman is a car that looks like it’s going to be fun to drive, due to its sporty aesthetics. That is somewhat true, but it’s far from being a true driver's car. There’s plenty of grip through the corners, though the steering is a little on the vague side, and doesn’t offer a great deal of feedback. For a car that has such a stiff suspension, body roll is also pretty apparent, especially when you’re flying through country road corners at speed. It’s still quite nimble and agile, but it’s not as go-kart like as the standard Mini. Four wheel drive is available with the Paceman, which improves stability in poor conditions.
Suspension and Chassis
The stiff suspension setup hinders the ride comfort of the Paceman somewhat, and on particularly bad British roads the ride can be a little bit jumpy. It’s more comfortable than the standard Mini, but it’s not as pleasant as the Countryman. John Cooper Works models are stiffer still, so aren’t really suited to long-distance driving. Road and wind noise are also apparent at speed, which makes the Paceman a noisy long-distance motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Paceman come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a six-speed manual transmission that’s easy to use, though it can be a bit notchy at times. An optional automatic gearbox is available on all models, but it isn’t especially suited to the Paceman’s character.
A solid range of petrol and diesel engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Paceman, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s a wide range of power outputs, with models for petrolheads and planet-savers.
If it’s power that you want from your Paceman, the stand out option in the range is the petrol-powered 1.6 litre John Cooper Works model. Pacemans in this guise pack in 218bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 6.8 seconds. In a car as big as the Paceman, this feels seriously quick, and if you want the power to match the sporty looks, then this model might be the one for you.
Eco-friendly buyers will be reasonably happy with the Paceman, though it’s not as green as an equivalent family hatchback, or even the best conventional crossover SUVs. The greenest model on offer is the diesel-powered 1.6D engine, which produces 111g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s someway off the magic 100g/km mark, but it’ll still only cost £30 each year to tax. This model is also the best option for money-savers, as it can achieve up to 67.3mpg. You can save yourself plenty of money with this model, though it’s not the most engaging engine in the range.
The engines on offer in the Paceman range are solid, but not exceptional. The Paceman is a car about style, and if you want to match this with efficiency, go for the low-powered diesel, and if you want genuine sportiness, go for the rapid John Cooper Works.
Not tested by NCAP, but good standard safety kit
The Mini Paceman hasn’t yet been tested by the boffins at NCAP, but Mini as a brand usually scores pretty well in tests. The Paceman is closely related to the Countryman, and that easily achieved the highest possible 5-star rating, so it’s pretty safe to say that the Paceman would be roughly the same. If the lack of safety tests results is a concern to you, you’ll be pleased to know that the Paceman comes with plenty of safety kit as standard. Even entry-level models come with traction control, electronic stability control, a full compliment of airbags, and two Isofix points. Four-wheel drive models give greater road presence, and improved security on icy and wet roads.
Decent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Mini Paceman represents reasonably good value for money for buyers, though it’s high-purchase price from new will be an issue for some. Nevertheless, fuel efficiency is pretty impressive across the range, whilst CO2 emissions are average for a modern crossover SUV. The Paceman is a car that holds great status as well, so after the first year depreciation should be pretty good.
Insurance groups for the Paceman depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 13 for the 1.6 Cooper D ALL4, and climb up towards group 28 if you’re tempted by the range-topping performance of the 1.6 John Cooper Works ALL4 Auto.
Depreciation is a factor with the Mini Paceman, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Mini Paceman is a car that is as interesting as it is controversial. It’s a car that doesn’t really know what it is. Nevertheless, it’s undoubtedly stylish, features an exceptional interior, and comes with plenty of standard equipment. It’s certainly not the most practical family car, but if you want something that stands out in the supermarket carpark, the Mini Paceman might just be the car for you.
Buying a used Mini Paceman online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Mini Paceman for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Paceman. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Mini online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Mini? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Mini Paceman, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Paceman, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Mini to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.