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MINI Paceman Review

MINI Paceman
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MINI Paceman
MINI Paceman
MINI Paceman

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MINI Paceman

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MINI Paceman

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MINI Paceman

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2013
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Pointless new, but interesting second-hand

Best bits

  • Distinctive design
  • Fun to drive
  • Second-hand value enhances its appeal

Not so great

  • So-so interior quality
  • Still hardly roomy in the rear
  • Weak non-turbo engine

Read by

MINI Paceman (2013) frontright exterior

Overall verdict

MINI Paceman (2013) dashboard

On the inside

MINI Paceman (2013) frontright exterior

Driving

MINI Paceman (2013) backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

MINI Paceman (2013) bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"So why go for a MINI Paceman? Simply because it’s a distinctive and leftfield car. It’s not for everyone, which is why there aren’t many on the used market."

MINI Paceman (2013) frontright exterior

But if you’re bored of the normal fare, it might just be worth checking out. MINI’s logic was reasonable. For many, the regular three-door MINI hatchback was simply too compact, particularly in the rear and boot. 


The Paceman was intended to be a three-door step up, one with distinctive looks of its own, and with vital extra capacity for passengers and luggage. It was given a sporty slant with some punchy engines and firm suspension.


The Paceman also inherited the higher-up driving position of the Countryman, and the same more feature-packed interior. So far, so good. Sadly, the lack of obvious focus proved its downfall. It wasn’t clear exactly who the Paceman was aimed at, and even more open-minded people were soon deterred by the high list prices.


So, why might you want one? Well, love it or loathe it, you can’t deny the Paceman is a distinctive-looking thing, with its blunt nose and curving rear end. It’s not classically pretty, sure, but there’s nothing else quite like it in this sector. It does indeed also offer more practicality, with a 330-litre boot capacity placing it between a small hatch and a medium-sized family car for load space – not bad at all.


It’s good fun to drive, in that typical MINI way. Handling is prioritised, with tight body control and firm, roll-free suspension making it chuckable and hot hatch-like through bends. There are even all-wheel-drive versions, called ALL4, giving extra capacity and confidence in inclement weather. The pay-off is stiff ride quality – yes, just like a smaller MINI. Sport suspension was standard, although MINI did offer a slightly softer set-up as an option.


The range opened with the more powerful Cooper engine, rather than as a basic MINI One. Due to the weight of the Paceman though, this isn’t actually all that fast: 0-62mph takes more than 10 seconds, or 11.5 seconds for an automatic model. The Cooper D diesel is slow, too. Only the Cooper S delivers the hoped-for performance, while the John Cooper Works version is the only model to dip below seven seconds to 62mph. A Golf GTI will pull away with ease.


A curious car that never found a following when new, the MINI Paceman is still compromised as a used car – but it is also worthy of more interest now, as lower prices help buyers consider its strengths. These include interesting styling, good handling and BMW build quality.


Ready to get your top quality MINI Paceman?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

MINI Paceman

1.6 Cooper 3dr Auto

  • 2014
  • 39,704 miles
  • Stoneacre Abarth, Fiat, Kia Grimsby
  • Lincolnshire, DN311SF
Price:£8,750
HP: £242.61/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £242.61, Customer Deposit: £1,312.00, Total Deposit: £1,312.50, Total Charge For Credit: £1,296.46, Total Amount Payable: £10,046.46, Representative APR: 11.3%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 5.81%

Is the MINI Paceman right for you?

Have you been a happy MINI hatch owner, but are now finding your beloved car a bit too small? Do you wish the boot were bigger or there was at least some semblance of rear-seat space? Then the MINI Paceman might just be for you.


It’s also a different alternative to a three-door hot hatchback – i.e. something like a Golf GTI or a smaller Fiesta ST. The BMW-grade onboard equipment, including an excellent infotainment system, also helps set it apart from more mainstream cars.


Even the fact it comes in all-wheel-drive guise might be useful for some who want a sporty-feeling car but still need to guarantee winter-weather motoring. You need to keep an open mind as it wasn’t right for many people when new. But that’s the beauty of the used car market.


What’s the best MINI Paceman model/engine to choose?

The Cooper version was the most popular when new, so it’s the one you’ll most easily find on the used car market. We just wish it were a bit quicker. The Cooper D diesel isn’t very fast either, but it does have a bit more pulling power than the non-turbocharged Cooper petrol.


You’re best picking a Cooper S, we reckon. This has the necessary performance to back up the Paceman’s intriguing styling, and the turbo petrol engine is lots of fun in its own right. The Cooper SD is less convincing, although it is at least a proper BMW diesel, so has a sophisticated feel. The John Cooper Works is great fun, but expensive – and rare on the used market.

What other cars are similar to the MINI Paceman?

Part of the MINI Paceman’s problem when new was that there’s nothing else quite like it. Crossover coupes even now are hardly a booming sector and no rival offered an alternative.


There was one similarly-conceived car, perhaps: the Nissan Juke Nismo. Generally, though, the Paceman fell into the uncertain space between small and family-sized hot hatches. Perhaps the most viable alternative is actually the roomier, five-door version of the Paceman – MINI's own Countryman.


Learn more

MINI Paceman (2013) dashboard

On the inside

MINI Paceman (2013) frontright exterior

Driving

MINI Paceman (2013) backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

MINI Paceman (2013) bootspace

Prices, versions and specification