Cooper SD ALL4
really is spoiling drivers for
choice: in addition to the Hatch,
Convertible, Clubman, Countryman,
Coupe and Roadster models theres
now a seventh member of the MINI
the three-door Paceman,
priced from £18,970...
IS THE PACEMAN all about? On the face-of-it, it seems like overkill to have
yet another version of the MINI but ever-increasing global demand probably disproves
that. MINI do not give sales predictions for new models, but the Countryman,
on which the Paceman is based, registered nearly 15,500 UK sales last year making
it the best-selling version after the iconic MINI Hatch.
Paceman is unlikely to reach that total because, although it is stylish with
three doors and a coupe roofline, it is not as user-friendly as the five-door
Countryman. The three-door Paceman costs around £940 more than the equivalent
five-door Countryman, but over £4,000 more than the three-door Hatch.
customers have the choice of a quartet of mainstream four-cylinder engines:
two petrol and two diesels. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox
a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with manual control can also be
The flagship diesel
is the Cooper SD which
gets a 2.0-litre 143bhp
engine; 0-62mph in 9.2
seconds and 61.4mpg
with an emissions figure
There's also the niche-selling John Cooper Works high-performance petrol variant,
and the price can be pushed up further with MINI offering their usual array
of extra-cost option packs and a wide range of additional kit personalisation
is an important part of MINI ownership.
Customers choosing petrol engines have the option of the 122bhp Cooper 1.6-litre
offering a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds, and fuel economy of 47.1mpg with CO2
emissions of 140g/km. The Cooper S Paceman uses the same engine but tuned to
deliver 184bhp. It will sprint to 62mph in 7.5 seconds. Fuel economy is 46.3mpg
and emissions are 143g/km. Fastest of all is the John Cooper Works model
its 218bhp 1.6 engine delivers a top speed of 140mph and zero to 62mph takes
6.9 seconds. Fuel consumption is 38.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 174g/km.
For those who prefer diesel in their tanks there's a Cooper D version which
uses a 112bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre engine that hits 62mph from standstill
in 10.8 seconds. It benefits from a frugal 64.2mpg thirst and 115g/km emissions.
The flagship diesel is the Cooper SD which gets a 2.0-litre 143bhp engine and
delivers 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds along with 61.4mpg.
For buyers who want the reassuring grip that comes with four-wheel drive, MINI's
ALL4 system is now available on the Cooper D and SD diesels and the Cooper and
Cooper S petrol models.
styled as a coupe interpretation of the bulbous and chunky Countryman, the Paceman
has all the key design cues that link it to the rest of the range. Its three-door
body, with its lowered roofline to the tail, looks less of a MINI on steroids
than the Countryman.
also uses the same platform as the five-door Countryman and its overall length
ranging from 4,109mm to 4,115mm depending on the version is almost
identical to that of its five-door sibling.
Paceman, says MINI, has been created to appeal to a 'new type of design-conscious
customer'. It's certainly a case of design over functionality as three-door
coupes are never that easy to live with in terms of practicality (getting rear
seat passengers in and out of the car) and the wide-opening front doors are
a real pain when it comes to opening them fully in tightly packed car parks.
The Paceman only has
lounge-type seats in
the rear so its snug
back there with
headroom for tall
passengers and legroom
The Paceman only has two individual 'lounge'-type seats in the rear it's
'snug' back there with headroom for tall passengers and legroom both tight.
A two-section version of the MINI Centre Rail storage and attachment system
(first seen in the Countryman) comes as standard.
Although a strict four-seater, the Paceman does offer some practicality for
load carrying as the two individual rear seats fold down (but not completely
flat) to expand the 330-litre boot space up to 1,080 litres. Loading access
is via a relatively large, high-opening tailgate.
In the front, the raised seating position gives the driver and passenger good
vision to the front and sides although the lower coupe roof is visually a bit
restrictive at the rear corners.
The instruments and controls will be familiar to MINI drivers, including the
signature large round central speedo. However, its black surround and decorative
inner rings in high-gloss black or chrome are new, as too are the redesigned
air vent surrounds. Buttons for the windows which have been fiddly toggle
switches below the speedo on every BMW-built MINI to date have, thankfully,
been moved to the door trim panels.
The distinctive Paceman is easy to identify amongst other MINIs. While style
definitely rules function, the Paceman looks a better balanced and svelte version
than the 'chubby' Countryman.
will buy a Paceman? Youthful singles or couples as well as older young-at-hearts
for whom the appeal of fashionable and designer brands extends to their transport.
Of course the Paceman is a global vehicle, so who buys in the UK might not be
the same as who buys in other markets. The
ALL4 versions will have appeal for customers who need 4x4 traction during winter
months and do not want a large SUV.
Paceman is unique in its offering but obvious premium brand competitors are
the new Audi A3 (for two-wheel drive customers) and, for those wanting a 4x4,
the larger Range Rover Evoque three-door coupe.
The Paceman is
the most stylish model
in the MINI range.
And for many buyers,
that will be all the
test Paceman was the Cooper SD ALL4 priced at £24,290 (the optional autobox
will add £1,320 to that). The Euro 2.0-litre, Euro 6 engine, with 143bhp and
225lb ft of torque, is not as refined or as quiet as some other modern turbodiesel
And, as expected, the 4x4 system does sap some of this power and the long-legged
gearing needed for low-ish emissions does inhibit sporty mid-range acceleration
and responsiveness. Top speed is a modest 122mph with zero to 62mph taking 9.3
seconds. Officially this version will return 57.6mpg but my test drive week
covering all types of roads and traffic conditions returned only 43.9mpg
not that impressive for a car of this size.
This road test has been all about the Paceman's design more than its performance
because, technically, it doesn't bring anything new to the ever-expanding MINI
range. The go-kart handling remains but, like the Countryman (and especially
the ALL4 versions), the ride quality and refinement is not as good as that of
other MINI models.
One would have to say that the Paceman is expensive for what it is. It also
lacks midrange pace and engine response, has a fidgety ride with road noise
intrusion, has less headroom (but easier rear seat access) than a MINI Hatch
and its real-life fuel economy is not great. And there's no spare wheel.
However, the 'plusses' carry weight: racy styling, more rear seat legroom and
boot space than a MINI Hatch, and an all-wheel drive option for those who need
to 'get a grip'.
So, more practical than the Hatch but not quite as much as the five-door Countryman.
All other considerations aside, for me the Paceman is the most stylish model
in the MINI range. And for many buyers, that will be all the recommendation
MINI Paceman Cooper SD ALL4
Maximum speed: 122mph | 0-62mph: 9.3 seconds | Average test MPG: 43.9mpg
Power: 143bhp | Torque: 225lb ft | CO2 130g/km