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Mini Paceman manual 2013 review

Welcome to Mini edition seven. No one else on this planet can stretch one basic shape into so many different designs.

When the Mini was revived in the 2001 as a follow up to the highly successful Mini first introduced in 1959 it came in a single body style. Amazingly the company has just introduced the seventh iteration.

Think Mini’s cousin, the BMW X6 (Mini is owned by BMW these days) and the Range Rover Evoque to get an idea of the sales area occupied by the Paceman. BMW has come up with yet another acronym to describe the Paceman, wanting us to call it an SAC, for Sports Activity Coupe.

Value

Naturally, there’s a huge range of options and Paceman buyers seem sure to follow others in Mini land by trying to make their vehicle genuinely unique.

Mini Paceman is sold in two variants in this opening phase, the $35,900 Cooper with a 90 kilowatt 1.6-litre engine and the $44,100 Cooper S with the same engine plus a turbocharger to lift its peak output to 135 kW.

These prices are for the six-speed manuals, add $2350 for the six-speed automatic transmission. On-road costs also have to be factored in. Speak to your dealer for full details on the big list of options as well as the on-road price.

Design

Mini Paceman is its name and style is its game. Basically Paceman is a Mini Countryman with only two doors and a different back end. It’s a sort of a cross between an SUV and a coupe.

Paceman is sold as a four-seater, but those in the rear had better be of modest dimensions unless the front seat occupants are willing to sacrifice legroom. Surprisingly, headroom isn’t a major problem because the rooflining is sculpted to make room for your uppermost region. Boot space isn’t too bad at 330 litres.

Interior styling is right out there in a continuation of the Mini tradition, with a huge, but hard to read, central speedo and smaller instruments tagged on here and there. Ergonomic it’s not, so those who want function over fashion should shop elsewhere.

A full-house Paceman JCW (John Cooper Works) Paceman edition, featuring all-wheel-drive, is scheduled for later in 2013. Having introduced the seventh edition of the one body shape are the guys and gals at Mini resting on their laurels? No way, the fun team has its sights set on at least one more.

What that will be is secret, but chatting to insiders seems to point us in the way of a four-door sedan. Sounds boring, even the Mini stylists of the 1960s couldn't make a sedan (two-door) look like anything other than an afterthought – but who knows. Google Riley Elf and Wolesley Hornet to see what we mean.

Another future possibility is the return of the Mini Moke, a vehicle that was hugely successful in Australia, being built here for many years. The rest of the world didn’t take to it, though, so who knows? The original Moke had front-wheel-drive like all Minis, but this time around Mini has the all-wheel-drive setup for the Countryman and that could be pushed under the new Moke. Here’s hoping...

Safety

Paceman has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, thanks to the use of front and side airbags and side curtain airbags for both rows of seats.

Driving

We loved the feel and look of the Paceman’s interior during our 200+ kilometre drive from central Brisbane and up into the soggy hinterlands, where it looks as though it’s going to keep raining forever.

Though some of the bumps and thumps caused by the roads being washed away under our wheels did cause the suspension to find its bump stops at times, the Mini always felt stable.

The go-kart feel of the steering and the way the Mini responds to drivers’ wishes is second only to style in reasons given for buying a Mini, and the Paceman certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Verdict

Looks like nothing else on the road, and that’s the way the Mini Paceman is meant to be.

Pricing Guides

$18,395
Based on 9 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$19,880
Highest Price
$20,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Cooper 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $14,888 – 18,800 2013 Mini Paceman 2013 Cooper Pricing and Specs
Cooper JCW All4 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $30,250 – 36,410 2013 Mini Paceman 2013 Cooper JCW All4 Pricing and Specs
Cooper S 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $19,880 – 20,990 2013 Mini Paceman 2013 Cooper S Pricing and Specs