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EXPERT RATING
6.0

If you see someone driving a Mini Paceman, you can be sure they’re not on the minimum wage. Mini’s analysis has convinced the brand there is a pool of more than 270,000 potential Paceman buyers in Australia with an average age of 34, an annual income of $170,000 and a taste for trendy gadgets. 

In this case they’re shelling out for a lowered Countryman with two doors deleted and the same sloping roofline that’s made the Range Rover Evoque a best-seller. The Paceman was originally to be called the Countryman Coupe before a marketing type devised a more masculine moniker. The name may have changed but the aim is the same — attract more males to the brand.

Value

You can’t put a price on Mini’s appeal — you either appreciate the rock-solid build quality and retro feel, or you don’t. The Cooper-spec Paceman costs $35,900 with a six-speed manual and includes auto headlights and wipers, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, front and rear foglights.

Stepping up to the Cooper S adds a turbo to the engine and a Sport button to the console to tighten the throttle and engine mapping, 17-inch alloys and stainless steel pedals. Owners personalise their Mini and there are five pages of options to go for, from $2350 for the six-speed auto with paddle-shifters to $1900 for satnav.

Technology

All the bits under the Paceman have been proven in other models. The All4 all-wheel drive system is being reserved for the quickest John Cooper Works variant due later this year, though product head Sue McCarthy says Mini may order it on the regular models if there is enough demand, in which case it will add $2900.

Design

The Paceman moniker on the tail — a first for Mini, though the Countryman will follow suit — is the easy way to spot the new kid on the street. The horizontal tail-light design is another first, and from side-on the tapering roof line is unmistakable.

Inside there is space for four, with a centre rail running the length of the cabin and acting as a shift-and-lock platform for cupholders, sunglass cases, smartphone holders … whatever the Mini gurus can dream up. The designers have also relented on the window switches, which are now on the doors rather than grouped on the centre console.

Safety

The Paceman hasn’t been officially crumpled yet. Given it is based on the Countryman, it will be a four or five-star proposition (EuroNCAP rates the Countryman a five, ANCAP gives it a four). Six airbags and the usual software nannies are in place.

Driving

Call a car with Mini’s driving-oriented heritage a Paceman and you’d expect it to be just that. But it’s not -- at least, not when compared to the hatch. The extra weight dulls the performance edge by up to a second and makes the car more prone to understeer.

You have to be trying to do it and at least then there’s the reassurance of a hefty set of brakes to quell the enthusiasm. The boot is practical enough for couples at 330 litres but a baby might have parents scratching their heads in terms of what pram to buy.

Read the full 2013 Mini Paceman review

Mini Paceman 2013: Cooper S

Safety Rating
Engine Type Turbo 4, 1.6L
Fuel Type Premium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency 6.6L/100km (combined)
Seating 4
Price From $16,060 - $20,570

Verdict

The Paceman is styling over substance. It goes alright and will carry four in comfort but ultimately looks are all it brings to the Mini table. I could love that for a few weeks, but I wouldn’t want to commit to it.

Range and Specs

Vehicle Specs Price*
Cooper 1.6L, Premium Unleaded Petrol, 6 SPEED AUTOMATIC $13,090 - $17,490
Cooper 1.6L, Premium Unleaded Petrol, 6 SPEED MANUAL $12,320 - $16,390
Cooper JCW All4 1.6L, Premium Unleaded Petrol, 6 SPEED AUTOMATIC $24,200 - $29,920
See all 2013 Mini Paceman in the Range
*Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price
Craig Duff
Contributing Journalist
Craig Duff is a former CarsGuide contributor and News Corp Australia journalist. An automotive expert with decades of experience, Duff specialises in performance vehicles and motorcycles.
About Author
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication. Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.
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