Broadening the MINI lineup to now include seven different models, the 2013 MINI Paceman has taken its place on the roster wearing both a price tag that starts at $23,900 and the proud title of “first Sports Activity Coupé in the class.”
Now, that may be slicing the market for compact premium crossovers exceedingly fine, but the Paceman does offer an out-of-the-ordinary ownership experience that’s backed by BMW power and fairly strong fuel-economy marks, and it’s relatively affordable, too.
What it isn’t, of course, is very big. Even though the 2013 MINI Paceman is the longest member of the family, it’s still only 162.25 inches long—about 3 inches beyond a Chevy Sonic hatchback—and it’s dramatically rearward-sloping roof impinges on rear-seat passenger room and cargo space so that the latter drops to 38.1 cubic feet with the two back-row buckets folded flat; the Sonic, for comparison’s sake, offers 47.7 cubic feet. On the other hand, the Paceman does offer the extra versatility of MINI’s Center Rail storage system, and frankly, not many owners will be making their purchase decisions based on cargo room.
More likely to attract their attention, and that of anyone else who sees the car, are style accents like the brand’s “helmet” roof design, crossover cues such as rugged black wheel-arch guards, and a notably athletic stance. Note as well that, even though the 2013 MINI Paceman does work the same kind of positioning as the four-door MINI Countryman—as the brand’s “crossovers”—designers have done an excellent job distinguishing them from each other.
Naturally, the 2013 MINI Paceman is available in three different flavors, also including Cooper S and Cooper S ALL4 models.
2013 MINI Paceman: A Look at the Lineup
The starting point for the 2013 MINI Paceman, as mentioned, is $23,900, and that includes a 1.6-liter I4 engine capable of delivering 121 hp, 118 lb.-ft. of torque and EPA grades of up to 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway/27 mpg combined. The driving experience is enhanced by a sport-tuned suspension, while the cabin offers premium-ish amenities like the “MINI Connected” infotainment system with Bluetooth technology, LED and ambient lighting, a six-speaker sound system, and an options list that includes both navigation and premium audio from Harman/Kardon.
Dialing up the performance by an additional 60 hp and 59 lb.-ft. of torque is the 2013 MINI Paceman Cooper S, which holsters a turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter I4 from the starter model. The tale of the tape here climbs to 188 horses and 177 lb.-ft. of twist, raising the car’s terminal velocity to 128 mph and lowering its 0-60 time to 6.9 seconds. Needless to say, there are also additions to the standard equipment, including sports seats, dual chrome exhaust, and a black mesh grille. The Cooper S treatment requires an MSRP of $27,500.
The top of the range is currently inhabited by the 2014 MINI Paceman Cooper S ALL4, opening at $29,200 and welcoming the brand’s permanent all-wheel-drive technology. The system distributes torque between the front and rear axles by relying on input from the vehicle’s standard Dynamic Stability Control feature to "not only optimize traction and driving stability, but also increase agility through dynamically taken corners.”
Oh, and speaking of torque, drivers will enjoy the same 177 lb.-ft. worth (and 188 hp) as in the Paceman Cooper S, courtesy of the same turbocharged 1.6-liter I4 engine.
(MINI maniacs wondering about a full-on John Cooper Works variant of the Paceman should know that said model is available, but only in Europe—at least for now.)