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.