2013 MINI Paceman

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2013 MINI Paceman: Flash drive review

By Staff of MSN Autos

The MINI Paceman is a lot of fun to drive. On the other hand it is a little absurd, and best described as the 2-door version of the 4-door MINI, which is silly. There are too many MINIs with not enough justification for all of them. This one gets 25 mpg, has available all-wheel drive, and like the Countryman it is big enough on the inside for four people to sit comfortably without squeezing or having to push their knees against the seat in front. I like MINIs, and my wife owns one, so I have some long-term experience with them. The Paceman is more comfortable to drive and ride in than my wife's Cooper S, and it also has a smoother and more predictable drivetrain. The whole package flatters the driver. It is easy to drive quickly and smoothly, and small enough to thread down narrow roads in spite of the bigger interior and trunk space. If the Countryman didn't exist then the Paceman would be a great addition to the MINI lineup. –Paul Hagger

The idea behind the Paceman seems a bit silly to me: MINI built the Countryman to add a 4-door model to its portfolio, and now has made a 2-door version of the new 4-door Countryman to create the Paceman. Styling is a bit odd with the bold grille and rear-sloping roof, but I quickly warmed to the new look. I expected the Paceman to feel heavy but I'm pleased to say that is it still drives like a MINI, meaning it is very agile with great handling; it makes you want to go find twisty roads to play on. Grip is further improved with the full-time all-wheel drive. I had the occasion to take the Paceman off road, and while it was very capable in mud and gravel, that suspension that makes it so fun on the pavement provided a horrible ride when the going got rough. As for everyday use, the Paceman does well with a decent rear seat, surprisingly large cargo space and large doors that make rear-seat access better than most coupes. With fuel economy in the mid-20s when driven aggressively, the Paceman could easily take the place of a small crossover and provide great fun on the daily commute. Assuming you can get used that unique styling. –Perry Stern

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BB04 - 9/23/2014 9:36:34 AM