Doing a lot with a little, Mini introduces the 2013 Paceman as a sport activity coupe version of its popular Countryman crossover. That means part of its interior is new--the back part--and its entire rear end is new, shedding two doors and changing out its tail lights for a more stylized look. It's a departure from what we've come to expect from Mini, based on the concept car that debuted with the same name at the 2011 Detroit auto show.
Yet with the same 121-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder base engine, 181-horsepower turbocharged version in the Paceman S, six-speed automatic and manual transmission options, and available all-wheel drive, it's not that different at all.
Who It's For
You know those adventurous types, the rugged, outdoorsy folk who have perpetual 5 o'clock shadows and usually prepare dinner from the day's hunt? Yeah, this isn't their car. The 2013 Mini Paceman is an urban, on-road-centric crossover geared towards people who might want a Mini but feel they have to have all-wheel drive. Or it's just a fashion statement, as its compact body and compromised design don't really lend themselves to carrying a family too well. While the term "yuppie" is largely dead, the demographic isn't. That's the person who will be buying the Mini Paceman.
The Mini Paceman takes all of the brand's most innovative features and shoves them into a cozy four-person coupe. Some highlights include:
- Four bucket seats, all of which are designed to have the bolstering and support of the front seats.
- The central rail storage system that debuted on the four-person version of the Countryman.
- A "helmet"-style roofline borrowed from the Mini Cooper Coupe. Yeah, Mini's going all out for sport compact appeal, even if we're talking about a crossover here.
What We Think
Land Rover really re-opened the "sport ute coupe" segment with the incredibly popular Range Rover Evoque, which like the Mini Paceman, isn't all that big or practical. But darn it if it isn't pretty. Mini wants to bring some of that magic back to its brand, and we think it can. Unlike the Range Rover, people who aren't Beverly Hills housewives will be able to afford the Mini. But like it, it'll provide much of the same effect: stylish, sporty transportation for people whose primary objective is to make a statement rather than mope around in four-wheeled "me-toos." It'll sell, but how many and exactly to whom remains to be seen.
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