Few vehicles manage to make people smile in today’s hyper-crowded city traffic and the MINI Paceman is one of them. The styling changes brought to differentiate the car from the Paceman make it look sleek and this is easy to notice.
Fortunately, you don’t have to pay for the new lines in visibility currency, so nothing keeps this MINI from fulfilling its city car destiny. Parking is thus dealt with quickly, but we can’t help think that some front parking sensors would’ve been a nice companion for the rear ones.
In the Cooper S guise, the car is playful and it’s basically asking you to sprint it from time to time. In the Sport mode, the force fed 1.6-liter occasionally pops its exhaust when you lift off the throttle. This is an old trick in MINI’s book, but it’s a sweet incentive nonetheless.
Within the city’s borders, the Paceman Cooper S feels properly quick. Here the extra weight compared to a MINI hatchback seems to disappear and you feel like you can ride the acceleration wave whenever you like. And it’s not that “in your head feeling”, this thing can eat up the portion of tarmac between two traffic lights pretty fast.
Alas, it’s a bit difficult to recommend a gearbox choice. The six-speed manual increases the fun of the aforementioned play, but we all know that traffic nowadays requires you to operate the clutch more often than you breathe. An automatic with just as many ratios is available and while this does a decent job, you can feel that it affects both the performance and the fuel efficiency.
We’re at the pump now, everybody’s got a bit of a sad face on in the cars round us, be we’re not upset. We were prepared for a tough figure like the 16.8 mpg (14 l/100 km) shown on the dash. The aggressive setup of the powerplant and the not so fresh automatic battle for a portion of the fuel tank.
Nevertheless, we exit quickly - we told you that people like the MINI Paceman, so you won’t have to wait too long for somebody to let you integrate into the traffic matrix.
Ouch! That pothole really didn’t seem too big, but, especially on the 19-inch rims, there’s a strong shock sent throughout the cabin when you meet a larger road caprice. Apart from that, the suspension does a decent job at filtering out the minor imperfections in the tarmac.
It’s already evening and so we’re driving around with no aim at all. There’s something entirely pleasing about hearing the buzz of the MINI Paceman Cooper S exhaust as the boulevards fly by.Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
The Paceman is definitely cool, in fact it's über cool. As you know, I'm cool too, because on many occasions I give you unique insights into buying cars. Well, today I am going to offer BMW some nice tips for the MINI brand. And since they were so nice to let me drive the Paceman, I'll do it all for free!
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