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2015 Mini Cooper Paceman

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/14/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Mini Paceman gains a new radiator grille design, chromed vent knob, and two new exteriors: Jungle Green and Midnight Gray. Piano Black exterior accents for the side scuttles, front headlights, rear taillight surrounds, and roof rails are new for 2015. A new 17-inch wheel design is standard on Cooper and Cooper S variants along with optional five-star triangle spoke 17-inch wheels.

Research

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Mini Paceman is the two-door version of the Countryman crossover and is available in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. It has a seating capacity for four passengers and is two inches shorter than the Countryman due to its sloping roofline.

Overview

The 2015 Mini Paceman offers two 1.6-liter I-4 engines: a naturally aspirated unit with 121 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque in the base Cooper model and a turbocharged version with 187 hp and 177 lb-ft in the Cooper S or 208 hp and 192 lb-ft in the JCW. A six-speed manual or automatic transmission handles shifting duties for all Paceman models. Fuel economy is competitive for the class with the base car achieving 27/34 mpg city/highway with the manual and 25/30 mpg with the automatic. The front-drive Paceman S achieves 26/32 mpg with the manual and 25/32 mpg with the automatic while all-wheel-drive and JCW Pacemans are rated at 25/31 mpg with the manual and 23/30 mpg with the automatic.

While larger than the two-door Hardtop model, the Paceman performs well, offering good acceleration in the S models while handling is a strong point with good reflexes for a crossover. For those looking for the most potent Paceman, the JCW variant offers the most power and agility with a stronger turbo-four and a lower, more aggressive suspension. However, this particular model is also very pricy with a base price of $36,450 including destination, putting it on the same price range as cars that offer more power and better handling such as the BMW 228i, Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R and GTI, and Ford Focus ST.

While there's only seating for two in the rear, space in the back is generous even with the car's sloping roofline. Cargo space, however, is on the small side with 11.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 38.1 cubic feet with them folded. Like all Mini models, customizability is a strong point with a long list of options and accessories available for the car from different wheel designs, side stripes, racing stripes, two-tone interior upholstery, metal and wood accents, roof and side mirrors in contrasting colors, and exterior accents in chrome and piano black. Personalizing the car, however, means it gets costly quickly - a loaded Mini Paceman JCW can reach over $40,000.

What We Think

The 2015 Mini Paceman is for those who want a larger and more practical Mini but want something sportier than the four-door Countryman. In a 2013 First Drive review, we said that the car drives "like a slightly stiffer, sportier Countryman" but lacks the handling reflexes of the smaller Hardtop. While the car's sloping roofline doesn't affect passenger space in the back too much, it cuts into cargo space and makes it with less room in the trunk with less volume than the Countryman.

You'll Like

  • Nimble handling
  • Customizable
  • Strong turbo-four

You Won't Like

  • Gets expensive quickly
  • Only two seats in the back
  • Small cargo capacity

Key Competitors

  • Nissan Juke
  • Kia Soul
  • Fiat 500X
  • Mazda CX-3
  • Audi Q3
  • Honda HR-V

Rating

2 star

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