“It’s weird, this Paceman.” Mini already has another car sized between its classic two-door hatchback and the four-door Countryman, its 3-year-old compact SUV. But even though this lower, sleeker take on the Countryman has only shaky reasons to exist—and even shakier justifications for its premium pricing—“we like it.” It may sit on the same elongated platform that the Countryman uses, but “it gets back to how a Mini should drive.”
In fact, “if your idea of a compact SUV is a Ford Escape or a Honda CRV, the Mini Paceman will feel like a sports car.” It’s “not nearly as nimble” as the smallest Mini, but “you’re trading off performance for practicality here.” The rear hatch opens onto 38 cubic feet of cargo space when the two rear seats are folded, and when they’re up, there’s “loads of room inside for four.”
Car and Driver
“The engine doesn’t provide many thrills.” From a stop, the 3,200-pound Paceman and its 121-hp base engine won’t hit highway speeds nearly as quickly as the Mini Cooper. But in overall performance, this “niche variation on a niche model within a niche brand” beats the “flimsy, rattle-prone” Countryman handily. “All seven” of the car buyers who were awaiting such a breakthrough will be pleased.