Sometimes you look at a car and you don’t quite know what it is. Is it a hatch or an SUV? Maybe even a CUV. I’ve lost it with most of these micro niche cars and have rather simply just come to see them as being individually unique in their own rights. The Paceman really is one of these little unique things. With very little comparing to it, one will definitely stand out with one in the driveway or, at the very least, coming down the street.
The Paceman rolls on 19” wheels, wrapped in an ultra-thin slice of rubber, which is prefect for the long, flowing corners of a smooth windy road. On the downside, however, this works a little bit against it when driving on something a little bit more bumpy and more, uhm, ‘country like’. The engine, which is borrowed from the BMW 116 stable, makes a rather good 135kw and some decent torque, especially on over boost. Strangely though, over boost just does not feel as strong in the upper gears, nor is it as much fun as it feel in 1st and 2nd. The handling is pretty much superb for a front wheel drive vehicle, with very little body roll on hard turn-ins and a ton of feedback through the steering wheel. The negative with this is that it might be a little too stiff for the family man.
The Paceman’s interior is a nice place to be; with a chocolaty rich brown which actually suited and matched our outside colour too. The audio setup is also a Harmon Kardon unit which provides a great sound for an entry level setup and features USB and also Bluetooth calling.
The Paceman is a four seater only, with a centre console running from the front to the back through the car. While it looks fantastic, it limits the rear space, especially if the rear passenger had really long legs and needed to cross over from the one side to the other.
The Paceman had good fuel economy figures, returning about 7.5l/100km on our average journey, with the figures jumping closer to about 10 the more enthusiastic my foot got. The Paceman is a vehicle for those who love the mini brand, but have also outgrown the clubman. The bulkier looking Paceman is new, more mucho looking version and fits in perfectly under the bigger countryman.
Priced at R382 200, it’s expensive but true die hard Mini fans will love its mucho looks. It’s a good alternative to the average Joe who would rather drive a Golf or a Focus.
For more info, check out Mini.co.za/