Driving impression: Mini Cooper S Paceman

By admin
29 October 2013

Having won the Dakar time trial in both 2012 and 2013, Mini’s brand has grown significantly in stature.

Model: Mini Cooper S Paceman It’s no longer the cute toy of rich housewives and flashy youngsters. Although we’ve long known Mini can handle itself in a bend, the Dakar achievements do give the brand’s credibility an extra push.

Design-wise the Paceman is terrific. It reminds one of the Range Rover Evoque. Big wheels, big doors and strong body lines make for a good whole, and the car looks commanding and stylish.

Mini also offers lots of colour and upholstery options so buyers can indulge their taste. The large speedometer in the centre of the instrument panel has been changed somewhat and now serves as travel computer and media centre. Here you can clearly see the car’s BMW roots, the control system looking similar to the one used in BMWs. It’s just a pity the knob used to activate the system is on the small side. It’s not comfortable to use.

The SUV doesn’t only look great, it’s also a good ride. The Paceman’s 135 kW engine is lots of fun. Even with luggage, a two-year-old and two adults inside the Paceman gave no difficulty on hills, making it hard to believe there’s no more than a 1600 engine under the bonnet. Conclusion: If you’d love to have a Range Rover Evoque but, like me, can’t afford it, this Mini is the car for you.

  • PRICE R366 000
  • ENGINE 1,6-l, four-cylinder petrol; 135 kW, 240 Nm
  • PERFORMANCE 0-100 km/h in 7,5 sec, top speed 217 km/h; 6,6 l/100 km
  • COMPETITORS Nissan Juke 1.6 Acenta+, BMW X1 sDrive 18i Standard, Range Rover Evoque
  • WE LIKE Its sportiness and power. Lots of space for a coupé.
  • THIS NIGGLES The doors are very big.

- Anton Vermeulen

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