For 2013 MINI has introduced the Paceman. The Paceman is a two door coupe built on the same platform as the Countryman. Like all MINIs the Paceman is a joy to drive, but like MINI’s Clubman, I just don’t see the point of it. Why pay more for the 2-door Paceman when for $1200 less you can get the 4-door Countryman? Or, if you really want a coupe, why not save several thousand and buy the original Cooper?
So let’s take a look at the Paceman and see what it is all about. If you happen to see a Paceman right next to a Countryman the first thing you’ll notice is they are practically identical. They are virtually the same height, very close to the same length and have similar interior layouts dominated by the enormous center-mounted speedometer.
The Paceman is definitely a case where you can judge a book by its cover. Once you get past the superficial exterior and interior similarities you’ll discover they really aren’t superficial, the Paceman and the Countryman are virtually identical vehicles. They offer the same fuel economy, yet the Paceman has a top-speed that is one mile-per-hour faster than the Countryman. They share the same engine, drivetrain and have the same wheelbase, however the Paceman’s turbo-charger puts out an extra four foot-pounds at 4250 RPM which, I assume, is responsible for the Paceman’s top speed of 117 miles-per-hour (the Countryman’s top speed is116), of course the inch and a half difference in height might also be responsible.
One of the few major differences between the Paceman and the Countryman is cargo capacity. Considering the two vehicles are virtually the same size, the difference in cargo capacity is surprising. With the rear seats in the upright position the Paceman has only 13.9 cubic feet versus 16.5 for the Countryman. The difference is even greater with the rear seats folded down. The Countryman offers 42.2 cubic feet as opposed to 38.1 for the Paceman.
I think for most Boomers the Countryman makes more sense than the Paceman. The Countryman has a more accessible back seat and more cargo space and its $1,200 less expensive. If you like the Countryman you might also want to consider the Nissan Rogue and the Volkswagen Tiquan. The Tiquanis a larger vehicle but still has some of the pep and sporty handling that makes the MINIs so much fun while the Rogue is reliable and inexpensive — it can usually be had for several thousand less than the others, especially if you want All Wheel Drive.
Quick Reference Table — MINI 2013 Paceman and 2013 Countryman
|2013 Paceman||2013 Countryman|
|Transmission||Getrag 6-speed manual||Getrag 6-speed manual|
|Cargo capacity (cu.ft.)||13.9 / 38.1||16.5 / 42.2|
|Basic warranty (months)||36||36|