Our cars: Mini Paceman Cooper S - August

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Mini Paceman
Mini Paceman

Mini Paceman Cooper S

Week ending August 30
Mileage 6503
Driven this week 261 miles

Mini Paceman review

On my commute out of London to What Car? HQ, I was driving along the A4 when I spotted a billboard displaying: 'Whassup! Looking good!' I considered this a bit strange but didn't give it much more thought until I passed the next ad which displayed: 'Hey there, Paceman!'

I mentioned this to my colleagues when I got to work and was starting to think that I was being particularly self-centred believing that adverts would be directed especially at me.

A search of the internet showed me that I wasn't actually being completely egotistical. As part of Mini's current advertising campaign, billboards have been set up in town that send messages to Mini drivers.

A great idea that put a smile on my face and made the journey into work that bit more enjoyable.

By Matthew Burrow

Week ending August 23
Mileage 6242
Driven this week 36

I was really excited to borrow Emma's Mini Paceman for the weekend because the last Mini I'd driven was the five-door Mini Countryman What Car? ran last year. The Countryman was big, but stylish inside and reasonably practical.

In the Paceman, I stuck the kids in the back expecting them to find it a squeeze, given that they're a whole year older than they were in the Countryman.

The boys had individual 'racing-car' style seats in the back, with a handy drinks holder in between. They had no trouble moving the front seat forward to get into the back either, much to my surprise. Once I was in the passenger seat, there was still plenty of room for their ever-growing legs (and no kicking me in the back!).

On the move, I started to feel the disappointment creep in. The Mini lumbered and growled its way along the suburban roads, moaning and groaning at every turn. I felt that it longed for a nice motorway to show me what it could do, and so grumbled when it didn't get its way.

After speaking to a few colleagues, they agreed. Town driving is not what the Paceman likes. It needs the open road to really excel, which is a shame because it looks like it belongs in the city.

By Michele Hall

Week ending August 9
Mileage 6211
Driven this week 509 miles

Our Mini Paceman is proving to be not quite as thirsty as it looks. Although in its first month on our fleet it averaged a not altogether reasonable 29.3mpg, more than 2000 miles later, things are looking up. 

This last month it's averaged a pretty respectable 40.2mpg, which considering during the week it's mostly consigned to pottering around town, is not at all bad – even considering that it's fitted with stop-start.

That's still a fair way off the official average of 46.3mpg, but with almost 4000 miles to go before the magic 10,000 mile settling in period, I’m hopeful there's room for even more improvement.

By Emma Butcher

Week ending August 2
Mileage 5702
Driven this week 297 miles

I’m a big fan of Mini looks, but have never driven one before, I was keen to borrow What Car?’s long-term Paceman to see whether it could cope with family life.

I was completely bowled over by this fun-packed little car. Even with the boot loaded to the brim, it certainly wasn't sluggish, and I could tell straight away it had powerful and reactive acceleration.

On the motorway, the Mini holds its own — it’s very quiet and powerful, and six gears makes it a joy to drive on long stretches. Above all, it felt very safe.

The Mini was used for all sorts of occasions in just one weekend. Apart from assisting in some removals, I drove it to Henley Royal Regatta with just my son and I onboard. From the motorway to twisting country lanes, it was a complete joy to drive, it holds the roads beautifully.

For a family of four, the Mini is just perfect, and there’s plenty of space for two young adults in the rear. Even on a long journey the kids found it easy to nod off. The drinks holders came in very useful for everyone especially on the hot summers days, and the fans with the air conditioner are remarkably efficient.

Our overall verdict was the Mini Paceman would be our next car of choice whether we're still living in the city or eventually move to the countryside – and it would have to be in red!

By Bob Silver, digital creative director

Our cars: Mini Paceman Cooper S - July


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