Our cars: Mini Paceman Cooper S - February

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  • Fuel economy from the Paceman has been a pleasant surprise

    Fuel economy from the Paceman has been a pleasant surprise

  • Road and wind noise intrude, so Emma finds herself edging the stereo volume towards max levels

    Road and wind noise intrude, so Emma finds herself edging the stereo volume towards max levels

  • The bonnet catch for the Paceman isn't in the most helpful location - it's tucked up inside the passenger footwell

    The bonnet catch for the Paceman isn't in the most helpful location - it's tucked up inside the passenger footwell

  • Paceman's screenwash managed to last nearly 10,000 miles before it needed to be replenished

    Paceman's screenwash managed to last nearly 10,000 miles before it needed to be replenished

  • Paceman had a starring - but brief - TV role this week, helping out on a consumer advice show

    Paceman had a starring - but brief - TV role this week, helping out on a consumer advice show

  • Mini Connected App offers plenty of interaction for technophiles, but it needs a USB connection

    Mini Connected App offers plenty of interaction for technophiles, but it needs a USB connection

  • Mini's firm ride isn't suited to typical British winter roads, says video editor Pete Brown

    Mini's firm ride isn't suited to typical British winter roads, says video editor Pete Brown

  • Paceman's high, bulbous bonnet makes judging distances at the front rather tricky

    Paceman's high, bulbous bonnet makes judging distances at the front rather tricky

  • Our Paceman comes with sports suspension, and at least one colleague would rather have the standard setup

    Our Paceman comes with sports suspension, and at least one colleague would rather have the standard setup

  • Hustler Coupe is hardly a dead ringer for our Paceman, but you can't deny the similarities.

    Hustler Coupe is hardly a dead ringer for our Paceman, but you can't deny the similarities.

  • Paceman is only suitable for two, plus luggage

    Paceman is only suitable for two, plus luggage

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Mini Paceman Cooper S

Week ending February 28
Mileage 9659
Driven this week 15


Read the full Mini Paceman review

Our Mini Paceman is stacked with infotainment gadgetry, from sat-nav to Bluetooth, to wireless music streaming and the fabulous DAB digital radio. We also specced the wonderfully rich Harmon Kardon surround sound system, which can reach eardrum-splitting levels if you’re brave enough to crank it up to the max.

I’ve been getting dangerously close to this level recently. The problem, you see, is that this Mini lets in an awful lot of noise from the road and engine, especially at higher speeds, so over time the tendency is to turn up the volume on the stereo just that little bit more. It would be easier to keep tabs on it if only there was a stereo volume gauge. There isn’t, so you have no idea that decibel levels are getting dangerous until your ears threaten to bleed.

By Emma Butcher
Emma.Butcher@whatcar.com

Week ending February 21
Mileage 9644
Driven this week 100


Read the full Mini Paceman review

After 9570 miles, the Paceman’s first serving of screenwash finally gave up its last dribble, and thankfully the car let me know with a handy dashboard warning message before I got caught short.

Isn’t it always the way though, that cars demand your attention when you’re running late? Still, topping up the reservoir doesn’t exactly demand a mechanical degree.

With the Paceman, however, it turns out that you do need to have the discovery instincts of Christopher Columbus. After an exhaustive search of all the usual places, the bonnet release catch remained elusive.

Too bloody-minded to resort to the manual, after one last ditch fingertip search of all the cabin’s nooks and crannies, I finally found it, lurking in the passenger footwell under the glovebox and camouflaged in black.

By Emma Butcher
Emma.Butcher@whatcar.com

Week ending February 14
Mileage 9544
Driven this week 236


Read the full Mini Paceman review

More fame for the Paceman, when our long-term test car got ‘done by Dom’ this week – not for any misdemeanour, I must add. Nope, our eye-catching coupe was used for a mobile interview when consumer champion Dom Littlewood and his TV crew came to our offices this week to talk car issues, for a forthcoming series of Don’t Get Done Get Dom.

Apart from a few stumbling protestations over the potholes and awkwardly placed sleeping policeman that litter the roads around What Car?'s HQ, the car’s unyielding suspension did level out on smoother surfaces, allowing for a reasonably steady interview in the end.

The heated seats were a hit, though, after we’d braved the bitterly cold wind whipping up from the Thames while filming exterior footage, and I bet our bright red, glossy Mini looks the business in the tracking shots.

By Emma Butcher
Emma.Butcher@whatcar.com

Week ending February 7
Mileage 9308
Driven this week 35


Read the full Mini Paceman review

This week, the Paceman's multimedia system has been stropping like a whiney teenager. Whereas last week my phone would connect via USB (however flakily), but not in any way over Bluetooth, this week it has made a U-turn.

It has refused all attempts to connect with USB, while Bluetooth was seamless. Audio streaming and phone calls were crystal clear, and even the slightly fiddly phonebook menus worked well.

The Mini Connect app, however, requires a working USB connection, so I haven't managed to have a play. Maybe another time.

By Pete Brown
Peter.Brown@whatcar.com

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