Our cars: Mini Paceman Cooper S - November

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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 November 29
Mileage 7707
Driven this week 142

Read the full Mini Paceman review

The Mini Paceman is still a rare and curious sight in and around London, even given its urbanite-driven ad campaign, Street Attitude. It seems capital dwellers haven’t been bitten by the bug, with most of the car’s 2406 buyers to date hailing from Cheshire, Essex and Lancashire. The West Midlands and Kent are also sales hot spots.

And boy, do these buyers like their bling. According to Mini, from May to October 2013, 70% added metallic paint, meaning just 722 people opted for the no cost solid white paint job, while more than half paid extra for full leather and heated front seats. Meanwhile, 58% specced the chrome line interior and 46% the anthracite roof lining.

More than four-in-five also specced the £2400 Chili pack, which in addition to practical kit such as automatic air con, steering wheel controls, on-board computer and rain sensor with auto headlight activation, boasts more aesthetic goodies, including 17" alloys, rainbow interior ‘disco’ light package, fog lights and velour floor mats.

The average Paceman buyer spent upwards of £3700 on the options alone, meaning the coupe set most buyers back at least £25,400 for the most popular Cooper D model. Mind you, that’s a drop in the ocean compared to the one-off special edition Roberto Cavalli designed Paceman, which sold for a gold plate blistering £125,000 at an HIV/ Aids charity auction this summer.

By Emma Butcher
Emma.Butcher@whatcar.com


Week ending November 22

Mileage 7565
Driven this week 11

The Tokyo motor show took me away from driving the Paceman much this week, but it certainly wasn't a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'.

A fun little SUV concept being shown by Suzuki, called the Hustler Coupe, reminded me in no small way of our Mini, with its colour palette, sloping roofline and friendly, eager looking face.

Admittedly I'm applying a certain amount of artistic licence here: the Hustler is more boxy than sporty, but you can't deny it's strikingly similar. It seems the Paceman is something of a trend setter.

By Emma Butcher - Emma.Butcher@whatcar.com


Week ending November 15
Mileage 7554
Driven this week 51

It’s not often I clock other Mini Pacemans out and about, so it was great to see the quirky coupe take a starring role in Channel 4’s latest Friday night comedy, Man Down, starring Greg Davies of The Inbetweeners fame last week.

It can feel a little lonely as a Paceman driver, because, certainly in my neck of the woods, they’re a rare sight, so I’ve often wondered who buys them. Now I know: buff, mystical running gurus called Dominic, with nerves – and massive buns – of steel.

A nice bit of tongue-in-cheek product placement by Mini, and good to see the brand living up to its ‘not normal’ ethos. Although I do rather feel now that I’m letting the side down with my wardrobe sadly devoid of spandex and sweatbands.

By Emma Butcher


Week ending November 8
Mileage 7503
Driven this week 192 miles


I always relish taking the comfortable, well-equipped Mini Paceman on long journeys, especially when there’s a good stretch of motorway to really let the car do what it does best – drive. The quirky coupe may not be the most agile car around town, but on the open road it comes into its own.

An autumn jaunt from London out to the gloriously golden Wiltshire countryside this week, gave me the perfect opportunity to put the car – and its boot – through its paces. The modest 330-litre cargo hold did pretty well accommodating my (albeit slightly excessive) luggage, although if I’d been joined by even one passenger we’d have had to lose the rear seats.

Touring for two is really as much as the Paceman will comfortably allow.

 By Emma Butcher

 

Week ending November 1
Mileage 7311
Driven this week 82 miles

I'm taking the Mini on a jaunt to Wiltshire this weekend, and - with iPhone USB and audio adaptor widget finally procured - have been looking forward to listening to my specially prepared music playlist. Cue the requisite pre-road trip test.

Having plugged everything in, I waited eagerly for the tunes to commence. Still no sound! I checked the phone (version 5, and recently updated with iOS7 software) only to be confronted with the message: 'This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone'.

A quick look at various online forums shows I'm not alone in my frustration - indeed, smartphone-car compatibility and the seemingly relentless march of software updates is a problem shared by other car makers, too. However, it strikes me that if you're the sort of person who invests almost thirty grand in a car like the Mini Paceman, you're probably bang on trend with the latest smartphone technology, and understandably quite keen to to use it in your car. At least there's Bluetooth playback to fall back on.

By Emma Butcher

Our cars: Mini Paceman Cooper S - October

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