The 2013 MINI Paceman is an XXL gamble

If you like small things enlarged, but you like to feel like you’re driving something smallish and if you need all-wheel drive (AWD) then the 2013 MINI Paceman might be your ride. Based on the same platform as the MINI Countryman, this three door hatchback is larger than its sibling, the regular MINI Cooper in every dimension. Despite the larger looking footprint of the MINI Countryman, the 2013 MINI Paceman has a similar footprint and is nearly the same size as the Countryman four-door.

Once again, It looks like Europe will get first dibs on the 2013 MINI Paceman when it debuts on March 16th 2013.

The rest of the world, including the Unites States, gets it a bit later. Colorado, where The Fast Lane Car is based, will get one later still. That’s a shame when you think about the best places to put the 2013 MINI Paceman through its paces. The Rocky Mountains seems like a much more logical location for media evaluations of the AWD turbocharged MINI Paceman S then Los Angeles, CA!

Here are three things you need to know about the 2013 MINI Paceman:

This is the ONLY full interior shot MINI allowed the press to use. We don’t know why. We don’t understand MINI anymore! Are they mad at us!? Are they mad at me?
  1. It’s big: While the rest of the world is downsizing, MINI goes bigger. The base model will measure about 161 inches long while the 2013 MINI Paceman S and D (for diesel) are a hair longer. I don’t think we’ll get the diesel – bummer. Cargo-space is impressive as the 2013 MINI Paceman will have about 38 cubic feet of cargo space with all of the seats down. I must admit, despite only having room for two in the back – those seats look mighty inviting. The novel center sliding rack (it’s made to hold replaceable interior items such as cellphone mounts and drink holders) is optional.  
  2. It’s basically a two door Countryman with most of the same goodies:According to MINI “For petrol buyers, the MINI Cooper Paceman features a 1.6-litre 122bhp unit offering a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds, fuel economy of 47.1mpg with CO2 emissions of 140 g/km. The MINI Cooper S Paceman uses the same engine, tuned to deliver 184bhp. It will sprint to 62mph in 7.5 seconds. Fuel economy is 46.3mpg and emissions are 143g/km.For those who prefer diesel, the MINI Cooper D Paceman uses a 1.6-litre 112bhp turbocharged engine with a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds. It will provide owners with a frugal 64.2mpg fuel economy and 115g/km emissions. The flagship diesel is the MINI Cooper SD Paceman, which gets a 2.0-litre 143bhp engine. Its 0-62mph time is 9.2 seconds. Fuel economy is 61.4mpg with an emissions figure of 122g/km.For buyers who want the reassuring grip that comes with four-wheel drive, MINI’s ALL4 system is available on the Cooper D, SD and Cooper S Paceman, models. And for those seeking the ultimate in MINI performance and desirability, a John Cooper Works Paceman version is in development.”Add to that the fact that the 2013 MINI Paceman will be Americanized and these numbers and measurements will change significantly.

    We hear that the engineers of the 2013 MINI Paceman wanted a three-door hatch that can hold a full-sized bicycle inside. No, that’s not true at all. I just made up something that would go with this goon loading an overpriced bike in the over-sized MINI.
  3. It’s going to stir controversy: Here’s the main issue – it’s just about as big as the three door hatchback made by Volkswagen. You know the one – the Golf and GTI. It’s also competitive with a car that’s faster, cheaper and has AWD standard, the Subaru WRX. MINI purists will not be amused by this new-new-newish MINI stepping on their turf. Oh, and… hold your breath for this tidbit… MINI has moved the toggle switches from below the speedometer to (gasp)  the doors like a conventional car! Oh the outrage!

    Despite some of the excessive style – it does have a cute booty.

Full confession here, I – love – MINIs. I like the way they drive, the way they look and the way they make me feel. When the MINI Clubman came along, I liked it because it was 98% a MINI and I could squeeze my rugrats inside. Things changed a bit when the Countryman came along. It’s still a fast, fun machine – but some of that MINI-ness has abated. Now, after the odd-ball coupe and roadster, this may be a step in the right direction or… off a plank.

The Fast Lane Car will post a full review the moment we can. In the meantime, check out this fun video of the MINI Countryman (kind-of) off road!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism – Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.