2013 MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL-4 Test Drive

2013 MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL-4
All-Wheel Drive model adds stability


MINI has bolstered its already diverse lineup of vehicle offerings by adding four variants of the their new 2013 MINI Paceman: a base model Cooper Paceman, the Cooper S Paceman, followed by the 2013 MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL-4 (only available as a Cooper S), and the John Cooper Works GP version available in limited numbers.

All Paceman models are based on the MINI Countryman platform, displaying the MINI?s familiar face, but it’s quite different from the “A” pillar on back, with the body executed in a two door configuration for a sportier image, with a rearward sloping roof that actually creates a coupe-like effect and resembles the form of Range Rover’s Evoque. The Paceman is also the only model that showcases the actual model name on the vehicle, with Paceman appearing prominently on the rear gate.


The Paceman brings the MINI stable to a total of seven model variants: a MINI Hardtop, MINI Coupe, MINI Convertible, MINI Roadster, MINI Clubman, MINI Countryman and now the MINI Paceman. All models are instantly recognizable as MINIs. In essence, the Paceman adds a sporty flair to a functional design with its sloped aerodynamic roof, wider rear quarter and sport suspension componentry as standard fare. The 2013 Cooper S ALL4 model adds 4WD to the equation.


All versions of the Paceman draw their motive force from a 1.6-liter DOHC, 16-valve inline 4-cylinder with Valvetronic fuel injection. Cooper models are naturally aspirated and produce 121 horsepower at 5,500 rpm along with 114 pound feet of torque at 4,250 rpm. Cooper S models receive an intercooled, turbocharger along with Direct Injection, while delivering 181 horses at 5,500 rpm and 177 pound feet of torque in a range from 1,6700 to 5,000 rpm. The John Cooper Works limited edition GP comes with considerable “tweaking” and cranks out an impressive 211 horsepower at 6,000 rpm while also generating 207 pound feet of torque from 2,000 to 5,100 rpm. Only 2,000 JCW GP models will be offered worldwide, of which 500 sequentially numbered vehicles will find their way to the US.

I?ll deal here with the 2013 MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL-4, which I first drove during the Press launch in Puerto Rico. I later was able to spend more time in an ALL4 on home turf. My home test vehicle came with a Starlight Blue metallic exterior and Black interior. The base sticker read $28,500 which rose to a substantial $39,800 after adding for the special paint, leather interior, Cold Weather Package, MINI Connected with Nav Pack, Premium Package 2, Steptronic auto transmission, 19-inch alloy wheels, Comfort Access keyless entry, Xenon headlamps, satellite radio with 1 year subscription, Harman/kardon premium sound system, white turn signal lights and Destination charge.

SUMMARY: For those who shun the concept of a four door vehicle and think of them as being less cool than two-door rides, the Paceman’s two door form will fill the bill for MINI fans. It’s totally functional with an interior as accommodating as the Countryman. Okay, getting into the second row seats is not as easy and convenient as with four doors, but it delivers a Coupe persona, unlike the MINI Countryman.

The Paceman loses none of the “go-cart”-like driving fun and pleasure served up by other MINI models. Acceleration is exhilarating, handling characteristics are spot on, with excellent response from steering input. The ride quality is MINI firm – not a bad thing for devout driving enthusiasts, but perhaps a little on the harsh side for “pansies”. Obviously, the Cooper S versions deliver a higher degree of performance and thus more enjoyment for enthusiasts, who will likely not be bothered by the ride?s firmness.


MINIs are not normal according to some, but they all display a certain “Design with Bite”. Not enough models from which to choose for your taste? Another is on the way in the form of a Club Van, which will be geared to commercial use. The 2013 Cooper S Paceman ALL-4 was totally enjoyable to flit around Puerto Rico and on home turf as well.
Despite its All-Wheel drive configuration, the 2013 MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL-4 delivers a surprisingly short turning radius, unlike many other 4-wheel drive vehicles. A couple of minor negative issues were noted: there are no rain gutters, only an inward roof crease, so water can easily find its way onto the seats; the other nit to pick was that I was unable to get the front seat headrests to go all the way down, or to remove them, making folding the rear seats flat without compromising front seat occupant space. Small issues indeed, considering the level of driving fun that the diminutive ride delivers.


The 2013 MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL-4 is without a doubt on the pricey side, especially when loaded as my test vehicle happened to be, but it delivers added stability where traction is a concern, such as in heavy rain or snow and it definitely showcases a sporty persona, with its two-door, coupe-like appearance. Is the Paceman a necessary addition to MINI?s stable? Maybe, maybe not, but bottom-line, MINIs in any shape or form tend to be FUN.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL-4

Base Price: $28,500.
Price as Tested: $39,800.
Engine Type and Size: 1.6-liter DOHC, 16-valve turbocharged, intercooled, inline 4-cylinder with Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 181 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 177 @ 1,600-5,000 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed Aisin automatic with paddle shifters.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / AWD.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut.
Rear – Multilink.
Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel discs (vented front), ABS, CBC, EBD, DSC, TPMS, DTC with EDLC.
Tires: Pirelli P-Zero 205/55 R17 91V mounted on 5-“Y”-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 102.2 inches
Length Overall: 162.2 inches
Width: 70.3 inches
Height: 59.9 inches
Curb Weight: 3,260 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 12.4 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 23-mpg city / 30-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: 7.6 seconds – Top Speed 128 mph


More from Our Auto Expert