I finally got the chance to check out the new MINI Paceman last weekend at my local dealer. It was Penny brown (as pictured above) surround by clever marketing collateral.

And I didn’t like it.

Sure, I sat in it. It was like the Countryman. I didn’t sit in the backseat because, well, I just couldn’t be bothered. It was nice enough on the inside I suppose.

My issue comes when looking at this MINI from the outside. To better illustrate when I’m about to be on about, let’s check out another photo.


I wish I would have snapped a pic of the car at the dealer because I now know why this car is always photographed at this angle with a busy background. There is something about this MINI that just looks weird.

Look at the bonnet and front bumper in the photo. Is it just me, or does it look really, really long? Longer than the Countryman to be sure. Out of place long. Awkwardly long. Maybe it’s the extreme slope of the rear roof line?

And that roof line. It’s a pretty extreme slope in person. So extreme I had people tell me they thought the rear of the car looked like a Pontiac Aztec. I don’t think it looks that bad, but it also looks weird.

To me, the overall proportions of this MINI aren’t pleasing to the eye. I’m sure that the front half of this MINI has the same overall exterior specifications as the Countryman. I just wish I could see it that way. I mean the front of this is like a ’79 Ford Grenada.

This is definitely a MINI that looks better in photos. At least it does to me.

I haven’t had a chance to drive this MINI yet and seriously doubt I ever will which is too bad since I’ve heard good things about the driving dynamic. I just don’t like the way it looks. Am I the only one that is seeing the bonnet this way? Let us know in the comments!

I also got the chance to finally see the new GP. Sat it in and everything. We’ll add this to the list of cars I will probably not get the chance to ever drive (I’ve never driven the previous gen GP either), but the interior is really nice. The seats are amazing and wish I could have them in my MINI now. The leather dash is also a nice touch, along with all of the other GP changes to the interior. The graphics are ridiculous and the roof numbers are just lame. I’m also not a big fan of the wheels, but I really like this MINI otherwise.

Comments are open. What say you?

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  1. db you may be right. I have not seen the Paceman yet, so I’ll reserve judgement. I doubt i’ll like it since i dont love the Countryman.

    I love everything about the R56 GP. We don’t get roof numbers in our market, but thats cool. Having owned an R53 GP I would give anything to own the new one. No test drives – every single car in our market was sold unseen.

    1. Thanks Tim! I’m sure I’m the odd one out about the Paceman. Too bad about the GP. Everything I hear and read say that car is brilliant.

  2. The Bull Dog Inn was in Puerto Rico for the Paceman/GP launch. It was a Sheraton in Ponce that MINI had taken over for a few weeks. Nice place. On the main day of the press event, they parked a Clubvan out front in that same spot that was branded with their faux hotel graphics as well.

    Interesting that you didn’t like the Paceman in person. I find it looks much better in person but goofy in photographs. I also think it looks better at every angle BUT straight profile.

    And as I’ve said before, yes the GP is amazing.

    1. Thanks Nathaniel!

      All of the angles look goofy to me, making the nose look much longer than it is. But I’m weird.

  3. First impressions are important, but only tell part of the story. I’ve had the opportunity to see and drive both cars.

    It is safe to say that the GP and Paceman are not for everyone. And color choice makes a big difference (on the Paceman). That said, I’d be happy to have either of them, and plan to have one of them in the garage when the timing is right.

    1. Thanks for stopping by John!

      I’m not sure a different color would make the nose look any shorter to me. I’m going to wait for more to arrive at the dealer to find out.

  4. I saw the GP at MINI of San Diego when my MCS was having the seat repair done, I was very impressed with it, great looking car. Though $40k for a MINI seems a bit of a laugh when you think what else you could get.

    Haven’t seen a Paceman in the wild yet but the pictures I’ve seen have me react the same way as the Countryman.

  5. Hey DB
    I am with you on the Paceman – the proportions are weird, it looks more pronounced in the same colour; there is an all black Paceman that I regularly see.

    What if MINI had made the Evoque rather than the Paceman? Is MINI playing too conservative in styling the Paceman and Countryman? The Evoque changes the way you think about an SUV in the same way that the R50 changed the way you thought about a small car.

    This is very hypothetical. But play with the Evoque configurator and you can see a number of Mini queues:

    • 4 different roof colours
    • Huge sunroof option
    • Multiple interior combinations for seats, dash and doors…
    • Short overhangs front and rear
    • Black wheels arches
    • Sports wheels that look exactly the same as MINI…

    I think Land Rover studied the MINI model of success and did a better job of applying it to a SUV then MINI did.

    1. Very interesting Stephen! We spent some time talking about that car during this weeks show (available later tonight).

      I’m going to share this with the boys too. And I’m sure we’ll be following up on a future show.

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