The Paceman’s engine range was a familiar mix of 1.6-litre four-pot petrols (atmo in the Cooper model, turbocharged in the Cooper S and John Cooper Works) and 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre four-pot turbo diesels (in the Cooper D and Cooper SD).
As diesel is now considered the spawn of the devil (in any case, Pacemans up to and including 2015 are Euro 5 and therefore fall foul of the London ULEZ), we would have to recommend one of the petrols.
The Paceman is a heavy car, so our vote goes to the 181bhp Cooper S. Save the all-out JCW experience for the hatchback.
We’ve dissed the diesels, but on second thoughts, with 141bhp and 225lb ft, the post-2015 Cooper SD offers a good balance of power and economy plus London ULEZ access.
A six-speed manual gearbox and an optional automatic were offered with most engines, while all were optionally available with All4 four-wheel drive. This made for a very grippy car on all surfaces but added weight, complexity and the potential for higher repair costs.
Trim levels were pretty much tied to engines. Choose Cooper S or SD and you get a Sport driving mode and sports seats in addition to the regular car’s DAB radio, rear parking sensors and LED foglights. So go on, be controversial…
Mini Paceman (2013-2017) common problems
Engine and gearbox:
Look for multiple oil leaks and listen for a rattly timing chain from cold. Failures have been blamed on routinely low oil levels and chain stretch. On petrols, the variable valve timing system thrives on regular oil changes. Any shunting from a start could point to loose or broken engine mounts. On low-mileage diesels, poor low-speed running may be due to a coked-up EGR valve.
Check for clutch slip and, in an All4 car, the biting point. A new centre clutch and dual-mass flywheel cost at least £3000 fitted. Also on an All4, be sure wear is even across all four tyres, since differences can stress the transfer box. In an automatic, scroll through the gears using the paddles, checking for quick and shunt-free shifts.