By on July 31, 2012

Evo magazine has got their hands on the latest variant from MINI – the three-door Paceman. Yes, it’s a Countryman SUV with three doors.

Why does this exist? The short answer; because there’s a three-door Range Rover Evoque. The long answer is of course, economies of scale, volume and all that fun stuff.

The thing is, there is a precedent for a three-door Evoque. Before the double-R became transportation of choice for the Hollywood C-List reality TV star set, there was a three-door Range available on the other side of the Atlantic. Of course, Mini has a long history of three door cars, and the Countryman did exist once upon a time in the pre-BMW era. But the Paceman is just a shameless ploy at adding more volume and yet another variant to the MINI range. The sloping roof is pretty much stolen directly from the Evoque, too. Can you say, derivative?

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31 Comments on “MINI’s Latest Foray Into Pointless Variations...”

  • avatar

    You can tell the management-led ‘innovations’ verses the engineering driven ones, can’t you? Product innovation comes from the designers and technical people. Once you have something in place, it’s easy to rearrange the deck chairs to create the semblance of innovation.

  • avatar

    I’m not interested until they make an RV mini once they go through every other idea.

  • avatar

    i don’t see the big deal. people will definitely buy the coupe version, why not sell it when you already have 95% of the car developed?

    also, as much hate as the countryman gets, it’s still a small car. it’s about the same weight as a ford focus. sure, the interior is…. weird… but it isn’t the abomination ‘mini fanatics’ will lead you to believe it is.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, I agree. I drove a 2D Neon for 9 years. Very easy to drop stuff in the back. Certainly not a car for anyone (I think the take rate was somethiing like 6%), but a good thing Chrysler made one. They killed it when the PL2K platform replaced the 1G Neon.

      P.S. I don’t know if it is still the case, due to modern rollover safery regulations, but 2D conferred a weight advantage. My EX Neon was lighter than ACR Neon, and way lighter than R/T (hello Mr. Baruth).

  • avatar

    Wow, look at the terrified expression on its face.

  • avatar

    I want a four-wheel-drive Mini pickup John Cooper Works edition to replace my Ranger FX4.

  • avatar

    It’s still better-looking than the Cooper two-door coupe.

  • avatar

    It really doesn’t look as silly as the Evoque. There might be room for back seat passengers with heads. How long before someone paints one all yellow and call it the Packman?

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    This reminds me alot of what to do with all of the left over turkey at Thanksgiving. 4 days later after eating turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazzini, turkey soup, turkey salad and let’s not forget the turkey tacos and you’re ready to puke….

  • avatar


    Demand raised the crossover segment to the same levels and rights as normal cars. There will be three door crossovers, coupes, high performance versions, low fuel consumption versions, even cabriolets. Just like with normal cars.

    People want this (easy entry, safety, soft-roading ability) and, most importantly, PAY for it.

    Initial backlash against theese vehicles (like here) is normal and occurs almost everytime when something new and wanted but not compatible with “enthusiasts view” is introduced.

    • 0 avatar


      I’m going to disagree with you on this Paceman being “wanted.” Those who bought Countrymans (Countrymen?) did so BECAUSE it was a bigger, more practical, 4-door MINI. This takes away practicality from the Countryman in the same way the Coupe takes it away from the Cooper. The Coupe isn’t exactly flying off the lots. Who WANTS this?

      • 0 avatar

        > This takes away practicality from the Countryman

        So does every three door hatchback from its five door sibling. No one complains.

        Crossovers will be the subject of the same body variations as cars.

        The only true criticism could be that they should have done it even flashier. That’s the current trend among three door versions of compact cars (examples: VW Scirocco, Opel Astra GTC).

      • 0 avatar

        Bronco II
        Explorer Sport
        Scout II
        Range Rover
        S10 Blazer
        Trooper II

        All started as 2 door models. All either evolved into 4 door models exclusively or ceased to exist.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        For me, if a cars styling is exactly the same between the 2 and 4 door models then I say 4 door. The 2 door appeal is supposed to trade practicality for style. Maybe I’m just old. So by that virtue the Paceman is all fail.

        On another point when this car was first revealed I also thought “nice, a Mini with more space” then threw up in my mouth when I realized they were positioning it as a CUV.

      • 0 avatar

        Why would you care how it’s “positioned”? Either it serves your needs, or it doesn’t. The label is irrelevant.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        My point is that in the media it is being presented as a CUV and I’ve seen a comparison in motortrend/C&D (can’t remember which) pitting it against bonafide CUVs. I agree that labels don’t matter but when outlets keep insisting that an apple is an orange some people actually listen. When I look at the Countryman/Paceman I see a 4WD car no more deserving of the label CUV than an Impreza.

        Oh to directly answer your question it just irks me is all :)

  • avatar
    el scotto

    This thing is like a fat woman who thinks she’s hot. It’s not.

  • avatar

    I like Minis. A lot. Even the coupe, sort of. But this? What’s next, the Countryman Cabriolet, because the Murano Convertible can’t have the awkward topless CUV market all to itself?

  • avatar

    The original RR was three doors ONLY, the five door versions where originally custom coachbuilds from the likes of Jankel.

  • avatar

    I prefer the other double-R

  • avatar

    I know it sounds strange, but do we really want/need a tighter Countryman?

  • avatar

    MINI could get this thing out to market, and SAAB didn’t get a chance to produce the 9-2 that they were THIS close to doing. It was going to use BMW/MINI engines too! Life isn’t fair sometimes.

  • avatar

    I don’t quite understand the justification for this model or the coupe from Mini. What I really don’t get, however, is how BMW can justify making and importing so many small-volume variants of the Mini but other companies can’t justify offering Americans versions of cars they sell overseas like small wagons, Diesels, or even manual transmissions? I understand that volumes might be low, but they don’t even try. I would have to imagine that the sales volume of something like a Chevy Cruze wagon would dwarf something like this 3-door Mini SUV…. And they already have it all engineered and built for other markets.

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