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Published Date: 28/10/2015

When it comes to car purchasing, nearly everything you look at is a compromise of some kind or another.

MINI Paceman JCW
A stylish car may not be particularly roomy, a spacious car may not have that much performance, a performance car will probably not be especially economical and an economical car may forego the styling.

Luckily there’s now the MINI Paceman John Cooper Works All4 to tick all of the boxes!

First on the list is styling and it’s certainly the case that the Paceman is one of the best designs on the road. Taking inspiration from the MINI hatchback – itself inspired by the earlier Issigonis car – the Paceman won a Good Design award in 2014 and looks just as much at home in a shopping centre car park as it does in the grounds of a stately home. It’s a design that will probably still seem fresh in 2025.

Complementing the regular Paceman looks, the JCW version adds an aerodynamic kit, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system with chrome tailpipes and door sills wearing the John Cooper Works logo. The sporting feel of the design can be see on the inside too, as rear seat passengers sit in a pair of individual seats, while the driver looks on to a sports steering wheel with red contrast stitching and John Cooper Works logo, dark-coloured dials in the binnacle and red stitching in the gaiters and seats.

By avoiding the temptation to cram an extra middle seat in, the Paceman’s rear seat passengers sit in a surprising amount of space too. Legroom, kneeroom and headroom are sufficient even for above-average height occupants front and rear. Boot space also exceeds that of a regular family hatchback, at 330 litres – swelling to 1080 litres with those rear seats folded.

With style and practicality taken care of, you may expect performance to take a back seat, but the MINI John Cooper Works Paceman comes with both a 218hp, 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine and MINI’s ALL4 all-wheel drive system. This is sufficient to propel the car to 60mpg in just 6.8 seconds – the same as the Cooper S hatchback – and on to a top speed of 142mph.

The sporting ability isn’t just straight line focussed though. With lowered sports suspension, sports brakes and the ALL4 system diverting up to 100% of the power to the rear wheels, the Paceman JCW has a surprising agility.

So to the economy, which for a sporting, four-wheel drive crossover is bound to be terrible, right? Thanks to the lightweight powertrain and technologies such as Brake Energy Regeneration and auto Start/Stop function, the Paceman JCW manages a combined fuel economy of 39.8mpg, with 47mpg achievable on a longer run.

With the added bonuses of good poor-weather traction and off-road performance thanks to that ALL4 system, the MINI Paceman JCW really is a car that ticks all the boxes at once.

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