By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
The 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman and Paceman are the big Minis. Want a Mini but need room for the family? The Countryman is your pick. Want a sportier 2-door? Take the Paceman. The 4-door Countryman offers seating for five, a rear hatch and the versatility you would expect from a compact SUV. The 2-door Paceman has a sporty, distinctive look that matches that of the Mini Cooper Coupe, but with more room inside. Both are available with all-wheel drive (AWD) and a range of performance levels. While the Countryman doesn't offer the cargo capacity of such as the Ford Escape or Honda CR-V, both it and the Paceman deliver the charming style and miles-of-smiles driving enjoyment that are built into Mini ownership.
You buy a Mini for the distinctive style, engaging personality and driving pleasure. Want a Mini but need more room? Take a look at the 4-door SUV Countryman or the 2-door sporty Paceman and consider joining the growing numbers of fun-loving Mini owners.
If your primary transportation considerations are for space, comfort, versatility and efficiency for the money, and you don't care about the specialness that is a Mini, you'll be plenty happy with such choices as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5 or Toyota RAV4.
On the 2014 Mini Countryman and Paceman the center rail is replaced by double cup holders with 12V outlets, Countryman rear doors have padded armrests and a bench is the only rear-seat configuration. The Paceman has the Comfort Suspension as standard with the Sport Suspension a no-charge option, and there will be John Cooper Works interior and exterior packages for both models.
Driving Impressions Minis have developed a reputation for go-kart handling but that's actually unfair; Minis are much better than that. Go-karts ride like, well, go-karts. Minis, on the other hand, are among...the most responsive production vehicles on the road, due to their light weight, small size and crafty suspension tuning, but they also deliver an entirely reasonable level of compliance and comfort. Still, even though the bigger Countryman and Paceman might lack a bit of the storied quickness of the smaller models, they are still snappy and crisp when dealing with pavement that goes thisaway and thataway. If you want more, the turbocharged Cooper S version should do the trick or, to go all the way, the John Cooper Works editions bring more than 200 horsepower. Whichever one you pick, every Mini that rolls off a showroom floor is almost guaranteed to bring smiles to the face of its happy driver.
UNMATCHED DRIVING EXPERIENCE
What every Mini offers is driving enjoyment that is unique and unmatched in its ability to deliver giggles per mile for the money. Even if faced with a long commute, at least you get to tackle those bumper-to-bumper miles in a Mini.
MINI CONNECTED INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
In addition to the usual tech features, Mini's system uses a driver's smartphone and apps to play Web-based audio, access social-media sites and even utilize Google Send to Car, which emails destinations you've chosen beforehand. Furthermore, it's presented on a color 6.5-inch screen housed within the Mini's big central speedometer.
The Countryman and Paceman interiors are as charming as those in other Minis. There's the big round speedometer in the center, plus a bunch of small switches and buttons, a round tachometer, round air conditioning vents, round door pulls, more round things here and there – it's certainly distinctively Mini. Other Minis have the power-window switches low in the center console, but in the Countryman and Paceman, for better or worse, they're on the doors. For 2014 the Countryman has a bench as the only rear-seat choice and the former rail has been replaced by a couple of cup holders with a 12-volt outlet.Exterior
If the goal was to design bigger Minis they would look just like the Countryman and Paceman: Take the well-known Mini styling cues, morph and squeeze them around a bit, add another pair of doors for the Countryman, make the Paceman roofline low and sporty, throw in a lot of curves and swoops, and there you are. Different, but still Mini. As with other Minis, there is a wealth of accessories that allows any owner to make any Mini as individual as he or she cares, from wheel choices to stripes and including the in-your-face John Cooper Works versions.
There are three trim levels for the 2014 Mini Countryman and Paceman: Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works. The primary differences are engine power outputs (121, 181 and 208 horsepower, respectively), and accompanying wheel and tire fitments and trim items. Standard equipment includes a 6-speed manual transmission, Leatherette seats, AM/FM/CD/HD 6-speaker radio with auxiliary input, climate-controlled glove box, remote entry and a lengthy assortment of the expected convenience items and government-mandated safety features. All Minis include no-cost maintenance for three years/36,000 miles and 4-year/unlimited-mileage roadside assistance.
As is Mini practice, the Countryman and Paceman can be ordered in a million configurations. Many of the combinations are wrapped into the trim levels. In addition, the Mini Connected package, with or without navigation, includes an infotainment system with color screen. Other options include a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, a harman/kardon sound system, parking sensors, leather and the John Cooper Works interior and exterior packages. Much of the individualizing can be done online, and contemplating your new Mini on the website (www.miniusa.com) is an entertaining experience in its own right.
Powering the 2014 Mini Countryman and Paceman are the same engine choices as used in the smaller models. The base engine is a 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder of 121 horsepower, which is adequate, but just so. The turbocharged Cooper S version makes 181 horsepower and defines sprightly, and the John Cooper Works model cranks out 208 horsepower and delivers performance that is more than merely sparkling. The base models are front-drive only, the Cooper S versions can be front-drive or all-wheel drive and the John Cooper Works models are AWD only. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard equipment, and a 6-speed automatic is available. Minis require 91-octane fuel.
121 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
114 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/35 mpg (manual), 25/30 mpg (automatic)
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
181 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/32 mpg (manual), 25/32 mpg (automatic), 25/31 mpg (manual, AWD), 23/30 mpg (automatic, AWD)
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
208 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,950-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/31 mpg (manual), 23/30 mpg (automatic)
With a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting a little over $22,000, the 2014 Mini Countryman is attractively priced, but trim upgrades and options quickly create increases. The Cooper S Countryman is around $26,000, while the John Cooper Works edition is near $35,000. The 2014 Paceman starts over $23,000, with the John Cooper Works version over $35,000. At their base prices, the Countryman and Paceman are in line with such crossover SUVs as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape; higher than the Kia Sportage, Nissan Juke and Mazda CX-5; but lower than the premium compact SUV Buick Encore. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2014 Countryman or Paceman. Like other Mini vehicles, predicted resale value is a bright spot for both the Countryman and Paceman, with residuals expected to hold up very well.