Since BMW crippled Rover and retained the Mini brand in 2000, Britain’s long cherished car has been gaining a little weight in its old age.
The new redesign and revival of the Mini was welcomed by the masses, and sold in huge numbers. The demand for the car was so high that the price of used cars was even higher than a brand new one because production just couldn’t keep up.
The New Mini (2000 -)
The new Mini kept the charm of the old one, it was small, quirky and great fun to drive and being from BWM it had exceptional build quality. And most of all, it still resembled the much loved iconic Mini of years gone by.
However, fast forward ten years and things have changed a little.
Mini Countryman (2010 -)
The Mini Countryman was released on sale in the UK in 2010 and had seemingly grown a couple more doors and really piled on the pounds.
This all new variant of the Mini had entered the ring to rival cars in the small family car sector, such as the VW Golf and even BMWs own 1 series. This new Mini offered a lot more interior space as well as the practicality of having those rear doors for the shopping and the kids and is even being offered with a 4 wheel drive system.
Love it or hate it, BMW sold over 40,000 of these things just in the first few months. Which may explain why we now have this:
The new Mini Paceman.
Mini Paceman (2013 -)
That’s Paceman, not Pac-man. Like Clubman but with pace. You get the idea.
In essence is the Mini Countryman, in a 3 door version. So what they’ve done is taken the over inflated mini, and taken away it’s practicality to give us a kind of sporty looking obese monster.
Talk about cars not knowing what they’re supposed to be. It’s seems to be becoming a trend these days, cars with an identity crisis. Trying to be everything at once, and ending up doing everything badly.
Take the Mini Paceman. It’s quite clearly just been through a chop shop where they’ve taken the front end off a BMW, the back end off a Range Rover Evoque and bolted them together. You can imagine exactly what the concept meeting was like. BMW bosses sitting around pulling out car parts from a hat.
Dont get me wrong, I really do like the look of this car, and I love the New Range Rover Evoque too, but to say that this is a direct competitor doesn’t make much sense to me, unless they’ve made this thing huge. Just imagine a range rover sized mini. But for a price tag of £30,000, surely you could find something much better to spend that kind of money on.
These cars are still built at the factory in Oxfordshire, however I can’t help but feel that BMW is somehow leavening the British market behind in search of greener pastures with these cars across the pond.