THE Mini Paceman is one of those cars that many will fall in love with on looks alone.

And admittedly, I am one of ‘those people’. Selling alongside the Hatch, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupé and Roadster, the sporty Paceman is styled as a coupé interpretation of the Countryman.

There is a choice of four engines, two petrol and two diesels. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox, or the optional six-speed automatic with Steptronic function for manual control. The diesels and S petrol models are also available with front- and four-wheel drive.

The funky interior has been designed specifically for this model. Two individual chairs provide generous levels of head, shoulder and knee room with great comfort and support and armrests have been integrated into the rear trim.

Although the Paceman is a strict four-seater (the Countryman has five) folding down the rear seats expands the rear load-carrying capacity from 330 litres to 1,080 litres. It may have been a challenge getting my kids in and out of the back, but there was bags of room in the boot for a buggy. Not that the Paceman advertises itself as a family car of course, but ISOFIX child seat attachments are fitted if you want to put fun, looks and performance ahead of boring old practicality.

A slightly raised seating position gives you a good view of the road and the instrument panel includes many familiar components, including the trademark large round central speedo. However, its black surround and decorative inner rings in high-gloss black or chrome are new, as are the redesigned air vent surrounds. It’s an enjoyable drive too, with plenty of grip, especially noticeable in all the recent wet weather.

Other standard equipment includes air conditioning, powered door mirrors and front sports seats. Popular options include Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Park Distance Control, an electrically operated glass roof plus the Mini navigation system.

Safety features includes Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control along with front and side airbags and a tyre pressure warning on every model.

As always with Mini, personalisation is expected to be very popular and there is an extensive choice of bonnet stripes, upholstery variants, interior surfaces and colour lines.

Mini Paceman
Price: £22,360
0-62mph: 7.5 seconds
Top Speed: 135mph
Fuel: 46.3mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 142g/km