Over the last year, we've had the chance to drive two of the most exciting hatchbacks in the BMW family – the BMW M135i and the Mini Paceman John Cooper Works – but Autocar has managed to get the two corporate cousins together for a head-to-head comparison. Just like our initial impressions of the Paceman JCW, Autocar has little to complain about this new 215-horsepower hatchback... until it begins to factor in the faster, better-mannered and similarly priced M135i.

Despite laying down an extra 100 hp and delivering a 0-60 time that is almost two seconds quicker, the M135i carries the same price tag of 29,535 pounds in the UK; US pricing for the Paceman starts at $36,200, while it still isn't even clear if the US will be getting the M135i. Even more surprising is the fact that the Paceman falls short of the M135i in regards to rear seat and cargo volume, and just barely squeaks out a win in the fuel economy department. Scroll down to watch the BMW versus Mini hot hatch battle.


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  • 49 Comments
      ferps
      • 2 Years Ago
      Damn shame we don't get the 1 series hatch here in the US.
      ragtopdodge
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some people like the AWD aspects of the Mini. Mini has more character for sure.
      domingorobusto
      • 2 Years Ago
      JCW makes awesome products. I can't believe just how quick basically stock JCWs are at the autocross. But they are STUPID about their pricing. JCW parts cost at least twice what you can buy directly comparable parts for from other aftermarket sources, just because they've got that JCW badge on them. I'd like to see the comparison between the M135 and a Paceman S that has been modified to the same cost level with aftermarket parts that don't cost a firstborn child
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Nathan Dana
        • 2 Years Ago
        We get the 135is which is pretty much the same thing, only it costs $43k, so $7k more than the paceman JCW.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        "Even more surprising is the fact that the Paceman falls short of the M135i in regards to rear seat and cargo volume" Did you even pay attention?
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      two ugly ducklings
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lachmund
        [blocked]
      Anubis
      • 2 Years Ago
      Each year, I become less impressed with Mini. Cute does not cut it. Mini Boatman would be a more accurate name for this thing. Or maybe The Thing.
      Slackjaw McGraw
      • 2 Years Ago
      In the picture in the article it looks like the MINI is running away terrified!
        Jonn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Slackjaw McGraw
        Hah!....Well not terrified, but definitely wide eyed, while the BMW is all serious.
          k_m94
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jonn
          For the BMW, it isnt so much about the pricing as it is everything being upsized and made softer, as is the trend recently. The 1 series is where the 3 series was and should still have been at in terms of weight and the way it drives.
          ChrisH
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jonn
          Oh I dunno, it probably thinks the BMW wants to eat it. On a serious note, if this isn't indicative of two brands which lost their ways. Really, Minis should never have crossed the 30k barrier. BMW should never have to make the 1s to have cars average people could still afford. The 3s just priced themselves into another world and the 1s are following. I never can believe prices I see on window stickers when it comes to Minis.
      leo
      • 2 Years Ago
      comparing these two is pointless, the mini has no chance, and that's before you consider this version is one of hte ugliest cars of all time...i mean real ugly....wtf were they smoking
        tump
        • 2 Years Ago
        @leo
        Ugliest car of all time? Have you only been alive 15 minutes?
        Shiftright
        • 2 Years Ago
        @leo
        Agreed, just highlights how overpriced the Mini is, but the BMW is no looker either.
      dohc73
      • 2 Years Ago
      You can get a Paceman in S-trim well under 30-grand without the 4-wheel drive or without the JCW package which will still get you a turbo engine and the 0-60 time difference are only a few tenths difference; nothing that shows in the real world; and the handling is virtually the same because the JCW package isn't an automatic suspension upgrade anymore, just all wheel drive so just ala carte option the sports suspension and you basically have a Paceman that handles the same or better than the standard JCW Paceman. Not that I don't think that all MINIs are way over-priced still. I agree with this video, but they'll never sell a 2-door hatch BMW in the states again anytime soon.
      MikeInNC
      • 2 Years Ago
      I prefer the looks of the X1 to both of these. Roomier than both and, IMO, the front end treatment is more appealing.
      mostchillininsc
      • 2 Years Ago
      $36K starting price for a Paceman?!?!?!?! Please excuse me while I return to my crack pipe... Seriously? If this is the case, Mini really needs to go bak to drawing board and figure out a better strategy because this isn't going to win...
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mostchillininsc
        That's why they will be cutting a few models by the time the next cycle rolls around.
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