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Twin test: MINI Paceman vs Audi TT

  • We pit two four-wheel drive coupes against each other
  • Driving, practicality and costs all explored
  • Find out which car comes out on top

Written by Parkers Team Published: 6 January 2016 Updated: 6 January 2016

Rear wheel drive is the layout of choice for the enthusiastic driver but there are times when you want the reassuring grip brought by powering all four wheels. There was a time when this technology was restricted to off-roaders but now even a sports coupe can be a 4×4.

Audi TT 2.0TFSi Quattro Sport S Tronic vs MINI Paceman 1.6 Cooper S ALL4


TT: The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine in this TT is taken from the VW Golf GTI, and is matched to an automatic S Tronic gearbox that fi res through its ratios with almost imperceptible smoothness. It’s not as powerful as the top spec V6 but it is lighter and more agile as well as grippy due to Quattro all-wheel drive.

Paceman: The 1.6-litre turbocharged Cooper S is definitely the engine of choice for the enthusiastic driver thanks to bags of power and a superb soundtrack. Lowered suspension, agile handling and well weighted steering makes the Paceman a fun thing to drive, while four-wheel drive offers more grip when you need it.


TT: Audi TT boot space is good at 292 litres, big enough for a couple of suitcases or a week’s shop, and you can expand this by dropping the rear seats There’s plenty of room up front for adults but the 2+2 layout means the back seats are best left for younger children. A firm ride hints at a more performance focussed set up but it’s not unsuitable for everyday use.

Paceman: Even with a sloping roofline the MINI Paceman is practical. Space up front is plentiful, offering enough room for adult occupants, while the rear seats are perhaps best for children. The 330-litre boot can be expanded to 1,080 litres by collapsing the back row down which makes carrying flatpacks or gardening supplies a bit easier.


TT: Road tax pushes into the £200 bracket by £5 and fuel economy can’t quite crack 40mpg so the TT is on the border of reasonable and expensive. Even so, this particular model won’t exactly drain your wallet in return for excellent performance so it’s worth the outlay.

Paceman: Tax and fuel costs are reasonable thanks to a surprisingly frugal engine, meaning you’ll only have to find £145 a year in VED, and 46.3mpg suggests you won’t spend an undue amount of time at the pumps. This is good considering the MINI Paceman is a performance car with four wheel drive.



Audi TT

MINI Paceman


2-litre four-cylinder petrol turbo

1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol turbo

Fuel capacity

60 litres

47 litres

Road tax

Band H – £205pa

Band G – £145pa




Insurance group




6.1 seconds

7.8 seconds

Boot space

292 litres

330 litres




CO2 emissions



The winner – Audi TT

Although offering a bit less space and costing more to run, the engine in this TT is a real cracker and once you’ve thrown in solid but fun handling, it’s an easy winner. It looks great and has a presence on the road that is missing in its rivals.

Click here to read our full review of the Audi TT

Click here to read our full review of the MINI Paceman