November 12, 2017
New Tires All Around for the Mini
Needed to get new tires and decided on a change of tire type ...
I purchased the Mini Cooper S used from a dealer as a Certified Pre-Owned Mini. It had a little over 14,000 miles on it. I noticed the front two tires were pretty low in terms of tread left. I ended up rotating the tires, front to rear and rear to front, staying on the same side of the vehicle because they are directional tires. I am researching whether Mini recommends tire rotation at all, this will be another post down the line. When it came time for the yearly Vehicle Inspection, I definately needed one tire replaced to pass the inspection. Two of the four tires were low, around 3/32 of an inch, the other two tires (originally from the rear of the Cooper, now on the front) were around 8/32 of an inch. I opted to change the type of tire for the vehicle from what was stock (Continental Run Flats) to a different tire.
The main reason for wanting to change the type of tire was that the Conti's gave an extremely hard ride and the car jumped over sharp bumps in the road; on turns this was a bit problematic because the front of the car would actually lift and when landing after hitting a bump on a turn, the car would jolt over when the turned wheels made contact with the road surface again. Additionally, the Continentals had very little traction when they were worn down. For the 8/32 of an inch tires, the traction was pretty good on wet pavement, but the 3/32 to 4/32 of an inch tires were extremely slick, as would be expected. I opted to go with the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season tires.
So far, so good. The Pirelli's have a much smoother ride, they are still a little rigid because they are run flats too, but they don't seem to jump over the same bumps as the Conti's, but I have yet to ride down all the same roads as I have previously done when I had the Continentals on the car. The Pirelli's are well reviewed, both by Owners as well as Professional reviewers. I've read good things about certain Michelins as well. Also, there might be other Continental tire models that offer a better ride and pehaps last longer that the stock ones.
So, the big research item to be performed is whether the tires on the 2013 Mini Cooper S should be rotated. I'll post further information when I am able to and also give some more personal opinions on the Pirellis, namely winter handling.