Top 12 Best Tires for Mini Cooper: Latest Options

Mini is one of the few automotive brands that doesn't follow the norm. Sure, it has the most popular body styles in its range, including a crossover, but everything is done differently. Namely, instead of practicality, Mini Cooper cars focus on delivering a fun driving experience, unique retro style, and playful interiors.

But although Mini's Cooper range of cars looks a bit toyish, they are all serious machines underneath. In fact, every Mini is designed, developed, and manufactured under the watchful eye of BMW. As such, all Mini Coopers offer a sophisticated driving experience with good on-road manners, peppy engines, and generally solid comfort.

However, one of the most important factors that affects how your Mini Cooper drives is the tires. Mini puts solid tires from the factory, but there are many more options on the market that will give you more performance for less money. That is because most tiremakers already launched newer tires compared to the OE ones on your Mini Cooper, which bring significant improvements across all categories.

In my list of the best tires for Mini Cooper, you will find the latest models from the best manufacturers on the planet. Each of the tires below will provide you with a very safe driving experience, good treadlife, and generally solid comfort.

Of course, there will be differences, particularly between tires of different categories, so it's on you to choose the best possible type for the climate in your area and your driving style.

So, without further ado, let's have a look at the best Mini Cooper tires currently available on the market!

Best Ultra-High-Performance All-Season Tires for Mini Cooper

1. Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus

Continental-ExtremeContact-DWS-06-Plus

Continental's latest ultra-high-performance all-season tire is the most accomplished in its category right now and a perfect fit for most Mini Cooper models. The only real downside of the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus, at least in my eyes, is the less responsive steering.

Namely, the steering still feels quicker than any touring or grand-touring tire, but it lacks the ultimate sharpness and precision of some of its rivals, like the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4. You probably won't notice this, though, as the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus is plenty responsive on a twisty road.

Apart from the small steering deficiencies, the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus shines in every other category. For example, it is currently the best UHP all-season tire in rainy conditions, with traction and grip that exceeded my expectations. Like with most of its tires, Continental has set a new benchmark in terms of longitudinal traction on wet tarmac, meaning the shortest stopping distances and best acceleration in its category.

The ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus feels even more impressive in the corners on wet tarmac. The lateral grip is tremendous, matching its closest rivals, but crucially, the tire performs very predictably at the limit.

Unlike some cheaper UHP all-season tires, the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus never feels twitchy or nervous at the limit and gives the driver time to react to the slide. This not only makes it better to drive but safer during evasive maneuvers as well.

Fortunately, Continental's push to make the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus an outstanding wet tire didn't result in less grip on dry tarmac. In fact, this is also one of the best UHP all-season tires in dry conditions, with very balanced handling and high lateral grip. You can attack corners aggressively with this tire, and your Mini Cooper will still feel stable and planted.

The longitudinal traction on dry tarmac is also exceptional. The ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus provides some of the shortest dry braking distances in its category and has excellent acceleration traction. On top of that, it makes the Mini Cooper feel much more planted on the highway, with good straight-line tracking.

You'd be surprised at how good the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus drives on light snow, too. Sure, it won't match any winter tire and will perform slightly worse than a grand-touring all-season tire, but for its category, it is pretty amazing.

The thing that I loved the most was how the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus feels behind the wheel. The handling of snow is very predictable and balanced, with a solid lateral grip that allows you to drive at regular speeds. Moreover, the braking distances are among the shortest in the category, and the acceleration traction is solid.

And if that wasn't enough to impress you, the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus is also a very comfortable tire. Of course, you can get even more comfort if you opt for grand-touring tires, but as far as UHP all-season tires go, this is one of the best. Notably, the ride is very smooth over good and bad tarmac, and there is not much noise on the highway.

You must be thinking that the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus isn't a particularly durable tire considering all its other qualities, but you'd be wrong. Continental provides a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, and owners of the previous, non-Plus model report excellent real-world treadlife.

Overall, the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus is one of the best Mini Cooper tires currently available on the market, as it combines sporty grip with a comfortable ride and long treadlife, qualities that perfectly match the retro-styled car. For North American Mini Cooper owners, I think there is no better tire currently available.

Pros:

  • Outstanding wet weather performance
  • High level of grip and balanced handling on dry roads
  • Impressive traction on mild snow
  • Provides a surprisingly smooth ride for a performance tire
  • Remains quiet on the highway
  • Durable and long-lasting treadlife

Cons:

  • Could benefit from improved steering responsiveness 

2. Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4

Michelin-Pilot-Sport-All-Season-4

Get $60 off 4 Michelin tires priced at $899 or less for the set OR $80 off a set priced at $900 or more
Valid through February 25, 2024
Available at DiscountTire.com

If you want the sharpest driving experience and the convenience all-season tires offer, look no further than the Pilot Sport All Season 4. Michelin has done a great job of emulating the driving experience of the summer alternative of this tire, the Pilot Sport 4S, which is by far the most popular max-performance tire at the moment.

To have that sharp steering in a UHP all-season tire is excellent, and it is particularly good when paired with the good steering feel of the Mini Cooper. With a set of Pilot Sport All Season 4s on, your Cooper will feel responsive and direct, with good linearity through the corners. The high-speed straight-line tracking is also excellent, despite the responsive nature of the tire.

Now, to make it sharper and more fun to drive, Michelin made the whole tire stiffer, which resulted in an average ride quality. I was not disappointed by how the Pilot Sport All Season 4 went over speed bumps or potholes, but I was not particularly pleased, either.

The ride is generally okay, but it gets very choppy and harsh over sharp imperfections. Also, there is more noise on the highway than what I got on the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus, particularly over coarse tarmac.

Okay, so the Pilot Sport All Season 4 isn't a particularly comfortable tire, but I think most Mini Cooper owners will have no issues with that when they hear about the traction and grip of these tires because they are amazing in every weather.

The Pilot Sport All Season 4 is among the best UHP all-season tires on dry tarmac, with an outstanding lateral grip that bests most of its competitors. The handling is also very balanced and predictable, meaning you can drive at the limit and still have full control of your Mini Cooper. The stopping distances are also among the shortest in the category, and the acceleration traction is excellent.

The same holds true when it rains. Michelin's UHP all-season tire might not match its closest rival from Continental in outright traction, but it more than makes up with the driving experience. Mind you, the stopping distances are still some of the shortest in the category, and the lateral grip is excellent in its own right.

However, it is the handling balance that really surprised me. The Pilot Sport All Season 4 feels very predictable at the limit when it rains and loses traction progressively, letting you control the slide like a pro. The hydroplaning resistance is also excellent – I had no stability issues when driving through standing water, even at higher speeds.

And if that wasn't enough to lure you into buying the Pilot Sport All Season 4, the solid snow performance just might. The Pilot Sport All Season 4 provides very good longitudinal traction (acceleration and braking) on snow, enough to make you feel comfortable when driving.

It also feels very surefooted when cornering, letting you control the Mini Cooper on snow like a rally driver. This is especially true on ALL4 Mini Cooper cars with AWD systems, which can cover ground pretty fast on light snow. With that said, you will still need a set of proper winter tires in deep snow or ice.

Finally, Michelin provides a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Pilot Sport All Season 4, which is pretty good for a UHP all-season tire. Owners are also very satisfied with the longevity, meaning you should get around three years of driving with this tire.

Pros:

  • Handles well on wet surfaces
  • Exhibits short braking distances in rainy conditions
  • Superior dry road handling and braking
  • Provides acceptable light-snow traction for a performance tire
  • Known for its durable tread

Cons:

  • The ride can be stiff, with noticeable tread noise
  • Pricier compared to other tires in the same category

3. Vredestein Hypertrac All Season

Vredestein-Hypertrac-All-Season

Vredestein might not be a company that rings a bell among the American and Canadian population, but the Dutch brand is one of the most successful in Europe, known for producing high-quality tires. Thus, I was very happy when it officially entered the North American market, and I expected its tires to make a splash with good value for money.

Indeed, Vredestein had a successful launch, and the biggest reason for that was its top-performing tires. One of the best examples is the Hypertrac All Season, Vredestein's UHP all-season tire designed to compete directly with similar tires from Michelin, Continental, Bridgestone, Goodyear, and Pirelli.

And it is no coincidence that the Hypertrac All Season is on this list – it is overall a great tire for Mini Cooper owners. Sure, it might not be as responsive through the steering as its rivals, but I assure you that you can only notice that if you compare them side by side. For daily driving, the Hypertrac All Season is plenty quick to react to your inputs, and the steering is actually pretty linear.

When it comes to grip, the Hypertrac All Season matches the premium competition, regardless of the weather outside. On dry tarmac, it provides excellent braking and acceleration, meaning it's one of the safest UHP all-season tires currently on sale.

The lateral grip is also excellent, and you can cover ground very fast, though the high-speed stability isn't on par with its competitors. Still, this is only true if you push the Hypertrac All Season really hard – for general driving on the road, the tire performs well enough and remains glued to the road. Moreover, it is predictable enough when it loses traction, so you can react to the slide.

I didn't have the same issues in rainy weather, which is important because wet tarmac causes many more accidents. In fact, the Hypertrac All Season is one of the best wet tires in its category, with short stopping distances, good acceleration, and excellent hydroplaning resistance.

The Hypertrac All Season also feels very stable in the corners (when it rains), even at very high velocities. The handling is very balanced, and the behavior at the limit is predictable, which is all you need to maneuver your Mini Cooper out of an accident.

But what really impressed me about the Hypertrac All Season is how it drives on snow. Although the tire doesn't set new traction standards, it still surprised me with its confident cornering. All I needed to do was to turn the steering, and the front wheels reacted quickly, followed by stable behavior from the rear wheels. It felt playful yet very safe.

As for traction on snow, it is comparable to other premium UHP all-season tires. In other words, you will have enough braking power to stop on time and acceleration traction not to get stuck on light snow. Still, for deep and unpacked snow, you will need a set of winter tires.

What really makes me happy about this tire is that Vredestein managed to make it very luxurious. The Hypertrac All Season is one of the smoothest-riding UHP all-season tires and one of the quietest as well. In that sense, it is a very good companion to the Mini Cooper, which, although it focuses on driving fun, is still a premium vehicle.

Vredestein offers a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Hypertrac All Season but also an 8-year warranty from the date of production, which is higher than other tires in the category. I can't comment on real-world treadlife because the Hypertrac All Season launched only a few years ago, but it should be one of the most durable tires in its category, considering the company's record in Europe.

Pros:

  • Excellent grip and braking on dry surfaces for its price range
  • Provides reliable traction and handling on wet surfaces
  • Confident performance on snow-covered roads
  • Offers a smooth and quiet ride for a performance tire
  • Affordable without compromising on performance
  • Comes with an excellent treadwear warranty

Cons:

  • Stability could be improved during high-speed dry surface cornering
  • Could use improvement in steering responsiveness

Best Max-Performance Summer Tires for Mini Cooper

4. Continental ExtremeContact Sport 02

Continental-ExtremeContact-Sport-02

The ExtremeContact Sport 02 is Continental's latest max-performance summer tire, designed to offer the best driving experience possible. Naturally, the German tiremaker incorporated everything it learned through the years in its latest model, and as a result, the ExtremeContact Sport 02 is a true cracker of a tire.

It has some disadvantages, sure, but they are related to the comfort side of things. When buying max-performance summer tires, buyers expect to have worse ride quality and higher noise on the highway, but even then, the ExtremeContact Sport 02 takes things in an even more uncomfortable direction.

Overall, the ride is solid on smooth roads, but once you hit the broken tarmac, expect a very harsh ride. The ExtremeContact Sport 02 transmits more vibrations than I would've liked in the cabin, particularly when it hits potholes.

Moreover, noise can be an issue on the highway, not because it's too loud, but because it's high-pitched. Unlike low-pitched noise, high-pitch frequencies can be tiring to the ears. The issue is not as bad as it sounds – you can still cover miles with the ExtremeContact Sport 02, but it won't be as comfortable as with some of its rivals.

What the ExtremeContact Sport 02 lacks in comfort, though, it completely makes up for the driving experience. Namely, the steering is one of the most precise I've had in a max-performance summer tire. It feels very quick and direct, yet linear, meaning you will be able to position your Mini Cooper where you want in the corner.

Furthermore, it provides outstanding lateral grip on dry tarmac, rivaling some extreme-performance track tires. With a set of ExtremeContact Sport 02s on your Mini Cooper, you will be able to attack every corner at very high speeds and rely on the tires to keep you in the desired line.

In addition, the handling balance is excellent – Continental's max-performance tire loses grip gradually, leaving you precious time to react. Like most tires from the German manufacturer, the ExtremeContact Sport 02 also provides superior longitudinal traction, i.e., very short stopping distances and good acceleration traction on dry tarmac.

But it's the rain traction that separates this tire from most of its competitors. The ExtremeContact Sport 02 provides some of the shortest stopping distances on wet tarmac out of any tire, well, in any category. This makes it one of the safest tires in rainy conditions in the world, as good braking equals fewer accidents.

Moreover, the ExtremeContact Sport 02 impresses in the corners. The lateral grip on wet roads is exceptional – it almost felt like the surface was dry. On top of that, the tires felt playful yet very planted, even at the limit. The ExtremeContact Sport 02 is an easy tire to drive in rainy conditions, and that inspires a lot of confidence in the driver.

The best thing about the ExtremeContact Sport 02 is that it comes with a 30,000-mile treadwear warranty. This is not unheard of in the category – the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S also has the same warranty. However, it's a welcome addition and certainly an attractive proposition for Mini Cooper drivers that are scared to try max-performance summer tires due to the lower treadlife.

Pros:

  • Excellent traction and braking on dry roads
  • Performs well in wet conditions with reliable braking and handling
  • Well-balanced steering
  • Comfortable in most driving conditions
  • First summer tire by Continental offers a treadwear warranty
  • Users report a longer-than-average tread life

Cons:

  • Generates high-pitched noise at high speeds
  • It could be uncomfortable on severely damaged roads

5. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

Michelin-Pilot-Sport-4S

Get $60 off 4 Michelin tires priced at $899 or less for the set OR $80 off a set priced at $900 or more
Valid through February 25, 2024
Available at DiscountTire.com

Michelin's most popular tire, the Pilot Sport 4S, is almost ubiquitous in many sports cars as an OE installment. It is also a very popular tire among the tuning crowd and driving enthusiasts in general.

One of the reasons is that it comes with a 30,000-mile treadwear warranty, just like its closest rival, the ExtremeContact Sport 02. This makes it an excellent option for Mini Cooper drivers that want a dependable tire that offers exhilarating performance.

I am also a fan of the Pilot Sport 4S, particularly when installed on milder sports cars. The reason for that is the steering, which isn't as responsive or communicative as that of its rivals. If you drive a very fast sports car on the track, this might bug you, but for a Mini Cooper that spends 100% of its time on public roads, it shouldn't be an issue. If you do value nimble handling, though, opt for the ExtremeContact Sport 02 or Bridgestone's Potenza Sport (listed below).

The benefits of the less-than-stellar steering, though, might be much more important to Mini Cooper owners. Namely, the Pilot Sport 4S is surprisingly comfortable given its performance pedigree, with a very smooth ride and quiet rolling at speed. Of course, it won't be as comfortable as a grand-touring tire, but for the grip you get, it's outstanding.

And you will get quite a lot of grip. Although the Pilot Sport 4S lacks the precision of its rivals, it provides class-leading lateral grip, meaning it can achieve dizzying speeds in the corners. The handling is also very balanced and natural, even at the limit, though the slightly slower steering limits the Pilot Sport 4S from being a faultless tire when it comes to the driving experience.

With that said, I had no issues with the longitudinal traction. The Pilot Sport 4S matched its competition in acceleration traction and only needed a few more feet to stop at highway speeds. You won't even notice these differences on public roads – for most intents and purposes, the Pilot Sport 4S is a super-safe tire.

The same holds true when it rains. Michelin's max-performance tire is sublime on wet tarmac, particularly when it comes to hydroplaning resistance. Namely, performance-focused summer tires can suffer a bit in deep and standing water due to the fewer grooves on the tread, but the Pilot Sport 4S manages to channel that water without any issue.

The wet grip and traction, as expected from a max-performance summer tire, are outstanding. You will get very short stopping distances, good acceleration off the line, and a high cornering grip. Moreover, the Pilot Sport 4S behaves very predictably at the limit and overall feels planted and confident in the rain.

Overall, the Pilot Sport 4S is still the most balanced max-performance summer tire. It might lack the precision and driving fun of its rivals, but it more than makes up for its smooth and quiet ride. As such, it is one of the best Mini Cooper tires currently on sale.

Pros:

  • Offers superb lateral grip and braking on dry roads
  • Balanced handling and traction in wet conditions
  • Strong braking performance on wet roads
  • Comfortable and quiet, surprising for a performance tire
  • Has a reputation for long tread life

Cons:

  • Steering responsiveness could be sharper
  • High price tag

6. Bridgestone Potenza Sport

Bridgestone-Potenza-Sport

The Potenza Sport is the complete opposite of the Pilot Sport 4S when it comes to subjective feeling. Bridgestone went the fun route with its latest max-performance summer tire and made it very appealing to driving enthusiasts.

Now, I told you that I really love the Pilot Sport 4S, but I love the Potenza Sport even more. The reason, of course, is the steering, which is the most precise and quick out of any tire in the category. The Potenza Sport puts other tires to shame with its granular steering that offers a ton of information from the road.

As a result, you will feel what the front tires are doing at all times, and your reactions will immediately be transferred to the road surface. If you are into having fun with your Mini Cooper John Cooper Works model, this might be the perfect tire for you.

But it's not just the steering – the Potenza Sport stays glued to the road like only a few other tires can. On dry roads, it matches or beats its closest premium competitors in longitudinal traction, i.e., braking and acceleration. It is also very stable under braking, a quality that makes it a very solid companion on track days.

The lateral grip this tire offers is even more amazing, as it sets new standards in the category. Not only that, but the Potenza Sport also feels very agile and playful while remaining very stable through the corner. Push it to its limits, and the Potenza Sport will remain controllable and predictable – it's truly a driver's tire.

And the praise doesn't end there. The Potenza Sport is also a very capable rain tire, on the level of its closest rivals, Michelin and Continental. I tried it on damp and very wet tarmac and came out impressed in both cases, particularly with the longitudinal traction on offer. Namely, the Potenza Sport provides some of the shortest stopping distances in the rain and accelerates out of a corner without too much drama.

The lateral grip is excellent as well, accompanied by very playful and stable handling. See the pattern here? Yup, the Potenza Sport remains the most fun tire to drive in rainy conditions. There is a small price to pay for that, though – the hydroplaning resistance is solid but not on the level of the Pilot Sport 4S. It won't be a safety issue, but you will need to play a bit more with the steering wheel during heavy rain.

With that said, the big caveat here is that the Potenza Sport is not a particularly comfortable tire. Honestly, when I first steered Bridgestone's max-performance summer tire, I expected that it wouldn't be as comfortable over bumps – you can't make a tire that is very responsive and smooth at the same time.

So, if you are into a luxurious and plush ride, the Potenza Sport won't be for you. That is particularly true on bad roads with frequent cracks, where the Potenza Sport loses its composure. Moreover, there is noise on the highway that easily enters the cabin.

Another thing that bugs me about the Potenza Sport is that it doesn't come with a treadwear warranty. In the limited time, I had to play with the tire, I also noticed it wears a bit faster than the ExtremeContact Sport 02 and Pilot Sport 4S, though I can't confirm that treadlife will be an issue in the long run.

Pros:

  • Best-in-class responsive and linear steering among max-performance tires
  • Exceptional dry surface cornering grip, comparable to dedicated track tires
  • Good dry road braking and acceleration
  • Solid wet surface grip and traction

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable ride on rough surfaces
  • More road noise compared to competitors

Best Tires for Mini Cooper Countryman

7. Michelin CrossClimate 2

Michelin-CrossClimate-2

Get $60 off 4 Michelin tires priced at $899 or less for the set OR $80 off a set priced at $900 or more
Valid through February 25, 2024
Available at DiscountTire.com

The Michelin CrossClimate 2 is perhaps the best tire to make a break from the performance-oriented models I listed above. Instead of sharp reflexes, this tire focuses on delivering the impossible – snow traction that rivals the average winter tire and dry/wet traction that rivals a performance all-season tire. Indeed, the CrossClimate 2 fulfills its promises.

Although it's not with its shortcomings, the CrossClimate 2 is one of the most accomplished all-season tires on the market right now. It is actually rated as an all-weather tire because it comes with the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol. This means it fulfilled the requirements for longitudinal traction on light snow, which is higher than regular M+S tires offer. However, the rating has nothing to do with the lateral grip or driving experience.

But since the CrossClimate 2 comes from Michelin, it, of course, exceeds the requirements and by a significant margin. The previous version of this model was the first all-season tire I ever tried that worked on light snow, almost like a winter tire. In fact, I started recommending it to people who experience snowfall in the winter, although I never did that with an all-season tire.

I was even more impressed with how the CrossClimate 2 handles snow. It is much better than the average all-season tire under braking, as the stopping distances are much shorter, and it accelerates without any issue, even on inclines. Pair it with a Mini Cooper ALL4, and you'll get a vehicle+tire combo that will never get stuck on snow.

Furthermore, the lateral grip is excellent, but more importantly, your car will feel very balanced in the corners. I had no issues reaching the limit of traction on snow, as the CrossClimate 2 gradually lost traction and gave me a lot of time to react.

The best thing about this tire is that it doesn't sacrifice dry/wet traction. It is actually very good to drive on dry roads, thanks to the relatively responsive and linear steering. I also liked the straight-line tracking – the CrossClimate 2 is truly a good tire to drive on twisty roads and the highway.

Moreover, the traction it offers is excellent – the stopping distances are very short, and acceleration is done without too much wheel slippage. The lateral grip is pretty good as well, considering this is a grand-touring tire focused on delivering a comfortable ride.

I was even more impressed in the rain – the CrossClimate 2 is one of the best grand-touring all-season tires on wet tarmac. Again, the stopping distances are very short, and the tire has no handling issues in the corners. It is safe, predictable, and surefooted.

The CrossClimate 2 will also be quieter than any performance tire out there. In fact, it is one of the quietest tires on the market, period. With that said, although the ride is smoother than on a performance tire, it's not on the level of some of its premium rivals.

Also, perhaps due to the slightly softer and more pliable winter-focused compound, the CrossClimate 2 comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty. That is very solid, especially considering the abilities of the tire, but some of its rivals come with warranties of up to 80,000 miles and offer better real-world treadlife. In Michelin's defense, its tires remain very grippy on wet and snow-covered roads, even when worn down.

Pros:

  • Excellent dry road handling and braking
  • One of the top performers among all-season tires in rainy conditions
  • Balanced handling on snow with high traction
  • Good snow braking capabilities
  • Quiet even at highway speeds

Cons:

  • It may be costly for some
  • The ride could be more composed
  • A treadwear warranty of 60,000 miles is less competitive in its price

8. Continental PureContact LS

Continental-PureContact-LS

The Continental PureContact LS is a perfect example that a tire doesn't need the 3PMSF symbol to work well on snow-covered roads. Instead of paying for independent testing (required to get the symbol), the German tiremaker focused on designing a tire that would provide near-class-leading traction in most weather conditions, including the winter.

Indeed, the PureContact LS is one of the best snow tires in the grand-touring all-season category, almost matching the performance of its greatest rival, the Michelin CrossClimate 2. It provides very short stopping distances, good acceleration traction, and very predictable behavior in the corners.

I was also impressed with the lateral grip, which, again, matches its closest rival. Of course, the PureContact LS will suffer on the ice more than a winter tire and is slightly worse than the CrossClimate 2, but for severe winter conditions, you will need a set of winter tires, anyway.

Like with most of its models in the last decade, Continental paid the biggest attention to the wet performance of the PureContact LS. And it worked – the traction this tire offers in rainy conditions is second to none. This translates into very short stopping distances, which set new standards in the category and make the PureContact LS one of the safest grand-touring all-season tires on sale.

Furthermore, the wet lateral grip is excellent for the category, rivaling the CrossClimate 2. What impressed me, even more was how the PureContact LS drove on wet tarmac. It felt very planted and stable; it was very predictable at the limit and accepted quick evasive maneuvers without too much drama.

Fortunately, the exceptional wet grip didn't take away from the dry grip of the PureContact LS. In fact, Continental's grand-touring all-season tire is among the best in its category on dry roads, with stable handling and excellent traction. Again, the stopping distances are very short, and the lateral grip is excellent, resulting in a safe ride.

However, I wasn't as impressed by the steering, which was too light for my taste. It made the car feel twitchy in the corners, a problem that was exacerbated by the fact that the steering was also not very linear. Not a big issue for most drivers, but definitely something to look out for if you want more fun from your Mini Cooper tires.

As for comfort, the PureContact LS is a fairly quiet tire. It produces noise, but it's the low-pitched type that blends in the background and is usually covered by the wind noise, which, let's be honest, is present on all Mini Cooper models. However, the ride felt a bit firm. It wasn't too harsh, but still firmer than on similar grand-touring all-season tires.

Continental provides a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on the PureContact LS, which is competitive but not class-leading. Still, owners of the tire report excellent real-world treadlife, so durability shouldn't concern you at all with this tire.

Pros:

  • Exceptional wet road grip and braking
  • Strong dry road traction and braking
  • Excellent light snow drivability and traction
  • Outstanding tread life with an extended treadwear warranty

Cons:

  • The ride is somewhat harsh over repetitive impacts
  • The steering feels too light and inconsistent, although very responsive

Best Winter Tires for Mini Cooper

9. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90

Bridgestone-Blizzak-WS90

Looking for a winter tire that will work in the most severe weather? Look no further than the Blizzak WS90. It is the latest model in Bridgestone's award-winning range of winter tires designed for very harsh wintry conditions, like deep snow, ice, and slush. As expected, it delivers when you need it most – there is a reason why the brand "Blizzak" is famous among drivers in the northern regions.

Today, the Blizzak WS90 faces fiercer competition than ever before, but it still remains on the top of the stable when it comes to winter performance. On snow, a few tires can match the abilities of the Blizzak WS90.

The stopping distances it provides are almost surreally short – I needed to re-check the speedo again to confirm that it stopped that well from 50 mph. I also had zero issues with acceleration – the driven tires just immediately grabbed on the snow and pulled the vehicle forward.

The Blizzak WS90 is equally impressive in the corners. The lateral grip is simply exceptional, higher than most other winter tires I tested throughout my career, and enough to allow you to drive near the speed limit on snow-covered roads. More importantly, the handling felt very surefooted and safe, with predictable behavior at the limit – just how you'd want from a snow tire.

But the Blizzak WS90 isn't only good on snow – it also works on ice. Sure, you might get stuck on an incline, but in most cases, the tire has enough traction to keep you going and then stop on time. I was also impressed with the performance in slush – thanks to the aggressive tread compound, the Blizzak WS90 could dissipate a lot of water and provide excellent traction.

Winter tires usually suffer in rainy conditions due to their design, but not the Blizzak WS90. In fact, it is one of the best winter tires on wet tarmac, where it provides safe and surefooted handling and high lateral grip. The braking distances are also among the shortest in the category, and the acceleration traction is excellent.

What surprised me the most, though, is that the Blizzak WS90 also worked well on dry roads. Gone are the days of unresponsive and cumbersome winter tires, it seems, at least when it comes to Bridgestone.

The Blizzak WS90 not only feels sufficiently responsive but also provides a reasonably high grip in the corners. It also provides some of the shortest stopping distances in its category and has no issue when accelerating out of a corner. To top it all off, the handling is reasonably agile and surefooted.

With that said, the Blizzak WS90 isn't a particularly comfortable tire. The ride can be harsh over repetitive impacts, and noise can be an issue on the highway. In that sense, it feels like the winter tires of yore, not a more modern model. Also, Bridgestone doesn't provide a treadwear warranty on the tire, although some tiremakers started offering warranties on their winter tires.

Pros:

  • Short stopping distance on wet roads
  • Well-balanced handling in wet conditions
  • Effective dry road braking
  • Strong snow acceleration and braking
  • Excellent lateral grip on snow
  • Adequate traction on icy surfaces

Cons:

  • The ride can be harsh on uneven surfaces
  • Lower speeds generate noticeable tread noise

10. Michelin X-Ice Snow

Michelin-X-Ice-SNOW

Get $60 off 4 Michelin tires priced at $899 or less for the set OR $80 off a set priced at $900 or more
Valid through February 25, 2024
Available at DiscountTire.com

If you wondered which winter tire comes with a treadwear warranty, it's the X-Ice Snow. Michelin now offers a treadwear warranty on most of its tires, including its max-performance summer tires and winter tires.

For the X-Ice Snow, the treadwear warranty is 40,000 miles, which is pretty amazing. This gives you peace of mind that the tire will last at least three years, but usually more because you will be using these tires for 3-4 months every year. This is more than enough to consider it durable and reliable, but real-world testing has also shown that the X-Ice Snow is a long-lasting tire.

It is also an excellent snow tire. The longitudinal traction it provides is similar to its closest rival, the Blizzak WS90, meaning the braking distances are very short, and acceleration is swift. Moreover, you will be able to control your Mini Cooper without any issues, thanks to the predictable and balanced handling. I was also impressed with the lateral grip of the X-Ice Snow, which didn't have problems achieving illegal speeds on snow.

But the X-Ice Snow is much more than just a good snow tire. It also works very well on ice, where it will give you enough traction to get you out of trouble. In other words, it provides solid braking, accelerates well, and turns into a corner when driven gently. Of course, it won't rival a studded winter tire, but it's still very good considering the category.

I was also impressed with the performance in slush. Thanks to the directional tread pattern, the X-Ice Snow was able to channel quite a lot of standing water, providing stability and confidence, along with strong braking.

The same holds true for performance in rainy conditions. The X-Ice Snow has excellent hydroplaning resistance and has no issues driving through puddles of water, but it also provides solid traction. However, it ultimately lags behind the Blizzak WS90 in an outright wet grip. It is good in isolation, but it can't hold a candle to its closest rivals in lateral grip.

With that said, the dry grip is very good, and overall, the handling is very balanced. I was even pleased with the solid responsiveness of the tire, considering it's made from a pliable rubber compound. Crucially, the straight-line tracking and highway stability are excellent, which is what the average driver mostly likes to hear.

As for comfort, the X-Ice Snow is very comfortable over bumps, even on bad roads with repetitive impacts. Noise is also mostly not an issue, though you can hear the tread growl on a coarser tarmac.

Pros:

  • Excellent control and traction on snowy surfaces
  • Outstanding icy surface handling and traction
  • Solid dry surface handling and grip
  • Short stopping distances on wet surfaces
  • Surprisingly comfortable and quiet for an aggressive snow tire

Cons:

  • Generates more noise on rough surfaces than some competitors
  • Wet condition grip slightly less compared to high-end competitors

Best Run-Flat Tires for Mini Cooper

11. Bridgestone DriveGuard Plus

Bridgestone-DriveGuard-Plus

Looking for a set of run-flat tires for your Mini Cooper? I suggest going for the Bridgestone DriveGuard Plus, which is currently the most accomplished run-flat tire on the market. This is not a surprise because the DriveGuard Plus is designed from the ground up as a run-flat tire, not as a run-flat version of a regular tire.

As a result, the DriveGuard Plus solves the main issue of run-flat tires – the ride quality. This is the first run-flat tire that I tried that I can truly say rides well in general terms, not just relative to its category. The ride is firm but remains composed on bad roads, with repetitive impacts never disturbing the cabin.

Moreover, the DriveGuard Plus rides well over potholes and is generally an excellent companion on longer journeys. That is helped by the fact that Bridgestone also managed to make it very quiet, also in absolute terms, not just relative to its category.

But how does it drive? Well, thanks to those stiffer sidewalls, the DriveGuard Plus is plenty responsive, but the steering is also very linear and precise. Moreover, the tire provides a very good grip on dry roads, matching that of regular grand-touring all-season tires. The stopping distances are also sufficiently short, and you will have no issues accelerating swiftly off the line.

The same holds true for wet traction. The DriveGuard Plus works well in the rain, with very short stopping distances and a high lateral grip. The hydroplaning resistance is also excellent, matching that of the best regular grand-touring all-season tires.

Bridgestone also did its homework in the winter department. The DriveGuard Plus won't dethrone the best grand-touring all-season tires in outright snow traction, but it still works better than any other run-flat tire. Notably, the braking distances are reasonably short, and the lateral grip is very good as well.

With that said, the DriveGuard Plus isn't as sophisticated as the non-run-flat leaders in the grand-touring all-season category when it comes to handling balance. Push it past its limits, and the DriveGuard Plus feels nervous and harder to control than a regular tire, which is especially true on wet and snowy roads.

However, the DriveGuard Plus has an ace up its sleeve to make up for that – it comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is by far the highest of any run-flat tire. Real-world treadlife should also be excellent, as owners of the previous model reported excellent durability. Considering the advancements Bridgestone made, the DriveGuard Plus should easily be the most durable run-flat tire on the market.

Pros:

  • Balanced handling and good grip on dry roads
  • Quick and precise steering
  • Safe handling and good traction on wet tarmac
  • Works well on light snow
  • The best ride quality of any run-flat tire on the market
  • Pretty quiet for a run-flat tire
  • Excellent treadwear warranty for a run-flat tire

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Lacks the ultimate handling sophistication of regular tires

12. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat

Pirelli-Cinturato-P7-All-Season-Run-Flat

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The Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat is another accomplished run-flat tire that provides solid traction in all conditions. However, the company doesn't provide any treadwear warranty on this tire, which makes it overall less attractive to buyers than the newer DriveGuard Plus.

Still, if you value a sophisticated driving experience, the Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat will give you that. Unlike its rival, it provides balanced and predictable handling on dry and wet roads, accompanied by excellent traction. In fact, it's a very fun tire to drive on dry tarmac – the handling feels very responsive, and the lateral grip is excellent.

In rainy conditions, the Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat continues to impress with the driving experience, but even more so with the traction. Notably, the braking distances are among the shortest in the category, and the acceleration is strong.

I was also happy with how the Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat handled on light snow. The handling was fairly balanced, and the car was easy to drive, while the traction it gave me was comparable to some solid regular all-season tires.

Pirelli also did a fine job minimizing noise – the Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat is a very quiet tire, even on the highway. However, it can't match the DriveGuard Plus with the ride quality. In fact, the Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat can feel harsh over broken pavement, transmitting quite a lot of vibrations into the cabin.

Also, while the fact that Pirelli doesn't provide any treadwear warranty is annoying, it is even more bothersome that owners aren't particularly satisfied with the real-world durability. The treadlife is still solid, but for the price you are paying for the Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat, you really should be getting more. Still, considering not many run-flat options are available on the market, I guess Mini Cooper owners must be prepared to live with the disadvantages of those tires.

Pros:

  • Very quiet, even on rough tarmac
  • Responsive handling and good lateral grip in dry conditions
  • High levels of traction on wet pavement
  • Solid light-snow traction for a grand-touring all-season tire

Cons:

  • The ride can be harsh over broken surfaces
  • No treadwear warranty

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do tire choices affect the performance of a Mini Cooper?

Tire selection plays a pivotal role in the performance dynamics of any vehicle, and the Mini Cooper is no exception. Primarily, the quality and type of tires impact three critical areas: handling, fuel economy, and ride comfort.

For instance, the Mini Cooper is one of the most agile cars on sale, with quick and precise steering, balanced handling, and excellent grip. That is true for every model in the company's range – if you want to have fun while driving, any Mini Cooper will be a great choice.

However, that is only true if you have suitable tires on your Mini Cooper. Max-performance summer tires, for instance, tend to offer superior grip and responsive handling on a dry tarmac due to their softer compound and aggressive tread patterns, enhancing cornering abilities and decreasing stopping distances. Moreover, they work best in warm and rainy conditions, again thanks to the exceptionally sticky rubber compound.

Still, North American drivers often want one set of tires that will work throughout the year. Max-performance summer tires might be great in warmer conditions, but they become too harsh and brittle in the winter, completely losing their traction.

Fortunately, you can choose high-performance all-season tires, which provide solid traction in shallow snow. Moreover, they offer responsive and agile handling, though less traction and grip than summer performance tires.

However, not even those all-season tires will work best in winter conditions. If you live in an area with a lot of snow and ice during the winter, your best choice will be specialized winter tires. Winter or snow tires, designed with specialized rubber compounds and tread designs, provide improved traction and control in freezing temperatures, snow, and ice.

Using these tires outside of winter conditions can lead to rapid tread wear and suboptimal performance due to their soft rubber compounds designed to remain flexible in cold temperatures.

But there are other factors to consider other than handling and traction. For instance, the construction and materials of a tire can greatly influence the ride comfort in a Mini Cooper. For instance, low-profile tires (which have less sidewall height) tend to provide less cushioning against road bumps, resulting in a firmer ride. Conversely, tires with taller sidewalls can absorb road imperfections more efficiently, delivering a smoother and more comfortable ride.

There are also differences between various tire types when it comes to riding comfort. Touring and grand-touring tires are specifically designed to increase ride quality and minimize noise and often come with larger sidewalls. So, if you use your Mini Cooper as a daily driver and don't care about the sharpest steering or highest lateral grip, touring and grand-touring tires are an excellent choice.

Lastly, various types of tires have different rolling resistance, i.e., the force that a tire needs to keep moving at a constant speed. This is an important factor to consider if you want to reduce the fuel consumption of your Mini Cooper, as low-rolling resistance tires can cut it down by 2-5%. Touring and grand-touring summer tires are the best in that sense, but their all-season alternatives are also great at improving your Mini Cooper's fuel economy.

2. What size of tires does a Mini Cooper require?

The Mini Cooper is available in many different variants, each coming with different tire sizes from the factory. For instance, you have the entry-level Mini Cooper Hardtop 2-door and 4-door, the Countryman crossover, the fun Convertible, and the high-performance John Cooper Works versions of all of those models.

With that said, tire sizes are similar between the 2-door, 4-door, Clubman, and Convertible models, while the Countryman gets tires with larger sidewalls. Down below are the tire sizes used on the latest 2023 Mini Cooper vehicles.

Hardtop 2-door and 4-door:

  • 175/65R15
  • 195/55R16
  • 205/45R17
  • 205/40R18

Clubman: 

  • 225/45R17
  • 225/40R18

Convertible:

  • 175/65R15
  • 195/55R16
  • 205/45R17

Countryman:

  • 225/55R17
  • 225/50R18
  • 225/45R19

3. How often should I change the tires on my Mini Cooper?

The frequency of tire replacement on a Mini Cooper is contingent on a multitude of factors, including driving style, driving conditions, type and brand of the tire, and the vehicle's mechanical condition.

For instance, if you are an aggressive driver that attacks corners at higher speeds, accelerates swiftly, and brakes ferociously, you shouldn't expect your tires to last very long. Moreover, the type of roads you often navigate also play a role, as more abrasive tarmac wears your tires faster.

With that said, the type of tires you choose will have the most significant impact on longevity. Touring and grand-touring all-season tires are designed with durability in mind and often come with treadwear warranties that range between 60,000 and 80,000 miles.

As such, these tires will easily last you for four to five years, considering you cover around 15,000 miles annually. The summer versions of touring and grand-touring tires don't last as long, but they should still give you three years of driving.

High-performance tires, on the other hand, are made from stickier compounds that wear faster, meaning they won't last as long. Still, opting for performance all-season tires will give you better treadlife, as they come with treadwear warranties that range between 40,000 and 50,000 miles. Summer performance tires usually don't come with treadwear warranties and usually last between 20,000 and 30,000 miles.

Winter tires are also not very durable when it comes to treadlife and last between 20,000 and 30,000 miles. However, you will only be using these tires for 3-4 months every year, so they should last for four to five years without breaking a sweat.

It is important to note that, as a general rule, tires should be replaced when the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch. Many tires come with built-in treadwear indicators, or 'wear bars,' to visually signify when a tire has reached its wear limit.

Also, even if your tires have enough tread depth left, they age over time, and the rubber compound loses its traction abilities. Hence, you should replace your tires each 6-10 years (depending on the type and brand), regardless of treadlife.

4. How can I prolong the lifespan of my Mini Cooper's tires?

You can significantly prolong the lifespan of your Mini Cooper tires with regular maintenance and driving behavior.

Namely, tire rotation at intervals recommended by the manufacturer (typically every 5,000 to 8,000 miles) can help promote even tread wear and extend the overall life of your tires. This is because tires on each axle wear differently due to weight distribution, turning dynamics, and torque (on most cars, only two wheels are driven). Regular tire rotation helps ensure even wear across all tires, thus extending their overall lifespan.

Additionally, maintaining proper tire inflation can improve tire longevity, fuel economy, and overall vehicle performance. Under-inflated tires can cause excessive heat build-up and increased rolling resistance, leading to faster wear, while over-inflated tires can make the tire more susceptible to impact damage. Always inflate tires according to the manufacturer's recommended PSI (pounds per square inch), which is typically found on a sticker inside the driver's door or in the vehicle manual.

Furthermore, balancing and alignment can also help with the longevity of your tires. Balancing is a process where small weights are installed on the wheel, ensuring the weight is evenly distributed. Unbalanced tires can cause vibration, irregular wear, and strain on the vehicle's suspension.

Meanwhile, wheel alignment refers to the adjustment to the vehicle's suspension. Misaligned wheels lead to uneven tire wear, which can significantly shorten the tire's lifespan.

Your driving style can also affect how long the tires last. Aggressive driving, such as rapid acceleration, hard braking, and fast cornering, can put significant stress on tires and lead to premature wear. Adopting a smoother, more conservative driving style can help extend tire life.

Finally, tires suffer from various types of damage, like punctures, cuts, bulges, and tread separation. All of these are significant safety hazards, as they can lead to blowouts at higher speeds. Thus, it is crucial to inspect your tires from time to time to ensure none of those irregularities are present.

5. Are run-flat tires suitable for a Mini Cooper?

Mini Coopers are made by BMW today, a brand that was the first to adopt run-flat tires throughout each range. The German company did the same with the Mini brand. Thus, many Mini Coopers come equipped with run-flat tires as standard equipment.

Run-flat tires have reinforced sidewalls that can support the weight of the vehicle even after a puncture, allowing you to continue driving for a limited distance (usually around 50 miles) at a reduced speed (up to 50 mph). This can provide valuable peace of mind, especially when driving in remote areas or during inclement weather, as it negates the immediate need for a roadside tire change. In addition, run-flat tires are safer in the event of a blowout because the driver will still have some control over the vehicle.

However, there are some disadvantages to having run-flat tires on your car. For starters, they are much more expensive to buy, often costing up to 25% more than regular tires.

Moreover, run-flat tires have lower treadlife, meaning you will need to replace them more often, equating to even higher running costs in the long run. Other cons of run-flat tires are worse ride quality and higher noise. In fact, opting for regular tires will make the ride quality of your Mini Cooper much better, especially on broken roads.

With that said, it's important to note that if your Mini Cooper is equipped with run-flat tires, it likely doesn't have a spare tire. So, if you decide to switch from run-flat to conventional tires, you'll need to have a plan in place for roadside emergencies, such as a donut spare, tire repair kit, or a roadside assistance plan.

6. How much should I expect to spend on new tires for my Mini Cooper?

The price depends on the brand, type of tire, and size. For instance, opting for a set of high-quality grand-touring all-season tires for the Mini Cooper 2-door with 17-inch wheels will set you around $500 in the USA, with though some premium tires will cost north of $600.

UHP all-season, max-performance summer, and winter tires will be even more expensive than that, though run-flat tires are the most expensive, costing around $1,000 for a set, depending on the make and model.

It's also worth mentioning that while it might be tempting to save money by choosing the cheapest tires available, investing in high-quality tires from reputable manufacturers can provide better performance, safety, and potentially longer tread life, offering better value in the long run. Always ensure the tires you choose meet or exceed the specifications recommended by Mini for your particular model and variant.

7. Should I consider all-season tires for my Mini Cooper?

If you live in the USA or Canada, all-season tires are probably the best choice for you. That is largely because summer tires are next to gone in those markets, particularly in the touring and grand-touring categories. In the UK, Europe, and other areas in the world, though, touring summer tires are the norm, particularly in places with hot summers.

All-season tires, as the name suggests, are designed to provide balanced performance in a variety of weather conditions, including dry, wet, and mild winter conditions. They are typically characterized by longer tread life and a comfortable ride compared to more performance-oriented summer tires.

Thus, although they lack the ultimate grip of summer tires, all-season tires are a good choice for drivers who experience a variety of weather conditions throughout the year but don't regularly encounter severe winter weather (heavy snowfall or icy conditions), whereas winter tires would provide significantly better traction and control.

However, since the Mini Cooper is a fun-to-drive car in any of its versions, you might be tempted to put in max-performance summer tires. These will offer vastly superior grip and traction in dry and wet conditions for all-season, particularly when the weather is warm or hot outside. You can combine them with winter tires for the winter months and get the best possible performance, regardless of the conditions outside.

8. How does tire pressure affect the performance of a Mini Cooper?

Tire pressure is one of the most important factors that influence your Mini Cooper's handling, comfort, and fuel economy, but also the lifespan of the tires.

Properly inflated tires ensure optimal road contact, leading to the highest lateral grip, shortest stopping distances, and best acceleration traction.

Meanwhile, under-inflated tires have less precise steering, increased stopping distances, and worse grip in the corners. Crucially, though, they will feel less stable because the sidewall will flex more during cornering.

Over-inflated tires, conversely, can result in a harsh ride and reduced traction due to a smaller contact patch and less flexible tire structure.

Tire inflation also impacts durability; underinflation can lead to uneven, premature wear and heat build-up, while overinflated tires will wear faster in the center of the tread.

Underinflated tires also increase the rolling resistance, which negatively impacts fuel economy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, properly inflated tires can improve fuel economy by up to 3%.

Finally, overinflated tires can significantly worsen the ride quality of your Mini Cooper, while underinflated tires will be louder due to the larger contact patch and flexing of the rubber.

9. What are the signs of tire wear to look out for in a Mini Cooper?

Regular tire inspection will go a long way toward improving the lifespan of your Mini Cooper tires.

The most important sign you should follow is tread depth, which should never fall below 2/32 of an inch in depth. Most tires have built-in 'wear bars' in the tread grooves, which become flush with the tire's tread blocks when the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch (1.6 mm). At this point, your tires should be replaced for safety.

However, I strongly recommend replacing the tires before they reach the lowest tread depth. Although it is generally considered that 2/32 inches is enough for safe traction in rainy conditions, it is really the bare minimum.

You should also be looking at how even the tread wears across all your Mini Cooper tires. If the tires wear unevenly, their lifespan will be much shorter, as one side will wear much faster than usual. For example, excessive wear on the inside or outside edges of the tire (known as 'camber wear') could be a sign of wheel misalignment, while wear in the center of the tread might indicate over-inflation.

While you are inspecting the tread depth, look for other irregularities. For instance, cracks appearing on the tread or sidewalls could point out to dry rot, i.e., a rubber compound that is past its lifespan. Check the tire's manufacturing date (embossed on the sidewall) to ensure your tires aren't too old. Furthermore, look for blisters, bulges, and belts/cords visible from the tire, as they could lead to a blowout.

Finally, be attentive while driving, as that can also help you notice issues with the tires. Namely, excessive vibrations and noise could mean the tires are out of balance, but it can also refer to tread separation or suspension misalignment.

10. How do I properly maintain my Mini Cooper's tires?

There are a few steps you can follow to ensure your Mini Cooper tires are properly maintained:

11. How do different tire types affect fuel efficiency in a Mini Cooper?

The type of tire fitted to your Mini Cooper can indeed influence fuel efficiency, primarily due to variations in rolling resistance.

The tires with the lowest rolling resistance are summer touring or grand-touring tires. These tires have the simplest tread pattern with the least sipes and grooves and a harder compound that is not too sticky.

Meanwhile, all-season tires, designed to provide balanced performance across a range of conditions, may have slightly higher rolling resistance due to their more complex tread patterns and softer compounds.

Winter tires and performance summer tires will have the highest rolling resistance, though. For winter tires, it is due to the more aggressive tread pattern and softer rubber, while for summer tires, it is due to the tread designed to maximize grip rather than rolling resistance.

Conclusion

I had the fortune to drive many Mini Cooper cars over the year and always came out impressed with the driving experience. However, I had a friend that just installed cheaper tires on his Cooper Countryman to cut costs, and I could feel the difference even as a passenger. Put simply, the tires were loud and uncomfortable and didn't feel planted in the corners.

I asked him for a short drive and immediately felt the difference. The Countryman wasn't as responsive as I remembered and felt very nervous at the limit. I also have no doubts these tires won't last nearly as long, meaning more frequent replacements.

Now, there is a market for those tires, but I don't find them particularly attractive for Mini Cooper owners. Cheap tires will make the driving experience the opposite of fun while also deteriorating other qualities of the tires.

Crucially, though, each of the cheapest Mini Cooper tires I tested showed to be very difficult to control at the limit, especially in rainy conditions. Not to mention, the stopping distances are just too long to be called safe.

The reason I concluded the article like this is because many publications recommend cheap no-name tires for the Mini Cooper. I think you shouldn't even touch those tires because you can't really put money on safety. Still, each to his own, I guess!

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