Alternative Tire Options for Your MINI Cooper Countryman S

Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Hunter Leffel

Mini CountrymanRecently, I helped a customer find replacement tires for his 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman S. He had been running the Original Equipment run-flat in size 205/55R17. During our call, the MINI owner provided two main criteria. First, he wanted a non-run-flat tire that had all-season capability. Second, there was a restrictive price point that the customer requested. While looking for tires that were the O.E. size, I was coming across mostly run-flat tires, summer tires or options that were higher than the price he wanted.

It was time to look at an alternate size and I began to search for tires in the 225/50R17 size. This size is about 3/4" wider and the exact same height as the Original Equipment. Tire Rack provides fitment guarantee on this size to be inside the wheelwell without rubbing. In 225/50R17, you'll find a wide range of options from brands such as Fuzion and Hankook to premium performance options from Bridgestone and Michelin. We ended up equipping the customer's MINI with a set of Kumho Ecsta 4X.

Not a MINI owner? Then take a look at a few of my past blog posts on tire options for different vehicles:

Looking for tire advice on the vehicle you drive? Shop by vehicle or leave me a comment and I'll be happy to consider a future entry based on your recommendation.





Comments on Alternative Tire Options for Your MINI Cooper Countryman S

Friday, June 8, 2012 by John Mann:
if you convert from run-flat tires to regular tires on your countryman where do you put your spare? I do not think it will fit below the hatch.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 by Hunter:
You are correct there is no room for a spare. You would be running without a spare. While there are solutions out there, such as the Continetal Comfort Kit that Tire Rack sells, they are only effective in about 85% of the situations. The bottom line is if you are not comfortable with having to call a flat bed if you get a flat, you must stay with a run flat. It might also be worth mentioning, even with run flat tires, depending on how severe the damage is, you may still need to call a flat bed. When you factor most people haven't had a flat tire in years, a lot of people would call a road service anyway, even if they did, it is quite common to move away from run flats due to the advantages they offer.

Saturday, September 8, 2012 by Ibiary:
Hi I have a 2012 countryman s all4, and i wanna get rid of the runflat tyres. The current tyres i have are 225/45 18" all season. What do you reccomend for the 18" rims to avoid any rubbing and a smooth ride?
We have the most terrible roads here in Cairo, Egypt full of potholes, and with the run flats they get damadged alot.
Thxs for your help!
Monday, September 10, 2012 by Hunter:
You would run the same size in the 18 inch wheel on the Mini. If you want to increase protection from pothole damage, you could try buying 17" wheels and tires.
Friday, October 5, 2012 by greg:
After gving up on run flat tires, I need a 16" spare tire for my 2009 Clubman S. Any advice on where or how to purchase one? Will it fit in my spare tire well? Thank you.
Friday, October 5, 2012 by Hunter:
I am sorry but we do not sell temporary spare wheels. We cold do a full size but that is unlikely fit in the spare tire well, if the car even has one.

Friday, November 23, 2012 by jill:
Hello! I just got a set of Michelin tires on my mini countryman 12. Now I see that when the car is viewed form the rear, the back tires look like they are at an angle, pointing towards the center of the car, instead of straight up and down. I have noticed this on other minis on the road... is this bad for the car??
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 by Hunter:
That sounds like negative camber dialed in at the factory, You may notice a little faster edge ont he insde edge of those tires. You could talk to an alignment shop about possibly changing the camber setting.
Sunday, December 30, 2012 by Scott:
Hi there, I have a set of Nokian Hakkepelitas 215/R60/16 originally used on a 2004 Subaru Forrester. We just traded in the Forrester on a 2012 Mini Countryman All4 and wondered what your thoughts were on using the same winters. The size is so close I think the should work...please let me know as I would like to buy some wheels from you this week.
Thursday, January 31, 2013 by vladski:
My Countryman S AWD came with Pirelli P7 Run Flats. I'm having to replace them as they worn out at 24,000 Miles. I was never keen on them, they had great grip, but bounced almost uncontrollably when you hit uneven road surfaces at speed and therefore gave a really hard ride. Just working out what to put on, but doubt it'll be run flats.
Thursday, January 31, 2013 by Hunter:
Hi Vladski,
A non run flat should eliminate the ride issues you are describing. You may need to go to the alternate described in the blog post to open up your choices.
Monday, April 1, 2013 by Marios :
Hello, after 2 injured tyres at my Countryman S all4, in just 16.500km,i highly consider of replacing them with non RF at same dimension.
Your recommendations please.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 by Hunter:
I would suggest a top rated performance all season or grand touring all season. you can read about the performance in my blog entry
That will help you decide what type of tire will be best for you.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 by Lea Wilkinson:
I have a 2008 countryman s with 16 inch wheels. What size non run flat tires would fit?
Friday, May 10, 2013 by Hunter:
Hi Lea,
i am showing the Countryman was not available until model year 2011. Perhaps you meant clubman. 16" Clubman sizes would be 195/55R16 or 205/50R16. Hope that helps
Thursday, May 23, 2013 by Vas:

I am considering this tire. Do you still recommend this tire for the countryman ? Any problems with them ?
Thursday, May 23, 2013 by Hunter:
Absolutely, the Kumho tire is still a good option to consider.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Fernando Mendoza:

I have a 2012 Countryman S with 205/55-17 run-flats. Can I switch to regular tires in the same sized OEM wheels? If I decided to switch to the alternate tire size, 225/45-18, can I still use the original OEM wheels?
Thursday, August 22, 2013 by Hunter:
Hi Fernando,
Yes you can put a non run flat tire on the factory wheel. You can not put the 18" tire onto the 17" wheel.
Monday, September 30, 2013 by Kathy Carney:
Our 2012 Countryman S came with the run flat tires...worst tire I have ever owned! We are considering changing out the wheels when we replace the tires because of the ride. Will 16" wheels clear the brake calipers? Have you every done this for any customers?
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 by Hunter:
Yes we do have 16" wheels that will fit your car. Just shop by vehicle for wheels and choose 16" diamater. here is a link to get you started.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 by Pat:
I am considering going from the OEM 205/55-17 RF to a 225/45-18 regular tire. Will that cause any clearance issues in the wheel well? Why are so many people going away from RF's?
Friday, December 6, 2013 by Hunter:
Hi Pat,
225/45R18 will fit on the 2011 Countryman with the purchase of 18" wheels. Some people have issues with the noise and quality of ride with run flat tires. Your experience may not reflect sentiment.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 by william:
my countryman base 2011, factory provided 205/55R17. for tyre replacement can I use 215/50R17 instead?
Monday, January 27, 2014 by Blaine:
Hey! I have a 2011 countryman s (not 4 wheel drive). My run flats are shot at 55k miles and though they have basically been fine, several other owners have said the ride improves dramatically if you switch to regular tires. I'm completely ignorant about cars and want to know what to use. I have 18 inch wheels and I want a good tire as I'm on the road a lot.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 by Hunter:
Hi Blaine,
in a n apples to apples comaprison, a non run flat is considered better in every category that people think of when it comes to tires. You do nned to consider what you will do if you get a flat and do not have run flats though. you have no spare. Beyond that a good first step is to look at top rated tires in your size
Thursday, January 30, 2014 by Diane:
Will the alternative tire size you recommended fit on my original 17" rims of my 2011 Countryman S. Any higher price Options?
Monday, February 3, 2014 by Alan:
My daughter just bought on Saturday a 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman with 17"wheels equipped with the OE run flat Bridgestone Dueler tires. There are three other OE tires, all of them with better reviews for tread life wear and less road noise- Tire Rack link

The dealership would not trade out the tires, even for the nonperformance all-season Continental or Pirelli tire. Is there a way she can exchange these brand new tires this week for the less expensive run flat all-season OE 17" Continentals and pay only for labor and mounting? She lives in LA in 90034 area. If so, which tire location would you recommend that she goes to?

If not, can she purchase a road hazard warranty from Tire Rack, on the existing OE Bridgestone tires?
Your expert advice as to any options you might have to exchange these tires would be appreciated. Thank you.
Monday, February 3, 2014 by Hunter:
Hi Alan,
I am sorry but we do not have a trade in program available.
Monday, March 3, 2014 by christina :
I am currently with 225/45 R18 tires on my 2012 Mini Countryman S with a 2inch lift kit. I would prefer to keep run flats on the car, but at this point I will go with a regular tire, all season. I want bigger tires, to increase ride height and to fill some of that space but was wondering if you can suggest how big I can go without rubbing?
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by Hunter:
Sorry, I am able to offer any advice onthat oversized fitment. I would try contacting the lift kit manufacturer for guidance.
Thursday, April 24, 2014 by Brian:
I have 2011 Mini Countryman S with 225/45/18. TireRack recommends Pirelli Cinturato P7 Run Flat (H- or V-Speed Rated) High Performance Summer and this is to expensive. I would rather get Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat Grand Touring All-Season, which is cheaper. Will it fit?
Thursday, April 24, 2014 by Brian:
I live in LA and own 2011 Mini Countryman S with tire 225/45/18. Tire Rack original equipment recommends Pirelli Cinturato P7 Run Flat (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Ultra High Performance Summer, which is expensive. But, there is Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat Grand Touring All-Season, which is cheaper. Will it be okay to put on the all season?
Friday, April 25, 2014 by hunter:
Hi Brian,
Sure. You can put an all season on your car.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 by Jose:
I have a 2012 Countryman S All4 with 205/55-17 run-flats. What size of Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT will fit my car?
Thursday, June 12, 2014 by hunter:
Hi Jose,
It appears Bridgestone does not offer the RE960 in a recommended 17" for your car. Sorry.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by Ram:
Hi Hunter, Thanks for helping the MINI community.

I have 2012 MINI Countryman ALL4 S with 205/55-17 RFT now and planning to get a 225/50-17 Non-RFT due to the ride and road noise issue. I have few questions to ask.

1. Which tire do you recommend for Wet and Dry condition since I have a different Winter setup. I'm thinking about Pirelli Cinturato P7 Non-Run Flat with All season. Do you think this tire would be quiet and smooth?

2. Do you think, I would lose any Gas Mileage (MPG) by going to a different size than OEM?

3. How would you rate the performance by changing the size to 225/50-17? I don't want to compromise any of the handling.

4. Do you recommend doing Alignment and balance after replacing all the tires or just Alignment ?

Sorry for too many questions.
Friday, July 18, 2014 by hunter:
Hi Ram
1) The Pirelli P7 will give you a smooth and quiet ride, esp. compared to run flat.

2)Fuel economy likely will drop as you have more rubber on the ground, requiring more power to make it go.

3). A small increase, less than 5% I would guess, when comparing identical tire in those two sizes.

4) Balancing? Yes. Alignment? Only if you need one.
Friday, July 25, 2014 by Ram:
Thanks Mr. Hunter for your response. I was able to buy the P7 with your prompt response.
Saturday, July 26, 2014 by Woodie:
My girlfriend has a 2012 MINI Countryman. It came with run-flat tires. Two of them have been recently replaced and so are in good condition, but the other two are close to needing to be replaced. She is considering switching to non-run-flats. Is it possible to replace only two of the run-flats (front or rear) with non-run-flats instead of all four tires?
Monday, July 28, 2014 by hunter:
Hi Woodie,
We do not recommend mixing tires
Thursday, August 7, 2014 by Simon:
Hi Hunter,
I have a 2014 MINI Countryman S All4 that came with the standard 205/55R17 run flat tires. I want to buy non-RFT tires for the winter, but the available options are very limited for that specific tire size. Furthermore, living in Canada, I want winter tires that perform well on ice/snow. What alternate sizes and brands would you recommend ? (I would like to fit them on the original rims as well if possible)


Thursday, August 7, 2014 by hunter:
Hi Simon,
I would look at 225/50R17
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 by pedro :
Hello I would like to put a more aggressive tire on my 2005 min cooper I have a size 16 rim I have 205 50 r16
Friday, October 31, 2014 by hunter:
Hi Pedro,
A summer performance tire like the BF Goodrich Sport Comp2 would be a very aggressive tire for wet and dry performance.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 by soriano:
My Countryman has a tire size of 205 45 17. I'm purchasing 18inch rims. The tires I want to use are 225 50 18 non RF. Will that size: 1. give me more height, 2. smoother ride 3. will this size fit without rubbing. I want the car to have somewhat an SUV look rather than looking more like a car. I know that sounds odd. Thanks for your time.
Friday, November 21, 2014 by hunter:
We are not comfortable with the 50 series on the countryman, we feel is too tall.
Sunday, February 1, 2015 by cetavion:
how does fitment work?if i want to go with 22550/r17, is stock wheel can go with 25mm wider tire? nearest tirerack is 3 hr away, but i can visit on the way to chicago. does tirerack provide installation as well?
Friday, February 27, 2015 by pedro:
I have a 2012 countryman oem size 205/55r17 will a 215/55r17 work?bridgest9ne offers the driveguard on this size any suggestions going to this size
Friday, February 27, 2015 by hunter:
We would recommend 225/50R17 to get you into the Driveguard.

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