Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.25
 
 

2008 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Warwick, RI
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
March 22, 2014

Decided to replace my 50% used Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires with a set of these A/S 3's, along with new wheels. I upgraded from the OEM size 205/50/ZR 16 to a set of 205/45/ZR 17's on Sparco Tarmacs. Both the Continentals and the Michelins were W speed rated. While I understand upgrading to larger wheels with smaller aspect ratio tires improves handling, I only reduced the aspect ration by 5%. I say that because the difference between the Continental's and the Michelin's is night and day.

2 weeks prior I upgraded my suspension with the H&R Touring Cup Kit. While it was a significant upgrade over stock, I felt it was still missing something. There was still some roll in hard corners and the steering was a tad mushy. I simply couldn't believe the difference as soon as I bolted up the new wheels with the Michelin A/S 3's! The Conti's have a very soft sidewall that makes the suspension feel mushier than it needs to be. Turn in on the Michelins is simply outstanding. Crisp and precise. Prodigious grip in corners and very predictable at the limit. High speed stability is light years ahead of the Continentals, which were excellent in there own right. Ride quality is actually a tad better than the DWS's as well. I would recommend these to anyone looking for a truly no compromise all-season tire.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2014 Mini John Cooper Works
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Centennial, CO
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 28, 2014

I have had these tires twice, once on a Subaru and now I put them on a JCW Mini Coupe. The dealer ordered them from Tire Rack for me and put them on before I picked up my new car. It was December in Colorado.

I absolutely love these tires. I have used the Blizzaks and Michelins on other vehicles and this is my favorite. The primary thing I like is that the snow traction is terrific but what makes it exceptional is the dry traction. In this season I have used the tire on every type of snow and ice possible in Colorado. Outside of slush which no tire does well the tire is excellent. I will also tell you that if you drive a stiff suspension sports car you will like the ride with the non runflats. I believe that I could drive this tire competently in virtually all conditions short of track work.

With a front wheel drive and these tires you can drive with confidence. I went out to unplowed lots and put the tires to the limits, even turning off traction controls. I would purposely cut hard, throw up some rooster takls and try to slide and recover. It was easy.

I strongly and confidently recommend these tires to my fellow enthusiasts.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus V4 ES H105

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Hankook Ventus V4 ES H105Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.00

2006 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 40,000
Location: Oak Lawn, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 40,000 Miles on Tires
January 26, 2013

These tires were installed on my car when I bought it at 27k miles in Feb 2011. I'm now at 67k miles, almost Feb 2013 so I average 20k miles per year.

To start off, when the tires were new I was pleased with them. Plenty of dry and wet traction and low noise. Car tracked good as alignment was performed when tires were installed. Over the course of 40k miles I would have expected the tires to be shot and pretty worn. Granted I have a lightweight vehicle but I've still got 6/32 tread on center. Edges however are more like 3/32. I know edge wear is due to the MINI's aggressive suspension, however the tire noise is now quite loud. Not as bad as goodyear eagles with similar mileage but loud none the less.

Last winter was quite mild and I never had the chance to test out the MINI in the snow. Finally got the chance to drive in a snowstorm last week and let me say- Mark these tires down as NOT all-seasons. More like 3-season tires. With 6/32 tread life over 80-90% of the tire I expected much more in snow. Braking in snow is awful- slight tap on the brakes caused me to fishtail across multiple lanes on the interstate in less than an inch of snow on the roads (traveling about 55mph and going straight initially). Starting from a stop is a joke, grandmas pass me in their Buicks. Cornering in snow is, lets say breath taking, and not in a good way. Again, this is all on less than an inch of snow. Nowhere close to "deep snow" and not slush or ice.

I am now investing in new tires. Again, these Hankooks are not "worn out", more like 50% tread left. These tires would be great for someone who lived in warm climates that may get cold but stay above freezing. However for a norther climate driver, I would pass on these.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Thursday, January 24, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Continental ExtremeContact DWSReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.4

2009 Mini Cooper
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Manassas, VA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
January 22, 2013

I've only had these tires a couple weeks so I can't comment on treadwear or wet/snow performance. But I can say that the difference in ride quality is phenomenal (they replaced run flats). A MINI Cooper suspension is stiff by design; but with run flat tires, on 17" rims, in sport mode…if you hit a nickel lying in the road, you’ll spill your coffee. With the Continental Extreme DWS tires I can hit all the loose change I want. Plus, the run flats were very loud whereas the Continental’s are so quiet that I can now hear my wife telling me to slow down. I’m very happy with these tires.

Save on 225/45R17 and 205/45R17 Run-Flats for Your E90 BMW and MINI Cooper S

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Regardless of how much they're liked or disliked, run-flat tires are here to stay. Are you a BMW or MINI driver who loves his or her car and has decided to stay with run-flats? Then you need to take advantage of the specials currently on the 225/45R17 size for your E90 BMW and 205/45R17 for your MINI Cooper S.

The 225/45R17 Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP is marked down from $200 to $129*. If you're already looking for a summer tire, consider the 205/45R17 Pirelli P Zero Run Flat which is now listed for $131*.

225/45R17 Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP
225/45R17 Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP
205/45R17 Pirelli P Zero Run Flat
205/45R17 Pirelli P Zero Run Flat


Not only are you getting a great deal, you're also getting some awesome tires. The non-run-flat version of the Michelin Primacy MXM4 delivers a great combination of wet grip, steering response and low tread noise for its class. Pirelli P Zero Run Flat's crisp steering response and high grip level make it a good choice for a spirited Mini Cooper S driver. Derived from 100 years of motorsport experience, this Max Performance Summer tire offers a great combination of wet and dry traction with the convenience of temporary extended mobility in the event of complete air pressure loss.

It's also possible to change from run-flat tires to non-run-flat options. These conventional tires will fit your Original Equipment wheels with your driveline, suspension and traction working as normal. To find the best tire option for your BMW or MINI Cooper S, shop by vehicle.  

*Limited stock, prices subject to change

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta 4X

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Kumho Ecsta 4XReviewer's Overall Rating: 8

2009 Mini Cooper S Clubman
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Miles driven on tires: 3,450
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,450 Miles on Tires
August 29, 2012

Please ignore phrases like: "great tire for the money". This is a great tire. Period.

I went from Dunlop SP Sport Signature non-run-flates and then Michelin PIlot Sport A/S to these Kumhos, and he Kumhos are easily as good or even better than both of those much more expensive tires, all on my slightly modded MINI Clubman S. Haven't had a chance to push them when it's wet yet.

A TireRack salesmen recommended these, even after I told him that price was not an issue. They handle great, have low noise and a good ride for a performance tire, though I can see that tread life will be lower than advertised. The only reason these are cheaper is probably because they are made in Korea...the 4Xs definitely outperform the Dunlops on most levels, and are as good as the Michelins (even better as far as road noise). There is very little tramlining, and I feel confident pushing them.

It's strange to see some people complaining that they feel floppy -- this must be very car and suspension dependent, because on my Clubman S (with Koni FSD shocks and a stiffer rear sway bar) they feel as or more strong than the Dunlops or Michelins that I had, when it comes to sidewall stiffness.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2012 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Bethlehem, PA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
May 21, 2012

From the very first mile driven a dramatic improvement over OEM Summer RFT was noted. The crash of the RFT was was gone and replaced with quiet quickness. The Cooper S suspension feels tight and stiff not harsh. The driver can enjoy the Mini for what it was intended. The RFT provides mobility for 50 mi. but endless inconvenience. With a Conti Comfort Kit and simple tire repair knowledge you can be prepared for 85% of tire flats while enjoying 100% of your Mini S.

 

Corners Like a MINI Cooper S and Stings Like a Scorpion: FIAT's 500 Abarth

Thursday, April 26, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

When it comes to light, fast, compact European hatchbacks, the MINI Cooper S has been the only game in town. With the release of the FIAT 500 Abarth,  MINI finally has some serious competition. The 500 Abarth adds a whopping 59 hp and 72 ft. lbs. of torque compared to the FIAT 500 Sport. That's a lot of power for a 2,564 lb. car and some serious power for those front tires to handle. 
 

If you have an Abarth on order, then you'll be counting on 195/45-16 all-seasons or the optional 205/40-17s. The 195/45-16 Original Equipment options for the vehicle are either the Grand Touring All-Season Continental ContiProContact or the High Performance All-Season Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season. The optional 17x7 is equipped with the 205/40-17 Max Performance Summer Pirelli P Zero Nero tire.

Given the Abarth's sporty suspension and short wheelbase, factory choices may not be ideal. In my opinion, the 16" tire choices offer relatively subpar grip, while the vehicle's ride is compromised with the 17" wheels. If I had an Abarth on order, I'd select one of the 16" options and sell them to a FIAT 500 Sport owner and look at a 205/45-16 Tire & Wheel Package.
 

If you're looking for wheels for a 500 Abarth with a black exterior and red mirror caps and red side stripes, I'd take a look at the black painted O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT. For the red-colored vehicle with black mirror caps and black side stripes, the red painted Alleggerita HLT is a great choice. With a white or gray Abarth, there's a number of Alleggerita finishes that'll work.
  

When looking for a tire that offers great dry and wet grip, predictable handling, optimal balance between steering response and ride compliance and relatively low noise take a look at the 205/45-16 Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport.

 

16x7 4-100 37mm offset OZ Black Painted Allegerita $279*
O.Z. Racing Black Painted Alleggerita HLT $279*
16x7 4-100 37mm offset OZ Red Painted Allegerita $299*
O.Z. Racing Red Painted Alleggerita HLT $299*
205/45-16 Ultra High Performance Summer Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport $105*
Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport $105*

 

Mounted, balanced and ready to install, the Tire & Wheel Package including the Black Alleggerita is $1,712*, while the package with the red painted (special order color) Alleggerita is currently $1,792*.
 

E 'in poi, è su come Donkey Kong (It's on, it's on like Donkey Kong).
 

2012 FIAT 500 Abarth FAQ:

  1. Can I run 205/45-16 sized tires on my Original Equipment 16" wheels? Yes, the O.E. 16x6.5 wheels will accommodate the 205/45-16 tires.
     
  2. Would the Sparco Assetto Gara be a good fit for the vehicle? The wheel is a good  choice as well, however I personally like the Alleggerita design a little better. If you're open to either design, the Assetto Gara costs less and is priced at $1092* (the red painted Assetto Gara is estimated to be available in June).
     
  3. How do the above 4-100 wheels fit on 4-98 bolt pattern vehicle? You can install these wheels with the provided wobble bolts. Wobble bolts are bolts with floating seats. Each bolt seat moves slightly upward to accommodate the 4-100 bolt pattern.

*Price subject to change, excluding shipping

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ContiProContact SSR

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Continental ContiProContact SSRReviewer's Overall Rating: 4.82

2008 Mini Cooper
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Miles driven on tires: 29,000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 29,000 Miles on Tires
March 06, 2012

Two sets of this same tire in 59,000 miles over 50 months, and both sets had similar results.Ratings are averages for full life of use. When newer --first 10k-- they performed much better in all conditions including wet. But as they wore out they became progressively slicker and apt to hydroplaning in any wet conditions. Tried many different pressure settings, and kept good maintenance of them including frequent rotation. Very disappointed in how they behaved in last half of their life.
Don't even think of using them in any snow, especially after first 5-10k! Horrid traction in even light snow. I could put up with some diminishing of grip and handling if they were astounding when new, but that is not the case.
They did have "decent" handling response and predictable action in most driving conditions (and that includes white knuckles in rain) when newer, but consistently have a very hard/harsh feel, even with setting lower pressure. Not sure if this is due to run flats or the suspension setup on the MINI, or both. Won't get these again. Probably should have researched these more when I replaced first set, too. Unfortunately not a lot of choices for all season run flats for this wheel size... might try the Yokohama AVID ENVigor ZPS, though no test results yet... (Or maybe just get summer tires and dedicated winter treads and wheels like I do for my other two cars - RX-8 & S2000.)

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.33
 
 

2012 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 50
Location: Vancouver, BC
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 50 Miles on Tires
January 24, 2012

This is a follow up to the review I wrote a few days ago. My Cooper S came with Bridgestone RE050A RFT "run flats" and the ride was awful. I have just put these "conventional" Continental Extreme contact DWS tires on and the difference is huge.
1) The steering is now lighter when making corners at low speed and roundabouts
2) The "roar" from the tires is much quieter.
3) The Mini doesn't "crash" and "bang" into pot holes and ridges like it did with the Bridgstones. Don't get me wrong, it's not Lexus smooth, as the mini still has a sport suspension (i.e. firm) and large'ish 17" tires, but I drove the same route to work this morning over a section of badly surfaced road and I wasn't gritting my teeth and grimacing all the way. Sure you could feel the surface, but I now feel like the tire is part of the suspension not excluded from it.
4) Best of all, the tramling has all but gone. Its pouring here in Vancouver and worn inner city grooves in the road are everywhere, but the Mini now tracks straight and true, I can drive with one hand on the wheel instead of bracing myself with two and wrestling it in the direction I want it to go. Vast improvement - worth the upgrade for this alone. I noticed the same effect on my Mazda 3 sport when I changed from Goodyear Eagles to these Continental.

Based on experience in the Mazda, I know they will be good in the dry too, but I wimp out in the snow and leave the car in the garage so I don't have any experience of that.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli PZero RFT

Monday, January 23, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli PZero RFTReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.33

2008 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 11500
Location: Peoia, AZ
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 11500 Miles on Tires
January 10, 2012

When you are limited to RFT Tires, you really don't have much choice. I live in AZ where we see maybe 10 days of rain a year. My P-Zeros RFT's are 'simply without equal' as long as you have 'dry or slightly wet' roads. Naturally the MINI COOPER S is built to handle 'very well'. To that, I have made some 'upgrades' to the 'overall performance' of the car. I admit that I 'love driving fast' and when you make 'quick cuts' around 'slow moving traffic' at 'high speeds', you don't have time to wonder if your tires are 'up to the task'. Fortuantely the P-Zero's can easily and without any hesitation go where I point the car. Sometimes with maybe a 'foot or two' clearance when I change lanes at 80+ MPH. Wear is about what you would expect. The outer part wears faster than the middle of inner part of the tire.
I've driven Bridgestones as well and they are also 'very good', but the Perilli still does the job 'better'! Road noise is 'nil' Comfort? Well, Mini's don't have 'suspension' that 'comforts out' every bump in the road, but for the 'superior handling of the MINI, that is 'more than acceptable'. I wouldn't hesitate to get these tires again! Just 'Remember'. These are Ultra High Performance Summer Only Tires. I live very near Phoenix so there is 'never a chance of much rain'. If you live in a place where it does rain somewhat often, these may not be the tire you're looking for.
In AZ, they are TOPS!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ContiProContact SSR

Monday, January 23, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ContiProContact SSRReviewer's Overall Rating: 6

2012 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 3000
Location: Denver, CO
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3000 Miles on Tires
January 09, 2012

I gave these tires a dry traction rating of 9. I am not sure how much of the performance is related to MINI and how much is related to Continental but I go screaming around 270-degree on ramp and there is no slip or noise. I take turns much faster than I did with my Impreza and BMW 330Ci /w Sport Package. I have not had a surprise when running at high speed in the wet and so far have not experienced any hydroplaning. We had over a foot of snow (Colorado Powder) and I drove around the block plowing with front bumper and all was OK until there ice below the snow and I got stuck. They are marginally acceptable for a thin layer of packed snow but not ice. Fortunately in Denver we have really good snow removal and the sun melts the thin layers of packed snow quickly. If you lived in area with snow and cloudy winter days, forget it. Forget driving on ice.

These are run flat tires so by definition they have a harsh ride and are much noisier than conventional tires. The tire has to support the car without air pressure. The MINI has a very stiff suspension so this only amplifies the noise and harshness. I can validate all the comments about ride and noise. At first I was ready to pull them off and exchange them for something else but the traction and corning is incredible I am keeping them. Its up to your discretion as to what is acceptable.

The tread wear seems to be doing quite well as there is still no noticeable wear front or rear at 3000 miles.

Conclusion: I like them but there is serious trade off between performance and comfort.

New ST Coil-Over Kit for Hardtop Mini

Saturday, March 26, 2011 by Logan Woodworth
ST Coil-OverLooking to upgrade more than the wheels on your Mini? Upgrading the suspension will properly lower your vehicle while offering an improved ride, handling and performance.

The ST Coil-Over kit for the Hardtop Mini Cooper is a Premium and Performance Street suspension product that provides great performance at a great value. Designed and manufactured alongside KW's (ST Suspension parent company) products in Germany, the ST coil-over is engineered after the KW Variant 1 Coil-Overs.

Heavily galvanized for exceptional rust protection, the ST Coil-Overs are backed by a five-year limited warranty.

Shop by vehicle to see which suspension products work best for your vehicle.

Suspension Upgrade 101

Thursday, June 3, 2010 by Brandon Lorenc
When upgrading your car's suspension, it is important to remember that you're going to be the person doing the driving and will have to deal with the ride quality on a daily basis. Whether it is MINI Cooper Suspension, Corvette Suspension, Mustang Suspension or WRX Suspension there is usually a trade-off in ride quality for performance.

Personally when I upgraded the suspension on my 2005 Saab 9-2X Aero (essentially a WRX) I wanted a good balance of ride quality and improved handling. I used the H&R Sport Springs which gave an excellent improvement in cornering and steering response and a more aggressive look, but still retained a decent ride quality. It lowered the car slightly more then an inch in my case which was just perfect for me. Many people go more aggressive, but remember you're driving down the road casually much more often then when your cornering and will have to deal with the ride quality on a permamenent basis.

Have fun!


Do you have Hotchkis suspension products on your MINI Cooper?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
If not, you should! Many Hotchkis suspension products are made specifically for MINI Cooper suspension systems.

The H-Sport Stage 1 TVS system is an ideal upgrade for anyone who drives their MINI Cooper on a regular basis. It features sway bars and lowering springs, both of which improve ride and drive quality. And as an important bonus, it's fairly easy to install. Though vehicle lifts make it even easier, a simple jack system will do. Read "H-Sport Stage 1 TVS Installation Tips for the MINI" for step-by-step instructions.

Search all suspension products.


Upgrade your MINI Cooper suspension system.

Friday, December 11, 2009 by Tire Rack Team
If you seek better handling on and off the track, then your MINI Cooper will benefit from the Hotchkis Sport Suspension Stage 1 TVS kit. With just two parts—sport springs, an anti-roll bar kit—and detailed instructions, installation is easy for anyone who has ever worked on their brakes or suspension system. (Hotchkis has even provided a few hints and tips.)

How exactly do those two parts upgrade your MINI Cooper suspension system? The Sport Springs lower the vehicle, and thus—your center of gravity. But ride quality isn't diminished. The Sport Anti-Roll Bar Kit features front and rear bars that improve handling. It's explained thoroughly in the following video: "Comparing Hotchkis Sport Suspension Sport Anti-Roll Bars to Stock." 

See all Hotchkis suspension products.