Country Commuting on 18"s vs 17"s - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2012, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Australia Country Commuting on 18"s vs 17"s

Hi from Australia.

Looking to get a '12 Countryman Cooper S before end of year.

Here in Oz many come with the Chilli pack which includes plenty of nice stuff but also includes 18"s with run-flats. Standard wheels on the S are 17"s on normal rubber.

This will be my daily driver and I will be doing 160kms (100miles) a day mainly on a country highway with highly variable surfaces from coarse-chip to smooth to pot-holed.

In peoples' experience how are factors like road noise and ride on the 18" run-flats? Are they appropriate for a high mileage daily commute or do you think they will be annoying?

Closer to time I will try and get an overnight/weekend drive and do the route but until then any feedback would be appreciated.

Cheers,

Jase
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 02:46 AM
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I do 100km a day highway driving. No issues with the run flats. Minimal noise. They are actually a much better tyre as they have a rim that protects alloy wheels from scuffs and I have done 27,000kms since Dec and I have still got 50% treadwear left. The only issue with the Countryman is bouncing around over bumps. The car can easily jump if you hit an uneven surface. Mid corner this is dangerous. Otherwise, stick with 18". 17" on the Countryman just looks cheap.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Cool, thanks for the feedback. That's a good amount of K's. I'll be knocking on the door of 40,000km a year.

How have you found things generally over that time and distance on our roads?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 03:16 AM
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Madder - I test drove the Countryman S with 18's and sport suspension many times over the last 6 months. The last time I had the car was for a total of 3 days and put on about 500 km. I took it to the mountains which was about 100km away, or 200km return. I had the wife and 3 year old too and averaged 130 km/hr. I did not think the wife would have noticed but within 50 km she commented on the rough ride. By the end of the 200km, even I agreed, that I could not handle this ride if I had to do it every day. This stretch of road was in very very good conditions.

Now, if I do buy the 2013 model in the spring, I would get it with 18's and sport suspension but this car would strictly be a commuter car for me. 25km into the city, 25 km back. I would not mind the stiff ride if it simply was for 4-5 days per week. Our family already has a family CUV and that how we normally travel together. However, if I was in your situation, I would still get the 18's but not the sport suspension if that is possible in Oztown. Here in Canada you can only get the 18's if you buy the sport package complete with sport suspension.

I don't have a lot of km under my belt to comment on but I've heard too many times of folks wishing they didnt check the sport suspension box when ordering their Countryman's especially if they are putting on huge kms everyday.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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I think the biggest issue that you'll have is with the runflats, if you're driving over iffy road surfaces. I bought my car as an ex-demo, and it came with 18" + RFs and normal suspension. I quickly became so fed up with the harsh wide that I changes the tyres for standard non-RFs, and immmediately got a big improvement.

If I was speccing a brand new car, I personally would opt for 17" with normal rubber, especially if the road surfaces are none too grand. I'm not too hung up on appearances - ride quality is more important to me.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2012, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. Something to ponder, looks like jury's out until I can get a loaner for a night or weekend. Most cars here do not have the sports suspension so that's OK and I like the run-flats in principle but don't want to make the driving any more tyreing than it needs to be at 40,000kms + (25,000miles) a year.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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Jury is def not out, don't get run flats, especially not on 18s! The ride is about as smooth as riding a skateboard. Check out other threads on here about peopling ditching run flats for normal tyres. The only benefit I can see to Run flats is the safety aspect that u can drive some way before needing to do anything about a flat, which is a plus here in -20*C winters, but for summer I wish I didnt have run flats!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2012, 05:30 PM
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Run flats make for a hard ride, they also mask front end feedback, it's difficult to tell what the front tyres are doing. Pot holes in particular can be a jarring experience. As soon as mine are worn I will replace the run flats with standard tyres.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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i have a 2012 cms all4 with sport suspension and 18" wheels with 225/45-18 pirelli p7 cinturato runflat summer tires

the ride was brutal until i upped the tire pressures to 42 psi front and 36 psi rear from the stock 32f/32r

all the harshness is gone, no more BANGING on every bump

the tires are much quieter

the trammlining is gone

the handling is much better, especially turnin response

currently, at almost 7,000 miles, the tires are wearing evenly across the tread and the fronts and rears have worn the same amount, down to 5/32" on all 4 tires, surprising as everyone seems to wear the fronts much faster and the inner edge of the rears faster because of the negative camber

due to cost alone, i will not be buying another set of runflats, i am going to put michelin pilot super sports, size 225/50-18 on next

my dad bought a 2012 cms all4 2 weeks after i got mine, standard suspension and 205/55-17 all season runflats tires/wheels

his rides smoother than mine but does not handle near as well, i am very glad i got both the sport suspension and the 18" wheels

scott

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2012, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwr606 View Post
the ride was brutal until i upped the tire pressures to 42 psi front and 36 psi rear from the stock 32f/32r

all the harshness is gone, no more BANGING on every bump

the tires are much quieter

the trammlining is gone

the handling is much better, especially turnin response
Now that's interesting. Suggests the main tread of the tyre is taking more of the load rather than just the outerwalls. Good info Scott!

Presumably fuel efficiency is better too. When doing this commute in the past I was usually running 40psi all round for the siginificant difference it makes to fuel use.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2012, 11:58 PM
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Madder

that is my guess too

at the stock pressure, most of the load is directly on the sidewall/outer edges of the tire

if you have seen a runflat tire cross section, it is amazing how thick the sidewall is

i did make use of a tire pyrometer to arrive at the 42f/36r pressures

scott

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2012, 04:22 AM
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For all you sensitive saggy bum types, this is a Mini... A firm ride is what you expect.

Maybe in Australia the suspension has been softened a little as I don't find the ride harsh at all.

My previous Peugeot 308 XTE HDi was firmer than this on 18s.

Best to test drive and judge for yourself. If you want a lofting limousine, this is not that at all! But as a sporty alternative to other small SUVs, this is the perfect compromise.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2012, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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What pressures you running Ratpack?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2012, 05:45 AM
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18 inch runflats on my cm sd all4, no problems, but I do agree if you go over a bump or pot joke the car can snatch in the opposite direction but you get used to it.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2012, 09:46 AM
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Australia Run Flats

Have had run flats on my Cooper D for two years in Oz and am very happy with grip and ride. Ok a bit harsh but you have great road feel and is that not what a MINi is all about? Will buy them again when needed.
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