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16 inch tires vs. 17 inch tires/Standard dash vs. Seven vs. Park Lane

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16 inch tires vs. 17 inch tires/Standard dash vs. Seven vs. Park Lane

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Old 02-27-2006, 10:40 AM
bglct99
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16 inch tires vs. 17 inch tires/Standard dash vs. Seven vs. Park Lane

Hello everyone,
I posted on here a bit ago, and I am taking your advice and ordering a MINI to my specs. The details will be sorted out later, but that's the way I am going.

The reason I didn't want to is that now I keep building like a MINI or two per day, fooling with options and what not.

Now, I keep reading on this and a few other boards that the 17 inch rims aren't very desireable: The ride is rougher and the tires more expensive, although they look better (in some people's opinion).

My question is: Do they really detract from the ride that much? I am not going to be racing the MCS I plan on acquiring, but I do plan to drive it a lot, 50/50 highway versus city. I don't care for giant rims, it's a MINI not a chromed out Escalade on a Jay-Z, but I would like for it to look good. Also, I might be living in a place with snow, but definitely a place with sand, so I'm thinking that the 16 inch rims might be better for that as well. Furthermore, I had optioned my MCS out with the Sport and Premium packages, but I just retooled it on my own and can shave off like $1,000.

Also, I was thinking of changing the dash to either the Seven or Park Lane. I like them both, but seeing as how I am planning on getting the outside Astro Black, the Seven would compliment that on the inside (I also plan on getting just black Wet Okole seats), but I'm thinking that those circles would be too goofy-looking. As for the Park Lane, it just appeals to me. Anyone with either of these have any suggestions?

I appreciate any thoughts or comments.

Oh, and here is a list of my other specs (not including 17 inch rims or a non-standard dash):
DSC, fog lamps, xenons, LSD (thanks again for the suggestions), rear fog, moonroof (I'll enjoy this thouroughly), the fancy steering wheel, armrest, and H/K sound system. Comes out to 25,550. With the 2 packages and other stuff, it comes out to more than 26,300. Thanks again for the help.
 
  #2  
Old 02-27-2006, 03:54 PM
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fishbulb
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We specced the 16"s on both our cars. I am from miata land where lighter is better! the 17" S-lites come in around 48 lbs a corner - no way i am putting those on my car!

We put aftermarket rims on both of them - more for looks, but it also shaved a few lbs a corner. (well, mine are still in the garage - but you get the idea)

As for the dash, i when with the park lane, as it matches my RG exterior. It's nice, i got it to match the outside. Doubt i would have spent the extra money on it if i bought a dark silver...

For $300 throw in the cold weather package - mmmm..toasty seats!

keep speccin!

-jac
 
  #3  
Old 02-27-2006, 04:35 PM
RockC
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What I've read in the various reviews, short term, long term ones, is the 17" tires/wheels really make for a harsh ride. I spec'd mine with 16" wheel/tires because of this. And also, from what I gather, at least on the road, 17" tires/wheels don't bring that much more to the table, handling-wise.

Given the state of most roads nowadays, I'm starting to shy away from bigger and bigger wheels. I already have a car with 17" wheels and high performance tires and the road noise from them is starting to get to me.

I look forward to a quieter riding MINI. (My other car, which I sold, had stock 15" tires/wheels and the one thing I really miss is how much quieter is was on the road.

However, people are different. If you can, try to test drive 2 MINIs with 16" and 17" setups on the same roads and see how the ride, noise and handling compare, then make up your mind.

Sincerely,

RockC.
 
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Old 02-27-2006, 04:47 PM
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Herby74
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Exactly. Go to your dealer and test drive cars with 16" and 17" wheels.....back to back. That's what I did and it became very clear that the 16"ers were for me.
 
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:22 PM
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I have had the 16" wheels on both of my MCSs. Test drove one with 17" and one with 16" and there was no question.

In this months (April) Grassroot Motorsports there is a fantastic article about MINIs. The resounding facts about tires and wheels are that for stock class racing the 16x6.5" rim is king, for modified classes the 16x7" or 16x7.5" rims are king. Even when compared against proper light weight 17" rims.

Mine is a daily driver with an occasional Auto-X day. Hopefully I will also be trying a track day this year. So, clearly, daily comfort is important, with a nod towards preformance. I keep the run-flats until they are worn out and then I'll be changing to conventional tires with higher grip rubber. Who knows, maybe when my current tires are worn out there will be some decent high preformance rubber. With the 16" wheels the runflats are not objectionable as daily drivers.

As far as the dash goes, it is entirely a personal choice. What looks good to me will not make you happy.
 
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Old 02-28-2006, 09:45 AM
Jerome81
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Originally Posted by Bilbo-Baggins
I have had the 16" wheels on both of my MCSs. Test drove one with 17" and one with 16" and there was no question.

In this months (April) Grassroot Motorsports there is a fantastic article about MINIs. The resounding facts about tires and wheels are that for stock class racing the 16x6.5" rim is king, for modified classes the 16x7" or 16x7.5" rims are king. Even when compared against proper light weight 17" rims.

Mine is a daily driver with an occasional Auto-X day. Hopefully I will also be trying a track day this year. So, clearly, daily comfort is important, with a nod towards preformance. I keep the run-flats until they are worn out and then I'll be changing to conventional tires with higher grip rubber. Who knows, maybe when my current tires are worn out there will be some decent high preformance rubber. With the 16" wheels the runflats are not objectionable as daily drivers.

As far as the dash goes, it is entirely a personal choice. What looks good to me will not make you happy.
Damn. I like the styling on the 17's so much better :( I can't decide!
 
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:11 AM
Jerome81
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Actually, good question would be compare the 16" run flats with 17" regular tires. Now how does it look?
 
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:04 PM
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I'm getting the 17" R91 5-spoke bullet wheels in white. They're the lightest 17" OEM wheel (and at 20.6 lb, comparable in weight to most of the available 16" wheels), and on the MCS Cabrio they come with a non-run-flat tire. The end result is not too bad for a 17" wheel, and they look great with my spec.

I'll eventually end up getting some aftermarket 16" wheels for AutoX, but for daily driving these seemed like a good compromise between looks and ride quality. And in the end it made sense because I want everything else in the Sport Package.

I considered getting the 16" V-Spokes since they also come in white and they're the lightest of the 16" OEM wheels, but I figured I'll probably end up buying a lighter 3rd-party 16" wheel later anyway, so I might as well take the upgrade and get the snazzy 17" bullets for looks.

That was my train of thought...YMMV.
 
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:40 PM
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beken
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When I bought my MCS, I ordered my car with 16" all-seasons. I thought that would be the ideal balance for the conditions of road where I live. When the car arrived, it came with 17" high performance. On the spec sheet, in Canada, that's a $2000 option. The dealer gave them to me and some of the sales people were somewhat indignant because I wasn't very pleased to have to invest an additional $1000 for additional wheels and winter tires.

Having said that...I started driving in the 70's...even pre-radial tire days. Back then high performance suspensions were rock hard and tires and wheels were HEAVY. Unsprung weight was not in the vocabulary anywhere yet. So I'm okay with big heavy wheels (S-lites are not THAT heavy for OEM wheels) and am quite pleased with them in dry or wet roads. I sometimes feel the 16" ones a bit too soft. But for everyday road use, the 16" and 17" are fine. The 17" wheels strike a different compromise for everyday driving. That's the key, isn't it? For everyday use, where do you want your compromise to be? My personal preference is for the slightly more razor sharp response the 17" wheels give but I can understand those who want something a bit softer. I already have another car with a soft plush super smooth ride. It just doesn't have the same telepathic handling of my MCS. So I'm okay with the 17" wheels. I will consider non-runflats on my next set of tires but that has more to do with expense than ride quality. I do take notice of the noise the tires generate though and can only hope as the technology develops, most of the concerns that people complain about on runflat tires will be addressed...including price.

Most on this thread have recommended 16" so I suspect that's the consensus. But to me, it's not that big a deal.
 
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:34 PM
bglct99
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Hmm, lots of helpful advice and I definitely appreciate it.

Like Beken said, the consensus seems to be for the 16" wheels. However, at this point, given what you guys have written, I am more worried about the price of the wheels and the tires themselves as opposed to the ride. I am coming from a 1995 Jeep Cherokee Country with 15' tires, not the most comfortable ride on the highway, but I also don't want anything too spaceship-like (read: BMW 750iL). I rode in one a while back and could barely feel speed bumps and I didn't particularly care for that. Obviously a 1 inch difference in tires isn't going to change the ride that dramatically, but that's where I am coming from. So now I'm more worried about the difference in price between shoes for the 16" and the 17".

Once again, thanks for the help.
 
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:38 PM
rkw
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Originally Posted by Porco Rosso
...and on the MCS Cabrio they come with a non-run-flat tire.
Not from the factory. MINI offers only run-flat tires for 16" and 17" wheels.
 
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rkw
Not from the factory. MINI offers only run-flat tires for 16" and 17" wheels.
Hmmm...this is gonna potentially be news to both me and my MA. On the website it merely says "Performance Tires" for the R91s...no mention of the word "Run-Flat", whereas the Web Spokes and S-Lites explicitly say "Run-Flat". So I asked my MA about this and got what I believed to be confirmation that they're not run-flats.

I don't remember the exact wording of the conversation, though. Maybe the MA said something like "standard performance tires" and I thought that meant non-RF when it really meant "run-flat, which is our only standard for this model, you dolt!"

Oh well, if they're run-flats, I guess I'll have fun wearing 'em out so I can get some better tires.
 
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:47 PM
bglct99
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Thanks for the responses so far.

Like Beken mentioned, the overwhelming support is for the 16 inch wheels. At this point I am not concerned so much for the smoothness of the ride (coming from a 1995 Jeep Cherokee, I rather enjoy feeling every bump in the road), but for the price of tires for the 17" wheels. Is the difference really that dramatic, or are we just talking about 40 or 50 bucks? I'm referring to the run-flats, since I have no intention of riding around with either a spare in the backseat or without one. My other concern was about potholes and such, since I have read that run-flats are sometimes a little more sensitive to shocks and what not as opposed to normal tires, given their smaller/stiffer sidewall.

Thanks again for the help.
 
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