2014 Mini Cooper: Rides Rough for a Base Model
July 10, 2015
This may sound like a broken record for anyone who has followed our experiences with the Mini over the years. I think it rides too rough.
I know, I know. It's supposed to be a sporty hatchback for drivers who like sharp handling. It certainly delivers on that promise and then some. And I realize that we opted for the slightly larger-than-stock 17-inch wheels and more aggressive tires.
But when you're not ripping corners or otherwise having fun behind the wheel, our Mini feels unnecessarily stiff, especially on the concrete freeways we have here in Southern California.
It doesn't isolate small bumps well and the tires track grooves in the pavement too often. For comparison, our Volkswagen GTI has larger wheels and even shorter side walls, yet it rides and drives just fine over similar pavement.
It's not so stiff that enthusiast drivers would find it objectionable. In fact, if you like road feel, this Mini has more than some sports cars. If you're not in that camp, however, I would consider sticking with the 16-inch wheels. It'll save you some money, and some headaches.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 16,590 miles