Mini Coopers in the snow?


#1

My OTHER dream car is a Mini. I live in Minnesota where we get INCHES of snow at a time… I’m curious if anyone has a Mini and knows how they handle in the snow. Hockey pucks or Hamsters?


#2

Since the Mini is a FWD car, it will be very good in the snow as long as you equip it with a set of 4 winter tires, and as long as you drive it carefully and cautiously. No matter what type of vehicle you drive, and no matter what type of tires it has, it is still important to drive more slowly in snowy weather and to leave VERY long following distances between your car and the car in front of it.

A car’s traction and handling on slick surfaces is almost entirely a function of the type of tires that it has. Many cars–particularly “sport-oriented” models–now come from the factory with tires that are only appropriate for summer use. Try to use these in the winter and you will wind up spinning your tires more often than not. And, as to braking on a slick surface, those tires are essentially useless.

Even if the car comes from the factory with so-called all-season tires, the best all-season tire is still far inferior to the worst winter tire. If you get a set of the top-rated winter tires, like the Michelin X-Ice tire, you will be able to drive safely in snow–as long as the snow is not higher than the front bumper of the car. The low-slung Mini does not have very much ground clearance, so that factor is also a consideration on un-plowed roads.


#3

I agree with VDC and must add that regardless of having fwd and the very best snow tires, both are absolutely useless if the snow is deep enough and the ground clearance is insufficient. The chassis will begin to float and not even the magic of snow tires and fwd will help. A poorly balnced fwd car with more weight over the wheels may actually be better in forward traction than the well balanced mini with wide for it’s size performance tires. S
So ImO, minis may be adequate in a couple of inches of snow but poor on unplowed roads when it piles up beyond it’s very minimal clearance. If snow is a big issue, I’d not get one and suggest you dream on, about something else higher.


#4

You need to figure out what you want. A Mini and a Cabrio are apples and oranges. Choose one.

Either will do fine in snow IF you equip the car with four winter tires. Two is not enough, and non, in Minnesota, is foolish.


#5

I live in the Mountains of Colorado, See numerous mini’s about, they seem to do as good as any in the snow, I agree it comes down to having quality snow tires!!


#6

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area this past winter, I noticed some Mini’s. Didn’t seem to do any worse than the other small, light cars. I’m not saying the luxury of winter tires wouldn’t be nice, but I just don’t know anyone that does this in Minnesota. The roads tend to be clear and dry within a day of major weather and winter tires will do no good on dry pavement. Plus they require buying and storing an extra set of wheels. Most people just use all season radials year round, and stay off the roads until plowed.


#7

I see a lot of Mini’s here in NH. Not sure what tires they have…they looked like all-season…I wouldn’t think you need snows in Minneapolis…For the 3-4 days of really heavy snow you get a year just don’t drive.


#8

I had a VW Rabbit many years ago and it handled very well in the snow. It, like the Cabrio (Rabbit’s great-great granddaughter) and the Mini had FWD. I did fine in the snow. The only problem is ground clearance. It is possible to ride up onto a drift and get stuck. If the snow is that deep on the roads, you shouldn’t be out, though.