Well, with 47,000 miles on my 04 Mini Cooper S it was time to get new tires. I picked up a set of Hankook Ventus V12 Evo tires at Discount Tire. Car and Driver gave them a very favorable review here. So far I am extremely pleased.
I have noticed that overall grip is improved. I can take corners faster with less tire squeal (actually, no tire squeal) and the ride is “day and night” better. Road noise is also greatly reduced, but this last item may be due to the fact that the previous tires were noisy because they needed to be replaced.
The only downside to this tire is a slightly softer initial turn in. The run flats that were on the car had such a stiff sidewall (so it could run without air) that it did help with crisp turn in. I have almost forgotten this. In a couple more weeks I will not be able to remember how the old tires did. Unless you have the chance to drive the tires back to back you won’t notice this.
Oh… and in case you are wondering how I am dealing with non run flat tires on a car with no spare tire… I keep two cans of fix-a-flat in the car.