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A Guide to Continental Tire Compounds

If you're looking for an OE tire, Continental can supply you with some of your best options, as well as several performance and off-road tires.

A Guide to Continental Tire Compounds

Slotting itself into the #4 pick for best selling tire manufacturer three years running, German tire manufacturer Continental once again struggles to scale over the shale-encrusted mountain of mediocrity.

Even with about as many tire choices as there are bricks in the Great Wall of China, Continental still seems to have a reputation of making tires that satisfy, but don’t exceed expectations, as is apparent in the fickle nature of customer reviews.

That’s not to say that Continental doesn’t make a good tire. Continental provides probably some of the best OE tires on the market. Continental has also received awards for its technology packed into its tires. Because there are so many choices by Continental, we picked one out of each category of application available on Continental’s website based on reviews and performance.

Passenger Tires

Continental PureContact

Sizes Range: 195/65R15 - 255/45R19
Speed Rating: H (130 MPH), V (149 MPH),
Warranty: 70,000 Miles (Limited)

The PureContact is an all-season tire, with a load index of 91 (1356 lbs) and a speed rating of H (130 MPH). As more of an everyday tire, the PureContact offers a quiet ride, great handling, fuel efficiency and mileage. It even performs well in the wet and in the snow. According to customer reviews, however, treadlife is the PureContact’s weakest aspect so it won’t last as long as other tires of its class. It also uses the Ecoplus technology, which helps the tire with having longer tread life and reducing CO2 emissions by improving fuel economy.

Light Truck/SUV Tires

Continental TerrainContact A/T

Sizes Range: 225/60R17 - 315/70R17
Speed Rating: H (130 MPH), V (149 MPH), S (112 MPH), T (118 MPH)
Warranty: 60,000 Miles (Limited)

Meant for SUVs and light trucks, the TerrainContact A/T has a massive load index of 99 (1709 lbs) and an H (130 MPH) speed rating. Continental claims to have put the TerrainContact A/T through rigorous testing, 1,500 tires test on 2 million miles, over a period of three years. All of that testing has yielded proper performance, traction, comfort and treadlife. Customer reviews praise this tire with 4 and 5 star reviews on Tire Rack.

“Tires"
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Performance Tires

Continental ExtremeContact DWS06

Sizes Range: 205/45ZR16 - 295/40ZR21
Speed Rating: W (168 MPH), Y (186 MPH)
Warranty: 50,000 Miles (Limited)

Rated as an All-Season tire, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 has a load index of 88 (1235 lbs) per tire, a W speed rating (168 MPH). The DWS06 provides superior performance in the rain, excellent snow traction, exceptional handling, fuel efficiency and mileage. It also provides a quiet ride. Customer reviews reflect great performance, treadlife, comfort and traction.

ExtremeContact Sport

Sizes Range: 195/50ZR16 - 335/25ZR20
Speed Rating: W (168 MPH), Y (186 MPH)
Warranty: 30,000 Miles (Limited)

Continental’s ExtremeContact Sport is a summer only tire designed to exploit your car’s peak performance. It’s load index is slightly low at 84 (1102 lbs) and it has a W (168 MPH) speed rating. The ExtremeContact Sport offers great performance in the wet and incredible handling abilities, but seems to lack a bit of capability in terms of mileage and fuel efficiency. Despite these shortcomings it’s been reviewed as having excellent wet and dry performance, comfort and good treadwear.

Winter Tire

WinterContact SI

Sizes Range: 185/55R15 - 265/50R20
Speed Rating: H (130 MPH), V (149 MPH), T (118 MPH)
Warranty: 60 Day Trial

Continental’s winter tire selection is as extensive as its other categories. A tire that’s built to attack snow with confidence is the WinterContact SI. It offers the best traction in the snow while providing efficient gas mileage, a quiet ride and optimal fuel efficiency. Where it doesn’t fare so well is with its handling characteristics. Handling abilities aside, customers immensely enjoy this tire.

Original Equipment (OE) Tires

ExtremeContact DWS

Sizes Range: 195/50R16 - 315/35R20
Speed Rating: W (168 MPH), Y (186 MPH)
Warranty: 50,000 Miles (Limited)

Continental boasts its ExtremeContact DWS tire as an all-season master, providing top tier performance in the dry, wet and even in the snow. While customers rate it pretty highly in every category, it’s lowest numbers end up in the winter/snow performance. Be that as it may, it still performs better than most other all-season tires in such conditions.

4x4SportContact

Sizes Range: 275/40R20 - 275/45R19
Speed Rating: Y (186 MPH)
Warranty: 60 Day Trial

Continental classifies the 4x4SportContact as an ultra-high performance summer tire. While it does lend itself to having superior handling abilities and wet weather performance, it falls short in the way of mileage and fuel efficiency. It’s apparent in customer reviews that the 4x4SportContact doesn’t amaze the masses, and isn’t necessarily well-received across the board. That said it is a solid tire choice, especially at its low price.

ContiTouringContact CV/CW95

Sizes Range: P195/60R15 - 225/50R17
Speed Rating: S (112 MPH), V (149 MPH), W (168 MPH)
Warranty: 30 Day Trial

Other than having an extraordinarily long name this tire is built for touring, offering excellent wet weather traction and achieving middle-weight scores for all other aspects including mileage, fuel efficiency and handling.

It’s not terrible in the snow, but there are certainly better tires out there for that. In fact TireRack tested the ContiTouringContact against Dunlop and Pirelli’s competitor tires in wet weather and the Continental didn’t come close. Judging from customer reviews it appears the ContiTouringContact works better on RWD cars as opposed to AWD cars.

Continental tires are, across the board, very affordable compared to Michelin or Pirelli tires. Generally if you can afford a better tire then that’s probably the best practice, but Continentals are by no means inferior and if you’re tight on cash Continental is probably the best tire you can get.

Brian GrabianowskiBrian Grabianowski

Avid Formula 1 fan and motorcyclist, I enjoy chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and long rides to the beach.

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