Continental TrueContact Review

Continental TrueContact Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 90%
  • Snow 60%
  • Comfort 85%
  • Noise 80%
  • Treadwear 90%
  • Overall 85%

I am familiar with the brilliant all-weather capabilities of the Continental TrueContact tire. My colleague once drove a Honda Accord fitted with Continental TrueContact tires. They cost less than $100 each and they gave the Accord a higher level of touring refinement. When I found out I was doing this review of the Continental TrueContact, I wanted to find a test vehicle for a long weekend drive, preferably a sedan or crossover.

Luckily for me, I got my hands on a 2017 Ford Fusion S sedan. It came with the 2.5-liter four-banger and six-speed automatic transmission. It is also fitted with 17” stock wheels in a luster nickel finish. Heard the news the Fusion will be discontinued only to be revived as a station wagon? Ford saw it fit to utilize the Fusion platform so it can go head-to-head with the magnificent Subaru Outback. That’s too bad because the Fusion is not only a great-looking car, but it rides smoothly and offers a ton of room for five adults plus cargo. I heard some rumors about reliability issues and bad customer support, but the Fusion is still a great car.

Continental TrueContact review: Features

The Continental TrueContact is an all-season touring tire. It is designed to increase the refinement and comfort of your sedan, crossover, minivan, or sports coupe. This tire is primarily engineered to deliver tons of comfort, a quiet and serene ride, outstanding fuel economy, and a longer wear life. Continental utilized the patented EcoPlus Technology to create a tire that performs well in all-season driving (including light snow) while still providing excellent traction and longer wear life.

The Continental TrueContact was constructed using an all-season tread compound infused with Tg-F polymers and +Silane additives to prolong tread wear, offer better wet traction, and enhance the fuel economy by lowering the rolling resistance. The symmetric tread design is equipped with three wide circumferential grooves to prevent hydroplaning. The tire also comes with traction grooves that you can see as vertical ridges in the circumferential grooves to deliver more biting edges over snowy or loose surfaces.

In order to offer a more comfortable and silent ride, the Continental TrueContact is also equipped with a cushioning layer of rubber that Continental calls ComfortRide Technology. This unique system will absorb shock and vibration to give your vehicle a better ride.

Continental TrueContact review: Test Drive

The goal in this review of the Continental TrueContact is to drive my test vehicle for a weekend jaunt that covers approximately 1,200 miles. I will need to drive a bit aggressively if I was to return home by Monday the following week. After packing my bags and playing some driving music, I hit the open road and drove off.

Dry Traction

The sun was up by Sunday morning, but it rained hard as I departed the big city. The Continental TrueContact tires felt marvelous in the dry, but the single most defining factor will have to be the road comfort, but more on that later. Braking also felt fuss-free while the steering and handling was a bit on the sportier side of the spectrum. The Continental TrueContact offered higher levels of grip in the dry than other touring tires I tested. This was not surprising since the TrueContact is endowed with a sporty symmetrical tread design, but it’s not the top dog if you desire more grip or traction for true sporty driving.

Wet Traction

The Continental TrueContact felt stable and secure as I sped on a wet highway. Credit also goes to my Ford Fusion test vehicle. It behaved like a sporty sedan even as I clumsily sawed at the wheel over wet and dirt-filled surfaces. The tires never failed to maintain traction as my sedan rolled over multiple patches of water puddles that some, I assume, were more than 2-inches deep! Braking in the wet was also strong and straightforward.

Snow Traction

I didn’t get the chance to test the tires in deep snow but I was able to traverse over moderately icy terrain. I am happy to report my Ford Fusion remained unperturbed even in the presence of ice or light snow. I even had a chat with a fellow driver behind the wheel of a Subaru Forester which also came equipped with the Continental TrueContact tires. He even told me it was the best all-season tires he tested so far, and it can even handle a couple inches of snow without breaking traction.

Comfort

The true test of a touring tire is riding comfort. The Continental TrueContact is one of the best tires if you desire luxury-car levels of riding comfort for less than $150 each. The Ford Fusion is a comfortable sedan to start with, but the TrueContact tires were simply magnificent in terms of comfort and ride silence.

Noise

Like I said, the Continental TrueContact tires were eerily silent at both high and low speeds. This also happens to be one of the top tires I tested that rolled silently over any type of road, be it harsh concrete or smooth tarmac. Yes, it’s not the best in terms of dry grip but no other touring tire comes close when it comes to comfort and refinement.

Treadwear

The Continental TrueContact tires in my test vehicle were approximately 5 months old and have traveled an estimated 3,500-miles that consisted mostly of highway driving. The grooves were still fresh and had little signs of fading or wear.

Conclusion

The outstanding scores will say it all. The Continental TrueContact is a sterling choice for a touring tire that is intended for true all-season driving even over light snow. What makes this tire even more desirable is the price, which starts at just below $100 each. It’s not the best in terms of dry grip but it more than makes up for it in terms of comfort, refinement, and fuel economy.

This tire is available in:

Sedan/coupe/minivan/crossover, 15” to 19”, Touring, All-season

Continental ContiProContact Review

Continental ContiProContact Review

  • Dry 85%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 75%
  • Comfort 85%
  • Noise 85%
  • Treadwear 80%
  • Overall 82%
In the world of all-season tires, the Continental ContiProContact deserves no introduction. In this review, I got the chance to test drive a vehicle fitted with Continental ContiProContact tires. This gave me enough time to put the tires through its paces and see how they perform in the real world. It is easy to state bold claims, but the true test of a good tire is to drive it for many miles over varying road conditions.
The Continental ContiProContact is an all-season grand touring tire designed for European or luxury vehicles sold in North America. The tires were so good that Continental saw it fitting to supply additional sizes and widths to fit a wide array of Japanese and American cars. I also like the price. You can buy a decent set of 16-inch ContiProContact tires for less than $100 each. I must admit they’re not exactly the cheapest in the touring category, but you ultimately get your money’s worth in terms of all-weather performance, fuel economy, and tread life. For this review, I was able to secure a 2014 Honda Accord LX fitted with aftermarket 17-inch wheels and Continental ContiProContact tires. Now this particular generation lost the smooth ride quality of the sixth-gen Accord, a car which I absolutely adored. My test vehicle is roomier than previous models, but it also came with firmer suspension and a stiffer ride. The Continental ContiProContact tires are known for their class-leading refinement. Are the tires good enough to tame the rather bumpy ride of my test vehicle? Let’s find out.

Continental ContiProContact Review: Features

The Continental ContiProContact is a grand touring tire for all-season driving. Yes, it can also handle a bit of loose dirt and snow. The tire is constructed from an all-season tread compound with notched center rib tread design. This will enable the tire to constantly maintain direct contact with the road which will also give the vehicle a more direct steering feel. The tire is also equipped with wider circumferential grooves for excellent hydroplaning resistance over wet or slippery roads. The ContiProContact also benefits from Continental’s PROactive Edge Technology. It consists of at least 800 arched edges in each tire to promote excellent all-weather and snow traction while minimizing road noise. This tire offers the perfect symmetry between comfort, performance, and fuel economy.

Continental ContiProContact Review: Test Drive

I filled up with a full tank of gas and checked the air in each tire. My Honda Accord is purring like a kitten. The standard CVT transmission is not exactly the champion in terms of response and smoothness, but it is perfectly at home on the freeway. This is going to be an interesting drive.

Dry Traction

The Continental ContiProContact had higher levels of dry traction than other all-season touring tires I tested so far. This is not a sporty tire so I didn’t test the tires based on track performance. But for humble day-to-day driving in the city and highway, the tires performed better than advertised. Braking was also strong and steady and the steering felt more nimble and more direct. If you demand outstanding levels of grip and precise handling, these are not the tires for you. Then again, the tires gave my Accord nimbler handling as long as you don’t push it. So far, so good.

Wet Traction

In my opinion, the Continental ContiProContact tires were at their absolute best as I drove in stormy weather. I never felt the tires hunting for grip or traction and braking also felt consistent and strong. The steering still felt sublime over wet concrete or asphalt. My test vehicle rode steadily over water puddles and standing water. It really felt like the tires were slicing their way over slippery roads to consistently maintain surface contact.

Snow Traction

I also got the chance to test the Continental ContiProContact over icy and snowy roads. The tires felt average but traction was still consistent given the slick road surface. The additional biting edges on the tires worked their magic when I almost got stuck in moderately deep snow. Of course, don’t expect the tires to motivate your vehicle over excessively deep snow or thick ice. The ContiProContact is only good for light snow.

Comfort

I was expecting the Continental ContiProContact to enhance the refinement and ride quality of my test vehicle, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s nice to know Continental didn’t sacrifice the ride quality of the ContiProContact in the name of all out sporty performance. My Honda Accord cruised serenely over smooth highways and will thump oh so gently when jarred by potholes and concrete expansion joints.

Noise

The tires were quiet as a monk at low and medium speeds. Tire roar is more evident as you approach highway speeds, but it wasn’t too bad to give the tires a low score. Road noise will only creep in if you push the vehicle past the speed limit. All in all, the refinement of the Continental ContiProContact is particularly impressive given the price.

Treadwear

The Continental ContiProContact tires on my test vehicle were approximately 4 months old and have covered an average distance of 3,000 miles. The grooves and sipes were starting to fade a bit on the front but the rear tires were still relatively good as new. I heard rumors about the not-so-stellar wear characteristics of this tire, but it seems the ones fitted to my Accord were aging normally. It might have something to do with the wheel alignment of the vehicle. Make sure to have the alignment checked every time you rotate or buy a new set of tires to prevent irregular or premature tire wear.

Conclusion

The Continental ContiProContact offers all-season versatility without penalizing comfort and performance. This is the tire to get if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a set of silent, comfy, and responsive all-season touring tires.

This tire is available in:

Sedans/crossovers/minivans, 15” to 19”, Touring, All-season

Hankook Ventus RS4 Review

Hankook Ventus RS4 Review

  • Dry 80%
  • Wet 85%
  • Comfort 70%
  • Noise 70%
  • Treadwear 70%
  • Overall 75%
You only need to take one look at the Hankook Ventus RS4 to discern the tire means serious business. The Ventus RS4 is the successor to the defunct Ventus RS3, but it improves on the strengths of its predecessor while adding more of that aggressive style.

In this review of the Hankook Ventus RS4, I was lucky enough to obtain a 2013 Ford Focus ST as my test vehicle. The car was fitted with aftermarket 18-inch wheels wrapped in a relatively new set of Hankook Ventus RS4 tires.

But it was not your run-of-the-mill Focus ST. The engine was fitted with a larger turbo and intercooler to produce around 300 horsepower. The suspension was upgraded to street-spec coilover suspension for a better and more comfortable ride compared to full-spec racing coilovers. The car is mostly driven in the street, but the owner partakes in weekend track sessions with his buddies as well as long cross-border trips.

I asked him why he considered the Hankook Ventus RS4 tires over other brands, and he was quick to point out two factors: the style and the price. The Ventus RS4 is certainly far from being cheap, but it delivers incredible value considering the looks and performance of the tire. Starting at around $130 each, it is way less than what you would pay for a Bridgestone or Michelin summer tire.

Hankook Ventus RS4 Review: Features

The most prominent feature of the Hankook Ventus RS4 is the wider center block. This helps the tire to maintain a steady grip on the road while also improving the steering response of the vehicle. The main groove is equipped with a pair of wider channels to quickly dissipate water and prevent hydroplaning on soaking wet pavement.

The directional treads are designed using variable groove angle technology to optimize the block stiffness of the tire. The Ventus RS4 also benefits from stiffer shoulder blocks to further enhance the steering response while improving cornering grip as well.

The Hankook Ventus RS4 is constructed using a new carbon black and silica racing compound to increase the overall stiffness of the carcass while improving traction and grip on wet pavement. The tire is equipped with a pair of wider steel belts and a dual layer joint-less nylon full cover to optimize durability and vehicle handling.

Hankook Ventus RS4 Review: Test Drive

My test car came fitted with a six-speed manual. It’s been a while since I drove a manual-equipped car, much less a Ford Focus ST. I was excited to get on the road because I was curious to find out the effects of the engine mods to the overall performance and drivability of my test car.

Dry Traction

As I found out, the effects were immensely intoxicating. The larger turbo spooled faster as the car accelerated hard from a standing stop. It is hard to compare the Hankook Ventus RS4 with an ordinary set of all-season tires in terms of dry traction. It was simply superior!

The added horsepower of the motor was a perfect match to the traction and grip of the tires.

The steering also felt more stable and more precise as I was able to position the nose of the car perfectly as I attacked a winding corner.

Braking was also a fuss-free affair since the tires were able to stop the car confidently without much fuss or drama. The car felt composed, and the tires seem they were asking for more. It felt that the tires can stand up to bigger and better engine mods. They were that good in the dry.

Wet Traction

I got the chance to drive on wet patches of smooth concrete on my way to the test track. I didn’t get the chance to push it, but the Hankook Ventus RS4 had acceptable levels of traction and grip on wet roads. I slowed down whenever the tires encountered deep water puddles since I felt the tires were not up to the task of dealing with such nuances.

Snow Traction

Um, no. I didn’t get the chance to drive the car in the snow, but I wasn’t looking forward to doing it either. The Hankook Ventus RS4 is a summer tire designed for extreme driving, but that’s about it. This tire was not designed to be driven on snow. Frankly, so was my test car.

Comfort

The street-spec coilovers gave my test car a more civilized ride, but it was still a bit too firm for the daily drive. In fact, if you’re the type of person who has never experienced driving a car fitted with stiff coilovers, you will probably be annoyed by the stiff and bumpy ride. The tires didn’t help in this regard either.

Noise

The road noise of the Hankook Ventus RS4 is not that bad to be quite honest, but it’s not the most refined either. Credit goes to the European levels of refinement of the Ford Focus ST, but the tires are not what you call silent by any means. You will hear the tires roar on the highway, and you will feel them whispering at slow speeds as well. These are not the set of tires to consider if you are looking for ride silence and refinement.

Treadwear

The Hankook Ventus RS4 tires fitted to my test car were approximately 3 months old with a mileage of around 3,000 or so miles. The tires already had signs of wear on the treads. But considering the extreme nature and power of my test vehicle, I guess this is not bad.

Conclusion

The Hankook Ventus RS4 is a good choice for an extreme performance summer tire. It offers the highest levels of dry grip at the lowest possible price. If you are searching for an affordable set of summer tires, the Ventus RS4 should be on top of your list.

Hankook Kinergy GT Review

Hankook Kinergy GT Review

  • Dry 100%
  • Wet 90%
  • Snow 80%
  • Comfort 95%
  • Noise 90%
  • Treadwear 90%
  • Overall 91%
Grand touring tires are supposed to offer a longer tread life, quiet ride, and high levels of driving comfort. The Hankook Kinergy GT is an all-season tire designed to offer all of those and more.

In this review of the Hankook Kinergy GT, I got the chance to test drive a 2011 Honda Accord EX with a DOHC 2.4-liter motor and 5-speed automatic transmission. The car was fitted with gorgeous 17-inch aftermarket wheels and Hankook Kinergy GT tires. It is also worth noting my car was also equipped with a lowered stance courtesy of aftermarket progressive-rate lowering springs.

But wait, if my test car was clearly dressed-up for sportiness, why give it a humdrum set of grand touring tires? I asked the owner about this and the answer was pretty straightforward: he can’t stand the road noise of sportier tires. The 2011 Honda Accord is not what you would call ‘insulated’ since the car is known for lacking the necessary insulation to keep tire roar at bay. The owner is also a high-mileage driver and he needed a set of tires that will roll silently and deliver incredible wear characteristics.

I guess it all makes sense. But what I can’t understand is the price of the tires. The Hankook Kinergy GT starts at less than $120 each, which is a bit steep if you’ll ask me. But if the tires can roll silently and comfortably without penalties in dry and wet traction, then it is probably worth it. You can also expect to get good mileage out of the tires since they are in grand touring spec after all.

Hankook Kinergy GT Review: Features

The Hankook Kinergy GT is equipped with a rather conventional tread design. But take a closer look and you will see the tires are equipped with four circumferential channel grooves that are wider than the norm. This feature alone speaks volumes about the wet driving capabilities of the tire. Wider grooves mean better and faster water evacuation so the treads are always in contact with the road.
The tire is also equipped with a wider lateral groove to further improve traction and braking on wet surfaces. The rigid center rib improves the stability of the tire while also enhancing handling and braking performance.

The Hankook Kinergy GT is constructed using a high-grip silica compound that offers better performance in winter conditions while enhancing the grip and traction of the tire on dry pavement. The tire is also equipped with a stiffer sidewall to improve the steering feel of your vehicle.

Hankook Kinergy GT Review: Test Drive

I got in drove off. The Accord will always have a special place in my heart because it is an economical, spacious, and roomy sedan that handles like a sporty compact vehicle. I was expecting a stiffer ride courtesy of the lowering springs, but the car remained decently comfortable despite the lowered stance.

Dry Traction

Since the Hankook Kinergy GT is a premium grand touring tire, I really wasn’t expecting much in terms of extreme traction. But again, my expectations were shattered by the abilities of the tire. I wouldn’t say the tires offered superior levels of dry traction, but it wasn’t bad either.

I pressed hard on the gas pedal on a sandy highway and the tires simply soldiered on with nary a complaint. I attacked a right-hand corner at higher than average speeds and the tires managed to grip the road without breaking traction. But if you really push it too far, you will hear the tires squirming for grip as the rubber tries to maintain contact with the road.

Wet Traction

I drove the car over slippery asphalt and I had no problems with the steering and the braking. I got to speed on a deserted and damp piece of highway and the tires felt confident tackling the greasy pavement. I never felt the tires lost traction even with my ham-fisted steering inputs. In fact, the car felt pretty planted even if you drive it hard in the wet. Of course, this was in large part to the lowered ride height of my test car.

Snow Traction

I never had the chance to drive my test car in the snow. The owner told me he spent a lot of time in Detroit during the holidays and the tires were more than equipped to handle ice or light snow. He even drove on roads covered with more than an inch of snow and the tires were able to navigate the car safely despite the dreary road conditions.

Comfort

The Hankook Kinergy GT tires were very comfortable on the highway. They were also a revelation on pockmarked city roads. Yes, I had to avoid large potholes due to the lowered stance of my test vehicle, but the car remained planted and composed even in the presence of poorly paved roads.

Noise

The riding comfort and lower noise levels are the strongest attributes of the Hankook Kinergy GT tires. True to the grand touring nature of the tires, the Kinergy GT offered a silent and hushed ride. You will still hear a bit of tire roar when you’re cruising at high-speed, but this is due in part to the poor NVH characteristics of my test vehicle.

The owner told me his old tires were simply unbearable on the highway due to the presence of a constant droning sound in the cabin. The Hankook Kinergy GT tires offered him some much needed relief from the road noise.

Treadwear

The Hankook Kinergy GT tires fitted to my test car were still relatively new at the time of this writing. The tires were approximately 5 months old and had traveled a distance of around 4,000 or so miles. The treads were still fresh and there were no signs of accelerated wear on the tread surface.

Conclusion

The Hankook Kinergy GT is an excellent grand touring tire that delivers higher levels of all-season traction and comfort. It is a bit more expensive compared to other tires of the same caliber, but the excellent wear characteristics and low noise levels of the Kinergy GT is hard to ignore.

Yokohama Avid Ascend Review

Yokohama Avid Ascend Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 75%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 85%
  • Treadwear 80%
  • Overall 86%

In the world of performance-oriented all-season tires, the Yokohama Avid Ascend is the one that receives a lot of praise. Yokohama made sure the Avid Ascend will retain the excellent all-season handling of a performance tire with the low noise and long wear characteristics of a touring tire. Drivers from all over the world also have praises for the supreme comfort of the tires.

It all sounds good, but there is a minor caveat with the Yokohama Avid Ascend: the price. I guess this will depend on the type of vehicle and the intended application, but you can find a competent set of all-season touring tires for a lower cost compared to the Avid Ascend.

But the price is all relative to the features and performance of the product. In this review of the Yokohama Avid Ascend, I was able to acquire a sporty 2010 Nissan Altima 2.5 S sedan equipped with aftermarket 17-inch wheels. The Yokohama Avid Ascend tires fitted to my test car were only a month old during the time of this review. The owner is a fella in his late thirties who loves to drive fast without giving up space and ride comfort. It seems I have the perfect car for the job.

My test vehicle was slightly modified by the owner. The engine had a nice intake noise courtesy of an aftermarket cold air intake. The car was riding on progressive-rate lowering springs for a more aggressive stance. The wheels looked like they were ready to hit the track.

I asked the owner why he chose the Yokohama Avid Ascend. He was quick to point out the stellar reviews of the tire, particularly the comfort and long tread life. In terms of price, the Avid Ascend is not exactly cheap. Prices start at less than $125 each and are lower than comparable tires from other popular brands.

Yokohama Avid Ascend Review: Features

The Yokohama Avid Ascend is constructed using the innovative Orange Oil Compound to promote the adhesion of the rubber on both wet and dry roads. The Orange Oil enables the tire to maintain a lower rolling resistance without penalties to all-season traction and grip. As an added fact, the tire compound infused with Orange Oil is the most durable high-performance compound Yokohama ever created in their 100-year history of tire making, which also gives their tires excellent mileage for the money.

The Yokohama Avid Ascend is equipped with an optimized tread profile with unique tread block ridges to help reduce tread movement when the tire is in motion. This will enable the tires to perform silently even at high speeds.

The tire is also equipped with deep circumferential grooves and cross grooves to further enhance water evacuation while providing high levels of grip on slippery or icy roads. The adaptive 3D sipes are designed to increase the rigidity of the blocks to promote even tire wear and enhanced all-season traction.

The Yokohama Avid Ascend takes it a step further by adding a tapered center rib to enhance the stability and steering feel of your vehicle. The tire also benefits from a multi-pitch tread design that utilizes variable shaped tread blocks to cancel out tire roar at high speeds.

Yokohama Avid Ascend Review: Test Drive

Even though my test car was fitted with a CVT transmission, I was still excited to explore the capabilities of both the tires and the Nissan Altima. The delicious intake note made the experience a lot better since it gave me the sensation of being one with the car despite the limp transmission.

Dry Traction

The Altima is one of the best-handling Japanese sport sedans. The lowering springs made it even more capable. I was able to tackle tight corners at higher than usual speeds without triggering the traction control system of the vehicle. The Yokohama Avid Ascend felt like proper summer tires in the dry and offered relentless amounts of traction and grip. However, if you’re the type of driver who demands the highest levels of traction and grip, you are barking at the wrong tree. You are better off with a proper set of ultra-high performance tires.

Wet Traction

There were some rain showers in the early afternoon and this gave me the opportunity to test the tires on water-soaked slippery roads. The steering of my test car was so direct and precise that I actually felt the tires gripping the wet surface as I manipulated the steering wheel. You can coax the rear tires to break traction in the wet, and I felt you can also do so in the dry with the help of some sand on the surface. But the tires felt planted even as I applied abrupt throttle and steering changes over soaking wet roads.

Snow Traction

I got the chance to test the tires on mild snow and they performed admirably as well. Of course, don’t expect the tires to remain calm and composed if you are driving on roads covered with thick ice and snow. I also noticed that braking and acceleration were a bit apprehensive in the snow, but this is par for the course.

Comfort

Despite the slightly stiff ride courtesy of the lowering springs, I was visibly impressed with the comfortable nature of the Yokohama Avid Ascend tires. It felt like the tires have a dual-personality. They are calm, quiet, and composed if you drive like a nun, but the tires will wake up and deliver a jolt of traction and grip if you bury the throttle pedal, all without upsetting the ride comfort.

Noise

Road noise was kept to a bare minimum. You won’t hear it on tight city roads or at slow speeds, but you will hear the tire roar creeping in as you add speed, although it’s never enough to merit a low score. All in all, the Yokohama Avid Ascend tires delivered on the promise of exceptional comfort and low road noise.

Treadwear

The Yokohama Avid Ascend tires fitted to my test car were still new. The treads were still thick and fresh at the time of this review. But there’s no need to worry as the tires are backed by an impressive 85,000-mile treadwear warranty.

Conclusion

The Yokohama Avid Ascend may have a premium price tag, but the features and performance aspects of the tire is hard to ignore. It delivers advanced levels of traction and grip while still remaining comfortable and quiet on both wet and dry roads.