Hybrid tires are all about balance. The Continental PureContact is no different. It is a grand touring all-season tire that offers the attributes of an all-season and touring tire. This means it can deliver superior wet and dry performance along with a comfortable ride and longer wear.
It took me quite a while to search for a test vehicle. My buddy was able to secure a 2016 Cadillac CTS sedan equipped with a powerful and torquey 2.0-liter 4-cylinder motor and 6-speed automatic transmission. My test vehicle was fitted with a nice set of Continental PureContact tires wrapped on those gorgeous 19” alloy rims. It would have been great if my Caddy came fitted with the glorious 3.6-liter turbocharged V6. That would have been a blast! Bust as I spent more time with the less powerful turbo four-banger, I became increasingly convinced of the capabilities and smooth nature of the smaller motor.
Continental PureContact review: Features
What I really like about the Continental PureContact is the price. The owner of the Caddy only spent less than $190 each for a set of 19-inch rubber, which is not bad considering the tires are designed for all-season driving including light snow. However, a standard set of 15-inch tires will only start at less than $90 each which is still good value in my book.
The Continental PureContact is an all-season grand touring tire designed for luxury sedans, sports coupes, and crossover vehicles. It is constructed using a silica enriched all-season tread compound with Continental’s EcoPlus Technology. This allows the tire to maintain steady levels of traction without compromising tread wear and riding comfort. The tire has an asymmetric tread design with chamfered tread block edges to reduce noise and enhance grip on dry tarmac. The vertical ridges in the circumferential grooves and independent tread blocks provide the necessary biting edges for effective snow and ice performance.
The Continental PureContact is also equipped with Tuned Performance Indicators that are molded in the outboard shoulder of the tire. The visible letters D, W, and S will tell you the tire has sufficient tread depth to tackle dry, wet, and snowy roads. IF the S marking fades, this means the tire is only good for dry and wet driving. If the W marking fades, the tire is only good on dry tarmac. No more guessing game.
Continental PureContact review: Test Drive
I’m still young at heart, so you will probably understand why I’m not the biggest Cadillac fan. I always thought their vehicles were left lingering in the 60s when Elvis was lording it over the music charts. However, my test vehicle turned me into a believer. Don’t get me wrong, I still long for the driver-focused performance of the BMW 5-Series, but I think I will choose the Cadillac CTS over the Merc E-Class any time of the day. That’s high praise, indeed.
I may be wrong here, but I noticed the Continental PureContact tires will need to be warm enough to deliver the high levels of grip that I was expecting. The Cadillac CTS is a surprisingly good handler. The rear-wheel drive configuration felt wonderful in the curves, but you need to be careful with your steering inputs. I guess a proper set of high-performance tires are in order if the main priority is outright sporty levels of traction and grip, but the PureContact tires were more than enough as long as you don’t push it too much.
The Continental PureContact tires remained fuss-free even in the wet. The tires felt stable and the steering was still spot-on. But if you drive a bit more aggressively, you will feel the tires slightly hunt for traction as the rear wheels desperately try to grab on a slippery wet road filled with water puddles and debris. Drive it sanely, however, and the tires will provide relentless traction and strong braking in the wettest roads.
Driving a large rear-wheel drive sedan over light snow is not exactly a good idea, but the Continental PureContact tires were more than enough for the task at hand. What’s really surprising is how the tires managed to hold on and keep the rear in check as I drove over moderately heavy snow. Mind you, anything with more than 2-inches of slippery snow will demand all-wheel drive and a set of snow chains, but the PureContact tires enabled me to drive calmly on snow-covered roads without giving me a nervous breakdown.
Road comfort is the biggest attribute of the Continental PureContact tires. This is a grand touring tire, after all. Highway comfort was top notch and the tires weren’t bad in the city, either. Potholes will still deliver quite a jolt, but the tires managed to further soften the impact even as my test vehicle was riding on 19-inch rubber.
I love a tire that is both comfortable and quiet. The Continental PureContact is one of the best if silence is your top priority in a brand new set of tires. My test vehicle rode silently over humps and bumps at low speed, and they were incredibly silent even as I sped on the highway. This attribute alone was enough to convince me not to gamble with cheap Chinese tires since most of them are talkative and noisy even if the roads are smooth as silk.
Touring tires are also known for longer wear. The same holds true for the Continental PureContact. I was surprised when the owner revealed the tires were almost 6 months old. I only saw minimal signs of fading and wear, but the DWS indicators were still present!
I had a lot of fun in this Continental PureContact review. I gained newfound respect for the Continental brand, and to think the tires were not as expensive as I was hoping! If you are searching for the best set of all-season touring tires for your luxury sedan or crossover, the Continental PureContact should be on top of your shopping list.
This tire is available in:
Luxury sedan/coupe/crossover, 15” to 20”, Grand touring, All-season