Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Review

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 90%
  • Snow 65%
  • Comfort 85%
  • Noise 85%
  • Treadwear 95%
  • Overall 85%

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.

Dry Traction

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.

Wet Traction

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.

Snow Traction

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.

Comfort

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.

Noise

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.

Treadwear

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!

Conclusion

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

Hankook Optimo H426 Review

Hankook Optimo H426 Review

  • Dry 85%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 75%
  • Comfort 80%
  • Noise 80%
  • Treadwear 80%
  • Overall 82%
The Hankook Optimo H426 is a premium all-season tire designed for passenger cars and small crossovers. It is designed to offer elevated levels of comfort and ride silence without compromising wet and dry traction. In this review of the Hankook Optimo H426, I wanted to find out if this tire offers more than just a comfortable ride. Hankook made it clear the Optimo H426 is geared more towards comfort rather than sporty driving even though it is equipped with a sporty-looking tread design.
My test car for this review is a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta equipped with the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-banger and 6-speed automatic transmission. The owner of the Jetta was thinking about selling the car to make room in the garage for a family-oriented SUV. The car is still relatively new and came fitted with stock 15-inch wheels and three-month-old Hankook Optimo H426 tires.

I’ve always liked Volkswagens since they are more refined than comparable Japanese or Korean cars. But are the Hankook Optimo H426 tires a good match for the refinement of the Jetta?

Kumho Ecsta PA31 Review: Features

The Hankook Optimo H426 is designed to be marginally better than the entry-level Optimo H724 all-season tires. The Optimo H426 is also priced a bit more than the H724 but it comes with a sportier-looking set of treads to improve the styling of your ride.
The Hankook Optimo H426 is equipped with a computer-optimized tread pattern that is designed to deliver enhanced handling on dry and wet roads. It has four circumferential grooves to assist water displacement and prevent hydroplaning. The tire is also equipped with rib type shoulder blocks to further improve handling and grip on wet roads. The tire also benefits from a diamond-shaped block design to improve the all-season capabilities of your ride.

Kumho Ecsta PA31 Review: Test Drive

The Volkswagen Jetta offers the creature comforts of a larger sedan. If not for the dull steering, the car would have been more enjoyable to drive. But since the Hankook Optimo H426 are geared more towards riding comfort, I felt the tires were a perfect match for the capabilities of my test car.

Dry Traction

I have nothing bad to say about the dry traction of the Hankook Optimo H426. But if you’re the sporty type of driver, you will find the dry traction to be a bit lackluster especially as you pile on the speed. But if you drive normally at average speeds, the tires won’t disappoint.

However, I did feel the rear tires sliding a bit as I approached a tight corner at speed. In fairness to the tires, I was applying abrupt steering corrections during the turn, but everything was sorted out as I applied more throttle pressure. Again, if you want a sporty type of tire, this is not for you.

Wet Traction

Weirdly enough, I felt the tires were in their element as I cruised quietly on a wet highway. It started to rain in the middle of the day so I had to content myself with an open stretch of highway as I was thinking about a nice place to grab some lunch. The tires remained composed even as I pushed the throttle pedal to gain more speed. The steering remained precise and I never felt the tires skip a beat even in the presence of water puddles and loose dirt.

Snow Traction

I had the chance to test the Hankook Optimo H426 on snowy roads. True to the all-season nature of the tires, traction and grip were marginal as long as you don’t push it.

On light snow, the tires felt the same like you were traversing over wet roads. But if the roads are covered with thicker patches of snow, it is best to get a set of proper snow tires.

The owner of the Jetta told me the tires were more than capable on icy conditions but anything with more than 2-inches of snow should be avoided as much as possible.

Comfort

When it comes to riding comfort, it is hard to criticize the Hankook Optimo H426 tires. This is due in large part to the base tread compound utilized in the construction of the tire.

The tread compound is designed to absorb shock to deliver better riding comfort. I drove the Jetta over a mixture of pockmarked city roads and smooth highway, and the ride remained smooth and comfortable all throughout my short journey. This might have something to do with the overall refinement of the VW Jetta, but the tires certainly played a large part when it comes to riding comfort.

Noise

I have nothing bad to say about the noise levels of the tires, either. The Hankook Optimo H426 tires had the same low levels of road noise as the Optimo H724.

I only heard some tire roar as I approached silly speeds on the highway, but it wasn’t much. The tires were also quiet in the city. I was expecting this level of refinement from the Optimo H724 and I wasn’t disappointed at all!

Treadwear

The Hankook Optimo H724 tires fitted to my test car were still new and had no visible signs of accelerated wear. I talked to my favorite tire dealer about this and they told me the cheaper Optimo H426 has a tendency to last longer than the Optimo H724, though not by much. I guess this has something to do with the elevated levels of grip, but the wear characteristics of the Optimo H426 is on the average side of the spectrum.

Conclusion

The Hankook Optimo H426 is a solid contender for an all-season tire. It managed to ride comfortably and silently while still performing well on wet and dry roads.

Yokohama YK740 GTX Review

Yokohama YK740 GTX Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 85%
  • Snow 70%
  • Comfort 85%
  • Noise 80%
  • Treadwear 90%
  • Overall 86%
The Yokohama YK740 GTX is a premium all-season tire that offers better traction and grip, great handling, low wear, and a quiet ride. Yes, the tire is capable of all that and more, but it comes at a higher price. The tires will start at approximately $130 to $150 each depending on the size, and you will pay more if your vehicle is equipped with larger rims.

But do you actually get your money’s worth? That’s the thing I want to figure out in this Yokohama YK740 GTX review. Yes, you can buy all-season tires from lesser known brands and not pay $130 each, but where do the savings go? Does it go straight to your pocket, or did the tire compromise something to come up with a low price? In my experience, the answer is the latter.

There are reasons why the top tire companies spend a lot of resources in developing a single new tire. Even car enthusiasts will agree that when it comes to all-season performance, wet handling, treadwear, and overall durability, the more expensive tires from the best known brands will be 5 or 10 times better than a dirt-cheap set of tires.

This is the case with the Yokohama YK740 GTX. It is priced higher than a comparable set of all-season tires, but it seems to offer better value because it offers more features and plus-points for the price. In this review, I was trying to get my hands on a high-performance sedan like the BMW 5-series or Mercedes C-Class, or maybe an Audi A3 or A4. But I only managed to acquire a 2011 Toyota Sienna XLE 8-seater minivan.

Truth be told, I found it to be a bit refreshing. Let’s see how a performance touring tire will cope with the weight and long wheelbase of my test car.

Yokohama YK740 GTX Review: Features

There are a lot of innovative features built into the Yokohama YK740 GTX. The tire was manufactured using Yokohama’s unique ELS Orange Oil Compound. The orange oil will keep the treads pliable enough to maintain grip and composure in all-season driving, be it in the hottest of summers or the coldest of winters.

The tire is equipped with an asymmetric groove design to enhance road contact while effectively channeling water and slush away from the face of the tire. Enhanced winter and snow performance is assured courtesy of the Triple 3D Sipes that serve as teeth that bite their way into the road surface.

Since the Yokohama YK740 GTX is a touring tire at heart, it should also have a long tread life for a more economical driving experience. Well, the Orange Oil Compound and Triple 3D Sipes are also designed to enhance the mileage of the tire by decreasing the rolling resistance and retaining the block rigidity for an even wear.

Yokohama YK740 GTX Review: Test Drive

My heart has a soft spot for minivans. After all, my first car was a minivan. My test vehicle is particularly well-maintained save for some wear marks on the interior. The 2011 Toyota Sienna was equipped with stock 17-inch wheels and Yokohama YK740 GTX tires. The owner of the Sienna bought the tires about 3 months ago and have already accumulated 3,500 miles at the time of this review.

Dry Traction

It was raining intermittently during the time of my test drive. I only got the chance to test the tire on moderately damp roads in the late afternoon, but I wasn’t disappointed.

The tires gave the steering and the suspension a greater sense of security. It is natural for minivans to exhibit some body roll if your corner aggressively, but the tires never broke traction even as I was coaxing the steering to break the tail loose.

Mind you, I was on an empty stretch of damp road when I did this, and it seems there was nothing I can do (legally on a public road) that could upset the composure of the tires. If I were in a sporty sedan, maybe the results will be a bit different.

Wet Traction

There were water puddles and rain all over the place as I began my review of the Yokohama YK740 GTX. Of course, I maintained a lower-than-average speed on the highway as a safety precaution. Like I previously mentioned, the tires gave the Sienna a higher sense of security since it offered surefooted traction and grip on the wettest of roads.

Snow Traction

I didn’t get the chance to test the Yokohama YK740 in the snow. I asked the owner about this and he told me he had no problems with the tires in mild wintry conditions. However, the tires had a bit of trouble in stopping the car on icy roads. The tires will also slip for a bit before biting on the snowy surface.

Comfort

What I liked most about the Yokohama YK740 GTX is the driving comfort. Credit also goes to my test vehicle for the smooth and comfy highway ride, but the tires were really the star of the show. You will still feel a bit of jarring if you drive over deep potholes but the tires did their best to maintain the composure of the vehicle.

Noise

The noise characteristics of the Yokohama YK740 GTX is a mixed bag. The tires rolled silently at low speeds in urban driving, but the tire roar will increase as you cruise at higher speeds on the highway. Mind you, the tire roar wasn’t too bad at all, but it was there.

Treadwear

The Yokohama YK740 GTX tires fitted to my test vehicle were about 3 months old and have acquired a couple of thousand miles of mileage, but the tires were still fresh at the time of this review. I carefully examined all the tires before I handed back the keys and they still looked relatively new.

Conclusion

The Yokohama YK740 GTX is an excellent all-season touring tire that deserves a second look. If you are looking for a set of premium touring tires for your car, minivan, or crossover, the Yokohama YK740 GTX will not disappoint.

Primewell Valera H/T Review

Primewell Valera H/T Review

  • Dry 75%
  • Wet 70%
  • Snow 60%
  • Comfort 85%
  • Noise 70%
  • Treadwear 75%
  • Overall 74%
I had a hard time searching for a test car fitted with the Primewell Valera H/T tires for this review. However, as luck would have it, my cousin’s neighbor was selling their 2013 Honda CR-V LX. I was interested at first, so I headed down there and gave it a go. The CR-V was in mint condition, but the paint job was a dreary silver hue. I started to lose interest in the car, but that was before the tires caught my eye.

Lo and behold! The CR-V was fitted with Primewell Valera H/T tires! I figured the car was perfect for my test drive, so I informed the owner that I was going to test the car and review the tires. In return, I promised to find them a buyer that is willing to give their CR-V a new home.

The owner of the 2013 CR-V was a lanky guy in his early 50s and had with silver-gray hair, which is strangely the same hue as the paint in his Honda. He had the Primewell Valera H/T tires fitted more than 5 months ago. He chose the Primewell brand mainly due to the low price since he was planning to sell the car in a couple of months to make room for a new RAM pickup truck.

We shook hands and off I went. I also promised to fill the CR-V with gas as a gesture for his kindness. I went to the nearest gas station and prepared to test the Primewell Valera H/T tires by checking the air pressure. It was a nice day and the sun was out. This is going to be a great review.

Primewell Valera H/T review: Features

The Primewell Valera H/T tires are not designed for sporty driving. These are all-season tires with a tread design that is tuned for quiet, comfortable, and silent highway driving. The Primewell Valera H/T is equipped with a symmetrical tread design with four circumferential ribs. This design will ensure excellent handling and a smooth ride.

The tread block design is also designed with active noise canceling technology to deliver silent performance in all types of roads. The open slotted shoulder design will also ensure great handling in both wet and dry roads.

The Primewell Valera H/T is applicable to small and midsize crossovers, sport-utility vehicles, and 4x4 pickup trucks. It is sold in 15” to 20” diameters.

Primewell Valera H/T review: Test Drive

My 2013 Honda CR-V is the LX model equipped with AWD and a five-speed automatic transmission. The Primewell Valera H/T tires were not what you would call brand new since there were already signs of wear on all four tires. The owner specifically told me that his only complaint about the tires were the rapid tread wear. The CR-V has accumulated about 4,200 miles since the tires were replaced.

Dry Traction

I have nothing bad to say about the dry performance of the Primewell Valera H/T, but it seems the traction is proportional to how fast you’re going. At slow or moderate highway speeds, dry traction was excellent. But if you push it to the upper reaches of the speed limit, I felt a slight loss of traction and steering feel. It is basically the same in the wet.

But who am I to complain? If I was looking for high-speed traction and stability, why would I install a set of highway terrain all-season tires like the Primewell Valera H/T?

Wet Traction

Like I previously mentioned above, traction in the wet is proportional to the speed the vehicle is traveling. The Primewell Valera H/T tires offered adequate amounts of grip on wet roads, but only at slow or moderate speeds. If you push the car past the speed limit, you will need to grasp the steering wheel with both hands.

Snow Traction

I had no chance to test the Primewell Valera H/T tires in the snow, but the owner told me the tires were fine as long as you’re not driving on roads covered with more than two inches of snow. The open slotted shoulder design of the Primewell Valera H/T gave it the ability to travel over icy or snow-covered roads, but don’t expect the tires to perform similarly to proper snow tires.

Comfort

When it comes to driving comfort, it is hard to fault the Primewell Valera H/T. The ride remained supple and comfortable even on poorly-maintained city roads. Highway driving was a revelation as the Primewell Valera H/T tires were in their true element as long as you pay attention to the speed limit.

Noise

The Primewell Valera H/T tires are one of the most affordable highway terrain tires that you can buy. But relatively cheap tires have one thing in common: excessive road noise and poor tread wear. In this regard, the Primewell Valera H/T tires fitted to my test car were not what you would call hushed or silent. Road noise was more evident as you approached highway speeds, but the tires were thankfully a bit more silent if you drive at slow or average speeds.

Treadwear

The Primwell Valera H/T in my test car were fading a bit faster than the usual. It’s nothing bad, but cheap tires do have a tendency to wear quicker than the more expensive variety. But the logic here is you can basically buy 2 sets of Valera H/T tires and still pay less money if you were to purchase a more expensive set of rollers.

Conclusion

The Primewell Valera H/T is a good choice for daily driven crossovers and SUVs. It is not the best tire when it comes to road noise and treadwear but it makes for it in terms of comfort and all-season handling. For the price, I can see no reason why you shouldn’t try a set of Primewell Valera H/T for your crossover or SUV.

Primewell Valera AT Review

Primewell Valera AT Review

  • Dry 85%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 85%
  • Comfort 80%
  • Noise 75%
  • Treadwear 75%
  • Overall 80%
All-terrain tires are generally regarded as expensive. But not the Primewell Valera AT. The Valera AT is an all-terrain and all-season tire designed for rugged 4x4 vehicles and SUVs. This is the type of tire that will give your vehicle go-anywhere capabilities. If you want to upgrade the looks and off-road prowess of your truck or SUV, the Primewell Valera AT is a good choice.

First, let’s talk about the price. You can buy a set of 5 Primewell Valera AT tires (one for the spare tire) while still paying less money if you would buy 4 pieces of all-terrain tires from other known brands. That’s how cheap the tires are.

Next, let’s talk about the looks or tread design. The large longitudinal and shoulder blocks are primed for action. The tires are practically screaming for action! It is only fitting that I got myself a 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser fitted with a 2.5-inch lift kit, aftermarket 18-inch wheels, and Primewell Valera AT tires.

But is this tire all about the looks? Does it look good to cover up some minor imperfections on the side? These are the questions in my mind as I prepared for this review of the Primewell Valera AT tires.

Primewell Valera AT review: Features

The Primewell Valera AT is engineered with five longitudinal blocks that are designed to deliver maximum traction on any type of road surface, including deep or moderate snow. The tire is also equipped with a unique shoulder block design that works like a shovel as you move forward. This design is responsible for the traction and grip when driving over mud or icy slush.

Take a closer look that the grooves of the tires. You will notice that the grooves have a 3D chamfered design that enables the tire to eject stones and debris on the tread. This feature will ensure that the tires maintain traction while also improving the durability of the rubber.

You know the Primewell Valera AT is cheap, and you already know it is fitted with an aggressive and good-looking tread design. But how does it behave on the road?

Primewell Valera AT review: Test Drive

I’m not a big fan of the FJ Cruiser. But then again, I’m not a fan of off-road driving either. I simply find the FJ Cruiser to be too pretentious for its own good. My colleagues are quick to point out the FJ Cruiser is a capable off-road machine despite behaving like a boat on normal roads. But if I were to go off-roading, I would probably take with me a Jeep Wrangler or a Toyota Land Cruiser.

In the flesh, the FJ Cruiser looks more aggressive, especially in off-road configuration. The lift kit definitely gave the truck some character while the chunky wheels and off-road tires added a rugged appeal to my test car.

Dry Traction

So far, so good. The Primewell Valera AT tires had exceptional amounts of dry traction. I drove on the highway and the tires were surprisingly refined, but more on this later. I also drove on a moderately challenging off-road trail, and the tires never skipped a bit, even on loose gravel peppered with sand and loose dirt.

Wet Traction

The Primewell Valera AT offered huge dollops of grip on wet roads. I never felt the SUV loose traction even as I pushed hard on the gas pedal on a wet highway. The tires simply gave me a feeling of confidence even if my test car had a tendency to wallow and float at moderately higher speeds. I also tested the tires on wet mud and my truck simply drove over the thick slush like it was never there.

Snow Traction

The Primewell Valera AT tires felt exceptionally good as I tested the tires in the snow. Icy roads and slush were no match for the capabilities of the Valera AT. I went as far as testing the tires in deep snow (which was around 3 inches) and the tires never skipped a beat. By this time, I was loving the FJ Cruiser more and the tires were proving that they are worth more than the price.

Comfort

The FJ Cruiser is not the most comfortable SUV I have ever driven, especially with the aggressive lift kit installed. However, I have nothing bad to say about the ride comfort as the SUV felt pretty decent on all types of road conditions. The owner of the FJ Cruiser told me the Primewell Valera AT was a big upgrade in overall ride comfort over his old set of all-terrain tires. This has something to do with the large and solid tread blocks that act like shock absorbers as the tire rolls on the road.

Noise

The same holds true for the road noise. The owner of the FJ Cruiser said the tires are also quieter and more refined than his old set of rubber. This is high praise for an all-terrain tire since these types of tires are not known for their comfort and ride silence. But if you push it on the highway, you will notice a bit more tire roar, which is what I expected given the aggressive nature of the tires.

Treadwear

The treadwear characteristics of the Primewell Valera AT is on the average side of the spectrum. The tires on my FJ Cruiser were approximately 6 months old and have traveled an average of 8,000 miles. I noticed signs of wear on all four tires, but I think this is par for the course. Primewell tires are notorious for less-than-favorable treadwear, but I am happy to report the Valera AT tires on my test vehicle were holding up pretty well.

Conclusion

It’s great to know you don’t need to fork over a huge amount of cash for a quality set of all-terrain tires. You should check out the Primewell Valera AT if you want a cheap, dependable, refined, and great looking set of all-terrain rubber.