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 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.