Continental ExtremeContact DW Review

Continental ExtremeContact DW Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 90%
  • Comfort 85%
  • Noise 90%
  • Treadwear 80%
  • Overall 87%
This 2018 Continental ExtremeContact DW review came by accident. My friend spent two weeks searching for a used luxury car after selling his old truck. It runs out his cousin from across the border was keen on selling his 2016 BMW 5-series. But there’s a catch: it’s a diesel.
To be specific, it was a 2016 BMW 535d with the magnificent 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six diesel mill connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The car was fitted with stock 18-inch wheels and Continental all-season tires that badly needs replacement. My friend asked me about the BMW diesel and I told him not to worry about the paltry 255 horsepower output of the diesel. What he should focus on is the 413 pound-feet of torque at only 1,500 rpm. I told him this is enough to rival the torque output of a petrol V8.

After negotiating the price, we drove over across the border to give the car a visit. True to form, it was pristine and well-maintained except for the balding Continental tires. We took the car for a short test drive and proceeded to buy a set of summer tires. The tire shop recommended the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires. After about an hour or so, we drove back home.

After inspecting every crucial aspect of the car, we changed the oil and planned a long test drive. Like I said, it was also an opportunity to put the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires through its paces.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Review: Features

Unlike other summer tires, the Continental ExtremeContact DW was developed to provide brilliant summer performance without penalizing wear and ride comfort. The tire features an asymmetric tread design with a continuous and outboard notched intermediate rib and chamfered tread blocks. This design is optimized to enhance handling, stability, responsiveness, and steering feel. It also comes with continuous center ribs to maintain consistent contact with the road. It even comes with a high void-to-tread ratio and open lateral grooves to prevent hydroplaning on wet roads.

The Continental ExtremeContact DW also comes with unique Tuned Performance Indicators. You will notice the letters D and W molded into the second rib from the outboard shoulder. This will show you the performance level of the tire. If you see the D and W markings it seems the tire has enough tread depth to perform well on dry and wet roads. If the W marking fades away, the tire should only be used on dry conditions.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Review: Test Drive

If you have never driven a diesel-powered sedan, you are missing a lot. The rush of torque is simply mind-boggling as our test vehicle accelerated like a tuned sports car. The increasingly warm weather and the relentless rush of torque from our diesel Bimmer was the perfect match to our brand new set of Continental ExtremeContact DW rubber.

Dry Traction

The truth of the matter is the BMW 5-Series is not exactly the car to buy if you desire pinpoint handling, especially with a large and heavy diesel lump in the front. But performance in the dry is admirable since the car can be tossed all day with nary a complaint from the ExtremeContact DW tires. Braking was strong and consistent as the tires never skipped a beat even when pushed hard.

Wet Traction

Driving over wet roads was not a major concern for the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires. Traction and grip remained consistent over wet highways and braking was pretty decent given the dreary road conditions. You’ll have to be a fool to coax the tires to lose traction in the wet unless you apply abrupt steering and throttle inputs. But driven normally, the tires felt stable and reassuring in the wet. This is high praise for a summer tire.

Snow Traction

The Continental ExtremeContact DW tires are not designed to be used over snowy or icy roads. We will not include this criteria in our scoring system.

Comfort

The BMW 5-Series excels in terms of highway comfort. It doesn’t float or wallow like a Cadillac but the taut ride filters out any form of harshness to create a luxurious driving atmosphere. The Continental ExtremeContact DW tires were presumably better than the stock run-flats as it allowed the suspension to settle down on smooth highways. The tires also remained comfortable even when assaulted by jarring potholes.

Noise

Perhaps more impressive for a summer tire is the low levels of tire roar. Traditional summer tires were extremely sticky when properly warmed up, but road noise and comfort takes a back seat over handling and responsiveness. However, the Continental ExtremeContact DW is different. It sticks like glue over dry roads but it remained hushed even when pushed to higher speeds. You will only hear a slight intrusion of tire roar as the speedometer approaches triple digits.

Treadwear

The Continental ExtremeContact DW tires fitted to our test vehicle were as fresh as a daisy. We were not expecting longer wear compared to proper set of touring tires but the guys at the tire center informed us of the Continental Total Confidence Plan which includes flat tire road assistance, 12-months limited warranty, and 90,000-mile tread wearout coverage. Not a bad deal considering each tire only costs around $170 each.

Conclusion

It is safe to say the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires were the perfect set of summer tires for my friend’s BMW 535d. It offered tons of traction and grip on both dry and wet roads but remained comfortable and quiet enough on the drive home. These are not the cheapest summer tires you can buy, but you get what you pay for in terms of brilliant wet and dry performance.

This tire is available in:

Sports cars/coupes/sporting sedans, 16” to 19”, Ultra-high performance, Summer

Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 H457 Review

Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 H457 Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 70%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 80%
  • Treadwear 90%
  • Overall 84%
If you compare the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 with the Hankook Ventus Noble2, the latter is an ultra-high performance tire with the genes of a touring tire. However, the Ventus V2 Concept2 is a bit different since it prioritizes sporty handling over comfort and road silence.

I wanted to find out if the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 is able to offer a sporty driving experience despite the friendly price tag. The tire starts at below $70 each and a full set of four tires will only cost below $300. Considering the sporty and aggressive tread design of the tire, this is probably one of the best all-season tires when it comes to value for money.

My test car for this review is a 2008 Infiniti G35 sedan. While the previous model G20 was simply an improved version of the Nissan Sentra, the Infiniti G35 begs to differ. It is a true sports sedan that offers a roomy cabin and decently comfortable ride.

My test car came fitted with bone stock 17-inch wheels and Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 tires. However, the tires were more than a year old and have seen their fair share of abuse from the owner. There were signs of tread wear on all four corners of the vehicle. Let’s see if the tires are still capable of giving me a sporty drive despite the age of both the tires and my test vehicle.

Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 Review: Features

The Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 is a sporty tire for sport sedans and sport coupes. The tire is equipped with a solid center rib block with a 3D point effect on the block edge to deliver excellent handling and braking on wet and dry roads.

The treads are blessed with an optimal profile design that provides an even contact patch on the road. This means the tires will offer better high-speed stability while minimizing deformation on the shoulder and center patch. The shoulders of the tire are further enhanced with noise care blocks to suppress road noise and tire roar.

The tire is also equipped with four wide straight grooves and a V-shaped pattern design to improve traction, grip, and water evacuation on wet roads. The tire also came with an uneven wear protection system so you can easily check the presence of abnormal wear on the face of the treads.

Constructed using a longer mileage carbon compound to improve wet grip with lower rolling resistance, this is a performance tire with the wear characteristics of a touring tire.

Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 Review: Test Drive

My test car might be old, but it still felt tight as a drum. I also think the design has aged gracefully despite the onslaught of new cars with a funkier exterior profile. I guess this will be my first time behind the wheel of the Infiniti G35 so I was a bit excited as well. I got the keys and drove off to acquaint myself with the characteristics and behavior of the car.

Dry Traction

You have to remember the tires in my test car are more than a year old, but traction and grip on dry roads were still impressive. I did find the steering to be a bit talkative on the highway but this can be attributed to the steering system of the Infiniti G35.

If you push it harder you will feel the tires squirm as they hunt for much-needed grip and the rear of the car has a tendency to slide out if you are not careful with your steering or throttle inputs.

Overall, the tires were okay in the dry. But if you demand more, you better get a better set of summer tires.

Wet Traction

I only got to the drive in the wet upon returning the car to the owner. There was nothing dramatic as I sped on a wet highway, and the braking was unaffected by the slippery nature of the road. I did feel the ABS system kick-in as I pressed hard on the brake pedal, but the tires were able to bring the car to a halt without much fuss.

Snow Traction

I didn’t have the chance to test the tires on snowy roads. However, the owner of the car was more than willing to share his experience when he drove the car in the snow.

The Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 performed well on light snow, but you better slow down if the roads are completely covered in ice or more than 2-inches of snow. In fact, he had to purchase a separate set of snow tires when the winter season was in full swing.

Comfort

It is hard to fault the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 in terms of riding comfort. I am aware the Infiniti G35 is a sports sedan, but it behaves very much like a luxury car on the highway. In my opinion, the Hankook Ventus Noble2 is a more comfortable alternative if what you really want is a comfortable all-season performance tire.

Noise

I also noticed the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 were a bit noisier on the highway, but this can be attributed to the age of the tires. Road noise and tire roar is not really that bad, but they are easily noticeable at higher than average speeds or when traversing over rough patches of road.

Treadwear

The wear characteristics of the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 was impressive given the age of the tires fitted to my test car. The owner made sure to have the steering and suspension components checked before fitting the tires more than a year ago, and it shows. The tread wear was evenly distributed across the contact patch of the tires, and there were no signs of cuts or damage on the treads. It is hard to find a better set of low rolling resistance tires at this price range.

Conclusion

Do you need a sporty set of all-season tires but is short on cash? Take a closer look at the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2. This is the type of tire that delivers optimum all-season performance with the style of a more expensive set of rubber.

Falken Ziex ZE950 Review

Falken Ziex ZE950 Review

  • Dry 95%
  • Wet 90%
  • Snow 75%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 80%
  • Treadwear 90%
  • Overall 90%

Falken has a knack for combining the good merits of a touring tire (long tread wear, quiet ride) with the traction and grip of a true high-performance tire. In this review of the FalkenZiex ZE950, I tested this tire on a 2012 BMW X3 with the 240-horsepower inline-six cylinder engine. The Beemer was fitted with the stock 17-inch wheels and came with relatively new Falken Ziex ZE950 tires, or so I thought.

You see, the tires looked brand new upon first glance. The treads were still thick and highly visible to naked eyes. Unbeknownst to me, the tires were three months old and have accumulated at least 2,000 miles. I learned this at the end of the review, but I will discuss more on tread wear later.

The Falken Ziex ZE950 is a high-performance all-season touring tire. The asymmetric tread design with wide-angled tread slot gives the tire an aggressive and sporting look. I know I should have tested this tire on a high-performance sedan or coupe like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe or maybe the Cadillac CTS-V since the tire looks more suited for cars that deliver maximum performance. However, the BMW X3 is adequate since it is a sporty crossover that you won’t see lingering around on a narrow off-road trail.

With that being said, the FalkenZiex ZE950 is a sterling choice for sporty compacts or midsize sedans and small crossover vehicles. It is also available in a wide array of sizes from 15” to 20” diameters.

Falken Ziex ZE950 review: Features

The Falken Ziex ZE950 is employed an exclusive silica tread compound with Dynamic Range Technology that maintains pliability of rubber at extremely low temperatures. This enables the tire to maintain a decent level of traction and grip on wet or icy roads. The compound also remains consistent even at high temperatures, which enables the tire to maintain the same level of grip on dry roads or hot weather.

The unique wide-angled tread block on the outside tread is responsible for improving traction in the snow and this allows the slush to be redirected to the center of the tire. The treads also have multiple sipes designed using 3D Canyon Sipe Technology that adds more biting surfaces to the tire for improved traction, stability, and control on all types of surfaces.

The Falken Ziex ZE950 is also equipped with wide circumferential grooves and a sculptured groove wall that helps in channeling water away from the face of the tread. This feature is designed to resist hydroplaning and deliver better handling when the roads are covered with water or slush.

With all of such technology packed in a magnificent looking tire, you would find it hard to believe that this tire is priced lower than other all-season tires from more popular brands. The FalkenZiex ZE950 tires fitted to my test car were less than $100 each. I don’t know what you will think about this, but this is good value in my book.

Falken Ziex ZE950 review: Test Drive

I started the motor and allowed it to warm up before heading on the highway. I was able to test the Falken Ziex ZE950 tires on a wide variety of driving conditions for this review. I also managed to rekindle the lost flame between me and the BMW X3. I was not a huge fan of the X3, but driving it for a lengthier amount of time has made me a believer once again.

Dry Traction

I have nothing bad to say about the Falken Ziex ZE950 when it comes to dry performance. The tires gave me the confidence to speed ahead and execute quick maneuvers without worrying about the tires losing traction. I felt tremendous amounts of grip was ever present I cornered the X3 like I was in a Subaru WRX. Braking also felt good since I was able to stop the X3 abruptly without feeling the tires slide on the harsh concrete.

Wet Traction

The tires also felt magnificent on wet roads. The Falken Ziex ZE950 performed just as well on the wet as it allowed the X3 to regain composure even as I was pushing it around a tight corner. Of course, I wasn’t expecting the X3 to corner like an Evo since there was still a considerable amount of body roll, but the tires enabled the crossover to behave like a well-mannered German weapon even when hustled on a slippery road.

Snow Traction

The Falken Ziex ZE950 tires were also fantastic in the snow. My BMW X3 came standard with AWD and it helped the vehicle traverse over demanding snow-covered roads. Yes, I felt the tires lost a bit of traction on two or three inches of snow, but icy roads and moderate snow were no matches for the capabilities of the Falken Ziex ZE950.

Comfort

The BMW X3 is not what you would call plush or full-on compliant. The suspension is a bit firm and the ride can get jiggly on bad roads. However, the Falken Ziex ZE950 managed to sort out the tightness of the suspension on the highway.

Noise

The FalkenZiex ZE950 was quiet at low speeds but it was a bit noisier when I stepped hard on the pedal to gather more speed. The tires calmed down on average speeds, but you will hear a bit more tire roar if you drive aggressively.

Treadwear

As I mentioned earlier, I really thought the FalkenZiex ZE950 tires on my BMW X3 were new since the treads were still fresh. Little did I know the tires already had at least 2,000 miles under its belt, and I only found out after returning the car to the owner. It seems Falken did a good job in making the tires more resistant to wear without compromising all-season performance.

The FalkenZiex ZE950 A/S is also backed by a 45,000 to 65,000-mile warranty.

Conclusion

I now understand why people will fork over more money for a BMW X3 instead of settling for a Japanese crossover. It handled like a proper high-performance sedan and the engine felt lively even at low RPM. The Falken Ziex ZE950 was a perfect match for the all-season capabilities of the BMW X3.