Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.43
 
 

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI
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Miles driven on tires: 2,500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 2,500 Miles on Tires
May 05, 2014

Purchased these tires to replace the OE Bridgestone Turanza EL 400-2 marginally worn tires, because of their poor wet handling performance in standing water at highway speeds. In my first 2500 miles with the Continental Pure Contacts, they performed flawlessly in heavy downpours at 70 MPH, and in dry conditions are smoother and quieter-riding than the OE Bridgestones, confirming what others had reported in spite of an agressive tread pattern. Fuel economy so far appears slightly better as well based on a 2500 mile road trip for which I kept detailed records. I was also considering the Pirelli Cinturato P7 A/S Plus, but was concerned that the treadpattern didn't appear to have as significant lateral grooves to evacuate water as the Continentals. I find they are notably more responsive than the OE tires, and would recommend them to anyone who appreciates a quiet, smooth riding tire that also has a high performance capability. My performance reference is based on many years of driving BMWs with high performance tires, and while the Passat does not have the balance and suspension of a BMW, these tires make it a much better car.
I cannot comment on treadware or winter driving characteristics at this point. I have snow tires on dedicated rims, but the "shoulder" seasons give us early or late snow events that are a reality where we live, and I have interrupted a return home trip, stopping overnight at a hotel when an early Fall snowstorm of only 2" made continuing with the OE Turanzas, a hazardous undertaking. From other reviewers' comments respecting snow performance of the Continental Pure Contacts, I would likely have been able to safely continue in a moderate to light snowfall. Extremely pleased so far.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

1998 Chevrolet Corvette
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Hixson, TN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
May 24, 2014

The tires are almost three years old, so they are drying out some and really not to be pushed real hard even with adequate tread left. They have done very well over the 20,000 miles overall, still offering hydroplaning resistance and all around traction for normal and lightly spirited driving. They were real performers in the beginning feeling about the same at 150mph as 75mph, though that permormance has wained as they have aged. They do make noise on all but the nicest surfaces, varying with the poorness of said surface. I keep my pressure at the max recommended on the tire and have found the tires stable and a goood feel for my driving style. Especially great for the price. Would definately buy again. And that may not be too far away, if to just get that performance bite back.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

2004 Acura TL
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Miles driven on tires: 46,000
Location: Dexter, MI
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 46,000 Miles on Tires
May 22, 2014

I drive mostly highway, some city and average 35K miles per year. True all-season performance, tread-life and price are most important to me.

I'm toward end of life on my second set of these exact tires, DWS 235/45 R17 94W. Hands-down best value for performance all-season tires that actually perform well in snow. They perform well in dry for most spirited drivers, with a bit of softness in hard cornering. Excellent in wet, inspiring confidence and resistant to hydroplaning. Best performing all-season tire in snow I've researched and experienced near this price point. These tires do not interfere with max gas mileage, as I went above my max HWY MPG several times (31 MPG), appropriately driving my vehicle.

For UHP all-season, these tires are at max level for tread-life, compared to others in their class and are capable of achieving max tread-wear life (50K miles), if rotated properly and tire pressure maintained. I found these tires do need to be rotated every 5-7K miles to achieve max life. First set, I rotated every other oil change (14K miles) and only achieve 45K of 50K. This second set, I'm on point to hit 50K, if not a bit more.

In regards to performance, I have no complaints. My only complaint is with respect to comfort, specifically noise. These tires do develop a noticeable road noise in 2nd-half of tire life (both sets). I go back to these tires because of the true all-season performance, price and tread-life, as these are more important to me. I just completed tire research for a 3rd set of tires for my vehicle and will be purchasing these DWS again, as they were my top choice again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated)

Monday, July 21, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.57
 
 

2013 Subaru BRZ
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Miles driven on tires: 300
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 300 Miles on Tires
May 14, 2014

Unless you always drive in warm summer conditions this is the tire for you. Essentially comparable to the Michelin PS 2 but with cold weather bare road traction matching a winter tire down to freezing point (wet or dry). Have not tried them in snow or on ice yet but the previous A/S + I run as a summer tire on my SAAB are excellent in snow or on ice around freezing temperatures and this tire is rated more highly by Michelin themselves for cold weather performance. These are no longer "no season" tires. I now fit all season tires to all of our cars for our summer driving conditions and use full winters for our extreme winter conditions. I drive in mountainous western Canada and summertime daytime temperatures can often be as low as 5C (40F). Until the road gets above about 7C (45F) ultra high performance summer tires do not get warm enough to really perform. These new all season tires get warm enough to perform properly on roads that are at freezing temperatures. Truly amazing tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin LTX A/T 2

Monday, July 21, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin LTX A/T 2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.29
 
 

2008 Toyota 4Runner 4wd Limited
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Miles driven on tires: 75,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 75,000 Miles on Tires
May 25, 2014

I have been extremely pleased with these tires. The tread wear for an SUV is amazing. I plan to replace these before winter so that I have good snow traction, but who knows how many more miles they could go. These tires are quiet and perform well in all conditions. The only comment was that they needed to be force balanced initially. The only tire I would buy again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated)

Monday, July 21, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.4
 
 

2005 Honda S2000
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Miles driven on tires: 6,000
Location: Bellingham, WA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 6,000 Miles on Tires
April 21, 2014

Have put about 6,000 miles on these tires since late summer in the Pacific Northwest, so lots of rain. These are the absolute best tires I've ever had in the rain. Almost can't tell the difference between wet and dry. This was the reason I bought them, and they pretty much met all my expectations. However, I was hoping they'd be a little better in the snow due to their excellent wet traction. They were about what you'd expect out of 3-season tires, so nothing to write home about.
They also perform extremely well in relatively low temperatures... A number of mornings/nights it was in the 30's and they perform almost as well as in the 40's and 50's. They break away fairly progressively as well, and seem to be wearing very well. These tires also give a surprisingly smooth ride, but I can't comment on noise as my car is too loud to hear anything anyways.
I'd definitely recommend these if you are looking for an excellent 3-season tire for use in varied conditions.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza ZII

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Direzza ZII Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.12
 
 

1999 Mazda Miata
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Miles driven on tires: 400
Location: Poulsbo, WA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 400 Miles on Tires
May 05, 2014

I picked these up from Tirerack knowing I wanted an extreme summer tire. I had them delivered with a set of silver TRM C1M 15x7 30 offset wheels. Both the wheels and tires look fantastic. While I have had limited opportunities to experience the grip, I fully expect them to perform beautifully. A 20 minute track session in the rain was actually enjoyable as I felt supremely planted even with the wet conditions. And one autox in the dry with the tires barely scuffed went well with little drama. My '99 Miata is running on new Tein coil overs so it will be interesting to see how the tires perform this summer as the various track days that are coming up. But, I am very pleased with the tires except just one little thing....they do tend to sing a bit around 65-70 mph. So the comments regarding noise are spot on. Sad to hear they are being replaced with new versions from Dunlop, but I would buy them again in a heartbeat. Very satisfied!

Which Hankook R-S3 Should You Get for Your Porsche 911 Turbo (997)?

Friday, June 20, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

When it comes to forgetting your worries, some meditate, some play racquetball and some drive all out on a closed race course. 

Part of the reason that Kenny (from the video above) is having so much fun is that he's not worried about his tires. He knows Tire Rack has him covered! When it comes to choosing the right tire for your Porsche 911 Turbo (997), which one is right for the track?

If you're a hardcore uber-competitive track fanatic running a heavily modified 911 Turbo, you'll want to choose a track tire like the Toyo Proxes R888. If you're more of casual track driver who just wants to have fun, the Extreme Performance Summer Hankook R-S3 offers an amazing combination of performance and value to go along with great dry grip and predictability. You could choose the model that's on closeout (2009 production) or the newer R-S3 "Version 2" (2014 production).

Closeout Extreme Performance Hankook RS3 $856**
Hankook R-S3
Extreme Performance Hankook RS3 (Version 2)$1174*
Hankook R-S3 "Version 2"


What's the difference between the two? Hankook's internal testing shows the R-S3 "Version 2's" new compound has better dry grip and much better wet grip. If your 911 Turbo (997) occasionally sees rain, then the Hankook R-S3 "Version 2" is the way to go. If you're in a dryer climate, the older model will offer a better combination of value and performance.

How can you tell the difference between the R-S3 and R-S3 "Version 2"? The tread design and sidewall are exactly the same, but look at the last two digits of the DOT Tire Identification Number, if it says "14", it's the R-S3 "Version 2".

Shop by vehicle to view all options available for your Porsche 911 Turbo.

Continental ExtremeContact DW vs. Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Friday, June 13, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Two of the most popular Max Performance Summer tires being discussed on automotive forums lately are the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Continental ExtremeContact DW. Both options are highly rated and outstanding tires. In our survey results, the Pilot Super Sport is currently ranked first, while the ExtremeContact DW is fourth.

How do the two tires compare? The Michelin Pilot Super Sport offers better handling, steering response and more desirable dry and wet grip. Continental's ExtremeContact DW provides a slightly softer ride than the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and a slower steering response as a result.

Some BMW forum members state that the ExtremeContact DW has a softer sidewall compared to other tires in the category. This can be viewed either as a positive feature or a downside depending on what you're looking for in your tire. Softer sidewalls (and slower steering response) result in improved ride quality and less harshness from sharp impacts like rough roads or expansion joints on the highway. 

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


When it comes time to make a purchase, what tire is best for you? Think about your driving style and preferences for ride quality. If you want immediate response when quickly moving the steering wheel from side to side and desire the best dry and wet traction, go with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Are you willing to give up a little steering response for a softer ride? If so, the Continental ExtremeContact DW would be the way to go. Are you still having trouble deciding? For additional help choosing the best tire for your vehicle, visit our Tire Decision Guide.

Best Tires for Chevrolet Camaro

Thursday, June 12, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

The Chevrolet Camaro is one of my favorite American muscle cars. I think the car has a nice blend of old school style and new age design. Two of the most popular packages would be the RS and SS which provide optional 20" staggered tires and wheels. The Camaro RS and SS came from the factory with 245/45R20 in the front and 275/40R20 rear Pirelli P Zero Max Performance Summer tires.

When it comes to replacing tires on the Camaro, many drivers love the summer tires and look to go back to the equivalent level of grip and treadlife when choosing a replacement set, while others don't drive as aggressively and want a tire that provides a better ride and much longer treadlife.

Pirelli P Zero
Pirelli P Zero
 Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


If you're a Camaro owner that loved how the car performed when new and are happy with the ride and treadlife of a summer tire, take a look at staying with the Original Equipment. The tire offers excellent dry road traction. If you want to try something new, consider the Continental ExtremeContact DW which provides noticeably better wet traction and lower road noise.

 Continental Extreme Contact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact DWS
 General G-Max AS-03
General G-MAX AS-03


If you're a Camaro owner who wants the best ride and longest treadlife at the expense of some grip, or would like to occasionally drive the Camaro in light snow, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS or General G-MAX AS-03 are both great options. Each tire would offer better treadlife over the Pirelli summer tire, along with the ability to drive the Camaro in freezing temperatures and light snow.

If it's time to change the tires on your RS or SS Camaro be sure to consider what you want most from your tires and choose something that best fits your everyday driving needs. For more help shopping for Camaro tires, read "Looking to Buy the Best Tire, But Not Sure Which One? Tire Rack Has the Answer!"

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Monday, June 9, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.29
 
 

2005 Cadillac STS V8
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
May 16, 2014

I've only had these tires for a week, but wow what a difference! I got this car with the OE Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 and was shocked by it's poor performance. With traction control on in the rain, it was normal to have the car hesitate as the rear tires fought for traction. With TC turned off, well, it was a wild ride indeed. Lots of fun but very dangerous for the inexperienced. Snap oversteer ruled the day. In the dry the Michelins were a little better but still very overwhelmed by the Northstar's torque. I've been itching to try a good set of Extreme Performance or Max Performance tires on this car since I got it but waited until the Michelins were used up. I can say that these DWs have transformed the car. It's rained several times in the past week so I've had several opportunities to try out the wet traction. Where normally with TC off (that's how I drive) I would get severe oversteer with normal throttle application (meaning no aggression whatsoever) on turns with very slick asphault, these Contis just bite like crazy. I have to get very aggressive to induce some slip, and when I let off, they come back into line beautifully.

On the highway, at speeds approaching 70 - 80 mph, there is a little vibration in the steering wheel, especially as the tire comes up to temp. They are noticably more noisy than the Michelins but that's to be expected. Ride comfort is good but the stiffer sidewalls are definitely felt. Not a bad thing in my opinion but conservative buyers should be aware. I read a recent review from a Jetta owner giving these tires a bad review stating that turn-in is poor and that he can feel the sidewalls squirming and the only thing I can think of is that his width is way off compared to his wheel width. There is no reason why the experience he describes would happen with properly matched tire widths.

I'll update later as I get more miles on these tires but so far so great!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Monday, June 9, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.89
 
 

2001 Lexus IS300
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: Pittsboro, IN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
May 17, 2014

I run a dedicated winter tire on this car, so deep snow rating is not applicable. These tires replaced a set of Bridgestone Potenzas, And I was impressed enough with the performance to install a set on my 1985 Porsche 944. They will also be the next set of tires on my 2009 Lexus RX350. Tread wear has been FANTASTIC. After 15,000 miles D W ans S wear indicators are all still clearly visible. I highly recommend these tires!

How to Choose the Correct Track Tires

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Are you heading to your first driving school or lapping day? Or are you already a track veteran who's looking to go even faster? Whenever you go to the track, having the right set of tires is essential to going fast, being safe and having fun.

What type of tires do you need to bring for a track event? Depends on the type of event, the expected conditions and the resources available to you.

Take a look at your available options:

Street Tires 

Some people run their cars on the track with the same tires they use on the street. If you're already driving high performance tires, that set may work for you on the track. This scenario works best when you're attending beginner driving schools, casual lapping days or other events where the focus is more on polishing your skills rather than setting fast lap times. Street tires are not recommended for track use, and driving them in a track environment will most likely void their warranty. Keep in mind that if you overdrive them into corners, you could easily render them useless after only one day at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.

Pros of Running Street Tires:

  • Convenience
  • Price
  • Can drive to the track safely.
  • Most street tires perform well in the rain.

Cons of Running Street Tires:

  • Performance - These tires aren't as fast in dry conditions as track tires.
  • Longevity
  • Getting home - What happens if you lose a tire on the track? Do you have an option for getting home?

Extreme Performance Tires

These options are really a subset of street tires, but they're designed to take the abuse of occasional track days. They have more focus on dry traction and responsive handling. Extreme performance tires can be used on an enthusiast oriented daily driver, or mounted on separate wheels for track use. An example of this tire is the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R.

Pros of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Grip - Better performance than regular street tires.
  • Durability
  • Value - Last longer at the track than normal street tires.
  • Convenience
  • Versatility

Cons of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Competition - Drivers are at a disadvantage compared to drivers who use dedicated track tires.

Streetable Track Tires 

There are some tires that are essentially track tires, but can be driven to and from the track. They would wear out very quickly if driven daily on the street. These tires will generally have enough tread pattern to handle damp pavement, but will be very prone to hydroplaning. An example of this type of tire is the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo.

Pros of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Grip - These tires will outgrip extreme performance tires.
  • Convenient - If you can swap wheels at home, but your car won't carry a second set of wheels to the track, this can be the perfect solution.
  • Versatility - Some of these tires can work as an intermediate tire for damp or drying track conditions.

Cons of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Give up a little grip compared to the most specialized options.
  • Few miles of use as a street tire.
  • Hydroplaning can be an issue if caught in the rain.

Specialized Track Tires

Track tires provide the ultimate in grip. They discard most streetability characteristics in order to deliver the very best lap times. With lots of grip and shoulders that are generally more square, these tires can be more challenging to drive at their limits. They should be mounted on separate wheels and installed at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Hoosier A7.

Pros of Track Tires:

  • Performance - If you are racing to win, track tires are the way to go.
  • Easiest way to turn faster lap times.

Cons of Track Tires:

  • Track tires won't work in the rain. You need a separate set if rain is a possibility.
  • More challenging to drive at the limit.
  • Often requires suspension modification or a specialized set-up.

Michelin's Premier A/S Features New EverGrip Technology

Friday, May 30, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Michelin's newest Grand Touring All-Season tire, the Premier A/S is designed to be "Safe When New. Safe When Worn." The Premier A/S is replacing the widely popular Primacy MXV4. Premier A/S tires aim to give drivers unparalleled traction, whether the tire is new or worn down.

The Michelin Premier A/S uses an extreme silica and sunflower oil enhanced tread compound to increase traction in wet and cold temperatures. This compound is molded into a symmetric tread design featuring a continuous center rib flanked by notched intermediate ribs and linked shoulder blocks to deliver straight-line tracking and responsive dry-road handling.

Michelin EverGrip Technology adds Expanding Rain Grooves around the tire’s circumference and Emerging Grooves across the shoulders. As the tire wears, the Expanding Rain Grooves widen while Emerging Grooves open up across each shoulder block to help retain more traction in wet and wintry conditions.

The tire offers Michelin Total Performance that utilizes innovative technologies to bring multiple performances together. Combining stopping power, driving control, promised weather appropriateness and enhanced fuel efficiency, Michelin Total Performance tires reduce the influence of traditional trade-offs normally associated with tires. Michelin Total Performance is a promise of Michelin tire excellence.

We had a chance to test the tire when new, as well as when the tread depth was worn down to 5/32". For a recap of our test, read "Michelin Premier A/S Introductory Drive."

Continental TrueContact Replaces ProContact with EcoPlus Technology

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Continental has been on a roll! First, they introduced the ExtremeContact DWS which quickly became a customer favorite in our customer survey data. This Ultra High Performance All-Season tire set the bar for winter snow traction in its category while still being competitive with good wet and dry traction.  

Next, Continental released another winner with the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. This tire is currently ranked number one in our Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category. It's praised by customers for its outstanding combination of ride, wear and traction in a variety of weather conditions.  

Recently, the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology equaled or bested the top Grand Touring All-Season tires from Michelin and Bridgestone while coming in at a lower price-point. For more information on this tire, read "Continental's PureContact with EcoPlus Technology vs. ContiProContact."

Now, Continental is set to have another big winner, this time in the Standard Touring All-Season category, with the new TrueContact. This new tire is replacing the ProContact with EcoPlus Technology. The ProContact with EcoPlus Technology is ranked second in the category. Will the new TrueContact be able to claim the top spot?  

 Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology
Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology
 Continental True Contact
Continental
TrueContact


TrueContact tires have vertical ridges in the circumferential grooves to improve snow traction, as well as Continental's Comfort Ride Technology to provide an even smoother ride. These features and other improvements include a treadlife warranty of 90,000 miles. Is the TrueContact right for you? Search by vehicle and find out!

The 2014 Tire Rack One Lap of America is Underway

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Springtime at Tire Rack means it's time for the annual One Lap of America challenge. Inspired by the legendary Cannonball Run, this year marks the 31st running of the event. The 2014 schedule consists of 3,200 miles of driving and 19 timed events over the course of eight days.

Besides the page on our site that features details about this year's incarnation of One Lap, we'll also be posting updates on Facebook.

To take part in this grueling test, contestants equip their vehicles with some of the stickiest street tires available, typically from the Max Performance Summer and Extreme Performance Summer performance categories. Cars, drivers and tires will be tested over a wide range of conditions and events, so they'll need to display consistency, versatility and durability.

If you were entered into the event, what tires would you install on your vehicle?

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Friday, May 2, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Winter Maxx Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.36
 
 

2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L
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Miles driven on tires: 8,000
Location: Whitney Point, NY
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

Initial Review, 8,000 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2014

I decided to buy winter tires just before the first forecast snow storm in my area. I live in upstate NY. The in-stock selection was low, the service manager suggested I try the Winter Maxx. I've never previously owned a set of Dunlop's, but with the only alternative available to me being the "house brand" I told the manager I'd take the Dunlops. I have not regretted that decision for a moment.

First off, the ride is very good for a snow tire with aggressive tread. Any decent snow tire is going to have some more noise and be bit rougher than all-seasons, but in the case of the Winter Maxx the drop-off in ride quality was very slight. If I was told I had to ride these all year I could handle it. Steering responsiveness takes the biggest hit, but is still within acceptable limits.

My usual commute to work takes me across two valleys before I get to the highway that takes me into town. That means I have to climb out of two valleys. Both of the hills I climb get brief sunlight so they are often snow covered for days following a storm. This is my first season without four wheel drive in many years. I was a little nervous that my VW Passat would not get me up the hills that I needed to climb in order to get to work. I'm happy to report that neither the Passat, nor the tires let me down. Not once during the winter did I fail to make the climb up the two hills, and for those who may not know, we had a very rough winter in upstate NY relative to recent years. Traction was very good and the car tracked extremely well. I would also mention that the second hill that I climb is particularly challenging as there is a sharp curve just prior to the steepest part which limits the approach speed. Braking performance was also very good as I have to go down the same hills in the evening that must climb in the morning.

Tread wear has been minimal so far. Tires were rotated twice during the winter and I'm fanatical about tire pressure. Worth every penny, would buy again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Dunlop SP Sport MaxxReviewer's Overall Rating: 6.38

2011 Jaguar XF Supercharged
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Miles driven on tires: 6,900
Location: Burke, VA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 6,900 Miles on Tires
December 03, 2011

The rears are 285/35ZR20. Yeah, I know these are summer tires, but I would expect SOME sort of capability in temps between 32 and 50 degress. These tires cannot be relied on for any kind of performance applications at these temperatures. All my comments refer to these temperatures and not summer temps. Even with moderately aggressive cornering, the tires act like they are going to pop off the rim. With pseudo heavy throttle, they have minimal traction. They break loose with just the slightest amount of power application. I would go with the Continental Extreme DWS if they had better sidewall rigidity. If you are going to stay with a summer tire on your supercharged Jag XF AND would like to do SOME driving in cooler temperatures, the Dunlop is not the answer. Consider Bridgestone or Michelin.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10
 
 

2014 BMW 535i Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
March 28, 2014

This is an initial review. Like all initial reviews, the first impression tends to be a comparison to the previous set of tires. At 4,000 miles, I replaced BMW's utterly incompetent choice of OEM all seasons: Goodyear LS 2 that were bastardized into a run-flat tire with a BMW spec tread compound. Turning a bottom-rated touring tire into a run flat tire yields exactly what you'd expect: a noisy, harsh ride, poor hydroplaning resistance, poor on-center stability, unresponsive steering, limited grip, numb road feel, and an expensive $400 tire.

These ExtremeContacts (245/40ZR19 XL) yielded an immediate improvement in all the areas where the Goodyears were lacking. This may be the perfect tire for a BMW five series because it provides very good performance without compromising luxury sedan comfort. I notice none of the "squishiness" reported by others from soft sidewalls. These are XL rated and that might have helped firm up the ride. They are very quiet, with a soft whir or hum at highway speeds that is entirely acceptable for an high performance tire and they are quieter than some touring tires that I've used, including the Goodyear run flats. Cornering and stability in dry and wet conditions are very good so far, but I haven't had to try them in snow or ice yet. The only place where they fall short is that they're not run flats, but I'm not losing any sleep about that.

I shouldn't have to pay for new tires on a new car (thanks for that, BMW), but I'm glad I made the decision and selected these Continentals. The fact that they were the least expensive option in that tire class didn't hurt either.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeWinterContact

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Continental ExtremeWinterContactReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.63

2001 Saab 9-5 2.3T Wagon
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: La Crescent, MN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
December 17, 2010

Impressed with Winter Contact. Only had tires for several months but snow and ice storms hit very suddenly and early in Southern Minnesota this December. Prior to install noted very impressive heavy sidewall. Thick and beefy which is why tire may corner and handle so well. Extremely comfortable tire. After owing many Blizzacks and other snow tires on various cars I was tired of “floaty” feel and wanted good snow and ice traction without giving up sporty road feel when driving in dry or wet. Switched from Nokian WR G2 this time which had been quite good but was very curious to test highly rated ContiExtreme Winter Contact on wagon this time. This is also my first Conti in a long time. Tire is surprisingly smooth, quiet and outstanding in dry. Confidence inspiring in wet and demonstrates great overall handling. Conti has obviously worked hard to keep a performance feel built into this tire. We believe a winter tire should be reliable and inspiring over ice and snow, but also once the roads are clear, give you back your sporty, comfortable near silent ride. There are tradeoffs in this regard I understand -- yet Conti seems to have done well in expanding the envelope. First few snows dumped two feet in the past ten days with -10 below zero Fahrenheit temps and the tire has not skipped a beat. We drive with caution yet when safe and permissible wife and I drive very aggressively. Hard cornering over ice and snow is more than adequate for a modern snow tire. The only slight concern may be if under very hard acceleration from stop if heading up a very steep grade with heavy icy slush you may see some minor traction control system intervention. This was solved instantly by reducing throttle. Hoping Tirerack gets the tests going for snow--not just ice-- between the Conti, Bridgestone and Michelins. A lot more winter to come so we will report back on further tests and reviews from MN & WI. Will buy again for my BMW 5 Series next. Thanks again for good service TireRack!