Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental 4x4 Contact

Note: 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.
Vehicle: 2010 Volkswagen Touareg 2 TDI
2.5
Miles Driven on Tires: 19,450
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Average
Continental 4x4 Contact
Follow-Up Review: 19,451 miles on tires
December 10, 2011
Going into the second winter on the Michelins with about 16,000 miles on them. A little better than the Conti on snow and ice, but not much. The heavy Tourareg riding on low profile, wide all season tires just doesn't do well. Took the plunge and and bought a winter tire and wheel package. Went with 18 inch wheels vs. the stock 19. More snow tire options at half the price of 19's. Almost pays for the wheels.
Initial Review: 19,450 miles on tires
January 18, 2011

These tires were original equipment on my 2010 Touareg TDI. Drove the car home from the dealer in a big MN winter storm and raved about the new SUV being the most stable and confidence inspiring vehicle I've ever driven in snow. Head and shoulders above the Subaru Outback and Honda Pilot, which were both great. Made the RWD BMW 530i I traded in seem like a bad joke (even with Dunlop performance snows). However, this second winter, the Contact 4x4s are down to 6/32 tread depth. They are now treacherous in snow or ice conditions. The advanced 4WD, weight, and traction control of the Touareg help the car launch ok and feel moderately stable underway, but there is huge understeer when turning and nearly zero braking action in anything slippery. In addition, these tires ride hard, and hammer the suspension. Tire wear is unacceptably bad as well. Looking at $1,400 to replace set of tires after less than 20,000 miles. That is 7 cents per mile, or $3.50 worth of tire to go to work and back. Fuel is only $7! Very similar in ride and handling to the Conti Contact CH95 which came standard on BMW sedans for years. Handles ok, and performs fine when new. Decent grip and turn-in in dry conditions. Very poor in snow after a few miles, and tread wear about half of what you expect from a comparable Michelin. Why did you do this to me VW? Why? Planning to go to Michelin Latitude Tour HP for round #2. Wish me luck.

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