Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
February 12, 2013
These tires replaced the stock Conti Contacts in stock size. In all respects, this is a superb tire except for two:
1) The sidewall design is such that it is taller in relation to the contact patch despite the same 45% aspect ratio
2) The sidewall looks a fairly "unstylish" compared to other designs
The performance point is that the response of the car is less than the original stock tire due to sidewall flex. This is apparent in all driving conditions where transient response to steering inputs is important. My recommendation is to go to a lower aspect ratio like 40% to correct for this issue. Idon't know if the issue exists across all sizes for this tire but it does exist for the 225 45 17 that goes on a GTI. This taller sidewall likely contributes to a material increase in ride comfort over the stock Conti Contacts. The stock Conti Contacts was superb for handling and transient response but very noisy and rough compared to the DWS. I believe the additional tread cuts in the DWS tread design, while better for rain/snow, also contribute to a little more squirmishness compared to the Contact's blocky design.
In we actually had more snow, I might be more likely to place more priority on the DWS design features. Also, as the "S" wears out, I might have another view on the tire's performance. In all other respects, this is a superb tire.