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.