As the winter season approaches, many tire shoppers have snow traction on their minds. For those who expect serious winter weather, we always recommend using winter / snow tires. However, customers in areas with light snow, an all-season tire may be the tire of choice.
Which one should you choose? A great place to start is Continental's offerings. In recent years, Continental has developed a reputation for strong snow traction in its all-season tires.
For performance oriented drivers, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS provides spirited summertime handling along with winter traction that is some of the best in its class. It dominates the Ultra High Performance All-Season customer surveys in the winter category, along with a very strong overall rating. The tire came in first when we tested it during our time in Sweden.
For drivers who seek a balance between a smooth and quiet ride, long treadlife and solid handling, the PureContact with EcoPlus Technology is Continental's offering in the Grand Touring All-Season category. When we performed our "Testing Grand Touring All-Season Tires" test, the tire was a well-balanced touring tire with impressive wet and winter grip.
Both tires have Tuned Performance Indicators, which feature visible letters molded into the second rib from the outboard shoulder to alert drivers of the tire's performance levels. A visible "DWS" indicates the tires have sufficient tread depth for dry conditions, as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tires only have sufficient tread depth for dry and most wet road conditions. Finally, after the "W" and "S" have both worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tires have appropriate tread depth for dry conditions only.
To see how tread depth is vital to snow traction, read "Will Your Tires Be OK for Winter? Check the Tread Depth."