New Contender in the Grand Touring All-Season Class: Continental's PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

100 meters in 9.63 seconds, that was Usain Bolt's winning time at the 2012 Olympics. This is approximately 1.2 seconds faster than the winning time in 1912. How did we become this much faster in 100 years? Well, competition definitely played a part. The better the competition, the harder athletes work to reach the top. Just like athletes, tire manufacturers are constantly challenging one another. They're always looking for ways to improve grip, efficiency, ride compliance, tread noise, treadwear and a myriad of other traits.

Recently, we tested some new competitors in the Grand Touring All-Season class. We compared the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus (replacement for the Turanza Serenity), Yokohama AVID Ascend (H- or V-Speed Rated), Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology, along with Michelin's Primacy MXV4.

All four tires offer good ride compliance and low tread noise, however we noticed variations in the wet grip portion of our testing. The new Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology excelled on the wet track. It stopped 8 feet shorter than the second place finish of the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus. Overall, the tire bested its competitors across the board in wet cornering grip, slalom time and wet lap time.

I view wet traction as the most important differentiator between average and great tires. Most tires are competent enough in the dry so that dry grip variances aren't felt in day-to-day use. Wet grip differences will be noticeable as a less effective tire slips and spins on wet surfaces.

Given its stellar wet performance, I feel that the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology is our best Grand Touring All-Season tire. Although our official test report found the PureContact somewhat lacking in ride compliance, I personally didn't feel a significant deficiency during my time testing the tire. The bottom line is that the tire is a great choice in a very competitive field.

To see how our testing of these tires went this summer, watch "Testing Grand Touring All-Season Tires."


Thursday, November 1, 2012 by Peter

Do the large curved grooves in the tread design have a functional purpose (such as water evacuation?), or are they mostly for cosmetic appeal?
Thursday, November 1, 2012 by cy

Both. A tire needs a certain amount of void (open space) to provide water a place to go. A straight rib tire like on the nose gear of an airplane meets that criteria, but looks pretty plain. The curved grooves in the PureContact provide necessary void area, the angled orientation helps with all-season traction in snow and slush, and helps improve the visual appeal, all at the same time.
Friday, November 2, 2012 by Michael

Is there a construction difference in the 215/60 16 size between the H & V speed rated versions? [sidewall or tread plies]
In the comparison, one criticism of the PureContact was bump harshness, so I was wondering if Continental had to give up the 'ComfortRide' layer in order to achieve the V-speed rating. What else explains the weight difference?
Friday, November 2, 2012 by cy

Both sidewall and tread ply construction is the same - 2 steel belts, 1 polyester sidewall ply and 2 polyamide reinforcement caps. Both have the ComfortRide rubber layer

So what are the differences? Continental's tire engineers altered the belt angle (V Speed Rated has a slightly higher angle), the polyamide structure (different lay-up & application tension) and the polyamide material (difference in the Denier of the materiel).

Tire Weight: When looking at weight data keep in mind we round the tire weights to the nearest whole pound to calculate shipping weight and often we see weight variances from different batches of the same tire.

We re-weighed 215/60-16 H & V PureContacts. H is 22.2, V is 22.4.

Ride compliance: As a group our test drivers found a modest difference in ride compliance but I personally didn't feel real difference.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 by Bill

Will continental purecontact 235 50 17 fit 2011 malibu with oe alloy wheels?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 by Cy

Bill,if your Malibu came with 215/55-17 on the Original Equipment 17x7 (7" wide) wheels, then 235/50-17 will fit your wheel, won't rub or cause speedometer error. So, yes they will work. Cy.
Thursday, October 31, 2013 by Bart

Regarding the DWS gauges—which I presume to be debossed—how much wear, expressed as % of tread depth, before the S disappears? For those wanting good snow handling this will be the true measure of tire life.

Second question: once the above is ascertained or estimated, how does the PureContact compare to the TripleTred or Defender?
Friday, November 1, 2013 by cy

Per Continental data, the "D" is visible up to 2/32nds, the "W" is visible up to 4/32nds and the "S" is visible up to 5/32nds. In most sizes, the Continental PureContact starts out with 10/32nds of tread depth so when the S wears out at just below 5/32nds, 50% of the useable life is gone.

For wet grip emphasis and overall handling, the Continental PureContact out performs both Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season and the Michelin Defender. For Snowbelt drivers, the only way to dramatically improve snow grip is by using a dedicated winter/snow.

If you're on the fringes of the snowbelt and/or if you prefer to run all-seasons, the majority of our all-season snow test data can be found here:

Thanks. Cy.

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