Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeWinterContact

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: 2005 Mazda MAZDA6 s Sedan
Miles Driven on Tires: 2,500
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Spirited
Continental ExtremeWinterContact
Follow-Up Review: 5,000 miles on tires
March 19, 2011
These tires still do great in the snow and cold, the colder the better, however the much rounder (compared to my summer tires) construction means that any slight raise in the road due to packed snow, ice or uneven pavement pushes the tires side to side, reducing my driving confidence. Wear looks better than expected, as a I still drive spirited on warm dry days. I still wish I had gone with 17 rims for a reduced sidewall, although the 16's do soak up potholes with no damage to the tire or steel rims. Not sure if I would purchase again, by the time I would need to (another 2 winter seasons by my estimation) tire design will have marched on, hopefully enabling a great winter tire that does not suffer from the drawbacks I find in non-snow daily driving of this tire - wobbliness, easily pushed around, and (compared to my Ventus V12 summer tires) annoying amounts of tire rebound. Also, aside from winter weather and winterized petrol dragging down gas mileage, I can't seem to get good highway fuel economy with these tires. The previous winter was noticeably better, I'll find out for sure once I get my summer tires back on.
Initial Review: 2,500 miles on tires
March 02, 2010

This is more a review of these tires on my specific car.

Great in the snow, absolutely great. The more snow the better, or so it seems. Braking is easily better than all-seasons, as is handling and acceleration. Wet snow is noticable more difficult to maintain control, however. Now for the bad news, seemingly terrible in the slush. Not sure if it is my car or the tires, but the car gets pushed around very easily by even small amounts of slush. I tend to believe it has more to do with my cars suspension, weight, and width to wheelbase ratio than the tires though. Easier to drive through 6 inches of snow than 1 inch of slush. Fun to have a car willing to rotate on dry roads, but not so much on wet winter slush.

Dry roads are mixed, as these things like to grab every little pebble and sand grain the road commission dumps on Michigan. Slip and control is well within tolerance though, and really only becomes an issue in spirited driving. It takes very little to spin the inside wheel accelerating through a tight corner if there is any sand, debris. Clean roads are great in the dry though. Some tire wandering above 65 mph, although determined mostly by road surface. Tires seem to move and stretch a noticable amount more above freezing temperatures, although this is only apparent driving back to back temperature differences.

Very quiet tire, almost as quiet as the non-OEM all-seasons that I had on before. (Coopers?) Much quieter than my father and bro-in-laws Blizzak Revo's. Stock wheels are 17, these are on 16, I notice more rebounding motion from the tires than stock, although small imperfections are slightly smoothed over versus stock. In retrospect, I should have gone with 17 as the extra sidewall can be felt in hard acceleration. Not sure on tread-wear yet.

In summary on my Mazda 6s, great on the snow, bad in slush, matches wet(rain) A/S performance, dependable dry weather performance and a very quiet ride for snow tires.

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