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: 2009 Mazda Mazda5
Miles Driven on Tires: 4,000
Location: ALAMEDA, CA
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Spirited
Continental ExtremeWinterContact
Initial Review: 4,000 miles on tires
April 16, 2014

Living in Germany where snow tires are required during the winter months. I am running Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S tires the rest of the year. I can compare them to each other. The Michelin tires are by far the best tires I have ever put on any of my cars for warm or wet driving. But when it is cold (40 degrees or lower) or icy, the Conti's are mind-blowing. I am 45 years old and grew up driving in snow and ice covered steep, curvy mountain roads. The Conti winter tires brake and handle astonishingly well on snow and ice. They are superior to the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S in very cold temps on both wet and dry. They have two weak spots. First, when pushed hard in sustained turns, they fall off suddenly and dramatically, which is forgivable for winter tires that perform so well as intended. Second, at high speed in a strait line the car is very unsettled. It just won't track straight. My my oldest son eventually gets queazy.
This comes on at about 60mph and gets worse all the way to 'can't go any faster mph. The Autobahn is smooth as freshly Zambonied ice and yet the exhausting high frequency instability is ever present. (tried rotating tires, no effect)
Bottom line:
Astonishingly good winter traction in cold dry, cold wet, snow covered and ice covered roads. If you travel at high speeds for long periods of time, maybe look at another tire.

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