The internet is loaded with information on high-performance tires. However, the tires that move the world forward, literally, are touring all-season tires. Now, sure, you don’t buy a touring tire with your heart – you buy it because you need it. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that all such tires are equal. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true.
One of the best examples of why touring tires are so popular is the TrueContact Tour. Continental’s standard touring all-season tire is one of the most popular on the market. Moreover, it succeeds the TrueContact, a tire that was already among the best in the category. Despite that, the German engineers made some improvements to the tire, which should launch it right on the top of the touring category.
Continental’s improvements aren’t insignificant. According to data from internal tests, the new tire has a 27% longer treadlife than its predecessor. Also, the new model has less rolling resistance for better fuel economy. Small improvements are also present in how the tire handles dry and wet roads. Moreover, Continental made larger improvements in terms of snow traction, where the predecessor suffered a bit.
The thing is, the TrueContact Tour competes with some really excellent touring tires, namely the Michelin Defender T+H, but also the newly-announced Goodyear MaxLife, and the excellent Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus. Some budget-oriented competitors, such as Cooper CS5 Grand Touring, are also excellent in their own right.
And, to beat these competitors, the TrueContact Tour will need to be good pretty much in every category. Modern tires tend to work well over a variety of conditions, and the same is expected from Continental’s touring tire.
From the get-go, the TrueContact Tour has one advantage over premium rivals – it’s not overly expensive. For instance, the Defender T+H costs almost 30% more, which isn’t insignificant. And, make no mistake, the Continental TrueContact Tour is a premium tire.
Another great thing about the tire is that you can find it in the most popular sizes. Continental offers the TrueContact Tour in 15-inch to 19-inch wheel diameter. With the dimensions on offer, the company covers many vehicle types, including compact cars, mid-size sedans, minivans, small crossovers, and even some coupes.
But is the tire any good? You can find out in my detailed review of the tire. Below, I’ll cover the most important aspects of this tire, including dry and wet performance, snow traction, comfort levels, and durability. Before we do that, though, let’s see what features Continental utilized in its new product to make it stand out from the competition.
- What are the features of the Continental TrueContact Tour?
- What are the maintenance indicators?
- How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
- How is it over wet and slippery roads?
- With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
- Is it suitable for off-road driving?
- Is it comfortable and refined?
- Should I buy the Continental TrueContact Tour?
What are the features of the Continental TrueContact Tour?
On its website, Continental says that the TrueContact Tour is a “Touring performance tire that is designed with a focus on long-wear, fuel efficiency and best-in-class wet braking.” They continue by suggesting that this is their longest-lasting all-season tire. That’s excellent since most of Continental’s tires have long treadlife.
To achieve those performance goals, Continental utilized a tread compound with +Silane additives and temperature-activated functional polymers. The +Silane additives help with wet traction and braking, while the polymers aid tread life and fuel efficiency. The tread compound seems very advanced for a touring all-season tire, and we can only applaud Continental for using such quality rubber.
Continental molded the tread compound into a symmetric tread pattern. The goal behind that decision was to aid easy rotation in front-rear and cross patterns. The tread design looks very modern and unique. It features four wide circumferential grooves for improving hydroplaning resistance.
Moreover, the tread features siped intermediate tread blocks and lateral notches in the shoulders, both of which create more biting edges. These can be utilized for improving traction on very slippery surfaces, such as snow and ice. Also, the traction grooves trap snow in the tread, which improves snow-to-snow traction.
As for comfort, Continental utilized its tried-and-tested Comfort Ride Technology. This is essentially an underlay beneath the tread, which is designed to reduce vibrations. And, fewer vibrations means a more comfortable ride and less noise. According to Continental, that technology can greatly reduce the number of vibrations that enter the cabin.
The internal construction of the tire is pretty standard for the category. It includes a single-ply polyester casing for handling performance and ride comfort. Meanwhile, the dual steel belts, reinforced by spirally-wound nylon for increased durability and high-speed capability.
What are the maintenance indicators?
Unlike many competitors, the Continental TrueContact utilizes QuickView Indicators. These can help the driver monitor the tread depth much better than regular Tread Wear Indicators (TWI’s), which this tire also possesses. Let’s compared them both.
The traditional TWI’s can only tell you when you don’t have any tread left for a safe driving experience on wet roads. They are narrow rubber bars built into the widest grooves of the tire. The TWI’s are recessed when the tire is new, but you can still see them upon close inspection.
As the tread wears down, the TWI’s will become more visible. When the tread depth reaches 2/32-inch, the rubber bars will be completely flush with the rest of the tread. That is the minimum legal depth on all-season tires. When it comes to this, you should immediately replace your tires with a new set. Otherwise, you risk severely worsened wet and snow traction.
The thing is, you will lose reliable snow traction much sooner. That’s where the QuickView Indicators come into rescue. These consist of Tuned Performance Indicators and Visual Alignment Indicators. The former are the letters S, W, and D, imprinted on the tread blocks.
But how do you use them? Well, it’s very easy, actually. When all letters are visible, it means that you will get reliable traction everywhere. When the letter S fades, it means that you won’t have reliable Snow traction anymore. A worn-down letter W, meanwhile, signifies that you don’t have reliable wet traction anymore. The letter D, you guessed it, is for dry conditions.
I can’t state this enough, but monitoring tread depth is crucial for safety. For that reason, I applaud Continental for the QuickView indicators. I think that they do a much better job than the traditional TWI’s and every manufacturer should have a similar solution.
Fortunately, the TrueContact Tour is an outstandingly long-lasting tire. Continental provides an excellent 80,000-mile treadwear warranty for T- & -H-Speed rated models, and 70,000-miles for V-Speed rated models.
However, independent tests from Consumer Reports showed that the tire has a 95,000-mile treadlife, which is extraordinary. That’s not only class-leading but one of the best results of all tires on the market.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
Overall, this is one of the best touring all-season tires in terms of handling. Behind the wheel, the tire feels responsive and provides the driver with a good grip in the corners. Moreover, the braking distances are sufficiently short, while high-speed stability is excellent—a truly safe and sound driving experience.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
The TrueContact Tour is absolutely amazing in terms of wet traction. It performs outstandingly well in the corners, giving the driver a lot of confidence.
Furthermore, the braking distances are the shortest in the category, a testament of the improvements Continental made to the tire. Ultimately, the hydroplaning resistance is also top-notch.
Suffice to say, at this moment, it might be the best tire in its category in rainy conditions.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
The tire continues to impress on snow-covered roads. The traction levels are sufficient for a safe drive over light snow. Handling is predictable, and the braking distances aren’t very long.
Now, sure, the TrueContact Tour won’t replace a proper winter tire. However, as far as all-season tires go, it’s one of the best out there.
Sadly, though, the tire could see further improvements in ice traction.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
Even though you can fit some sizes on smaller crossovers, that doesn’t make it an off-road tire. Traction on hardpacked surfaces might be good, but you can still easily damage the tread of the tire. Moreover, you won’t get any traction in mud or over large rocks.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Of course! I would go as far as to say that this is one of the quietest and most comfortable tires today. The ride quality is superb – the tire irons out smaller and larger imperfections from the road. In addition, the noise is very well suppressed, even at higher speeds.
Should I buy the Continental TrueContact Tour?
Definitely. The TrueContact Tour is the most accomplished touring all-season tire on the market right now. It’s very safe in dry and wet conditions, and drives well over snow, too.
On top of that, it glides gently and quietly on the road and lasts for a very long time. It’s even cheaper than other premium tires!
For all those reasons, it deserves a “Highly Recommended” rating. A truly exceptional tire!
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