Consumer Reports recently gave the Continental TrueContact above average marks in almost every category during rigorous testing of the tire. Here Traction News compares and contrasts the results of the independent testing by Consumer Reports and Continental’s claims about the tire.
Fitment and Sizing Information
The TrueContact has been designed for most passenger cars and minivans. It’s an OEM fitment on such passenger cars as the Chevy Cruze, Ford’s Focus and Taurus, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Camry.
It’s also an OEM fitment tire for crossover/minivans such as the Ford Flex, Chevy’s Equinox and the Journey from Dodge. The tire comes in 19 sizes, in 14 through 19 inch. The size distribution is as follows:
• 15 inch, 65 Series, H speed rated in 185 and 195/65R15 sizes
• 16 inch, 65 Series, both H and T speed ratings in 215 through 235/65R16
• 16 inch, 60 Series, H and V rated in 205/60R16 through 225/60R16
• 16 inch, 55 Series in 205/55R16 with an H speed rating
• 17 inch, 65 Series in 225/65R17 with a T rating
• 17 Inch, 60 Series in 225/60R17, H rated for speed
• 17 inch, 55 Series in 215/55R17 and 235/55R17, V and H rated respectively
• 17 inch, 50 Series in 225/50R17 and a V rating
• 17 inch, 45 Series V rating for the 215/45R17 and an H rating for the 225/45R17
• 18 inch, 65 series in 235/65R18 with a T speed rating
• 18 inch, 60 Series in 235/60R18 with an H rating
• 19 inch, 55 Series in 235/55R19 with an H rating
What Continental says about the TrueContact
Continental rates the TrueContact to deliver 90,000 miles of wear (as long as the car is kept properly aligned and the tires are rotated regularly, of course). They categorize the tire as an all-season radial that delivers “best in class” wet braking, fuel efficiency and long wear.
Advertising material says that one of the main focuses during the development of the tire was in making it as fuel efficient as possible. Continental says that the 23 percent improvement in rolling resistance can help owners save approximately $550 in fuel costs over the life of a set of tires.
Uniform government and independent ratings
Although Continental offers a 90,000-mile warranty on the tire, independent testing by Consumer Reports found that they only delivered 60,000 miles. Uniform Tire Quality Grading gives the tire a score of 800 for treadwear. An “A” grade was given for traction, while the tire received a “B” for temperature resistance.
TrueContact received “above average” marks in testing
In the $100 price range, the tire is well above average in independent testing. Its dry braking characteristics were “very good”, while contrary to what some advertising material says, it only received a “good” in wet braking. The tire’s handling, snow traction and resistance to hydroplaning were all marked as “very good.”
Important in a passenger tire is ride comfort and noise and the tire did very well there, also receiving “very good” marks. In line with what the company says about its focus during development, the tire received a mark of “excellent” in rolling resistance. Ice braking was the tire’s Achilles’ heel, though; it only received a “fair” in this category.
Overall, the tire only has a few shortcomings, while bridging a good balance between traction, handling and comfort. Owners can also expect to save money due to the tire’s low rolling resistance. However, this might be offset somewhat by the tire’s average tread wear seen in testing.