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In Our Opinion:
Continental is an exceptional all-season tire manufacturer for drivers interested in performance, touring, or standard all-season models. While Continental tires are not cheap, they are generally more affordable than Michelin or Goodyear models.
Strong industry reputation
Excellent all-season tire options
Company focus on safety and eco-friendly tires
Limited options for all-terrain tires
Continental is a well-established tire manufacturer. While Continental tires did not secure a top five spot in our best tires review, it did place in the top 10.
In this review, we’ll examine Continental tires in-depth, including industry ratings, popular models, costs, and more. We’ll also discuss two alternative tire brands to consider if Continental isn’t the right choice for you. You can start comparing tire costs for a variety of brands, including Continental, at TireRack.com.
Continental Tires Overview
Founded in 1915, Continental is headquartered in Hanover, Germany. The brand is the fourth-largest tire manufacturer worldwide, accounting for 12.9 percent of global sales in 2018, according to Statista. It’s held to similar industry regard as Michelin and Goodyear, two top-tier manufacturers.
Though Continental is a German manufacturer, it also has a North and South American headquarters in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The company has a strong relationship with both luxury and daily-driver car manufacturers, making it a popular choice for original equipment (OE) tires. However, Continental also produces replacement tires, auto safety systems, some electronics, and powertrain parts.
Used by luxury brands like Audi, Tesla, and Porsche, Continental produces well-regarded performance, touring, and standard all-season tire models. The brand also has put years of testing and innovation into its tire’s stopping abilities and sustainability.
Continental Industry Ratings
Continental tires, similar to other passenger tire manufacturers’ products, follow an evaluation system created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This system is called Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG), and it rates tires – except specialized tires – based on their treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance.
Here’s an explanation of the UTQG grading system:
Treadwear: This grade estimates the longevity of your tires. To calculate treadwear, tires are measured against a control tire given a rating of 100. If a tire has a 500 treadwear rating, that means it lasted five times longer than the control. Most passenger tires have between a 300 and 500 treadwear rating, according to data from SaferCar.gov.
Traction: This grade measures how well your tires “grip” a wet road. Traction grades are given on a scale of AA, A, B, or C. Good day-to-day passenger tires typically receive an A rating.
Temperature: This grade evaluates a tire’s heat resistance on a scale of A, B, or C. Tires need to withstand different temperatures based on their specialization. Performance tires, for example, usually move at much higher speeds than an all-season tire, and in turn, have higher temperature ratings.
It’s important to note that the NHTSA does not oversee UTQG tests. Manufacturers and independent companies hired by brands are responsible for tire testing and reporting.
Below, we listed a few highly rated Continental tire models and their treadwear, traction, and temperature scores using data from SaferCar.gov.
If you want to know more about a Continental tire you already own, you can check the tire’s sidewall for the UTQG grade.
Continental’s Most Popular Tires
Continental tires have been at the forefront of innovation, safety, and quality since the company’s founding in 1871. Though many of its tire models are popular, a few Continental tire models stand out among the rest.
Here are some of the brand’s most popular tires, based on Continental tire reviews and customer satisfaction ratings on Tire Rack:
Continental TrueContact: A well-regarded all-season passenger tire that handles well in wet, dry, and snowy conditions
Continental PureContact LS: A grand touring tire designed with Continental’s ComfortRide and EcoPlus technology, making it more comfortable, longer-lasting, and better suited for wet and dry roads
Each of these Continental tires received a 4.0-star rating or above on Tire Rack and has similarly high ratings on other retailers’ sites.
Continental tire warranties are on par with competitors’ guarantees. The company offers a limited warranty for defective materials that lasts up to six years, which is standard. Its longest tread life warranty spans up to 80,000 miles, which is on the high end for the industry. We also like Continental’s 60-day replacement guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the tires you purchase.
Cost of Continental Tires
Based on our research, Continental tires can range from about $70 to $420 per tire, but more popular models skew upward. For example, a replacement Continental TrueContact Touring tire for a popular commuter car like the 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid would cost just over $100.
Continental tires can be pricey, but they’re not as expensive as Michelin tires. And, at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Many drivers find a higher price tag to be worth it after considering the company’s rigorous testing standards, quality materials, and tread life warranty.
Continental Customer Reviews
Cost, reputation, and industry ratings are important factors to consider when purchasing a tire, but customer reviews can give you a better picture of how Continental tires actually perform on the road.
Below, we’ve outlined both positive and negative customer reviews of Continental tires to give you a complete view of the brand’s quality. Overall, Continental tire reviews are positive, with most models receiving high satisfaction ratings from customers.
Positive Continental Tire Reviews
“[The Continental PureContact LS has] top-notch wet weather performance, [is] reasonably quiet, [and has] pretty good handling when dry. A class-leading tire, [it’s a] very safe and predictable tire across many conditions. One tire survived a pothole hit that was hard enough to bend the underlying steel rim without a blowout.”
– via Tire Rack
“[The Continental WinterContact SI is] an excellent winter tire, [with] great grip in both winter conditions and dry roads. Tire noise is slightly higher than the OE model, but nothing obnoxious like studded tires… Probably have two more winters left, so the wear is outstanding.”
– via Tire Rack
Negative Continental Tire Reviews
“[I’ve only driven this tire] 6,800 miles and it has 25% left (3/32nd). The [ContiSportContact 2] tires are the third brand I’ve had on this vehicle… I have a set of winter tires from Continental, which I really like, but I’ll pass on getting another set of these.”
– via Tire Rack
“[The Continental ContiTrac] came as OE on my 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty. They were marginal even when they were new. Horrible wet weather performance, and I live in southern Alabama where we get an estimated average 70 inches of annual rainfall, so this is a huge disadvantage.”
– via Tire Rack
Our Final Thoughts on Continental Tires
In our 2021 best tires review, we ranked Continental tires seventh overall and gave it a 4.0 out of 5.0-star rating. Continental tires are an excellent option for all-season drivers and are notably safe in wet and dry conditions. The brand also offers a few reputable winter tires, which may be a good option for drivers looking for more affordability. However, Continental would not always be our first choice for some tire types.
While Continental produces high-quality all-season tires and winter tires, you may be looking for a different specialty model or price point. Other top-recommended brands in our best tires review include Michelin and Cooper.
Michelin: Best Overall
After reviewing every major brand in the industry, we determined Michelin to be the best overall tire company on the market today. As one of the largest manufacturers in the world, Michelin tires are almost synonymous with durability and quality.
Whether you need to fit your truck, SUV, crossover, or passenger car with a new set of tires, specialty or otherwise, you can count on Michelin to have an excellent selection. However, do know that Michelin tires tend to be more expensive than average.
If Continental tires are out of your price range, Cooper tires are a smart alternative. While the company doesn’t have the long-standing reputation of other tire brands, Cooper balances affordability and quality quite well.
The manufacturer specializes in producing replacement tires at much lower prices than the industry average. It also offers decent treadwear warranties, it’s longest hitting the 80,000-mile mark, which is not far off from Goodyear or Michelin.