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- Best-in-class wet braking and traction
- Outstanding dry handling for a grand-touring tire
- Supremely quiet and comfortable
- Usable in light snow
- Excellent tread life
- Some competitors have better tread life warranty
Luxury vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Lexus try to combine several things in one package. First of all, they must be supremely quiet and comfortable on the road – better than any other type of vehicle for that matter. On top of that, these cars have powerful engines and can be very fast in V8 trims – faster even than some sports cars. In the end, high-end sedans also cover a lot of miles annually and are mostly used for long-distance traveling.
All cars from the companies mentioned above accomplish those things with ease, but not without a good set of tires. The thing is, some tires are designed to offer a quiet and smooth ride, but aren’t able to withstand powerful engine, while others are excellent with traction and grip, but don’t offer the most comfortable driving experience.
The Continental PureContact LS is a grand-touring tire that tries to both super luxurious and good to drive. It’s specifically made for premium vehicles from the most popular manufacturers, but it also available in sizes that cover mid-size sedans, minivans, and crossovers. However, its price is also higher than that of standard touring tires, which means that owners of premium vehicles are more likely to buy it.
Sure, there are cheaper grand-touring alternatives in the budget sector, but those models are worse in almost every category when compared to the Continental. On the other hand, some grand-touring tires from premium manufacturers can be even more expensive. Here, we will compare the PureContact LS to other premium tires in all categories, including dry and wet traction, snow traction, comfort, and durability.
Spoiler alert: the PureContact is one of the best grand-touring tires right now, especially for wet traction and comfort. If you want a more detailed review of the tire, read on to find out how it behaves in various conditions down below.
What are the features of the Continental PureContact LS?
According to Continental, the PureContact LS is designed to offer luxurious and sporty performance, with its main attributes, including a quiet and comfortable ride, long-wear, best-in-class braking, and all-season performance. Obviously, it is a grand-touring tire that competes directly with the likes from Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear, and Pirelli. It is also one of the newest tires in Continental’s portfolio, launched in 2018. As expected, it features the newest technologies of the company, some of which are unavailable on other models in their lineup.
The first new feature that is available in the PureContact LS is the temperature-activated functional polymers that increase compound bonding and help with tire wear and fuel efficiency. Aside from the polymers, the PureContact LS also contains +Sylane additives that enhance traction in slippery conditions, like for example damp surfaces.
The compound is molded into an asymmetric tread compound with stable tread blocks in the shoulders for lateral grip and high-speed stability. Additionally, Continental included wide central rib for excellent on-center feel, which is very important for highway driving and straight-line tracking. Wet traction is covered with sweeping grooves and deep, circumferential channels that help the PureContact LS achieve excellent resistance to hydroplaning. Snow traction is also covered with siped shoulders, traction grooves and intermediate tread blocks, a feature that’s by now a standard in the all-season category.
What are maintenance indicators?
Like most premium tires, the PureContact LS has wear indicators built into the tread. More precisely, Continental puts them through the main (biggest) grooves of the tread pattern. That said, you will not be able to see them from a distance when the tire is new, which is fine, because they should appear only when the tread is worn down. More precisely, you’ll need to replace your tires when the wear indicators are flush with the tread because the tires will no longer be usable in wet conditions or light snow.
That said, Continental gives very good warranty for the PureContact LS. At 70,000-miles or 6 years tread life warranty, the Continental is one of the longest-lasting sporty grand-touring tires on the market. Sure, you will be able to find some models that come with 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, but those are usually worse in the performance department.
For the traction, responsiveness, and grip you get in this tire, the warranty is very good. The uniformity warranty is also very good at 1 Year / first 2/32″ of wear, while Continental also offers 60-days trial and 3-year flat-changing. That is something that you certainly don’t get in other places, especially the last bit.
But, what about real-life durability? Sadly, it’s too early to say. Past experiences with Continental tires are very positive, both for treadwear and uniformity. The PureContact will most likely last a long time, even on more powerful and heavy vehicles.
Is it good for off-road driving?
If you want to drive with your Mercedes-Benz S-Class out of the road, go for it! Jokes aside, the PureContact LS isn’t the best tire for off-road use. It simply lacks the proper tread design and the tough and durable sidewalls. You might still use it on gravel, but only if you drive carefully.
Due to the fact that you can put a set of these tires on some crossovers, we suggest you forget about it if you plan on driving off-road. In those circumstances, all-terrain tires will work much better. For example, Continental’s TerrainContact is an all-terrain tire that’s designed to offer better traction while driving off-road, but still, remain good to drive and comfortable on the road.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
If you’re looking for a dependable set of tires for high-speed driving on the highway, the Continental PureContact LS will cover your appetite with aplomb. This is one of the best grand-touring tires for luxurious and fast sedans when it comes to the driving experience. It is very hard to find faults with how this tire behaves on dry tarmac.
Sure, if you previously owned a set of high-performance tires, you might notice slightly worse responsiveness and grip, but that’s expected given the grand-touring moniker. Still, for the average driver, and even those that drive slightly more aggressively in the corners, the Continental will suffice.
In “enthusiast” language, the PureContact LS reacts very fast to the steering input, which makes the whole driving experience much more fun. Traction is also outstanding, even on more powerful vehicles, while braking distances are one of the shortest in its category. As expected, the PureContact is also very grippy, both in warm and cold weather.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
If you thought that we spent all the positive attributes on dry traction, you’d be wrong. Right now, the Continental PureContact LS is possibly the best wet-driving all-season tire. Let me clarify – summer high-performance tires are even better in the rain, but they only work in warm conditions. The PureContact LS works both in warm and cold conditions, which makes it the best overall.
According to Continental’s testing, this tire achieves the shortest braking distances in wet conditions, in which we absolutely believe. On top of that, hydroplaning resistance is top-notch, even at highway speeds, while traction is outstanding. The PureContact LS is also excellent on damp pavement, thanks to the advanced tread compound. Seriously, this tire gives confidence in the wet like almost no other.
With that being said, how is it in snowy roads?
The PureContact LS is rated as an all-season tire, which means that it has some design choices that make it usable in the snow. That said, for real snow traction you’ll still need a set of winter tires, especially if it snows often in your area. As far as grand-touring all-season tires go, though, the Continental is one of the best in the category. Traction in light snow is pretty good, while braking distances are shorter than what other tires in this category accomplish.
Is it comfortable and refined?
We’ve come to the second (or first?) most important thing for luxury tire shoppers – refinement. Most of the time, comfort and sportiness don’t go hand-in-hand when it comes to tires, but that’s luckily not the case with the PureContact LS. This is one of the quietest grand-touring tires, even on 19-inch and 20-inch models and at speeds of over 70mph. On top of that, the ride quality is very good, especially when combined with luxurious sedans with air suspension.
Should I buy the PureContact LS?
If you want a set of tires that combine luxury and sport like no other, then you should go for the PureContact LS. Sure, you may find cheaper tires that promise the same qualities, but the Continental will beat them in almost every category. This is a tire that has almost no fault, to be honest. Right now, it is definitely one of the best grand-touring tires on the market and one that deserves to be installed on your expensive wheels.