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- Best-in-class braking on wet surfaces
- Excellent handling in rainy conditions
- Superior hydroplaning resistance
- Dry handling and braking are among the best in the category
- Comfortable over smaller and larger bumps
- Reasonably quiet on the highway
- Very long treadlife and excellent treadwear warranty
- Expensive for some people
- Not suited for extreme off-road applications
Owners of passenger cars look for performance, comfort, and long wear when purchasing new tires. Those that drive large SUVs or pickup trucks, though, also look for extra toughness. More accurately, these people want a tire that can carry much heavier payloads, while also resisting the abrasive nature of hardpacked surfaces.
Continental recently entered this portion of the market with a new product called the TerrainContact H/T. With this tire, the company aims to provide drivers with great overall on-road performance, tough and durable casing for a better tow and haul capability, and long-lasting performance.
The company isn’t very well-known for its truck and SUV tires, so it will be interesting to see if the TerrainContact H/T can directly compete with the best highway all-season tires. On paper, the tire has a lot to offer – the Germans employed numerous technologies to help the tire stand out from the crowd.
Like most products from the company, the TerrainContact H/T competes in the premium end of the segment. For that reason, the price is higher than some well-known budget-friendly tires. However, in my experience thus far, you usually get what you pay for.
The Continental TerrainContact H/T is available in 24 metric and 10 LT-metric sizes, ranging from 16-inch wheel diameter and up to 22-inch wheel diameter. With these offerings, Continental covers a significant portion of the highway tire market.
Moreover, the company made sure that owners of both older and newer vehicles will find the right size for their needs. Therefore, if you own a full-size pickup with a ladder chassis or a pickup truck, chances are the TerrainContact H/T will fit your vehicle perfectly.
The big question is – how does the tire perform in everyday situations? To answer that question, you’ll need to read the whole detailed review of the TerrainContact H/T. Down below, I’ll cover dry and wet performance of the tire, winter performance, durability and toughness, comfort, and off-road ability.
Before we do that, though, let’s see what’s the difference between the TerrainContact H/T and A/T. I’ve seen many people get confused by Continental’s naming scheme, me included. So, let’s clear that out and start with the review afterward.
What’s the Difference Between the TerrainContact H/T and TerrainContact A/T?
The Continental TerrainContact H/T is a highway tire. This means that it is designed with on-road stability and dynamics in mind, but also longer treadlife, and high levels of comfort. Thanks to the super-strong casing, this model can also be used for hauling heavy payloads or towing large trailers.
The TerrainContact A/T, on the other hand, is an all-terrain tire. This means that it offers better off-road capability, especially on hardpacked surfaces, such as gravel and dirt, and grass. This tire will be completely fine for driving on the road, but overall, performance will be worse than what the H/T (highway tire) offers. The all-terrain model can also be used for towing and hauling.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the TerrainContact H/T isn’t good for off-roading. In a pinch, it will do a fine job, especially on hardpacked surfaces. However, you shouldn’t trust the highway model for very slippery and loose ground.
What are the features of the Continental TerrainContact H/T?
According to Continental, the TerrainContact H/T is a premium highway tire built to be strong, durable, and quiet. “The tire provides the perfect balance between on-road capability, durability and on-road manners,” – says Continental on its website.
The company also states that the engineers focused on delivering long treadlife and exceptional wet braking. According to in-house tests, the TerrainContact H/T has the shortest braking distance on wet surfaces.
To achieve these things, Continental utilized many modern features in the tire, all part of the TractionPlusTM Technology package. The advanced tread compound with +Silane additives enhances traction on various surfaces.
Moreover, the compound also helps in improving wear characteristics, and to provide cut- and -chip resistance, important for driving on hardpacked surfaces.
The compound is molded into a purposeful symmetric tread pattern with large stable shoulder blocks. This design improves high-speed stability, cornering, and steering feel. This is further enhanced by the full-depth interlocking sipes, which greatly help when braking under heavy loads.
Furthermore, Continental employed noise blockers to reduce the sound of air trapped under the tire. The blockers are accompanied by Computer-Optimized Pattern Shifting, which further reduces the noise coming from the tread pattern. The result should be one really quiet highway tire.
The excellent wet traction Continental is so proud of is achieved with the use of four wide circumferential grooves and lateral notches. Moreover, the full-depth sipes I mentioned earlier also increase the number of biting edges for even better wet performance, but also improved traction on snow and ice. Continental’s Traction Grooves also elevate snow-to-snow traction.
Like most highway tires, the TerrainContact H/T has a two-ply internal construction with polyester casing for improved comfort, and two heavy-duty steel belts reinforced with a dual, spirally wound cap that stabilizes the tread for better cornering.
What are the maintenance indicators?
The TerrainContact H/T comes with the industry-standard treadwear indicators (TWI’s) built into the tread of the tire. These indicators are super-important for safety because they show how safe is the tire for wet and snowy conditions.
The treadwear indicators are narrow rubber bars that sit between the tread blocks of the tire, more precisely inside the circumferential grooves. As the tread wears down, these bars will become more visible.
According to Continental, the minimum tread depth for safe wet driving is 2/32-inch. When the tread wears down to that point, the bars will be completely flush with the tread pattern. Naturally, I recommend replacing the tires sooner – the less tread depth they have, the worse wet traction and performance are.
Fortunately, Continental provides a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on Euro metric models and a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty on LT-metric models. These are very competitive and up there with the most durable tires in the segment.
On top of that, Continental offers a flat roadside assistance program, road hazard program, tread wear out coverage, and a customer satisfaction trial.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
The TerrainContact H/T covers everyday driving tasks without too much fuss. The steering is responsive enough for a highway tire, and the straight-line tracking is impressive.
Furthermore, the tire provides the driver with very high levels of grip and traction, even when the truck is loaded to the teeth. High-speed stability is outstanding as well – the highway is where this tire feels most at home.
Overall, the TerrainContact H/T might not be class-leading on dry surfaces, but it’s very close to the top.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
Continental always pays a lot of attention to improving the wet traction of their products, and the TerrainContact H/T is certainly not an exception.
This is one of the safest, if not the safest all-season highway tire in wet conditions. Handling feels planted even in very heavy rain – the tires simply don’t want to let go.
Moreover, the hydroplaning resistance is exceptional, even at higher speeds. And, yes, the Continental’s highway tire achieves the shortest braking distances on wet tarmac.
So, if you own an SUV or a truck and live in areas with frequent rain, I can’t think of a better tire than the TerrainContact H/T.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
As far as all-season highway tires go, the TerrainContact H/T is among the best for wintry conditions. Thanks to a large number of sipes, the tire provides the driver with excellent traction on snow, even a slightly deeper one. Ice traction is worse, of course, but still very good for the category.
Is it good for off-road driving?
Continental designed the TerrainContact H/T to be mostly used on the road, unlike its close brother, the TerrainContact A/T. However, you still can use the highway model for off-roading, provided you don’t push it too hard.
Thanks to the cut- and -chip-resistant tread compound, the tire won’t be easily damaged on hardpacked surfaces. Moreover, the tread pattern should be enough to provide you with good traction on lighter hardpacked terrains.
For very slippery and loose terrain, though, this tire lacks proper traction.
Is it comfortable and refined?
The efforts Continental made to make the tire quieter pays off in the real world. Noise is almost a non-issue at urban speeds, and it transforms into a quiet hum at higher velocities. Moreover, the tire irons out both smaller and larger imperfections with ease, making for a great long-distance cruiser.
You can see more Continental TerrainContact H/T Review here: videos created by Continental Tire
Should I buy the Continental TerrainContact H/T?
With Continental TerrainContact H/T Review above, if the price is not an object, I see no reason why you shouldn’t buy the TerrainContact H/T. From its outstanding wet handling and braking to the exceptional treadlife, Continental’s newest entry into the truck world demands attention from buyers. Right now, this is one of the most accomplished highway all-season tires on the market, and I’m not exaggerating here.