Continental PremiumContact 7 vs UltraContact


Both the Continental PremiumContact 7 and the UltraContact step forward as strong contenders in the realm of premium tires. Through this exploration, I aspire to shed light on their unique characteristics and performance, aiding you in pinpointing which tire would be the better fit for your vehicle.

Continental UltraContact

When weighing the merits of these two tires, it becomes clear that each shines in different aspects. The PremiumContact 7 stands out for its strong performance in wet and dry conditions, offering better braking and protection against aquaplaning. In contrast, the UltraContact excels in longevity and economy, providing a longer tread life and helping save fuel over time. Depending on your specific needs, either option could serve you well.

Structure And Design

The Continental PremiumContact 7 showcases an asymmetric configuration, where you get a total of 5 ribs.

Continental PremiumContact 7
Continental PremiumContact 7

Centrally, there are 3 distinctive ribs, each displaying a unique pattern, as they are very different from each other.

These ribs are characterized by laterally positioned deep cuts that facilitate effective grip on dry surfaces and efficient water dispersal on wet asphalts with that as well.

Furthermore, one of the ribs integrates both longitudinal and lateral siping slits, amplifying its performance on wet surfaces, as you get a grip in all directions with that.

Collectively, the ribs create 4 distinct longitudinal water channels, contributing to commendable resistance against aquaplaning.

Moving towards the shoulder lugs, you’ll notice that the continuous ribs on either side feature deep slits.

These slits function as effective in-groove notches/biters, offering substantial wet and dry traction, predominantly enhancing handling abilities.

On the other side, the Continental UltraContact comes out with a slightly stronger pattern, full of features.

Continental UltraContact
Continental UltraContact

Tire’s tread structure is although asymmetric like its competitor, it offers a lot more biting edges, relatively.

The shoulder lugs for instance, have a series of in-groove notches which are greater in number.

And all of these then join up with the wave-like siping (which have thicker widths to them).

(Though they are lateral on the other end, I mean the left most rib in the image).

The central ribs form equal circumferential grooves, where the middle most rib has slanted linear siping slits, while the surrounding ribs have a wave like pattern.

So with the combination of rectilinear and interlocking sipng, you get very effective wet traction with this tire.

Dry Performance

To fully grasp these tires’ dry performance, we must analyze features like traction, steering, and cornering abilities. Let’s check out these essential characteristics.

Directional Grip

When we talk about longitudinal traction, we’re essentially discussing how well a tire can stick to dry and straight roads.

So its the grip of the tire on a straight line travel. That’s why its also called directional grip.

This characteristic is often assessed through stopping distances, primarily because it’s a directional metric, concentrated mainly on the central tread area of the tire.

And one thing to note here is that, the tire’s middle section (during rolling straight), faces the most weight pressure on itself.

And that why it makes sense why the he Continental PremiumContact 7 showcases excellent performance, giving you shorter average braking distances and positioning itself as a high-ranking tire in the performance category.

This tire manages to have a superior grip on the road due to its smaller longitudinal tread gaps, unlike the Continental UltraContact.

Dry Handling

Dry handling encompasses a detailed evaluation of how a tire responds to lateral forces, particularly during the turns.

And as the tire corners, the whole weight (on it) tries to shift towards the edges of the tread, or you can say shoulders (don’t want to teach physics here, but this happens because of inertia).

Now having said that, let me tell you that both the tires under consideration seem to be locked in an intense neck-to-neck competition.

What I mean is, you can’t really put one over the other.

Nevertheless, it’s imperative to highlight that the Continental PremiumContact 7 still edges out better marginally. So if you have to pick one here, go with this one.

Tread Life

When discussing tread life, one cannot overlook the crucial role played by elements like rolling resistance, tread depth, and the overall composition of the tire’s material.

Generally speaking, a tire with a deeper tread depth would typically afford a longer period before it wears out, given that it has more material to lose over time.

Concurrently, a tire crafted from a stiffer material can naturally withstand rapid wear, thereby promising a prolonged lifespan.

In this scenario, the UltraContact has the upper hand over the PremiumContact 7, proving to be a more durable choice.

Simply put, the tire is made from a tougher material and has a slightly deeper tread, which means it wears out more slowly, providing better value over time.

So, if you are looking for a tire that lasts longer and helps to save fuel, the UltraContact seems to be the better choice, offering both durability, tread life, and of course, as already discussed, fuel savings in the long run.

Road Comfort and Noise Levels

When we talk about the comfort of the ride and the noise you hear from the tires, it’s mostly about how the air hits the tire tread, creating noise.

In our test, both tires produced a similar amount of noise, but they did it in different ways. The Continental UltraContact keeps the noise low by having smaller gaps in the tread at the sides, so less air can get in and make noise in the first place.

On the other hand, the PremiumContact 7 uses a different design where the shape of the tread changes along the tire, creating different sounds that don’t get too loud. But, this tire finds it a bit hard to smooth out the bumps on the road because it has a harder surface compared to the UltraContact which handles bumps more smoothly.

Performance on Wet Surfaces

Looking at how the tires perform on wet roads, it’s important to note how well they can stick to the wet ground and avoid slipping on water, known as hydroplaning. This is achieved by having a tread design that can remove water well.

In this case, the PremiumContact 7 does a great job, thanks to the larger gaps along its surface that push out water very well. These gaps also help the tire to grip onto drier parts of the road, which improves traction.

Moreover, this tire performs very well in both the middle and the sides, offering a strong grip on wet roads. It also does a great job in preventing hydroplaning, giving drivers more confidence and safety when driving in the rain.

Fuel Consumption

Fuel consumption is an essential aspect to consider when choosing a tire, and it is mainly dictated by the rolling resistance exhibited by the tires.

Now, it’s worth noting that there is a direct relationship between rolling resistance and fuel efficiency, meaning that a higher rolling resistance usually correlates with an increased fuel usage. And this resistance arises from various factors including the weight of the tire and the softness of its tread composition.

And in my comparison, the Continental UltraContact takes the lead in fuel efficiency.

This is because this tire has a design that reduces its rolling resistance: it’s lighter and has a shallower tread depth. These features mean that the tire doesn’t have to work as hard to roll forward, saving fuel in the process.

On the other hand, the Continental PremiumContact 7 seems to have a higher energy expenditure. This is predominantly due to its larger tread voids, specifically towards the shoulders of the tire, which encourage more lug bending.

This, in turn, results in a higher energy consumption as more fuel is required to maintain the tire’s momentum.

To Conclude

In summing up, a comprehensive analysis reveals a close competition where both tires have their pros and cons.

In the sphere of dry performance, the PremiumContact 7 exhibits remarkable directional grip, ensuring shorter braking distances and slightly edges out with a marginally better performance in handling too, showcasing a quicker steering response (and lateral g forces).

When it comes to road comfort and noise levels, the Continental UltraContact takes the lead with a softer surface that adeptly handles road bumps, providing a smoother ride in comparison. Though both tires offers similar noise reduction efficacy.

The PremiumContact 7 though, redeems itself in wet surface performance, showcasing an impressive resistance to hydroplaning and delivering confident wet grip.

Whereas the UltraContact offers a more fuel efficient option, and provides you with a longer lasting tread.

2 thoughts on “Continental PremiumContact 7 vs UltraContact”

  1. Thank you for the thorough comparison review. I am actually stuck between the Continental Premium and Sport Contact 7. Can you help me out with it?


Leave a Comment