Continental ProContact TX Review

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The Continental ProContact TX is a Grand Touring All-Season tire available for a wide variety of vehicles, thanks to its extensive range of sizes and ratings. But is it worth getting? Well, let’s take a closer look and find out.

Tucson SEL Plus
Hyundai Tucson

Available Tire Sizes

Continental ProContact TX comes in 15 to 21 inches rims, with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T, H, V and W.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Weight range: 14 to 36 lbs.
  • Tread depth: Either 9 or 10/32″.
  • UTQG: Vary between 400 A A to 500 A A.
  • Treadwear warranty: 45k to 65k miles (depending on speed rating).

Key Takeaway

Overall, the Continental ProContact TX excels in:

  • Dry and wet performance, offering superior grip, braking, and handling.
  • Winter traction, especially on ice, even without the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification.
  • Durability and tread longevity, thanks to its robust construction.
  • Comfort, thanks to its extra absorption layer, in its internal structure.

However, it needs improvements in:

  • Fuel efficiency, as its heavier weight contributes to higher rolling resistance.
  • Road noise reduction, as the extensive siping can generate some growling noise.
  • Lateral water expulsion leading to lower curved aquaplaning resistance.

Tread Design

The Continental ProContact TX comes with (typical seen) symmetric tread pattern with 5 ribs (I mean when it comes to grand touring tires).

Continental ProContact TX
Continental ProContact TX

So by ribs, I am referring to the 5 block columns you see, which together make 4 circumferential grooves.

The inner 2 grooves, out of them are more aggressive though. This is mainly because of its central most rib, forming a lot of off-set edges, with it’s in-groove notches running in both (sideways) directions.

Moreover, they also form snow-vices (sharp saw-toothed edges), adding to overall aggressiveness of those grooves.

Moving towards the adjacent ribs, they have lugs with curved lateral voids, and in-groove notches, and have siping running parallel (to those voids).

And further out, you see shoulder lugs, with their voids getting blocked up by a continuous running rib, (see how these ribs join up with the shoulders, they are basically providing noise comfort).

Moreover, these lugs have (slightly) V shaped sipes (referring to their dual angles), and you see longitudinal slits here, interconnecting those sipes together.

Side Note: Overwhelmed with so many all season options out there? Well let me help you out. Start here.

Dry Performance

Among its peers, the Continental ProContact TX excels in almost all key performance aspects when it comes to overall dry performance. These include directional grip, steering responsiveness, and overall handling.

Let’s see how this performed in each.

Directional Grip

In terms of directional grip, which refers to the tire’s traction/control in a straight line, the central footprint of the tread is crucial.

When a tire rolls straight, the central area is primarily responsible for making contact with the road, which is key to achieving optimal grip.

And in the case of the Continental TX, this effectiveness is heightened due to its wider and continuous central rib. Such a design ensures not only extensive but also consistent rubber-to-road contact, significantly enhancing the tire’s grip.

Additionally, the central rib, along with adjacent ribs, feature multiple (lateral) slits, and in-groove notches. These elements contribute to the tire’s “bite” on the road, improving traction and control.

The result? You get leading scores, where the ProContact stops the fastest compared to its rivals. (If you don’t know, braking distance is what measures directional grip).

Moreover, talking about stability or on-center feel, you again get pretty decent results, as all ribs are supported by reinforced foundations.

But if you ask me, the tire can still be improved. I mean its a little on the heavier side, compared to others in its class of grand touring all-season tires.

This increased weight leads to greater momentum inertia, making it slightly challenging to stop the vehicle quickly enough, negatively affecting braking distances (on tests), a little.

To give you an idea, the tire lacks to Michelin CrossClimate 2 (review), by only 2 feet on average, in terms of braking distance tests.

Handling

The Continental TX stands out for its exceptional lateral traction, surpassing many of its competitors in this regard.

And this superior lateral grip comes form its well engineered shoulders, (which get the most weight on them, while the tire is cornering).

These shoulder lugs are pretty compacted up, and are connected to each other by a continuous running adjacent ribs (as discussed in its tread design section).

This interconnection of the lugs ensures that the tire maintains optimal/consistent contact with the road, allowing for decent lateral traction.

And yes, as these interconnected lugs also come with reinforced foundations underneath, they are specifically designed to withstand the increased stress and pressure during turns, ensuring the tire maintains its grip and stability.

Meaning with ProContact, you not only get the needed grip here, but also a stable steering response, a recipe for superior overall handling.

For Your Info: The sipes on the shoulder lugs, while primarily designed to enhance wet grip also help here, where their curved lateral and longitudinal structure allows them to flex (expand/contract), providing multi-directional bite, enhancing overall grip.

Wet Performance

Wet performance of a tire involves examining 3 main factors, overall wet grip, steering response, and hydroplaning (resistance).

Let’s see how the tire performed in them all.

Hydroplaning

The phenomenon of hydroplaning occurs when a tire fails to displace water through its grooves, essentially causing the tire to float on water.

And needless to say, the tire loses all traction, when this happens.

To address hydroplaning, tires are equipped with grooves that effectively disperse water, determining the tire’s hydroplane speed (exact speed of a tire at which it start floating or hydroplaning).

Now, the Continental ProContact TX, with its four circumferential grooves, provides competent water dispersal capabilities when moving linearly, (or in a straight line).

However, its performance diminishes during turns. And this limitation stems from the tire’s closed shoulder voids, as observed in its tread pattern, which restrict lateral water expulsion.

Wet Handling and Grip

In terms of wet grip and handling, the Continental TX is leading among its direct competitors. And that’s primarily due to superb water clearing abilities.

To explain this, you should know, that while most of the water is handled by grooves (as already explained above), the left over/residual water particles can still come underneath the lugs and cause slippage.

And that’s where sipes make their mark.

These are small slits in the tread, which open up as they are pushed against the ground (with water in between).

And this sucks up the remaining moisture on the road, rendering it relatively drier, so the tire’s rubber/other-biters can grip on the surface properly.

That’s why it makes sense why the ProContact TX with a lot of biting edges is pretty great, when it comes to wet traction.

I mean, if you consider its tread again (by scrolling up), you’d note that it’s laced with biters all over, with lateral notches on the middle most rib, curved sipes/slits on adjacent ribs, and multi-directional biters on shoulder lugs.

All of these ensure, that the tire could grip in all directions, allowing for superb directional grip (which leads to leading scores in braking), and lateral traction (which puts the tire above, in terms of lap (handling) times).

Though the tire could still improve a little, if you ask me. I mean, it could use a little more silica in its composition. That would actually make the sipes more flexible, and therefore more absorbing.

Side Note: If you’re looking for top ranking tire for wet performance, check out the Vredestein Quatrac Pro. I added in my list of top grand touring tires: https://tiredriver.com/best-grand-touring-all-season-tires/

Tread Longevity

The Continental TX distinguishes itself with a robust construction and advanced design, offering durability and longevity to drivers.

Speaking of its durability first, the tire offers a dual-ply polyester internal structure, typical of grand touring all-season tires. Moreover, you also get wide steel belts reinforcing those polyester cords, and spirally wound dual nylon cap plies on the very top, just beneath the rubber.

So overall, it’s toughness is as good as it gets, in its category.

However, this sturdy construction comes with a trade-off in weight.

I mean, the Continental’s relatively greater weight, (reaching up to 38 pounds), exerts more pressure on the lugs, as they get rubbed against the road, accelerating wear.

Additionally, the tire’s relatively shallow tread depth, particularly in sizes with 9/32″ depth, is also a disadvantage. A shallower tread depth means the tire will wear down more quickly reaching the 2/32″ (legal tread depth limit in US), sooner.

Though let me add, that the ProContract still offers an above-average tread life, especially in sizes with H speed ratings, where you get a confidence inspiring 65k miles warranty.

Though sizes with V (speed ratings) only get 55k miles (treadwear warranty), while those with W, get worse, only 45k miles. But it makes sense, because speed rating is inversely proportional to tread longevity.

Road Vibrations

When it comes to overall impact comfort performance, there are two things to note, how well the tire absorb road bumps, and how well it offers the needed stability.

And in both of the, the Continental ProContact TX takes the upper hand, despite its stiffer rubber compound, with aggressive tread design.

This is mainly because of its ContiSilent Technology, which involves the application of a layer of sound-absorbing foam to the inner liner.

This helps in absorbing a lot of road imperfections (besides mitigating road noise).

Additionally, the tire benefits from dual nylon cap plies, which provide a buffer against bumps and vibrations, allowing for a smoother ride experience, by giving these disturbances more room to dissipate.

However, it is important to note that the tire’s extra load (XL) sizes here exhibit a marginally less effective response in damping bumps. Though the difference is relatively minor.

Winter Performance

When assessing the winter performance of an all-season tire, three key factors are crucial: acceleration, handling (including steering response), and adaptability to various winter terrains, particularly soft snow and ice.

Assessing these criteria, the Continental TX is a great option, leading the way in its category, with it’s above-average winter scores (concluded by my testes, and subjective evaluations).

Now, here a significant contributor to its overall “winter scores” is its ice traction, which is greatly enhanced by the numerous interlocking biters across its tread.

Here the central most rib particularly, makes its mark, with lateral notches, and sipes, combined with snow vices. These allow for leading scores in terms of ice/slush braking.

Furthermore, the tire also features multi-directional curved slits (or biters) on all its neighboring ribs, which significantly improve traction in soft snow.

These biters, in conjunction with the siping, pick-up, and retain snow particles effectively, promoting snow-to-snow contact, which is vital for overall snow traction, as snowflakes interlock with each other, enhancing friction.

(These snowflakes don’t stick too well with tread’s rubber).

Though yes, worth reminding, despite the tire’s superior overall winter performance, it still doesn’t offer the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification. But this rating isn’t everything as it only tells you about the tire’s acceleration abilities, on snowy roads.

Side Note: Out of all top grand touring tires I reviewed, the Nokian SeasonProof takes the lead among all. Review it here: https://tiredriver.com/nokian-seasonproof-review/

Noise Comfort

Tread noise, a key consideration in tire’s overall comfort performance, is influenced by tread design, where particularly shoulder lugs matter the most.

This is because noise gets generated with air particles (entering via shoulder voids), and hitting around.

That’s why it makes sense why the Continental ProContact TX is particularly adept in these areas, contributing to one of the quietest rides in its class.

The tire basically offers an adjacent rib (on each side), blocking the grooves of the shoulders, restricting air entry.

Moreover, it also features a well structured pitch pattern, keeping the overall in-groove resonance down.

Though as the tire comes equipped with a lot of biters, there’s some growling noise (generated, as those sipes/notches rub against the road).

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is intrinsically linked to a tire’s rolling resistance, which essentially refers to the effort required to keep a tire moving.

This resistance is influenced by various factors, such as the tire’s weight, the composition of its rubber, and the pattern of its tread.

In the case of the Continental ProContact TX, although the tire features a very well made aerodynamic tread design, it still doesn’t fully compensate for its rolling resistance challenges, where the significant factor is the tire’s greater weight.

In fact, it’s one of the heaviest tires you’d find in the grand touring category.

The added weight is attributed to the extra layers in the tire’s internal structure, increasing the downward force on the tread (lugs), leading them to bend more.

This bending of the lugs results in energy loss, as lugs rubbing against the road waste energy in to heat, lowering overall fuel economy.

Side Note: The above only goes for sizes with ContiSeal technology, as those are the ones with extra layers (internally). Meaning sizes without it, still do okay, and provide you with above average fuel efficiency.

To Summarize

The Continental ProContact TX stands out in its class with impressive dry and wet performance, marked by excellent grip, braking, and handling.

Moreover, the tire excels in winter conditions, providing reliable traction on ice and snow, despite lacking the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification.

Talking about ride comfort, the tire is enhanced by its noise-reducing technology, but some road noise is still present due to the extensive biters (throughout the tread), though you do get great impact performance.

Furthermore, its robust design contributes to a long tread life, although the weight of the tire slightly hampers fuel efficiency.

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