Continental ProContact TX vs PureContact LS

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Both the Continental ProContact TX and the PureContact LS are standout selections within the Grand Touring All-Season category, providing a balance of comfort, durability, and all-season reliability. Let’s explore their distinct attributes to help you make the right decision.

Volkswagen Jetta
Both tires are a great balance between performance and comfort, just like this VW.

Main Highlights

So overall, the ProContact TX (review) is better at:

  • Dry-Road Performance: Offering superior traction and shorter braking distances due to its streamlined rib design.
  • Overall Handling: Excelling in steering response and lateral grip, thanks to its interconnected ribs and compact shoulder design.
  • Wear Resistance: Featuring a robust construction with stronger steel belts, although this may lead to faster wear due to its extra weight.

Whereas the Continental PureContact LS (review) is better at:

  • Wet-Road Performance: Superior in resisting hydroplaning and providing strong grip on wet surfaces, attributed to its efficient water displacement capabilities.
  • Winter Traction: Offering better performance in snow and ice conditions, with an open tread design and asymmetric tread features for enhanced grip.
  • Ride Quality: Providing a smoother and quieter ride, excelling in noise dampening and vibration comfort, suitable for luxury performance.

Tread Features

Starting out with Continental PureContact LS, this tire features an asymmetric tread design.

Continental PureContact LS
Continental PureContact LS tire’s central most rib is the most biting, yet its still not as aggressive in comparison.

Its tread has 5 different block columns, called ribs, which together make 4 circumferential grooves.

Out of these block column, the central most is the most aggressive, where multi-angled in-groove notches are the most prominent.

And yes, you also see slanted linear siping and chamfered edges here as well.

The surrounding ribs are narrower, are are equipped with linear sipes, and notches, along with snow-vices (though its a common feature with others).

And the shoulders? Well, they offer a pretty straight-forward design.

Though they are slightly different on each side.

I mean although both sides have linear sipes and lateral voids, one side additionally features snow-vices on them as well.

Moving towards the Continental ProContact TX, this tire comes with symmetric tread pattern, though offering similar 5 rib design just like PureContact.

Continental ProContact TX
Continental ProContact TX

Its most prominent feature is the wide central rib, equipped with a lot of off-set edges and snow-vices.

And yes, it also features a neatly designed longitudinal slit, cutting the rib in half.

Moving outwards, the adjacent ribs are characterized by lugs with curved lateral voids, and in-groove notches, with siping running parallel to these voids.

And towards the shoulders? Well, you get a very interesting pattern here.

These lugs feature V shaped lateral voids, though they don’t connect with the outer circumferential grooves.

This is because they are obstructed by a continuous-running rib, a design aimed at providing noise comfort, and handling stability.

Additionally, these lugs have a combination of linear lateral and longitudinal sipes, as you may have noticed (on its tread image).

Info on 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).

On the other hand, the Continental PureContact LS comes in 16 to 20 inches with following sizes.

  • Speed ratings: H and V.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″ on all.
  • Weight range: 18 to 32 lbs.
  • Treadwear warranty: 70k miles.
  • UTQG rating: 700 AA.

Dry-Road Performance

Dry performance is key to assessing both the tire’s traction and its steering response. To get a complete picture, we need to investigate each element on its own.

Linear Grip

So, when it comes to dry braking, how well a tire grips in a straight line is super important. And here, the ProContact tire really shines.

In my tests, it consistently had shorter braking distances, like about a foot less on average, compared to the PureContact.

The superiority of the ProContact is largely due to its more streamlined rib design, which features almost continuous-running structure.

Such a design ensures a more consistent contact between the rubber and the road, resulting in enhanced longitudinal traction.

On the flip side, the PureContact LS doesn’t quite match up here. Its main issue? A more empty space in its middle-most rib, primarily.

But why this area is important here? Well, because, this part of tire has the most saturated weight on it, as the tire rolls linearly.

Now, sure, the Continental PureContact LS has these groove notches that still add to grip. But they do more harm than good.

I mean, their taking away of the rubber, cut down on the amount of footprint that could be touching the road, lowering grip.

Overall Handling

The overall handling of a vehicle is significantly influenced by the tire’s steering response and grip, and the ProContact tire excels in both these area.

A key factor in this tire’s handling efficacy is its superior lateral grip, largely attributable to its expertly designed shoulders, which carry most weight on their backs, as the tire turns (because of centripetal force).

Now, the tire’s shoulders are more compacted up, and interconnected by continuous adjacent ribs, (see its tread design, where I explained it more).

This structure choice, ensures that the tire maintains consistent and optimal contact with the road, providing reliable lateral traction.

Additionally, these interconnected lugs are reinforced at their foundations, a design specifically intended to withstand the increased stress and pressure experienced during turns. And that explains why the tire also offers a more stable steering response.

Now, the PureContact LS? It’s got a bit of a struggle. Its rubber is softer, and it’s got greater tread depth. This means the tire’s lugs bend more, and take time to snap back to shape.

And that time wasted, is the delay you get in the tire’s feedback, when you add inputs to your steering.

New to my site, and finding best all-season pick? Well, I think, you should start with my main page.

Wet-Road Performance

In wet conditions, effective water clearance from a tire’s tread is crucial to prevent hydroplaning, where a layer of water causes the tire to lose contact with the road surface.

Now, to address this, tires are designed with grooves and sipes.

Grooves are the main players in channeling away water, while sipes take care of the leftover moisture. These sipes are like tiny water reservoirs; they flex, create suction to pull in water, and then release it as the tire rolls.

This teamwork between grooves and sipes is what keeps the tire’s rubber in good contact with a relatively drier road surface.

Now among both boys here, the Continental PureContact LS excels in wet conditions, showing superior resistance to hydroplaning, and stronger grip on wet surfaces. This enhanced performance is largely due to its efficient water displacement capabilities.

The tire’s design includes well-integrated longitudinal and circumferential grooves that effectively push out a lot of water, leaving less for the sipes to deal with.

Also, the softer tread compound of the PureContact LS keeps the sipes from getting too rigid. This improves water dispersion and overall traction, as the softer compound allows the sipes to flex more, making them better at absorbing and expelling water.

On the flip side, the Continental ProContact TX, while having enough siping and biting edges, falls a bit short in wet conditions.

Its stiffer rubber composition means the sipes aren’t as flexible, which can affect their ability to efficiently draw in and expel water, impacting the tire’s overall performance in wet conditions.

Side Note: None of these tires were able to make it to my list of top grand touring AS tires. You may check the list here:

Winter Traction

In evaluating winter traction for tires, three key performance metrics are considered:

  • Handling.
  • Directional grip.
  • Acceleration.
  • And all these performance metrics on snow and ice.

The ProContact TX, with its densely populated interlocking siping, might initially seem to offer good enough performance across these metrics. However, its stiffer rubber composition proves to be a significant limitation, particularly in harsh winter conditions.

In the freezing cold, what you really want is a tire that can stay flexible and keep its grip.

And that’s where the Continental PureContact LS comes in. It’s a bit heavier and has an open tread design that’s really good at scooping and tossing snow, which gives you better get-up-and-go in the snow.

Additionally, the design of its biters is more conducive to trapping snow within their voids, facilitating better snow-to-snow contact. This feature is vital since snow tends to adhere better to itself than to rubber, enhancing grip.

Now, when you hit ice, the PureContact LS again shines.

Its asymmetric tread design is packed with features made just for icy conditions. These help the tire stay in touch with the ice better, giving you a steadier grip and handling when winter gets tough.

Ride Quality

A tire’s capacity to provide a smooth ride hinges on its noise reduction capabilities and its ability to cushion road irregularities. We shall delve into each of these aspects one at a time.

Noise Dampening

So, when it comes to how noisy tires are, the Continental PureContact is kind of on the louder side.

This increased noise level can be attributed primarily to its distinct tread design, which features more spacious gaps, especially in the shoulder area.

If you revisit the tire’s design, on the top of this page, you’ll notice that its shoulders are more voided, allowing for greater air penetration.

In contrast, the Continental TX includes secondary adjacent ribs attached to its shoulder blocks.

These ribs effectively block lateral voids, reducing air entry.

But why is that important? Well because primary source of noise emerges from air particles entering the shoulder voids and hitting the tread walls.

But, just a heads up, the ProContact TX isn’t totally silent. It still makes some growling sounds, probably because of all those biters it has.

Vibrations Comfort

When you’re thinking about how well a tire can handle vibrations, two big things matter: how it acts like a mini-suspension for your car and how smooth and steady your ride is.

Now here, the tire’s overall construction is a critical element in this regard.

That’s why Continental PureContact LS, specifically designed as a luxury performance tire (as indicated by the “LS” in its name), offers a more sophisticated composition, in comparison here.

It features a unique blend of polymers and includes a dedicated layer above its softer cap plies, for absorbing road imperfections.

These characteristics significantly enhance the tire’s ability to absorb bumps and irregularities on the road, providing a more comfortable and smoother ride

This focus on luxury performance ensures that the PureContact LS effectively balances the need for performance with the comfort of a refined driving experience.

Wear Resistance

Now, here both Continental tires stand out with their robust constructions and sophisticated designs, offering durability and longevity.

Speaking of durability, the ProContact adds a bit more muscle. It’s got stronger steel belts and an extra cap ply, which makes it tougher and more durable. But, there’s a catch: it’s heavier.

This extra weight means more pressure on the tire’s lugs (those bits that grip the road), which can cause them to wear out faster because of all the rubbing against the road.

Another thing to consider is the tire’s tread depth, which is relatively shallower (speaking of 9/32″ sizes).

These sizes take more time to reach down to 2/32″ read depth limit (that’s the legal limit in the US).

But, it’s not all the same across the board.

I mean some ProContact sizes, especially those with H speed ratings, can last about as long as the PureContact LS treads.

These versions come with a slightly lower mileage warranty, just 5,000 miles less in comparison.

Though tires with V speed ratings have a 55,000-mile warranty, and W-rated ones drop down to 45,000 miles.

And that makes sense, because speed rating is directly proportional to grip, which is inversely proportional to wear.

Summing It Up

Before we round out our discussion, it’s important to recap the key differences and similarities between both tires.

Now, here, the ProContact shines in dry-road performance, providing shorter braking distances, and handling lap times.

However, in wet conditions, it lacks a lot compared to its counterpart.

Same is the case when it comes to winter performance, where the Continental PureContact takes the lead, with its superior tread pattern.

And yes, this tire also excels in providing you with a better overall ride comfort, excelling in noise dampening and vibration comfort.

Lastly, in terms of wear resistance, while both tires are durable, the ProContact’s robust construction may lead to faster wear due to its extra weight and shallower tread depth, with mileage warranties varying based on speed ratings.

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