Continental TrueContact Tour vs Crosscontact LX25

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The Continental TrueContact Tour, a Standard Touring All-Season tire, is designed for drivers seeking dependable year-round performance, while the CrossContact LX25, falling under the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category, offers a decent experience for those driving larger vehicles, aiming to blend comfort with all-season reliability.

Crosscontact LX25 on Santa FE SUV
Crosscontact LX25 on Santa FE SUV.

Main Highlights

So, overall, the TrueContact Tour is taking the lead in:

  • Dry handling, particularly in cornering and braking, due to its distinctive X-shaped grooves and lighter casing.
  • Snow traction, with its multidirectional biters enhancing snow-to-snow contact.
  • Fuel efficiency, thanks to its stiffer rubber compound and EcoPlus technology.
  • Longevity, with durable silica-based tread rubber resisting wear effectively.

Review this tire in greater details:

Whereas the CrossContact LX25 excels notably in:

  • Ice traction, offering a more thermally adaptive rubber and +Silane additives to prevent biters from freezing rapidly.
  • Wet performance, with its denser siping and softer compound providing better water displacement and grip.
  • Noise comfort, utilizing secondary ribs and Comfort Ride Technology to reduce air penetration and absorb vibrations.
  • Mid-cornering feedback, which is particularly noticeable in slalom tests, aiding in precise navigation.

Info on Sizes

SpecificationContinental TrueContact TourContinental CrossContact LX25
Rim Size Range15 to 19 inches16 to 22 inches
Speed RatingsT, H, and VT, H, and V
Load RatingsSL and XLSL and XL
Tread Depth11/32″ on all12/32″ on all
Weight Range16 to 32 lbs25 to 42 lbs
Treadwear Warranty80k miles for T and H; 70k miles for V70k miles for H and T; 65k miles for V
UTQG Rating800 AA740 A A

Dry Performance

The effectiveness of a tire on dry pavement is primarily determined by its acceleration, braking efficiency, cornering ability, and steering responsiveness. Let’s get into these aspects.

Linear Grip

The linear grip, primarily assessed through braking distances, is mainly influenced by the tire’s central region, which supports most of the vehicle’s weight, (while rolling straight).

Now, both tires in question show similar proficiency, evidenced by their “nearly” identical average stopping distances, which directly reflects their linear grip capabilities.

However, still the TrueContact Tour, despite being more voided up, surprisingly outperforms its competitor.

TrueContact Tour
TrueContact Tour

This superior performance can be attributed to two key factors.

  • Firstly, the tire’s distinctive X-shaped grooves enhance its grip by providing additional biting edges along the longitudinal axis.
  • Secondly, its design incorporates a lighter single-ply polyester casing, which diminishes rotational inertia, thereby making the tire more responsive and easier to decelerate.

Conversely, the Continental CrossContact LX25 falls short by over 1.5 feet in “average” braking distance, as evidenced by my test results.

Despite featuring a continuous central rib that ensures consistent rubber-to-road contact, its fewer biting edges result in inferior road grip compared to the TrueContact Tour.

A Side Note Here: I’ve rated TrueContact at the very top in my list of best standard touring all-season tires.

Overall Handling

When discussing the dynamics of cornering, it’s crucial to understand the three critical phases: Entry, Mid-Cornering, and Exit. Let me explain.

  • Entry Phase: Here, the vehicle prepares for the turn, often involving braking and possibly downshifting.
  • Mid-Cornering: At the heart of the turn, the vehicle navigates the curve. And precise steering feedback is crucial here to maintain control and trajectory.
  • Exit Phase: In this final stage, the vehicle completes the turn and begins to straighten, reapplying acceleration to regain speed.

Now, the Continental TrueContact Tour shines in all these stages, offering unparalleled steering precision.

Its superior braking capabilities allow it to enter corners at higher speeds. While during Mid-Cornering, it provides a tangible sense of grip, essential for navigating the turn confidently.

And yes, the tire’s weightier steering feel contributes to an enhanced on-center sensation, aiding in a smooth and controlled exit from the corners too.

Conversely, the Continental CrossContact LX25 shows some deficiencies, particularly in its on-center feel, which is most noticeable post-cornering.

Continental CrossContact LX25
Continental CrossContact LX25

This lack of feedback hinders the tire’s ability to realign and accelerate smoothly out of turns, leading to increased overall dry handling lap times.

However, it’s worth noting that the tire does provide impressive mid-cornering feedback, which resulted in better slalom times during my comparative testing with these boys.

Noise Comfort

Now, the primary source of tire noise is the air that enters through shoulder voids and vibrates against the tread walls.

And here, even though the difference between both tires is very marginal (with less than a decibel on reading scale), the TrueContact is still slightly louder.

This extra noise is mostly because of its special tread pattern, with wider spaces especially around the edges.

If you take a good look at the tire, you’ll notice these edge areas are more open relatively, letting more air sneak in.

On the other hand, the Continental LX25 incorporates closed-off lateral voids. This reduces the air entry, killing noise at the source.

Moreover, the tire also features what Continental calls, Comfort Ride Technology. This is the name of extra polyamide layer in the tire’s internal construction, that’s actually dedicated to absorbing sound and bumps energy.

That’s why the tire is not only quieter in comparison here, but offers better impact comfort performance as well.

I mean, with more layers in its internal construction, the tire offers more area for bumps to settle down before reaching in to the vehicle’s cabin.

Their Internal Construction: If you’re wondering, the TrueContact Tour features a single-ply polyester, 2 steel belts, and a single polyamide cap ply, aiming for a balanced and durable build. Meanwhile, the CrossContact LX25 is equipped with a 2-ply polyester casing, two steel belts, a spirally wound polyamide cap ply, and of course, an additional absorption layer.

Tread Longevity

When it comes to tread longevity, the Continental Tour holds up quite well, thanks to its durable silica-based tread rubber that offers good wear resistance.

This longevity between the two tires come down to three main factors: tread depth, compound makeup, and overall construction weight.

And, although both tires share the same tread depth, other aspects lean in favor of the TrueContact Tour. Its relatively stiffer rubber composition and lighter weight mean the lugs experience less stress against the ground as the tire rolls.

This reduced stress contributes to greater longevity for this tire compared to CrossContact.

Nevertheless, the difference in longevity between the two is marginal, which is reflected in the warranties offered for each tire. I mean there’s only a 10,000-mile difference between them both.

Side Note: It’s worth noting, though, that if tread life is a primary concern for you, the Michelin Defender 2 is reputed to outperform both these options.

Winter Traction

While neither of the tires here, offer the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating, they each have their strengths in winter conditions.

To simplify, the TrueContact Tour is a champ in the snow, while the LX25 is your go-to for icy roads.

In snowy conditions, the effectiveness of a tire largely depends on its ability to pick up and retain snow particles, facilitating snow-to-snow contact.

This matters because snowflakes like sticking to each other more than to the rubber of your tire.

Now, the TrueContact Tour, with its cool X-shaped (multi-directional) biters on the middle ribs, grabs onto snow better than most. In fact it makes this tire best (in my books) in its category of standard touring AS tires.

Though, these biters tend to stiffen in freezing temperatures, affecting grip on icy surfaces. And this is where it falls short compared to the CrossContact LX25.

The Continental LX25 basically offers a more thermally adaptive rubber, with +Silane additives keeping its biters from freezing too rapidly.

Wet Performance

In evaluating a tire’s performance in wet conditions, the pivotal factor is its ability to efficiently channel water away from the tread, a task primarily accomplished through grooves and sipes.

Grooves play a critical role in displacing the bulk of the water, but it’s the sipes that elevate this function to a higher level.

While sipes might appear as mere slits, they enhance grip on a microscopic level, by creating a vacuum effect that draws in water particles, improving wet traction.

That’s why a high-performing wet tire, should feature:

  • Abundant Sipes: A generous number of sipes to maximize water expulsion and enhance grip.
  • Flexible Tread Design: The ability to employ these sipes effectively through a flexible tread that allows them to open and close efficiently.

The Continental TrueContact Tour, despite its ample interlocking (wave-like) siping, falls slightly behind in wet conditions due to its stiffer compound.

This rigidity restricts the optimal flexibility of the sipes, diminishing its overall wet handling capabilities.

In contrast, the Continental CrossContact LX25 excels, thanks to its denser siping and a softer compound. This combination ensures that the sipes remain adaptable, even during sharp maneuvers.

Additionally, its more voided design offers better resistance to hydroplaning.

The slightly balder tread allows for quicker water dispersal, enhancing overall traction by reducing the relative workload on the sipes. This design feature makes the LX25 a more competent tire in wet conditions.

Fuel Efficiency

Talking about saving gas, rolling resistance is key. It’s about how much energy your tire needs to keep rolling.

Now, here, although both tires are pretty good, the TrueContact Tour still has a slight edge, thanks to its harder rubber and some nifty tech called EcoPlus and Finite Element Analysis (FEA).

Let me explain each of these.

The stiffer rubber compound means that the lugs on the tire don’t bend or deform as much during maneuvers. And less bending equates to less energy lost as heat and less reshaping of the blocks, which in turn means lower rolling resistance and better fuel efficiency.

EcoPlus is all about cutting down CO2 emissions. It works by using special compounds that lower rolling resistance, boosting fuel efficiency and being kinder to the planet.

And lastly, the FEA is this high-tech way of predicting how a tire will react to stuff like bumps, heat, and pressure. By understanding this, manufacturers can tweak the tire design to further reduce rolling resistance.

So, all in all, the TrueContact Tour isn’t just about saving you some cash at the pump; it’s also a solid choice for folks who care about the environment.

Take Home Points

In conclusion, when weighing up all the factors from dry performance to fuel efficiency, the Continental TrueContact Tour consistently stands out.

Its superior dry handling, particularly in cornering and braking, sets it apart, while its design allows for effective snow grip and enhanced fuel efficiency.

Despite being slightly noisier and a bit behind in wet conditions, its advantages in other areas, like its commendable longevity and eco-friendly features, make it a versatile and responsible choice.

On the other hand, the Continental CrossContact LX25, while falling short in some aspects like dry handling and noise comfort, does offer better performance on icy surfaces and in wet conditions, highlighting the importance of choosing a tire that aligns with your specific driving needs and conditions.

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