Yokohama Avid Ascend GT vs Continental PureContact LS

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When it comes to Yokohama Avid Ascend GT and the Continental PureContact LS, you should know that both grand touring tires cater to specific needs and preferences of drivers, with both tires presenting compelling advantages in their respective domains.

PureContact LS on Tucson
PureContact LS on Tucson.

Bottom Line

So overall, it all comes down to this.

The Yokohama Avid Ascend GT excels in:

  • Directional grip and overall dry handling, offering enhanced control.
  • Superior performance in winter conditions, featuring better snow-optimized biting edges.
  • Tread longevity, thanks to a firmer rubber compound and greater tread depth.
  • Fuel efficiency, with a lightweight structure and stiffer rubber composition.

Whereas the Continental PureContact LS takes the upper hand, in terms of:

  • Wet traction and hydroplaning resistance, with an effective groove structure and siping.
  • Overall ride comfort, utilizing advanced technology for a quieter and smoother driving experience.
  • Noise comfort, mitigating sound with variable lug angles and pitch sequencing technology.
  • Road smoothness, incorporating ComfortPlus technology for a luxury-oriented and comfortable ride.

Sizes Info

The Yokohama Avid Ascend GT comes with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H and V.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 12/32″ on all.
  • Weight range: 17 to 30 lbs.
  • Treadwear warranty: 65k miles.
  • UTQG rating: 740 A A.

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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.

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Wet Performance

The proficiency of a tire in wet conditions is determined by two key-performance areas: wet traction and resistance to hydroplaning. I’ll explore each of these separately.

Wet Traction

In wet conditions, tire’s need to effectively remove water in front of them.

And to combat this, tires feature grooves and sipes in their design.

Grooves are the big channels that sluice away most of the water, while sipes are like tiny water catchers. They squish, soak up the leftover moisture, and fling it out as the tire rolls over.

Together, these features make sure your tires stay connected with the “wet” road, (by drying out the contact patch relatively).

In this context, the Continental LS takes the upper hand, showcasing superior wet braking and handling, (analyzing my conducted tests).

Continental PureContact LS
Continental PureContact LS

This is due to its more effective groove structure, which removes more water initially, leaving less for the sipes to handle.

Additionally, the PureContact LS’s softer tread compound prevents the sipes from becoming overly rigid, enhancing their ability to flex and thus improving water dispersion and traction.

This softer compound allows the sipes to absorb and release water more effectively.

On the other hand, although the Yokohama Avid Ascend GT is one of my go-to tires for wet road grip, particularly among grand touring all-season tires, it can’t provide as much traction as the Continental.

This is mainly because the tire lacks as many biting edges, or effective siping, and its relatively harder rubber composition results in less flexible sipes, hindering their ability to efficiently absorb and expel water.

Aquaplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning resistance, a vital aspect of tire performance, is often overlooked despite its importance in ensuring consistent wet traction.

This characteristic refers to the tire’s capacity to efficiently expel water “through its primary grooves”, and is evaluated through float speeds.

(Float speed tell the exact time in speed, when a tire starts to float over a few mm deep watery surface).

In this comparison, both tires demonstrate superb performance with respectable curved and straight aquaplaning speeds.

However, the Continental tire slightly edges out its competitor. This advantage is attributed to its superior interconnected circumferential grooves, which displace a larger volume of water more efficiently.

While the difference is marginal, given that the Yokohama tire benefits from a deeper tread depth, the PureContact still maintains a noticeable advantage in overall hydroplaning resistance.

Winter Performance

In winter scenarios, the Continental LS provides pretty decent performance but doesn’t quite reach the level of its “more winter-optimized competitor”.

Let me explain why.

So, although it offers adequate traction, the Continental’s handling is less responsive, particularly prone to understeering in snowy conditions.

Whereas the Yokohama Avid Ascend GT stands out with its superior design, featuring biting edges and interconnected grooves for improved grip on snow and softer terrains.

Yokohama AVID Ascend GT
Yokohama AVID Ascend GT

This design is critical as it captures and holds snow particles, enhancing snow-on-snow contact which is essential for better traction and stability in winter.

On the other hand, although the PureContact comes with numerous sipes and gripping edges, it lacks the temperature-activated functional polymers of its competitor, making it less effective in colder climates, particularly below 10°C (50°F).

Ride Quality

The ride quality is contingent upon two crucial factors: the noise emanating from the tire tread and the tire’s ability to alleviate the impact of road bumps. I intend to delve into both factors one at a time.

Noise Comfort

When it comes to noise comfort, the primary concern is the sound generated by air movement within the tire’s tread.

And here, both the Continental and its competitor perform “moderately”, but the PureContact LS slightly leads due to its advanced pitch sequencing technology.

This technology mitigates noise by varying lug angles, producing different tones that neutralize each other, thereby dampening the overall noise.

Despite both tires having shoulder voids that allow air infiltration and potential noise, the Continental’s sophisticated design provides a quieter and more comfortable driving experience.

Road Smoothness

Considering road smoothness, I test out two things in tires, their ability to soak up the road imperfections, and stability.

And here, the overall build of the tire plays a crucial role.

Now, the Continental PureContact LS, engineered as a luxury performance tire (which can also be guessed by the “LS – Luxury Sport” in its name), provides better performance here.

The tire basically comes out with a more advanced construction, where it incorporates a special blend of polymers and a comfort-oriented layer above its cap plies, known as the ComfortPlus technology.

These features enhance the tire’s mini-suspension capabilities, ensuring a ride that’s not just smooth but also exceptionally comfortable.

Though the overall comfort difference between the two tires is still low, especially when you consider the superior stability of Yokohama GT.

Tread Longevity

In terms of tread longevity, evaluating factors like tread depth, rolling resistance, and the composition of the tire is essential.

And looking at all of these factors, it can be seen how the Yokohama Avid Ascend GT comes out as a slightly better option, providing more miles throughout its life.

This is thanks to the tire’s firmer rubber compound and greater tread depth, (if I were to put things, simply).

In contrast, the PureContact LS, with its “LS” denoting a focus on Luxury Sport, is tailored more towards comfort than extended tread life.

However, the longevity difference between the two is relatively minimal, reflected in the slight variance in their mileage warranties.

Which means, that although the Continental LS prioritizes a plush ride, it still maintains a competitive level of durability.

Dry Performance

Dry performance can be divided in to two main parts, directional grip and overall handling. Let’s take a closer look at both one by one.

Directional Grip

Directional grip, also known as straight-line grip, is primarily determined by the tire’s braking distances and depends significantly on the size of the tire’s contact patch and the presence of biters (tread features).

The Yokohama Avid Ascend GT excels in this area, featuring more aerodynamic central ribs coupled with multi-directional biters or in-groove notches. These ribs provide a more consistent and robust connection with the ground, while the biters enhance grip by latching in various directions.

In contrast, the Continental PureContact LS, despite its respectable performance, falls short in comparison.

A closer look at its tread design reveals why: Although the tire is equipped with numerous notches, the lugs are relatively spaced out, resulting in less rubber in contact with the road surface.

Additionally, this tire is heavier: With its more voided design, each lug bears more pressure, meaning a greater weight is distributed over a smaller rubber area. This leads to increased momentum inertia, causing the tire to require more time and energy to stop, as evidenced by longer braking distances in averaged tests.

Handling and Lateral Traction

In the realm of cornering, there are three critical phases to consider:

  • Entry Phase: This is where the vehicle begins its turn, often involving braking and possibly downshifting to prepare.
  • Mid-Cornering: Point, where the steering feedback is the most vital to maintain the turn’s “trajectory”.
  • Exit Phase: In this concluding stage, the vehicle realigns and begins to accelerate out of the turn.

The Yokohama Avid Ascend GT shines throughout these stages, providing unparalleled steering accuracy out of both tires here.

Thanks to its superior braking capabilities, it enters corners at higher speeds. Additionally, it offers a “clearer” understanding of the tire’s grip during mid-cornering, enhancing control.

Its relatively heavy steering also contributes to a better on-center feel, making it outstanding during the exit phase.

Conversely, the Continental PureContact LS faces some challenges due to its greater weight, which causes the lugs to flex slightly more, diminishing steering response. However, the difference is not substantial. I mean, this tire’s shallower tread depth helps prevent excessive lug bending, maintaining a decent level of control.

Consequently, the Continental tire trails the Yokohama by only less than half a second in these tests, illustrating a minor yet noticeable difference in performance.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is largely influenced by a tire’s rolling resistance, and in this aspect, both tires demonstrate almost similar and comparable performance. I mean you can’t declare a clear winner here.

Though let me share the good things about both boys here.

The Yokohama Avid Ascend GT, with its focus on tread longevity, utilizes a lightweight structure along with stiffer rubber and robust foundations.

This design not only contributes to the tire’s longevity but also aids in fuel economy by lowering rolling resistance.

On the other hand, the Continental PureContact LS combines its EcoPlus and Comfort Plus technologies to achieve similar levels of fuel efficiency.

EcoPlus aims to minimize CO2 emissions through compounds that reduce rolling resistance, enhancing fuel efficiency.

Meanwhile, Comfort Plus contributes in terms of distributing weight evenly across the tread, alleviating pressure on individual lugs and contributing to a more fuel-efficient ride.

So overall, both tires offer designs that thoughtfully balance durability and fuel economy.


In summarizing the comprehensive comparison between the two tires here, it’s evident that each tire exhibits distinct strengths across various performance metrics.

The Yokohama excels in dry conditions with superior directional grip and handling, providing a robust and reliable driving experience.

It also shines in winter scenarios with its optimized design for snow and cold temperatures.

On the other hand, the Continental PureContact LS outperforms in wet conditions, offering superior wet traction and hydroplaning resistance due to its efficient groove structure and softer tread compound.

It also leads in overall ride comfort, with advanced technology that ensures a quieter and smoother journey.

Moreover, while the Yokohama offers slightly better tread longevity and similar fuel efficiency, the Continental’s focus on luxury and sport provides a well-rounded and comfortable driving experience.

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