225/45R17

TÜV SÜD: the new Continental WinterContact TS 870 versus its competitors

The German independent testing organization compared the new winter tire from Continental with its direct rivals on snow, wet, and dry pavement.

List of models tested:

For the winter season 2021, Continental is launching the new Continental WinterContact TS 870 model designed for cars of midsize class and coming to replace the tried-and-tested WinterContact TS 860, which has received numerous awards from the automotive trade press. The previous-generation tire has already set the bar pretty high, and the company says that the new model is not only superior to the previous one in all safety-relevant disciplines, but also impresses from an ecological perspective — including through a further reduction in rolling resistance and significantly higher mileage.

The new Continental tire received a directional tread pattern with a winding central groove.
The new Continental tire received a directional tread pattern with a winding central groove.

To back up their claims, Continental turned to the reputable German organization TÜV SÜD, which tested the new 225/45 R17 tire against competitors from Bridgestone, Goodyear, Michelin, Nokian and Pirelli. The snow tests were conducted in Sweden — at the Continental test facility in Arvidsjaur and the Arctic Falls complex, while the wet and dry tests were conducted at Contidrom and ATP test facilities in Papenburg, Germany. In addition, the experts measured the tires’ rolling resistance and their noise emission inside and outside the car. The test cars were VW Golf VII and Skoda Octavia.

All the tires were bought retail, and the Continental model was sent by the manufacturer, so we can only hope that the company played fair.
All the tires were bought retail, and the Continental model was sent by the manufacturer, so we can only hope that the company played fair.

«The market launch had to be postponed, and, as a result, the WinterContact TS 870 will probably not be included in the 2021 ADAC winter tire test. At the same time, we wanted to provide our sales partners and end users with independent, qualified proof of performance despite this, and for this reason we have tasked TÜV SÜD with certifying the product characteristics in comparison to its most important competitors — said Ralf Hoffmann, head of Marketing and Pricing for the passenger and light truck replacement business in Germany — The new WinterContact TS 870 offers the high level of balance in all disciplines that end users have always been used to from Continental winter tires. And we are pleased that we have found a way to prove this in good time by means of independent tests.»

The best snow traction was demonstrated by the new Continental model, but Bridgestone and Goodyear lagged well within the margin of error. The worst results were shown by the veterans of the market, Pirelli Sottozero 3, which was presented eight years ago. The experts evaluated the time necessary to accelerate from 10 to 35 km/h.

Snow

 

The snow braking distance was measured while slowing down from 40 to 5 km/h, and this time the new Continental tire was not able to surpass all of the competitors, letting Goodyear take the lead. But then again, the difference was well within 1 percent. Last place again was scored by Pirelli, while Michelin and Nokian demonstrated a result that was lower than the overall average performance.

There was yet another additional test that the tires have to pass in order to deserve the right to bear the 3-peak mountain snowflake sign (3PMSF). The tests consisted in measuring the braking distance on packed snow during the braking from 25 to 10 km/h, and the results were pretty much the same as in the previous test.

In the snow handling test, the experts evaluated the average lap time, and the lead was taken by Bridgestone, followed by Continental.

The straight hydroplaning resistance was measured on a 9-mm deep water layer, and the victory, with a considerable lead over the competitors, was won by the Michelin Alpin 6, while the Nokian tire had difficulties with water evacuation.

Wet

 

The wet braking was performed from 80 to 20 km/h, and the best results were shown by Continental and Bridgestone, while the Nokian tire was not as effective in such conditions.

In the wet handling test, the balance of power was almost the same as in the previous discipline, but Nokian was finally able to surpass Pirelli.

On dry pavement, the Nokian model partially redeemed itself, being the fastest to stop the car, the second place being scored by the Pirelli tire, which otherwise was unable to show such impressive results.

Dry

 

The Pirelli model also showed the best mean speed on a dry track; the second place was scored by Continental, and Nokian again demonstrated good results.

As it turned out, the Nokian was not just good on dry pavement, but also demonstrated good fuel saving capabilities, its rolling resistance being significantly lower than that of the other tires. The worst performance in this area was demonstrated by Michelin.

The noise was measured in accordance with the EU label standards outside the car, and the Nokian was again ahead of all competitors, with Michelin and Pirelli being the loudest.

Verdict

Just as one should expect, the new Continental model showed excellent results and was among the three leaders in all the disciplines without exception. One must also note the impressive results shown by the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, which was really good on snow and wet pavement, not allowing itself any obvious weaknesses. The Goodyear model demonstrated excellent snow traction and absence of any weaknesses, while the Michelin tire had a relatively long dry braking distance and increased rolling resistance, but, on the other hand, it combated the hydroplaning effect quite successfully. Conversely, the Nokian tire did not dispel the water from the contact area as efficiently, but it was much better on dry pavement. If a final ranking of this test had been drawn up, the last place would have been taken by the already venerable Pirelli Sottozero 3, which yielded to the competitors both in snow and wet tests.

Lorem Ipsum
Winter tire test summary TUV SUD, 2021. Click to enlarge.
Quick Take
N/A 52

Continental WinterContact TS 870

  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Continental WinterContact TS 870
  • Strong traction, short braking distance, and good handling response on snow
  • Short braking distance and good handling response on wet pavement
Quick Take
90 59

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Wet Performance Dry Performance Comfort Handling Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Bridgestone / Blizzak LM001 Evo
  • Available Sizes in Line: 199
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi e-tron [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Volkswagen T-Cross [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Audi A3 8Y [2020 .. 2022]
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Br205 [2015 .. 2022]
    • • Volkswagen Caddy V [2020 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
  • Strong traction, short braking distance, and good handling response on snow
  • Short braking distance and good handling response on wet pavement
Quick Take
89 57

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+

Price/Quality Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance Handling Dry Performance Treadwear Comfort
  • This tire replaced Goodyear / UltraGrip Performance Gen-1
  • Available Sizes in Line: 111
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Puma J2K [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Ford Focus Active IV [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Ford Mondeo MK5 (CD391) Facelift [2017 .. 2019]
    • • Ford S-MAX II [2015 .. 2020]
    • • Ford Galaxy III [2015 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+
  • Excellent traction and very short braking distance on snow
  • No prominent issues found
Quick Take
86 58
Price/Quality Wet Performance Comfort Dry Performance Handling Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Michelin / Alpin 5
  • Available Sizes in Line: 69
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Puma J2K [2019 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Japan
Michelin Alpin 6
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Relatively long braking distance on dry pavement
  • Increased rolling resistance
  • Increased noise
Quick Take
72 36
  • This tire replaced Nokian / WR A4
  • Available Sizes in Line: 52
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Mustang VI (S550) [2015 .. 2017]
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Nokian WR Snowproof P
  • Short braking distance and good handling response on dry pavement
  • Very low rolling resistance
  • Low noise emission
  • Relatively low hydroplaning resistance
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement
Quick Take
80 63

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Wet Performance Dry Performance Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear Handling Comfort Price/Quality
  • This tire has run-flat model:
  • Available Sizes in Line: 155
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi RS6 C7 [2013 .. 2018]
    • • Audi A3 8P [2003 .. 2013]
    • • Audi Q3 8U [2011 .. 2015]
    • • BMW M5 V (F10) [2011 .. 2013]
    • • Jaguar F-Type X152 [2012 .. 2017]
    • • Jaguar XF X250 [2007 .. 2015]
    • • Lamborghini Huracan [2014 .. 2019]
    • • Maserati Quattroporte M156 [2013 .. 2016]
    • • Maserati Ghibli M157 [2013 .. 2021]
    • • McLaren P1 [2013 .. 2016]
    • • Mercedes-Benz S-Class W222 [2014 .. 2021]
    • • Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG W221 [2006 .. 2013]
    • • Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class AMG R172 [2011 .. 2021]
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Br204 [2008 .. 2014]
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG Br204 [2008 .. 2011]
    • • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG Br117 [2013 .. 2019]
    • • Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG W176 [2013 .. 2018]
    • • Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class AMG X156 [2013 .. 2021]
    • • Volvo S80 P3 [2006 .. 2016]
    • • Volvo V70 P3 [2008 .. 2016]
    • • Volvo V40 Cross Country P1 [2012 .. 2017]
    • • Audi A4 B9 Facelift [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Audi A5 F5 [2016 .. 2022]
    • • Audi A6 C8 [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Audi A7 4K8 [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Audi A8 D5 [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Audi TT RS FV Facelift [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Volvo V60 P3 [2010 .. 2018]
    • • Volvo S60 P3 [2010 .. 2018]
    • • Volkswagen Passat
    • • Jaguar XE X760 [2015 .. 2019]
    • • Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class X156 [2013 .. 2020]
    • • Volkswagen Golf Mk7 [2012 .. 2017]
    • • BMW 5 Series
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2014
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, East Asia
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
  • Short braking distance and good handling response on dry pavement
  • Relatively weak traction and relatively long braking distance on snow
  • Relatively low hydroplaning resistance
  • Relatively long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Increased noise

Price