As soon as we started to compile the results, it was clear there would be only one winner – Continental’s new ContiWinterContact TS 850.
It picks up from the company’s TS 830 P, which won our 17-inch test last year, with victories in the wet, dry and snow. When it wasn’t winning it was finishing second, with sixth place for cabin noise the only blot on its scorecard.
Continental has created a tyre that not only performs well in the wet, but also in rolling resistance – unlike the Linglong that beat it in the key fuel economy measure. The TS 850 trailed the Goodyear in aquaplaning, yet couldn’t be beaten at braking and handling. There’s a real feeling of security from behind the wheel. On snow the tyre turns in well, and when the rear does move, it’s not by much and is easily controllable.
On the wet track, that same good turn-in is there, but the rear is planted. Grip is lost progressively, giving the driver no nasty surprises. It moved around more on the high-speed handling sections, yet held a line well. So while it’s the priciest choice, this is the tyre to put on your car this winter – it’s special.