It's hard to understate how much better a winter tyre is on snow than a summer tyre. One tester got a stark reminder this year when driving away from the garage unaware his car had summer tyres fitted, and slid into a snow bank.
Summer tyres offer around a third of the grip, so a routine trip to the frozen lake had to be done at walking pace. If every driver could appreciate the safety benefits and fitted winter tyres, the UK wouldn’t grind to a halt whenever it snows.
One white-knuckle ride lap is all we dared risk in the ContiPremiumContact 2 – our -22.1 per cent braking score shows how far this tyre trailed in the snow. But crucially for UK drivers, it was behind in the wet test tests, too.
The tyre matched our winter winner in wet handling, yet felt much edgier. And this was at warmer temperatures than most British winters. It was also noisier and less efficient. Its only real advantage was in the dry handling and braking tests.