Continental ContiWinterContact TS 850 tyre review

Good all-round performance with few compromises make this a winter tyre winner.

Good all-round performance with few compromises make this a winter tyre winner.

As so often in our tyre tests, where all factors apart from price have the same impact on the final verdict, a balanced approach to all disciplines delivers success. Continental has got this down to a fine art, and has tasted victory before with its ContiWinterContact TS 850.

This tyre’s secret is to be close to the pace, even if the positions in our results table suggest otherwise. In the snow, Nokian, Goodyear, Uniroyal and Michelin had the edge, but the Conti was close. While its lap time was a touch off the best, it was well balanced with progressive loss of grip at the limit.

Plus, the slight deficit was overturned in the wet, where Continental showed it still has the edge on braking. And the tyre managed to mix this strong stopping ability with impressive economy, which puts conflicting demands on a tyre. Only in our curved aquaplaning test did it slip back from the top performers, but the TS 850 was still good enough to stand out as the best tyre in the wet overall.

Dry track performance was similar – it was third in braking and just one per cent or so off the quickest lap time. A top three on the comfort track and the best economy on test were enough to see it win the dry section, and secure victory overall. The only downside is Black Circles’ price for the Continental, which is £20 more than for runner-up Nokian.

Price£120.99 
Snow braking98.10%4th
Snow traction97.80%3rd
Snow circle98.30%6th
Snow handling97.50%6th
Straight aqua97.80%3rd
Curved aqua91%4th
Wet braking100.00%1st
Wet handling99.60%2nd
Dry braking97.90%3rd
Dry handling98.80%6th
Cabin noise99.20%=3rd
Rolling resistance100.00%1st
Overall100.00%1st

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