Summer: Continental ContiSportContact 3

And how does a summer tyre compare?

A liability – that’s the only way to describe driving a summer tyre on snow. It’s scary, and the wider the tyre, the worse it is. On last year’s 205 rubber, climbing the snowy ramp off the lake in Arvidsjaur was no problem – on 225 tyres it was impossible without a long run-up.

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We didn’t even complete one lap of Skanska as the slight slope to the start defeated the SportContact 3. The slow speed at which control was lost was also worrying.

Braking on snow should tell you all you need to know about the differences – when stopping from 25mph, the summer tyre was still doing 21mph when the best cold weather tyre had halted. And for traction and cornering, the summer tyre has a quarter of the grip of a winter one.

We also saw how a summer design struggles in the cold and wet, needing seven metres more to stop than the top cold weather tyre and failing to match it for handling. Yet the rounder profile has an advantage when aquaplaning and in the dry; it braked to a stop about a car’s length shorter than its next-best rival.

On test…ScoreRanking
Snow braking-152.410
Snow traction23.710
Snow handlingNo lap10
Snow slalom24.910
Straight aquaplaning111.41
Curved aquaplaning108.91
Wet handling95.38
Wet braking80.010
Dry handling102.71
Dry braking110.31
Rolling resistance89.68
Price£1273
Overall60.1Not rated
 
 

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