Last updated on February 22nd, 2024 at 09:34 am
|Sedans, Crossovers, SUVs, and Minivans
|Dry, Wet, and Snow
I have driven multiple winter tires in the past five years; some were great only in snow, and some were adequate in winter but better in other performance metrics. That’s why you should pick a tire based on your personal preference rather than the recommended tires on your feed.
Continental Tires have been in the winter tires market for decades, and they have tires that capture different types of drivers with different needs.
Just like that, this Continental VikingContact 7 is a tire made for sedans and crossover drivers looking for a balance of excessive snow rides and a comfortable all-year drive.
This tire has been around for several years now. It was first launched around 2018, and since then, its demand in every winter season has risen, as it is one of the best in what it does on winter terrains.
The problem with most drivers looking for winter tires is they never decide what they need specifically.
Even though you read thousands of positive reviews about some tires, it might not be great for you because the reviewers were happy with their performance in heavy winter terrains, and you want a tire for comfortable snow rides.
Similarly, if you have planned to drive your car in the most aggressive winter terrains with more than 6” inches of snow, then this type of winter tire won’t be effective in your situation, which we will discuss later in this review.
So it is essential that you know what type of performance you desire from tires because once you find that, it will be much easier to find the tire that could fulfill your needs on the road.
If you come here to find out whether this continental tire is according to your needs, then read this review thoroughly to find everything, from its performance to its competitor’s tire performances which will surely help you make better decisions for the future.
So without further ado, let’s get straight into the driving review of Continental Vikingcontact 7 winter tire.
Table of Contents
Test Driving Result
We drive this tire in some real-world conditions and some artificially created scenarios, as it is not possible to find all weather in our zone. The experience and results were based on what we felt and our experience after testing multiple tires. It could contradict your preferences, style, and conditions.
Snow Terrain Rides
The purpose and the primary factor of deciding any winter tire performance is by driving it on snow terrains. Because this is what these tires are made for.
We tested this tire first on deep snow terrains and on wet and powdery snow as well. The results were more fascinating than we expected.
First of all, the overall performance of this tire in any winter terrain was excellent. It delivers one of the smoothest rides among top-tier winter tires.
When it comes to powdery light snow rides, this tire was perfect. The brakes, noise, and safe rides without losing traction and grip at all. With that, due to the channeling tread pattern, the tire clears the snow and slashes frequently, avoiding discomfort and unreliability while driving.
With that, the deep tread pattern was a great help in wet and deep snow terrains. Although the performance was a lot different compared to light snow rides, it made us drive safely at a normal speed of 30MPH.
The brakes were not perfect; they slipped a little, especially at a faster pace. Other than that, this tire was also great on deep snow terrains. It was around 5-6” of totally snow-covered roads, and this tire performs exceptionally.
So overall, on snowy terrains, this tire won’t dissatisfy you unless you go above the mark of 6-7”; above this level, you may find it hard to control your car with these tires. In these conditions, we would prefer going with more snow-centric, studdable winter tires.
Wet Rainy Seasons
The rain and wet conditions are somehow similar to snow terrain rides, and in both of these situations, brakes, traction, and grip are necessary to make a safe and sound driving experience.
On normal rainfall, the tire was excellent with grip, brakes, and handling. The joy of driving in the rain further improved with these tires installed. Not only because it delivers safer rides but the sound of rain is more fascinating due to its quiet tread performance.
Unlike cheap tires, this tire never hydroplanes in heavy rainfall and standing water. The steering and brakes were always in control, even at a faster pace, which is hard to do with average winter terrain tires.
The major contributor to achieving this performance was the tread pattern. The continuous ribs and open shoulders channel the water no matter what depth. It is also responsible for resisting hydroplaning when in contact with deep-standing water.
Overall, this tire has no flaws when it comes to wet terrain rides; it grips, provides traction, stops rapidly, and is safely driveable at normal to high speed.
Dry Road Conditions
It is recommended that if you have other sets of tires, like all-season or summer performance tires, you should avoid driving winter tires in dry and warmer weather. Because the silica on winter terrain tires keeps the tire warmer, and when it driven in warm conditions, the tire might get above its preferred temperature and wear off earlier.
However, if the weather is continuously changing or it snows at night and is a little hot during the day, then in this case, any winter tire will not be as much affected and will be driveable all day long.
On dry roads, the performance drivers might be looking for is comfort, traction, and response, which is easily achievable with this tire, and it won’t disappoint you any bit on dry road conditions.
Unless you are someone expecting high-paced cornering and high-performance tire alike performance on tracks, then this is not the tire that you should be considering. It would be unfair to compare this tire with UHP summer tires because this is not what this tire is meant to be.
This tire will give you a comfortable, smooth, and safe experience on dry roads; expecting anything else from this tire will surely disappoint you.
So, overall, when it comes to any season ride, this tire is excellent. Wet terrains are the most preferable and enjoyable conditions to drive this tire. Snow terrains are not a problem for this tire unless there is record-breaking snowfall, and dry weather rides, are also achievable with this tire as well.
Comfort and Stability
The comfort of this tire, as we mentioned several times above, is great. It is somehow similar to all-season touring tires, which is hardly the case with off-terrain and winter tires.
Tread comfort on potholes and less vibration are not the only reasons why this tire is so smooth; the noiseless tread is also vital in delivering the most comfortable all-season rides. Even on deep snow, this tire is peacefull to drive.
With that, the stable steering control and response make it a reliable tire to drive in any weather. Overall, the handling response and stability of this tire are great. Even at high snow terrains, the tire drives smoothly and in line without much variation from steering.
Tread Durability and Warranty
Just like most winter tires, this tire also doesn’t have any treadwear warranty. If you have past experience with any winter tires, you would know that winter tires are not as durable as touring or grand touring tires.
So, one thing is certain you won’t get treadwear durability with winter terrain tires. Just like any other top winter tire, this VikingContact 7 will be good enough to drive for about 35-40K miles.
Mostly, drivers replace winter tires before they reach their minimum tread levels, and that is because the more tread depth a winter tire has, the better performance you will get on extreme winter terrains.
With higher tread depth, the tire tackled deep snow properly, and the brakes and response were also much better with full tread depths.
Compared to other winter tires, this tire is among the top most durable tires, not because it lasts longer, but because it keeps on performing properly till the tread gets balden by 2/32 of tread depth.
Comparison With Alternative Tires
The test results are based on surveys and our personal experiences, so it might be different in your case, based on your driving style, conditions, and preferences.
|Michelin X-Ice Snow
|Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
|Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
|Overall Winter Performance
|Overall Wet & Rain
|Overall Dry Condiitons
|Comfort & Noise
Michelin X-Ice Snow
The Michelin X-ice snow is among the only few winter tires that come with a treadwear warranty. It is also a new tire, and driveable with sedans, crossovers, and SUVs. Compared to Continental Vikingcontact 7, this Michelin tire is a far better performer in extreme winter terrains.
With that, a little better performer when it comes to dry road comfort and quiet rides. The treadwear warranty and more reliable treadwear also make it a more durable tire. So, compared to continental tires, in overall performance, this Michelin tire is better.
However, there is one flow in that, by very few points higher in performance, this Michelin tire is a lot more expensive than a continental tire. You can save more than $100-$200 by going with VikingContact 7.
So, if you want to maximize the performance, go with X-Ice Snow. Otherwise, by saving a lot, you need to compromise a little on performance with Continental Tire.
Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
Another excellent tire in the studless winter tire category. Compared to Continental Viking Comntact 7, this Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 is also better when it comes to winter terrain rides.
However, unlike Michelin Tire, this Blizzak WS90 is not better than VikingContact 7 when it comes to comfortable and smooth all-season rides.
So, if you want a tire with better winter performance, this Bridgestone tire will be a better pick for you. Because both of these tires have similar treadwear durability, so there won’t be a matter of reliable performance.
However, in this case, VikingContact 7 stands out as a cheaper option, which is why continental tires are getting more recognition in the market.
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
The Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 is a winter tire that is made for Crossovers and SUVs; it would be hard to find sizes for sedan drivers.
Many years after its launch, it is the first choice of many drivers because of this tire’s performance in winter terrains. Among these tires mentioned above, this Bridgestone tire has by far the best winter extreme terrain performance.
But there is a flaw in that, among the mentioned tires, this Blizzak DM-V2 is the least comfortable tire to drive within all-season conditions. Also, the response and handling are not as great as Continental VikingContct 7.
So if there is a chance of heavy snowfall, then Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 will be a better choice for you. Otherwise, go with Continental VikingContact 7, which will deliver a more comfortable and smoother ride by saving you a lot on a pair of new winter tires.
Pros and Cons of Continental VikingContact 7
- Reliable and safe rides on deep and light snow.
- All-season comfortable ride.
- Noiseless tread pattern for a peaceful driving experience.
- Wider contact area for stable handling and response.
- Hydro and aqua planning resistance in wet conditions.
- Affordable and durable tire.
- 3PMSF certified tire.
- No treadwear warranty to claim.
- It’s not the best tire for most extreme winter terrains.
- Reluctant on extreme weather fast-paced rides.
Continental VikingContat 7 is a top-tier tire for winter terrain rides, not only because it is a reliable tire but also because it is one of the affordable tires with comparatively similar performance to expensive tires.
It has been in the market for years, and most of the drivers are satisfied with its overall performance. So, if the tire matches your style and conditions, then find the right size and install it on your vehicles to drive hassle-free on snowy terrains while achieving comfortable and smooth rides all year round.