Regardless of how good an all-weather tire is, it can’t perform nearly as well as a high-quality winter tire on snow. All-season alternatives may work well in light snow, but as the weather gets harsher — you’ll need to switch to winter tires, like the Continental Viking Contact 7
Without winter tires, there’s no way you get through the ice and deep snow without getting stuck.
However, not all winter tires are the same. There’s lots of choice for consumers in this segment of the tire industry, but a few stand out of the lot – like the Viking Contact 7.
Let’s discuss its key features and how it performs in different winter conditions, including ice, snow, wet, and dry surfaces.
The VikingContact 7 is a high-performance winter tire with state-of-the-art German engineering behind it. According to Continental, the tire offers superior grip in all winter conditions and provides a stable drive on all snowy surfaces.
To translate all those claims into practical performance, Continental hasn’t left any technological stone unturned. For instance, the VikingContact 7 features a specialized Nordic tread compound treated with canola oil.
This tread compound is meant to maintain its pliable and flexible state in extremely low temperatures. All winter tires aim to achieve this quality in their tread compounds, as pliability significantly helps with snow and ice traction.
Furthermore, the active grip silica optimizes braking and wet performance. The intelligent tread pattern features a network of grooves that evacuate water build-up as you drive — reducing slipperiness and improving traction on wet tracks and slush.
The tread design features interlocked blocks and solid linkages for added stability to enhance grip and snow traction.
Like any other successful winter tire, the Viking Contact 7 has several wide sipes for improved traction on snowy surfaces.
The Grip Edges on the tread blocks’ outside help the tires bite into the snow for enhanced traction on ice and snow.
Dry Tarmac Performance
Most winter tires generally disappoint with their substandard performance on dry pavements. However, the VikingContact 7 doesn’t fall short.
Granted, it doesn’t do quite as well as an ultra-high performance all-season tire, but it’s more than acceptable for a winter tire.
It owes most of this dry on-road performance to the interlocking block bridges and solid linkages we’ve discussed above. They play an essential role in improving the steering response.
The tread pattern provides ample traction on dry surfaces, translating into secure, confidence-inspiring handling even at higher speeds.
VikingContact 7 Wet Performance
Continental has been a market leader in making some of the best-performing tires in wet conditions. Their tires don’t disappoint on rainy days, and the VikingContact 7 continues the same theme.
When it comes to handling wet roads, the Continental VikingContact 7 is second to no other winter tire. Everything from stability, acceleration, handling, and traction on wet roads is impressive for a winter tire.
The hydroplaning resistance works flawlessly as well, further enhancing its stability in rainy conditions.
However, braking could be better on the VikingContact 7 — as stopping distances in wet conditions are longer than many competitors. This is quite surprising to see, considering it handles everything else so well in wet conditions.
VikingContact 7 Winter Performance
Here’s what the Continental VikingContact 7 is made for — zero compromises on winter performance. If you get harsh winters in your country, you probably have to drive on snow-covered and icy roads for about 4 to 6 months a year.
In these scenarios, the VikingContact 7 really shines. Even in thick snow, the tire feels stable and grippy enough. Everything about this tire goes to improve its performance on snowy surfaces.
It offers everything from great snow acceleration and responsive steering to a thoroughly stable and well-balanced ride in ice and all other winter conditions.
The stopping distances on snow are some of the shortest in its class. Moreover, the level of traction you get will make you second-guess the surface you’re driving on! After all, that’s how it should be for a top-tier winter tire.
VikingContact 7 Off-Road Capabilities
VikingContract 7’s aggressive tread design helps greatly with optimizing its traction on icy surfaces and snow-covered roads. In the same way, the shoulder blocks will also get you out of mud and gravel.
However, these capabilities should only be used in the state of an emergency. While off-roading is a fun activity, a set of winter tires is the last thing you need for it, as it’s highly damaging to their tread life.
All winter tires have pliable and soft tread compounds, which can easily get damaged by hardpacked surfaces and rough off-road terrain.
Sharp stones can scratch and sometimes even puncture your winter tires, so taking them off-road is not recommended. These activities require specialized off-roading tires with a sturdy and grippy build.
If you’re looking for something more affordable, consider the Westlake SU318. It’s an all-season tire but it’ll get the job done with some chains attached.
- Exceptional traction on snow
- Acceleration on snow is as quick as you’d want it to be.
- Wet surface handling and traction are among the best in its class
- Grippy and responsive handling on snowy roads and slush
- Long-lasting treadlife, especially for a winter tire
- Strong traction on ice
- Impressive braking distance on snow-covered roads
- High performance on dry pavements
- Tread growl on rough pavement is pretty loud and noticeable
- Wet stopping distances are longer than some competitors
- Doesn’t come with any warranty to cover treadwear
There’s no doubt about the Continental VikingContact 7’s capabilities in the winter. It nails the basics of performing as an ideal winter tire, regardless of how harsh the weather gets where you live.
It offers industry-leading performance on ice and snow, with only a few other competitors coming close to its level. It’s also highly durable and performs well on wet and dry pavements.
If you’re looking for a reliable and safe tire to spend the winter with, the VikingContact 7 won’t let you down.