Continental TerrainContact A/T Review [2023 Updated]

By Tire Expert, Joe Steffen
By Tire Expert, Joe Steffen

Were you searching all over the Internet for an unbiased, in-depth review of the Continental TerrainContact AT?

You have come to the right place!

I have worked in the tire industry for nine-plus years. I have done it all, from installing tires to selling them. I know what people like, don’t like, and genuinely want when searching for their car’s next set of tires. That is why I offer the best tire reviews available on the internet.

Today I am reviewing the Continental TerrainContact AT, a tire manufactured by Continental Tire and designed to provide premium on and off-road performance. Designed for light trucks, SUVs, and crossovers, Continental claims this tire will have improved durability, traction, better grip on wet roads, and a quieter ride.

Let’s see how much truth there is in these claims!

Feel free to jump to any of the sections below for an in-depth aspect.

Wet Traction:
Dry Traction:
Snow Traction:
Ride Comfort:
Ride Handling:
Ride Noise:
Tread Life:
Value For $$$:

Traction - Continental TerrainContact A/T

I’m going to start with the wet weather traction since that’s what Continental boasts so highly on their website. On wet roads, you will notice this tire is not afraid to get soaked as it grips the road with ease as if there’s no water below its rubber. You can slam on the brakes and feel confident that it will stop no matter how big a vehicle they are on.

While it uses Traction Plus technology featuring a +silane compound, a Continental exclusive silica tread compound, to provide increased flexibility. Increased flexibility allows the siping in the tire to open up and suck water off the road and into the tire.

I didn’t give this tire a higher wet traction rating because it does not have full-depth sipes in the outer shoulders. Not having sipes that reach the bottom of the tread blocks means that as this tire wears out, so will your sipes. You will notice that excellent wet road grip drastically disappear as you wear it out.

The dry traction on this Continental might be some of the strongest in the competition, while losing the siping does not severely affect your dry traction capability.

I wish this tire had a three-peak mountain snowflake rating, as the light snow traction on this tire is excellent. The tread design allows snow to pack in the tread channels providing extra grip, but when the temperatures drop below forty degrees, that compound will stiffen up and have a more challenging time packing in that snow.

For anyone that lives in regions of heavy snowfall(East Coast or North West), I always recommend having a set of winter tires as they provide the safest traction in heavy snow.

The overall traction on this tire is above average, but you must keep in mind the loss of wet traction as this tire wears down.

This tire is perfect for anyone who mainly drives on city streets and highways but enjoys the occasional trip up to the mountains for camping or snow trips to ski/snowboard.

Traction Rating: 3.5/5

Ride Comfort - Continental TerrainContact A/T

Regarding comfort, you won’t even notice they are all-terrain tires. This can be accredited to the fact that Continental has designed this as an all-terrain touring tire.

Combining a touring highway tire tread pattern with an all-terrain, you get a tread design that provides a smooth driving experience and is capable of light off-road use.

I have received a complaint on this tire that pertains to ride comfort. I have had two customers complain about vibrations, but after checking the road force multiple times, we never found any issues. I chalked it up as there was an issue with the vehicle that the customers refused to have their car checked for other problems that are related to vibrations.

For those unfamiliar with road force balancing, it’s a process in which the balancer simulates the tire on the road and looks for any high/low points in the tire that are over the recommended limits.

While I try never to discredit anyone making claims of a tire issue, the two instances I ran into weren’t enough to change all the great feedback I received.

I recommend the Continental TerrainContact AT to anyone looking for comfortable ride quality.

Ride Comfort Rating: 4.0/5

Ride Handling - Continental TerrainContact A/T

I have seen time and time again where all-terrain tires struggle to give a driver confidence behind the wheel. That will not be the case with the Continental TerrainContact AT, as the sidewalls on this tire will give you stiffness where it matters.

If you have read any of my other reviews, you will see that I rarely will give an all-terrain a four in the ride-handling category. I rarely give out fours because A) I rate tires honestly and B) any tire designed for Trucks/SUVs/Crossovers is prone to body roll.

Body roll is when the vehicle will tilt or lean when making turns due to too much flex in the sidewall.

When turning on this Continental compared to a tire like the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S, there is a vast difference in the amount of tilt the vehicle will suffer from on sharp or accelerated turns.

This TerrainContact is not a high-performance racing tire, so for all you Dale Earnhardt’s out there, don’t get upset when you take a corner in your truck at fifty miles per hour and feel the vehicle start to lean.

The maneuverability was the one thing holding this tire back from being a five. Given these tires go on larger vehicles, there’s resistance when moving in and out of the lanes.

Overall this is a great handling tire that anyone would be happy with.

Ride Handling Rating: 4.0/5

Ride Noise - Continental TerrainContact A/T

If there’s something I can’t stand, it’s a loud tire, and no, I’m not a Karen regarding road noise. I have all-terrain tires on a Cadillac CTS, so that should tell you how much road noise it takes to bother me.

The TerrainContact A/T provides a quiet ride, and you won’t hear the excessive drone that typical all-terrains have. Traction Plus technology in the silica compound allows this tire to dissipate road noise before it gets to your cabin.

One problem you will come across that is common with all-terrain tread designs is that they are very prone to irregular wear, with the biggest one being cupping. Cupping is a nasty wear pattern that results in the tread blocks wearing at different rates resulting in a wave-like treadwear.

When you have tread hitting the road at different rates, it’s almost like the tread slaps the ground, and you will hear it.

I found the only cases where the TerrainContact AT resulted in an irregular wear pattern was when the vehicle had a mechanical issue, such as a worn-out shock.

This tire will not only wear evenly throughout its life but will also be very quiet. The thing that I found most interesting was that the TerrrainContact A/T was quieter than the Continental TerrainContact H/T.

Ride Noise Rating: 4.0/5

Hydroplaning - Continental TerrainContact A/T

It can be a terrifying ride for anyone who has been in a car that’s hydroplaned. The scariest part of hydroplaning is that it could happen at any time while it’s raining, you could be driving straight down the highway, and suddenly your vehicle starts to go sideways.

I will say that this Continental tire has some of the strongest hydroplaning resistance when brand new or slightly worn. It has edge-of-the-block traction grooves that help guide the water out of the tire.

The traction Grooves are just one feature that allows this tire to perform in hydroplaning situations. The other benefit is that it has full-depth sipes in the center tread blocks. However, the shoulder tread blocks do not have full-depth siping.

Since the shoulders have partial depth siping as this tire wears down, its hydroplaning resistance decreases and gets worse as it wears. The shoulder of the tire is where the majority of water evacuates, so not having this feature is a letdown.

I recommend looking for a tire with a longer hydroplaning resistance life like the Michelin LTX AT2.

Hydroplaning Rating: 3.5/5

Tread Life - Continental TerrainContact A/T

Who enjoys replacing their tires every one to two years? I certainly don’t, and I can’t imagine anyone else that would. I cover tread life, so you know what to expect from a tire.

I have seen the Continental TerrainContact AT receive between fifty and seventy thousand miles. When comparing that to the Mileage Warranty of sixty thousand, you can’t complain, as I have seen tires not get half of what is warranted.

The biggest key to ensuring you receive that fifty to seventy thousand miles is properly maintaining your tires.

If you drive on your tires without doing a single tire rotation, when the recommendation is every five to seven thousand miles, you will get less than half the expected miles.

Here is a metaphor I use that seems to make sense to most people.

Let’s say you buy a brand new Jeep Wrangler with a one-hundred thousand-mile powertrain warranty. Now, if you don’t do a single oil change or preventative maintenance and your motor blows at fifty thousand miles, do you think the manufacturer will cover it?

The answer is no, and your tires work the same way.

Regarding rubber compound aging, I have rarely seen Continental tires suffer from premature dry rot. Therefore, if you don’t drive many miles, I would expect to replace them every six years.

I have rated it highly because this tire receives its mileage warranty and is unlikely to dry rot prematurely.

Tread Life Rating: 4.0/5

Value For Money - Continental TerrainContact A/T

You will find that Continental tires can be expensive as they are a manufacturer that would be comparable to Michelin, Goodyear, and Toyo tires. So it was no surprise that the prices I saw from places like Amazon, TireRack, Discount Tire, and various other retailers were relatively high.

Factoring that you will pay a pretty penny for these tires, I believe you are still getting a good bang for the buck. It will be hard to find all-terrain touring tires that offer what this Continental does.

The traction, ride comfort, handling, and noise were all rated very high. I had to factor this into the overall value.

The dollars per mile was on higher the higher side, but since this tire does not lack in performance, it makes up for the high dollar cost.

It is infrequent. I find an extremely high value in an expensive tire, but the Continental TerrainContact AT is one of the best all-terrain tires I have seen.

Value For Money Rating: 3.5/5

Final Verdict - Continental TerrainContact A/T

In my reviews, I am very critical and will give you all the knowledge to make an informed decision, so let me give you a few things that didn’t make it into the ratings.

While this tire is excellent in many aspects, it lacks off-road durability, so for those rock crawlers out there, do not go with it as you will find the off-road traction lacking. I didn’t knock its ratings down because Continental is up front that this tire is meant to be used on dirt, gravel, and grass.

For a better off-road tire, I recommend the Toyo Open Country AT3.

Another reason not to go with this tire is if you have a severe concern about hydroplaning. As I stated, it offers excellent hydroplaning resistance when new, but as it wears down, you will find that the same performance is not as safe.

Continental offers this TerrainContact in various tire sizes that would be a great fit for vehicles like Nissan Frontiers, Toyota Tacomas, and Jeep Wranglers.

The Continental TerrainContact AT would be the perfect new tire option for anyone looking who drives on the road every day but enjoys getting off the grid on weekends.

Check out some of my other in-depth tire reviews if you’re still looking around.

Meet Your Tire Expert

Continental TerrainContact A/T
OVERALL rating:
Updated May 17, 2024
Quick Facts
  • Warranty 60000 Miles
  • Typical Price $214.99 - $408.99
  • Treadwear Rating 680

Tire Recall Information

Continental has no active recalls on this tire. They did have a massive recall on their motorcycle and scooter tires. However, this is a separate division of Continental and does not affect their passenger car tires.

If you didn’t know, Continental tire is a massive rubber company manufacturing motorcycle tires, rubber hoses, rubber compounds for shoes, semi truck tires, and of course, passenger/light truck tires.

Warranty & Tire Sizes

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Continental was started and is based in Germany. This is why you will see Continental tires come on vehicles like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, as they are all German-manufactured vehicles.

No, Michelin does not own Continental. They are separate entities. Michelin is a France-based tire company, while Continental is a German-based tire company.

When you see A/T in a tire’s name, it indicates that it is all-terrain and is designed to have better traction across dirt, gravel, grass, and light mud.

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