Dry Conditions – 80%
Wet Conditions – 85%
Snow – 95%
Comfort – 80%
Noise Reduction – 80%
Durability – 80%
The Continental WinterContact TS 870 has won over Europe. In tests conducted by leading automobile magazines in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, it has obtained first-place finishes, leaving dozens of premium winter tires in its wake.
For anyone familiar with the lineup, this isn’t news. Members of Continental’s flagship winter tire series have a habit of leaving rivals red-faced in cold weather. Take the WinterContact TS 830, which boasted best-in-class snow braking distances at its debut.
Likewise, the WinterContact TS 870 P. A stiffer version of the TS 870, it won ‘Exemplary’ rating in the Auto Bild Allrad and Auto Bild Sportscars winter tire tests in 2022. Experts were particularly impressed with its short stopping distances on snow and wet roads.
All of this is to say that you should expect great things out of the WinterContact TS 870. Think of superb traction on snow and ice, low risk of hydroplaning, and good performance on dry roads. Read on for a detailed review of one of the market’s best winter tires.
- Superb traction on snow and ice
- Rides quietly and comfortably
- Decent performance on dry roads
- Compatible with hybrids and EVs
- Doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty
The Features of the WinterContact TS 870
Several qualities make the WinterContact TS 870 a must-have for harsh wintry conditions.
The first of which is its tread compound. Named ‘Cool Chili’, it manages to keep the tire’s rubber soft at temperatures as low as -8 degrees Celsius. The benefits? Improved cold weather traction and grip, shorter stopping distances, and enhanced snow performance.
Next come the four V-shaped grooves running between rows of tread blocks. These grooves efficiently displace water from within the tire, keeping the contact patch dry. Their action, in turn, leads to better handling and sure-footed grip in wet-weather scenarios.
Continental’s SnowCurve+ Technology also features on the TS 870. This technology works by creating a special groove wall structure on the tire’s tread, creating more points of contact with compacted snow. This delivers a better grip, especially during cornering.
Additionally, while it isn’t as stiff as the TS 870 P, it is still hard for a winter tire. Which is great news for anyone looking for decent winter tires for their EV, as electric vehicles put more weight on their tires than gas cars and thus need tires with a stiffer construction.
WinterContact TS 870 in Dry Conditions
According to Touring Club Switzerland (TCS), a Swiss association representing the interests of drivers in the country, the WinterContact TS 870 performs ‘convincingly’ on dry roads.
The TCS reported these findings after testing sizes 185/65 R 15 and 215/60 R 16. It specifically praised the way TS 870 handled dry roads while suffering low wear. Notably, the automobile clubs of Germany (ADAC) and Austria (OAMTC) reached similar conclusions after testing this tire.
Should you trust the above results? Why not, especially when multiple drivers attest to this model’s excellent dry grip, braking, and handling (for a winter tire). So, while it won’t give competition to all-season tires, most winter tires will find it hard to match its dry performance.
WinterContact TS 870 on Wet or Slippery Roads
In tests conducted by Germany’s leading automobile club, the WinterContact TS 870 has proven itself as one of the most reliable winter tires on wet and slippery roads.
The General German Automobile Club (ADAC), one of Europe’s biggest tire testing organizations, tested it against rivals from premium tire brands. Three indicators – straight aquaplaning resistance, wet braking, wet handling – were used to assess its wet performance.
Results showed that this tire had the shortest wet braking distances among the entire lineup. In tests performed from 20 to 80 km/h, the WinterContact TS870 boosted 3% shorter stopping distances than the Blizzak LM005, the tire that finished 2nd on the list.
That is not all. Data from the tests further shows that the WinterContact TS 870 outperformed all of its rivals in the wet handling department. And while its straight hydroplaning resistance wasn’t the highest, this tire still finished 3rd in terms of effective water evacuation.
WinterContact TS 870 in Snow
In the above trials supervised by ADAC, the WinterContact TS 870 confirmed its reputation as one of the most capable winter tires currently on the market.
The test we’re talking about was conducted at one of Continental’s many test facilities in Sweden. Alongside the WinterContact TS 870, leading winter tires from Bridgestone, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli, and Nokian were evaluated.
Four indicators – acceleration, braking, traction, and handling – were used to assess the participants’ snow performance. Here’s how the WinterContact TS 870 fared on each:
- Acceleration: The acceleration test was performed while speeding up from 20 km to 80 km/hr. Although the TS 870 was able to surpass all of the competitors, the difference was well within the margin of error between the top three tires.
- Braking: This test was conducted while slowing down from 40 to 5 km/h, and this time Continental’s flagship winter tire finished 2nd. However, the difference was less than 1%, indicating that on another day, this model may have finished on top.
- Traction: In trials conducted to measure the participating tires’ snow traction, not only did the WinterContact TS 870 finish first. This premium winter tire also demonstrated 21% better snow traction than the reference tire.
- Handling: In this assessment, the experts evaluated the average lap time on snow-laden roads. While the lead was taken by Bridgestone’s LM 005 this time, Continental’s WinterContact TS 005 wasn’t far behind.
WinterContact TS 870 for Off-Roading
Don’t expect the WinterContact TS 870 to come useful off the highway.
This model’s sidewall is too soft to prevent the ingress of sharp objects common on rough terrain. Also, it lacks the self-cleaning voids that help mud-terrain tires stay steady on loose terrains. As such, I’d recommend that you use it on paved surfaces only.
WinterContact TS 870 for Sporty Driving
As it turns out, the WinterContact TS 870 isn’t just good on wet and snowy pavements, but this tire can also hold its own during speedy driving.
One of the reasons why I’m quite confident about that is because this tire finished among the top three in ADAC’s tests for dry braking and handling. Notably, in neither of the two tests, the difference between the WinterContact TS 870 and those above it in the pecking order was >2%.
Of course, that doesn’t make this tire ideal for sporty driving. The risk of abnormal tread wear should still convince you to put on summer tires before pushing your vehicle to the limits on dry roads. However, a once-in-the-blue-moon race on paved roads won’t do much harm to this tire.
Does the WinterContact TS 870 Ride Comfortably?
The WinterContact TS 870’s noise levels are low for a winter tire.
That is not to say that you would get a whisper-quiet ride. At the same time, though, the tread growl won’t be so loud to leave you and your fellow passengers comfortable.
Results from tests conducted by the German magazine Auto Zeitung confirm this. Carried out to measure the external noise of 8 premium winter tires, the evaluation assessed that the TS 870 made 71.0 decibels of noise, putting it in third position, behind the likes of Nokian Snowproof P.
WinterContact TS 870 Warranty
Unsurprisingly, the WinterContact TS 870 doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty.
Since winter tires are designed for cold weather, they come with soft tread compounds to remain flexible in sub-zero temperatures, which is crucial for providing adequate traction.
However, on the flip side, the soft rubber tends to wear more quickly than that found on all-season and summer tires. Combine that with the challenging road conditions tires encounter on snow-laden roads, and it gets easier to see why most winter tires don’t have a treadwear warranty.
WinterContact TS 870 Pricing: Is It Worth the Price?
At the time of writing, this model’s asking price begins from around $104.
Except for Blizzak LM 005, whose asking price begins around the same mark, almost every competitor has a higher initial asking price. Examples include Michelin Alpin 6, Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3, and Nokian WR Snowproof P.
Which is surprising. After all, as results from the above tests indicate, the WinterContact TS 870 ranks side by side, if not above, many of the tires mentioned above. As a result, this tire’s price should be on any list of top-performing winter tires.
Should I Buy the WinterContact TS 870?
Whether you own a gas car or an EV, as long as you regularly drive in harsh wintry conditions, the WinterContact TS 870 is a must-have.
I can give plenty of reasons to back my advice. They include superb braking performance on snow and ice, fast but reliable acceleration on slippery surfaces, and (almost) class-leading aquaplaning resistance. Not to mention, the kind of dry handling that could put other winter tires to shame.
Thus, if you want a winter tire that would come good on dry, wet and snowy roads, buy the WinterContact TS 870.
What Vehicles Will the WinterContact TS 870 Fit?
The WinterContact TS 870 is compatible with electric, hybrid, and combustion engine vehicles, including:
- Audi A3, A4, A6, Q3, Q5, Q7
- BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, X3, X5
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, GLC, GLE, GLS
- Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan, Touareg
- Honda Civic, Accord, CR-V, Pilot
- Toyota Camry, Corolla, RAV4, Highlander
- Ford Focus, Fiesta, Escape, Edge
- Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu, Equinox, Traverse
- Nissan Sentra, Altima, Rogue, Pathfinder
- Hyundai Elantra, Sonata, Tucson, Santa Fe
- Kia Forte, Optima, Sportage, Sorento
Not sure whether the WinterContact TS 870 will fit your vehicle? Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or get in touch with a tire dealer.
Tire Sizes of the WinterContact TS 870
- 175/65 R14
- 175/70 R14
- 185/60 R14
- 185/65 R14
- 185/70 R14
- 185/55 R15
- 185/60 R15
- 185/65 R15
- 195/50 R15
- 195/55 R15
- 195/60 R15
- 195/65 R15
- 205/60 R15
- 205/65 R15
- 185/50 R16
- 185/60 R16
- 195/45 R16
- 195/55 R16
- 195/60 R16
- 195/65 R16
- 195/70 R16
- 205/45 R16
- 205/55 R16
- 205/60 R16
- 205/65 R16
- 215/55 R16
- 215/60 R16
- 175/65 R17
- 195/45 R17
- 225/45 R17
- 225/50 R17