We all dread that time, the time to get new tires. Not only can tires be expensive, but with so many choices, how do you know which tire to go for? Moreover, how do you know which brand to pick? Goodyear and Continental are both reputable companies, but which one is better?
From the offset, it is hard to tell which company makes the better tires. Continental is German engineered, their performance is typically better, and they make an excellent all-weather tire. Goodyear has many more options to choose from and is easier to find. But it really depends on what vehicle you are driving.
What Is Goodyear?
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded on the 29th of August 1898, in Akron, Ohio. The founder, Frank Seiberling made the company popular because the tires required little maintenance and when they did, they were easily removable.
Goodyear has a good track record which can clearly be seen on the track, pun intended. They are the single most successful formula one tire supplier in history, with the most starts, wins, and constructors’ championships. Even though they pulled out of F1 in 1998, they still hold all those records. Goodyear is also the only NASCAR tire supplier.
The biggest influence on the Goodyear company was the Radial tire transition. In 1946 Michelin introduced the Radial tire, which was far more superior than the non-bias tire. By 1970 the concept was taking off and then CEO Charles J. Pilliod Jr. decided to take the leap and invest.
The cost to invest in the necessary tools and equipment cost an estimated $600,000,000 – $900,000,000. At the time Pilliod was criticized for the decision but years later many credit him for the current success of the company today.
What Is Continental Tire?
The German company called Continental-Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Compagnie, or Continental was founded as a rubber manufacturer in 1871. In 1898 the company made its mark on the tire market when it introduced the continental plain tread tire.
By 1904 they became the first company in the world which manufacture grooved tires. Carrying the momentum forward, continental invented the detachable wheel tire in 1905. Between the years of 2004 and 2008, the company executed a series of aggressive expansions which overextended their assets.
While in this weakened state, continental became the victim of a hostile takeover by competitor Schaeffler AG. Today, Schaeffler AG still holds the majority of the shares in continental at 46% of all shares.
Today Continental is pushing the forefront of tire technology into a cleaner, greener future. Continental has produced and tested the world’s first tire which has a tread polymer made out of natural dandelion rubber. This solves one of the biggest issues in the rubber industries witch is the need for rubber trees.
Not only are rubber trees not needed which can only grow in limited areas. Dandelions can also be grown in areas where food crops cannot be grown. The technology is in its early stage but it has great potential.
What Are the Pros of Goodyear?
- Strong reputation in the tire industry
- Intensive testing
- Goodyear is highly focused on long-lasting tires
- Greater variety than Continental
- Good off-road line of tires which Continental lacks
What Are the Pros of Continental Tire?
- Strong reputation in the tire industry
- Intensive testing
- All-season tire selection is extensive and of high quality
- Cheaper than Goodyear tires (though still more expensive than most other brands)
- High degree of focus on safety and being environmentally friendly.
What Are the Main Differences Between Goodyear and Continental Tires?
On paper, both these companies are extremely closely matched. They have both been in the business for over a century, so they know what they are doing for sure. When picking between two tires that are so closely matched, we need to take a deeper look into their differences to determine which one you should buy.
The first big difference that I have seen while shopping online is the price. They are very close in price on some tires but on others not so much. For the most part, Goodyear is the more expensive tire. This is not true for all comparable tire choices, but it is the case for most of them.
The next difference comes in the form of warranties. Let’s take two comparable tires and match their warranties up with each other, the Continental’s True Contact Tour tires, and Goodyear’s Assurance All-Season tires.
First, let’s look at Continental’s True Contact Tour tires. They offer satisfaction guaranteed within the first 60 days, or your tires replaced. The total confidence plan warranty covers your tires for 80,000 miles, and you get a road hazard plan for the first 12 months in the event of damage, quite impressive!
Goodyear’s Assurance All-Season tires offer you the first 30 days, satisfaction guaranteed, or your tires replaced, half that of the continental tires. As far as I can tell, you cannot get a road hazard plan from Goodyear, and their coverage plan is fewer miles at 65,000 miles for this tire.
Please note that these statistics are only for these tires. Some comparable tires have the same or almost the same number of miles covered. As far as coverage plans go, Continental will give you more bang for your buck.
One key difference you will notice right away when shopping for Goodyear and Continental is the selection size. Looking at the Tread Life Limited Warranty for Goodyear, there are 53 different tires listed. On the comparable list for Continental, there are only 33, around 40% fewer options.
At a glance this seems to be a win for Goodyear, why wouldn’t you want the most choices to fit your needs? However, I believe this is actually the opposite. Continental has managed to weave together multiple positives into one tire, you don’t have to pick between a Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max or an Assurance MaxLife.
Continental provides maximum fuel-saving and maximum tire life in one tire, among other qualities such as noise reduction and performance. Though you have less choice to pick from when it comes to Continental, you don’t need as many because each option gives you everything in one package.
This is where the big differences come in. The heavy hitter for Goodyear is the strength of their tires, and moreover the strength of their sidewalls, allowing for more damage. Goodyear’s Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar tires if the flagship tire when it comes to Goodyear’s all-terrain tires.
The Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar tire is one of the best and most enjoyable adventure tires I have come across. The name itself, “Kevlar” describes strength, which is most certainly is, and it’s not just a name either, the tire actually has a sturdy Kevlar-reinforced radial construction.
This means that the tire is more resistant to punctures, giving you more freedom to go anywhere. Continental’s all-terrain tires are not as puncher-proof, but they are still not too bad, just not as good, though they are cheaper.
Continental has two technologies that really make it stand out from Goodyear. The first is their quick view performance indicator. Though not a game-changer for the performance itself, it is a simple and unique feature that I love. It’ll allow you to check the alignment and check the evenness of your tire wear at a glance.
For their all-season tires, they have a similar system to indicate wear levels that impact snow, wet, and dry driving safety. It is such a simple way to check the wear of your tires and let you know that your tires are safe. No more checking your tread with a penny!
Though quick view technologies are neat and make life a little easier, it is nowhere nearly as impressive as Continental’s Eco Plus technology. Eco Plus technology is centered around three key concepts. Firstly, it aims to improve tire tread life, which is evident when you look at how long Continental’s warranties last.
Secondly, continental strives to improve road safety, which is why the Eco-Plus technology helps to shorten stopping distance on wet roads. Lastly, as you may have guessed, Eco-Plus technology helps you save fuel. This is because Continental has great ambitions no lowering the environmental impact of tire manufacturing.
Popular Goodyear Tire Lines?
- Assurance – This tire line is built to provide a smooth, quiet ride and improved handling. These are your everyday kind of tires which are well-rounded for most occasions.
- Eagle – The Goodyear Eagle line of tires has an emphasis leaning towards precision steering and confident handling.
- Wrangler – The Wrangler tires are Goodyear’s strong suit. They are built tough, ready for any adventure, whether on or off-road. Providing today’s trucks with superior traction and durability.
- Ultra Grip – These tires are made to give enhanced traction in snow and on ice. These tires are winter only tires, but they have their limits.
- Winter Command – If the Ultra Grip doesn’t meet your winter wonder land needs, then the Winter Command tire line is the way to go. They are built to a standard that can withstand tough conditions, no matter how cold it gets.
Popular Continental tire lines?
- Ultra-high Performance (ExtermeContacts line) – these are Continental’s top-of-the-line tires. They offer improved performance in dry, wet, and snowy conditions, create less noise, and improve fuel economy.
- Touring (CrossContact, PureContact, TureContact, and TerrainContact H/T) – The touring line offers a selection of tires for you to pick from, depending on your vehicle and the conditions you will be driving in.
- All-Terrain (TerrainContact A/T) – This tire is designed to be operated on and off-road and DWS conditions, grate for the outdoors explorer.
- Winter (Viking Contact 7) – The Viking has a fitting name for extreme winter. The tire is equipped with PolarPlus technology which means the tread is still flexible in cold conditions.
When it comes to customer service directly from the company, Goodyear wins. The main reason for this is that you can buy Goodyear tires online, directly from Goodyear. If you go to Continental’s website, you cannot find a place you order tires directly.
Thus, most of your Continental tire customer services will come from a second-party store. You cannot even find rough prices for tires on the Continental website. Additionally, I found their website frustrating with a larger top banner and an equally large bottom banner pestering me for my cookies.
Value is hard to define because they are so closely matched and often flip flop between which tire company is more expensive depending on the type of tire sold. Goodyear’s all-terrain tires are often more expensive, and just so, they are superior.
When it comes to touring, or everyday tires, Continental tires are often better but are also often more expensive, but not always. The same can be said for sports and high-performance tires, the two companies switch between which are more expensive/better.
To get the best value for your money it is important to compare the available tire for your vehicle and for your uses.
Use Goodyear If:
If you want to go off-road, you are better off using a set of Goodyear Wrangler tires.
Use Continental Tire If:
If you want a good all-season tire that is reliable, comfortable, and quiet, then you need to get a Continental. Additionally, if you have the environment in mind then you should go with a good set of Continentals.
In conclusion, these two tire companies are very closely matched. Goodyear has some advantages over Continental and vice versa. When picking your next tire, you should have a good look into each option as they will have different stats which are suitable in differing situations.
If I were to be going off-road, then I’ll most likely take the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar tires. But for most other situations I prefer a set of Continental tires due to their environmental footprint and their versatility.