Thanks to a special tread compound, the Continental ProContact EcoPlus emerges as one of the lowest-rolling-resistance tires in a major test -- and that can translate into better gas mileage. Several TireRack.com customers say the ProContact EcoPlus improves fuel economy, usually by about 2 mpg. But some owners say they're less efficient than their previous tires, and a TireRack.com test found no difference in fuel economy between the ProContact EcoPlus and a regular all-season tire.
Regardless of whether it saves gas, experts do agree that the ProContact EcoPlus is a very good tire overall. It grips and handles well on dry, wet, icy and snowy pavement, and testers find it quiet and comfortable. An 80,000-mile tread-wear warranty is another plus. The comparably priced Hankook Optimo H727 (*Est. $90) brakes more effectively on ice in one test, though, and it carries a 100,000-mile tread-wear warranty.
ConsumerReports.org's test of the Continental ProContact EcoPlus is the most comprehensive, covering not only wet and dry roads but also snow and ice, as well as rolling resistance and more. TireRack.com tests the ProContact EcoPlus on both wet and dry pavement, and experts here measure fuel consumption as well. Owners also review this tire at TireRack.com, and SaferCar.gov lists its official tread-wear, heat-resistance and traction ratings.
ConsumerReports.org tests the Continental ProContact EcoPlus alongside 25 other all-season tires. Experts rate the tires' performance on wet, dry, snowy and icy roads, as well as comfort, rolling resistance and tread life.
Review: All-Season Tire Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
2. Tire Rack
The Continental ProContact EcoPlus easily outperforms two other fuel-friendly tires -- the Goodyear Assurance FuelMax and Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 -- in this test. It even performs better than a regular all-season tire, the Yokohama Avid TRZ, in most ways (cornering, braking, lap time, etc.) on wet and dry tracks, and it proves the quietest and most comfortable, too. But it doesn't save any gas compared with the regular Yokohama tire, while the Bridgestone and Goodyear both manage to eke out a few tenths of an mpg more.
Review: Eco-focused All-season Tires: Do They Deliver on the Promise?, Editors of TireRack.com, Aug. 18, 2011
3. Tire Rack
With more than 40 owner reviews posted, the Continental ProContact EcoPlus scores an average rating of 8.5 out of 10. You can read reviews to get an idea of this tire's real-life performance, but the site's editors don't list the ProContact EcoPlus in their handy owner-rating charts, so it's hard to tell how it stacks up against rival tires.
Review: Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology, Contributors to TireRack.com
The Continental ProContact EcoPlus gets a government tread-wear rating of 600 -- fairly high, but not as high as some other all-season tires. Like its major competitors, it earns an A for traction (the highest rating is AA) and a B for heat resistance.
Review: Tire Rating Lookup, Editors of SaferCar.gov