Visit Continental Tires in your country for local vehicle fitment

# Buying Tires

Premium tires vs. low-budget

Uncover the difference to ensure a safer drive.

Car on the racetrack

When it comes to choosing tires for your vehicle, the decision between premium and budget options can significantly impact your driving experience. Choosing the best tyres for your vehicle involves factors beyond the simple interaction of black rubber with the road. Tires play a key role in your driving experience, influencing factors such as noise levels, wet braking performance and overall value. In this article, we explore the key differences between premium and budget tires, focusing on three key categories: Noise reduction, wet braking and the holistic concept of total tire value.

The three pillars in focus -Grip, precision, control: decoding the art of dry handling in tires

How well a tire performs on dry surfaces is referred to as the Dry Handling category. It includes factors such as grip, responsiveness and manoeuvring stability. Premium tires, often designed with advanced tread patterns and rubber compounds, aim to deliver superior dry handling performance. This ensures that the drivers will experience precise control and confidence as they navigate their vehicle in normal, dry driving conditions. In contrast, lower budget tires may face challenges in maintaining optimal dry handling performance due to the use of more basic materials and construction. Our research begins by analyzing critical parameters such as wet braking, stopping distance and more. This analysis aims to shed light on the factors that have a significant impact on driving safety and experience, and to provide a comprehensive understanding of the nuances involved in tyre selection.  

Braking comparison

Premium tires, exemplified by brands such as Continental, are designed to excel in wet conditions. Their unique tread patterns and advanced rubber compounds work together to efficiently disperse water and maintain maximum contact with the road surface. This results in superior wet braking performance, allowing the vehicle to stop quickly and safely even in slippery conditions. 

On the other hand, budget tires may struggle in wet braking scenarios. The tread design of low-budget tires may not be as effective at evacuating water, resulting in reduced traction and longer stopping distances. This can compromise safety, especially in wet weather or on wet roads.

Aerial view of Contidrom

Rain or shine: the crucial role of wet braking in tire safety

Wet braking is a critical parameter that measures a tire's ability to maintain traction and stop effectively on wet road surfaces. Premium tires prioritize wet braking performance through advanced tread designs and materials that enhance water evacuation, reducing the risk of hydroplaning. This feature is crucial for driving safety, especially in rainy or wet conditions. Low-budget tires can be limited in their wet braking capabilities, potentially compromising the overall safety of the vehicle in adverse weather conditions.

Known for their exceptional wet braking performance, premium tires, such as those from Continental, are designed to maintain traction on slippery surfaces. Wet braking performance can be a critical factor in emergency situations. We evaluate how budget alternatives measure up in terms of safety under wet conditions and provide insights into the performance trade-offs that may come with a more budget-friendly choice.

Test results

Below are the results of Continental´s testing team at the Contidrom, examining Continental and competitor tires under various conditions:


Silent symphony: redefining driving comfortthrough noise reduction  

Noise reduction focuses on minimizing the noise generated by tires as they roll on the road. Premium tires often incorporate advanced technologies, such as optimized tread patterns and noise-absorbing materials, to provide a quieter and more comfortable driving experience. This is particularly appealing to drivers looking for a quiet ride with reduced road noise. While budget-friendly options may be gentle on your wallet, the potential impact on the tranquillity of your journey, prompting a careful consideration of trade-offs. Low-budget tires may make certain compromises in the pursuit of affordability.

The trade-offs often involve using simpler materials and construction techniques that may not prioritize noise reduction to the same extent as premium counterparts. Premium tires often incorporate advanced technologies such as optimised tread patterns and noise-absorbing materials. Premium tires excel at reducing road noise. This makes for a quieter and more comfortable driving experience, which is especially appealing to those who want a quiet ride with reduced road noise.  Continental's premium tires are not only designed for superior performance, but also for a refined driving experience that prioritises comfort.

Interior car view
Interior car view

Steering through the tire maze: crafting informed paths for premium and low-budget choices on the road 

When choosing between premium and budget tires, it's essential to consider your driving needs, preferences, and safety priorities. While budget tires may offer a cost-effective solution, premium tires offer superior performance in wet braking, dry handling, and noise reduction. Investing in premium tires not only enhances your driving experience but also contributes to a safer and more comfortable journey. That is why Continental offers a variety of premium tires for every need. Remember, your tire choice plays a critical role in the overall performance and safety of your vehicle. In conclusion, as you navigate the diverse tire landscape, this article is intended to provide you with the knowledge to make an informed decision. Whether you prioritize precise dry handling, exceptional wet braking, a quiet ride, or comprehensive overall value, consider this guide as your companion in the complicated world of tire selection.


Still curious? Download the complete report for more detalis

Premium tires vs. Low-budget test results 2023

Premium tires vs. Low-budget test results 2023

pdf 650 KB Download

Related content