Best Coilover Brands: Ranked From Least to Most Expensive

Best Coilover Brands: Ranked From Least to Most Expensive

In the world of aftermarket suspension components, coilovers reign supreme—they’re everywhere, and with new brands springing up like mushrooms, the options are near endless.

Amidst a sea of marketing mumbo jumbo, recycled jargon, and seemingly endless product lines competing for your attention, it’s hard to ascertain which coilover brands are worth your money.

In this article, we’ve cut through the noise and curated some of our most recommended coilover brands to make your purchase decision easier.

Though they’re ranked from least to most expensive, it’s worth considering that higher-end brands do make cheap coilovers, and vice versa.

It’s not necessarily the hardware that influences sticker prices, rather it’s the brand’s reputation, R&D budget, and industry experience. With that out of the way, let’s get on with the list. But first, brass tacks.

How Much Should You Spend on Coilovers?

BC Racing coilovers

In terms of pricing, coilovers run the gamut from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars. Most enthusiasts agree there’s no such thing as high-quality $500 coilovers and many believe you must fork out at least 4 digits if you want something half-decent.

That said, you don’t have to break your bank if you don’t want to. Thanks to a low barrier for entry, you can get away with spending very little on a set of cheap coilovers made by lesser-known brands.

You’ve got to keep your expectations tapered though. Fitment won’t be top-notch, the welds won’t be as clean, and adjustability will be gimmicky at best, but you won’t be on stock suspension.

That’s not to say that stock suspension is bad. In fact, seasoned track guys do everything they can to keep their suspension geometry as close to stock as possible, but that’s another topic for another day.

Consider lowering springs mated to your existing struts, or upgrading the latter; KYB comes to mind.

With cheap coilovers, the idea is to get that much-needed drop in ride height and weight transfer. That way, you can get a feel for what to expect from this upgrade, including the good, bad, and ugly.

Cheap coilovers are known for their harsh ride quality on the street, but that’s something to worry about only if you install them on a daily driven car.

Besides, if you’re honing your skills at the track and you’re going to break stuff anyway, cheap coilovers might not be such a bad idea after all.

To make it simple, consider that there are cheap coilovers (up to $500) and then there are entry-level coilovers (over $800).

Tein-sponsored FRS at a track

The former includes knock-offs and private-labeled coilovers that are essentially the same units sold under different brand names. The latter includes affordable coilovers made by reputed brands with a certain amount of credibility which can be attributed to:

  • A proven track record
  • Sponsoring race teams
  • Working with industry experts
  • Being affiliated with established suspension manufacturers
  • Owning race teams
  • Innovating and introducing new tech

We suggest going for entry-level, mid-tier, or high-end coilovers if you can afford them. Buy once, cry once, if you will.

If you’re serious about shaving seconds off your lap times, save up for a set of high-end coilovers, you won’t regret it. But if you simply want a drop in ride height and an aggressive aesthetic, the world is your oyster.

Entry-Level

Here at Suspension Setups, we believe that handling upgrades shouldn’t cost a fortune. Building a track-ready car on a relatively low budget is entirely possible.

Whether you want to get started with competitive driving or you want to make your weekend canyon runs more enjoyable, entry-level coilovers offer an excellent starting point. Our favorite brands in this segment include the following.

ST Suspensions

ST Suspension coilovers

ST Suspensions has been around for a while now, and they fall under the KW umbrella, which can only mean good things. KW is a top-tier brand that makes excellent coilovers and other suspension components, so you shouldn’t have much to worry about with ST.

Currently, the brand offers four different coilover types, the ST X, the ST XA, the ST XTA, and the ST XTA PLUS 3. As you go further up the model range, the feature set gets larger and larger.

The basic ST X can run you as little as $650, but for that price, you’ll only get height-adjustable coilovers. Adjustable damping, remote reservoirs, and other nice-to-haves aren’t available here.

Higher up the food chain are the ST XAs, which will run you closer to $900. Along with the height adjustability, they also offer adjustable rebound damping. Next up are the ST XTAs; they include adjustable top mounts, rebound damping, and height adjustment.

Finally, at the top of the line sits the ST XTA PLUS 3 family, with two-way adjustable damping, and up to 16 levels of rebound damping.

The latter also gets the KW stamp of approval, so it’s definitely trustworthy. The Uniball top mounts are also fully adjustable, so you can adjust your camber angle just right. The PLUS 3 are the most expensive coilovers, with prices just over $2,000.

Every coilover offered by ST promises excellent water and dust resistance, stepless lowering, along with the ability to personalize your coilovers with custom text, and different spring colors of your choosing.

While you may be coy about installing less-than-proven coilovers, the KW connection, and the fact that ST has sponsored a few drift teams over the years should give you some peace of mind.

AP Sportfahrwerke

AP Sportfahrwerke coilovers

If you want to go even cheaper with your coilovers but don’t want to sacrifice quality all that much, then AP Sport Suspensions could be the right choice for you.

AP Sport coilovers are manufactured in Germany, so you can expect high-quality construction and pretty solid build quality.

When we say cheap, we really do mean cheap. Cheap as in, this company does not sell coilovers for more than $1,000. On one hand, that means you’ll get a great deal for a decent set of coilovers, but that also comes with its caveats.

For instance, not a single one of the coilovers offered by AP comes with adjustable damping. That said, they do come with two-way dampers out of the box.

They’re also treated for rock chips and other weather intrusions as you might expect, and all of them offer an excellent two-year warranty.

While you can’t really expect great track performance from these coilovers, they’re perfectly fine for a daily build that won’t break the bank, but will still bring most of the benefits that coilovers bring to the table. 

Ksport

Ksport coilover top hat

Moving up the coilover food chain, we have Ksport Suspension. While they’re not a particularly well-known name in the world of suspension components, Ksport actually offers some pretty great stuff for the money.

They offer no less than ten different kinds of coilovers, suitable for just about any automotive application that you can think of. The Kontrol Pro and GT Pro families, for example, are most suitable for street builds.

If that doesn’t float your boat, you have the Asphalt Rally Spec and Gravel Rally Spec models, which are pretty self-explanatory. If you occasionally have to drive your race car on the street, Ksport’s Circuit Pro 3-Way family has your back.

For the price, Ksport coilovers have a pretty packed feature set. Every model they offer comes with 36-way adjustable damping, even the cheapest Kontrol Pro.

Every Ksport coilover also uses aerospace-grade aluminum and high-strength steel lower mounts, and most of them come with adjustable pillowball top mounts as well. 

To sweeten the pot, Ksport’s coilovers also come with a 12-month warranty. While not as long as some of the competitors, it’s still pretty good for the industry. 

Ksport has already carved out a pretty good name for itself in the world of coilovers, and it even has its own Formula Drift team, with a pretty sweet 350Z drift car to go along with it.

They have also made an amazing recovery from the initially problematic service.

Early Ksport coilovers had serious quality issues, and complaints were through the roof. However, the company has since sorted out all of these issues, and for the money, Ksport makes some pretty awesome coilovers and other suspension components.

They also offer coilovers for a variety of different cars, and as a bonus, they’re manufactured in the same facility in Taiwan as BC Racing coilovers.

TEIN

TEIN rear coilover

Tein is undoubtedly one of the most reputable names in the suspension business. Unlike some of the other popular aftermarket suspension manufacturers, TEIN has been in the industry for almost 60 years, and they have proven themselves time and again since 1966.

The company, based in Yokohama, offers a variety of suspension and drivetrain components, but their specialty is coilovers and coilover components.

Their lineup is pretty vast, and similarly to Ksport, they offer coilovers for just about any application you can think of, including for rally cars and track builds.

However, their most popular offerings are the ones more focused on the street. Those would be Flex Z, Street Basis Z, and Street Advance Z.

Even the cheapest Street Basis Z comes with a twin-tube damper design, as well as adjustable threads with a fully threaded design. As you go further up, you get even more options.

Street Advance Z coilovers also add adjustable damping; not just in the old-fashioned way. Starting with Street Advance Z, all Tein coilovers offer EDFC compatibility, which allows you to tune the damper settings on the fly using a screen and dial.

All of Tein’s coilovers also include their signature ZT coating, which prevents debris buildup and light damage to the components. Tein suspension components have been fitted to various cars for years, and we’ve heard nothing but praise. 

To make it even better, Tein will also build you one of their discontinued coilover sets to order if you so choose, and they can make a set to order for just about any car. For the price of admission, it’s very tough to look away from Tein coilovers.

Mid-Tier

This is the sweet spot, one that most enthusiasts end up flocking to when it comes to buying coilovers. They’re not exactly cheap, but they won’t give you buyer’s remorse either.

These coilovers are what most experienced drivers tend to recommend with a good conscience. Find some of our favorites below.

BC Racing

BC Racing BR-series coilovers

While the price doesn’t really go up that much with BC Racing coilovers, they’re one of the most reputable names in the business. Based in Taiwan, BC Racing has been making coilovers for quite a while, but unlike a lot of their contemporaries, that’s all they do.

This means they can focus all of their R&D on just coilovers and consequently make the best possible product.

As the modified car community has shown, this is very true. BC Racing offers no less than six different varieties of coilovers, ranging from basic street builds to proper, full-on track builds.

The base BR series comes with a mono-tube damping system, as well as the ability to adjust ride height independently.

BC Racing’s other models include a variety of other great features. The ER series features remote damping, while the ZR series gives you much more nuanced damping adjustability, perfectly suited for track builds.

Every set of BC Racing coilovers is covered by a 12-month warranty, and more importantly, they’re all fully rebuildable. That’s pretty invaluable when it comes to coilovers, especially if you put your build through a lot of abuse.

BC Racing coilovers have also been the go-to choice for a lot of drift cars, and we don’t mean some fresh new team that no one yet knows. Big names like Adam LZ, Chelsea Denofa, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. are sponsored by BC Racing coilovers.

As we all know, very few situations are more taxing on your suspension than drifting and continuous track use, so that should be a testament to BC Racing coilovers. They are a little more expensive, but it’s money well spent.

Bilstein

Bilstein coilovers and shocks

Bilstein is another name in the world of suspension components that we’ve seen adorning some incredible suspension components on really high-end supercars and hypercars.

Once again, that goes to show the kind of quality that Bilstein components have, and thankfully, that applies to their more conventional product lineup as well.

The most popular options from Bilstein, which by the way, turns 150 years old at the time of writing, are the B14, B16, and the EVO coilovers.

The B14 is an excellent entry point, but they still offer adjustable damping and height adjustment, so you shouldn’t have any problems dialing them in to suit your build.

Every Bilstein coilover also offers up to 50mm of lowering, so if you wanted to, you could go for a slammed build.

They’re built to the highest possible standards, and as we’ve seen from race cars all over the world and over the years, Bilstein coilovers won’t have any problems handling track use or road use.

They don’t come very cheap. It all depends on the dealer and the car that they’re designed for. You can find a good set for $1,300, but for some cars, it might set you back closer to $6,000. Still, with the pedigree that Bilstein suspension and coilovers have, that’s a price worth paying.

High-End

Far too often we hear that performance upgrades on your car don’t mean anything if you don’t have the handling mods to back them up.

This is true to an extent; upgraded suspension and tires will allow your car to put power to the ground more efficiently and keep the rubber side down, even more so if you install the best there is. Find some of our most preferred high-end coilovers below.

Fortune Auto

Fortune Auto coilovers with camber plates

Despite Fortune Auto being a relatively new entry in the suspension business, the company has quickly established itself as one of the premiere coilover manufacturers in the world.

The most expensive Fortune Auto coilovers will run you over $9,000, and even the cheapest ones are almost $2,000.

So what makes Fortune Auto coilovers so expensive? For one, they’re manufactured using industry-leading equipment and practices. They’re fully rebuildable and unlike basically every other coilover, they’re modular.

As well as being able to upgrade an older version of some of the models they sell, Fortune Auto also allows you to install a two-way canister for damping adjustment.

It also promises fast turnover rates for every rebuild. You can even customize the spring rates for your specific build at no additional cost.

Fortune Auto leads the industry when it comes to their warranty. While others do offer one, or maybe two years, Fortune Auto offers a five-year warranty on all of their coilovers.

Damping adjustment on Fortune Auto coilovers is extensive and it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will find a setup that works for you.

Although the cost of Fortune Auto coilovers is quite steep, the Pro 3-Way coilovers are particularly premium and are exclusively offered for a select few high-end cars.

The 500 and 510 series are perfectly adequate for just about every build, and while they either get close to or just about surpass $2,000, they’re well worth it.

HKS 

HKS coilovers

HKS is a household name in the world of aftermarket parts, especially when it comes to JDM cars.

They sell and manufacture a variety of performance parts and they’re particularly well-known for their upgraded turbocharger kits. However, HKS also still sells its highly regarded Hipermax line of coilovers.

Currently, the company offers 3 different Hipermax models. The Hipermax R, the Hipermax G, and the Hipermax S. These three are pretty similar, but they do have some key differences.

The base model is the Hipermax G. Like its siblings, the Hipermax G uses a mono-tube damper design, but it doesn’t include any form of adjustable damping.

Hipermax G also includes the PVE coating, which is a signature trait of HKS coilovers, and it prevents rockchips and rust buildup on the coilover itself.

Next up from that is the Hipermax S. Once again, a mono-tube design, but this time, you get 30 levels of adjustable damping. They’re also fully height adjustable, but their focus is more on comfort than high-performance driving.

For the best track performance, the Hipermax R is for you. They also include the best feature set, including the Super Response Fluid, a pillowball top mount, and HKS’ patented Low-Vibration Spring.

All of HKS’ coilovers are fully rebuildable, and they offer a pretty decent warranty. Three years or 37,000 miles (whichever comes first, as usual) for the Hipermax G and S, and two years or 24,000 miles for the Hipermax R.

The Hipermax coilovers from HKS are excellent all-rounders, despite what the company says that only the Hipermax R falls under that category.

Very few coilovers perfectly balance improved handling with excellent, near-stock ride comfort, but the Hipermax fits the bill in that regard. For the price, they’re a very solid choice.

Öhlins

Öhlins coilovers

Now we’re getting into the high-end stuff. Öhlins is one of the most storied names in the world of suspension, and while they do manufacture car-specific aftermarket dampers and coilovers, that’s not the only thing they do.

We have seen the name Öhlins stamped on bespoke pushrod suspension setups in everything from Koenigseggs to the Ariel Atoms, and that’s not even mentioning the hundreds of proven race cars that use Öhlins suspension.

In other words, with that kind of portfolio, Öhlins knows how to assemble a high-quality coilover, and how to make sure the performance improvement is significant.

The standout feature of Öhlins coilovers is the Dual-Flow Valve technology. In a nutshell, it allows the rebound stiffness and compression stiffness to be equalized, because the damper fluid flows consistently in both directions inside the reservoir.

What that means in practice is that the wheels can provide more traction and grip, and the ride comfort doesn’t have to take a major hit. Öhlins dampers are the only ones on the market that provide this sort of functionality, and they work great for both street and track builds.

Another excellent feature that Öhlins coilovers provide is the ability to adjust rebound and compression at the same time with a single dial, something which you won’t find in the competition.

As good as these coilovers may be, however, they do have a couple of downsides alongside being very expensive. For one thing, the selection of cars is somewhat limited and Öhlins doesn’t make dampers to order unless you’re an automaker.

If you’re willing to shell out and you have one of the select few cars that they make kits for, Öhlins coilovers are some of the very best you can get; they will completely transform the driving experience.

Concluding Summary

Stance coilovers

Continuing on the theme of least to most expensive, the Suspension Setups seal of approval goes to Tein, Fortune Auto, and Öhlins.

Tein coilovers are some of the very best for what you pay, with top-notch build quality, rebuildability, and adjustability for a price that certainly won’t break the bank. 

Fortune Auto shocks are a bit more expensive, but between the five-year warranty, incredible suite of features, modularity, and full rebuildability, it’s hard to go wrong with these. Again, they are on the expensive side, but they are well worth the money.

Finally, sitting at the summit, we have Öhlins. These are truly money-no-object coilovers, and it’s what you should go for if you intend on a zero-compromise race build.

Decades of expertise in motorsport, combined with an excellent feature set and incredible performance make Öhlins the best choice if you want to splurge.

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