Best Shocks & Struts for Honda Civics

Best Shocks & Struts for Honda Civic

Over 6 decades in production, the Honda Civic has cycled through many revisions on the suspension front.

Many believe the older ones with front double-wishbones were better, others prefer the compact design and no-frills approach of newer Civics with MacPherson struts and torsion beam combos.

Suffice to say that not all Civics are created equal. No matter which one you own, you can always tune the handling to your liking by upgrading your shocks and struts.

The Civic’s suitability as a starter tuner platform lends itself to an abundance of aftermarket upgrades, making it harder to choose the right parts.

In this article, we’ll make things easier by recommending the best shocks and struts for your Honda Civic, and a few reasons why they might be a better choice over coilovers.

Why It’s Worth Upgrading Shocks and Struts

Bilstein B12 strut

Coilovers aren’t the be-all and end-all of suspension upgrades. In most cases, a simple shock and strut assembly upgrade provides ample improvement over stock suspension, which might not even be required in the first place depending on what you drive.

The main advantages of coilovers over aftermarket shocks and struts include:

  • Corner balancing is easier
  • Customizing and switching spring rates is easier

Unless these 2 factors are non-negotiable for you, upgrading your shocks and struts is a much better option than installing coilovers.

We would’ve added ride height and compression/rebound damping to the list above, but many newer shocks and struts offer these features, making it even easier for us to recommend them.

Koni Yellow spring

For what it’s worth, 90% of drivers don’t take full advantage of the adjustibility that coilovers provide anyway, so suffice to say that they’re overkill for many of us. Being in the 10% means spending more on seat time and less on mods you probably don’t need.

Unless your OEM suspension is busted or you drive a boat, a good set of tires, bushings, and carefully chosen sway bars are all you need. Shocks and struts are the icing on the cake.

It’s worth considering that coilovers priced similarly to decent shocks and struts are unlikely to be high quality. That said, top-tier coilovers are a whole different story.

High-end coilovers can make the most of stiffer and shorter springs. Because these types of springs move through a short range of travel, the dampers are required to move more fluid per inch of travel.

High-end coilovers are valved appropriately to handle tasks like these as well as high-pressure applications like competitive racing. Good-quality Honda Civic strut and shock replacements cost no more than $1000.

Ground Control coilover sleeves with Eibach Sportline springs

A good set of Koni Yellows with Swift springs or Ground Control sleeves will run laps around your run-of-the-mill budget coilover brands any day of the week.

The Best Honda Civic Shocks and Struts

One thing to consider when upgrading your shocks and struts is which springs you should install to go with them. What spring rate to use depends entirely on what Civic you drive and whether you’re going to race it or daily it.

Another option is installing coilover sleeves. These will bolt right onto your new strut and you can use the small threaded section to alter your preload and ride height.

With all that out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks. Here are some of the best shocks and struts for the Honda Civic.

Koni Yellow

Koni Yellows installed

Compatible years: 98–13
Adjustments: 3-stage rebound
Box includes: 1x 8641 1497 front shock / 1x 8041 1359 rear shock
Warranty: Lifetime (limited)

Based in the Netherlands, Koni is another highly reputable manufacturer of suspension components in the aftermarket world. The Yellow is one of their best-selling products, and they offer them for a variety of different Civic models, as well as various Hondas and Acuras.

While they only have 2 levels of adjustability, you can achieve maximum stiffness in those two clicks. They come with a lifetime warranty, they use pretty high-quality materials, and they are relatively affordable. At 500 lbs, the spring rates are also pretty solid.

For the money, it’s tough to go wrong with Koni Yellows. They offer a good amount of adjustability and features, while also being fairly easy to install and being compatible with a variety of different Civics, and Honda models in general.

They’re designed to be installed in the factory pillowball mounts, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble making them fit. The only slight downside is that newer Civic models, from 2006 and onwards, aren’t supported quite yet. 

Monroe Quick Strut

Monroe Quick Strut for Honda Civic

Compatible years: 92-present
Adjustments: None
Box includes: Front Quick-Struts, Rear OE-Spectrum shocks
Warranty: Lifetime

Many aftermarket shocks and struts on the market are designed to improve handling on the track, but this is not the case with Monroe.

Sometimes, all you need is a good set of replacement shocks that are a decent upgrade from what the car comes with from the factory, and Monroe fits in that category. This also explains their relatively low price.

Even though they’re OEM replacements, you have the option of experimenting with lowering springs. If you simply want a better shock than the factory without an outright focus on performance, you can certainly take this route.

Of course, you shouldn’t expect crazy performance and handling improvements from these shocks, but for a daily driver, they’ll certainly get the job done. If you decide to go this route, a set of sway bars and lowering springs can still bring you some improvements, but for a daily driver, they’ll get the job done. 

KYB Excel-G

KYB Excel-G OEM replacement strut for Honda Civic

Compatible years: 98-21
Adjustments: 3-stage compression and rebound
Box includes: 2x shocks, 2x struts
Warranty: 1-year, unlimited mileage

KYB is one of the industry leaders when it comes to suspension components, and they are Japan’s leading hydraulics company. They make factory and upgraded coilovers for a variety of cars, and the Excel-G is one of their most well-known offerings.

They are a little more expensive than other OEM stand-ins, but they are very high-quality components, with very high manufacturing standards. Just make sure the package you order comes with bushings, the top nut, and the washers.

If that’s all taken care of, the KYB Excel-G is a fantastic shock absorber that will provide an excellent, comfortable ride, close enough to stock. It’s worth considering especially if your Civic is a daily or if you’re looking for a solid OEM coilover replacement, in case yours have worn out or you want to improve them.

TruHart Lowering Performance

TruHart Lowering Performance shocks

Compatible years: 99-present
Adjustments: None
Box includes: 2x shocks, 2x struts
Warranty: Lifetime

TruHart shocks are some of the absolute best on the market, and they’re definitely an underrated gem. What’s more, they’re great for handling improvements, as they’re primarily designed to handle lowering springs from the factory.

Equip TruHart shocks on your Civic, and you’ll have a great time. The ride is a little firmer versus stock, but the benefit is improved cornering abilities. The only caveat is that the TruHarts are only available for later Civic models, so if you have something like an EK or an EG, you’re out of luck. 

Anything beyond 2006, however, and you’re set. Despite TruHart not being such a huge name in the world of aftermarket suspension components, they are among the very best Honda Civic shock absorbers. 

TEIN EnduraPro

TEIN EnduraPro shocks and struts

Compatible years: 98-21
Adjustments: 16-stage compression and rebound
Box includes: 2x shocks, 2x struts
Warranty: Lifetime (limited)

Back to performance-oriented shocks. TEIN is another giant in the world of suspension components, with lots of enthusiasts all over the world frequently favoring their products. One of the company’s highest-quality products is undoubtedly its coilovers.

However, they offer all sorts of products across all drivetrain categories. The EnduraPro is their well-known shock absorber, and as you might expect from a TEIN product, it’s a damn good one.

It’s a little more expensive than an OEM replacement, but you do get your money’s worth. The EnduraPro is compatible with both stock and lowering springs, and the kit comes with both front and rear sets right out of the box.

They also offer 16 levels of adjustable damping, and all in all, they offer some pretty significant improvements to handling. The shell case is also much stronger than the OEM part, and they have thicker knuckles for better durability. 

While they won’t be quite as comfortable as the stock ones or Monroe, if you frequently take your Civic on a mountain drive, or you frequently take it out on the race track, it’s very difficult to go wrong with a set of TEIN EnduraPro shocks. 

Skunk2 Sport

Skunk2 Sport shocks

Compatible years: 88-15
Adjustments: 16-stage compression and rebound
Box includes: 2x shocks, 2x struts
Warranty: 1-year

Skunk2 makes all sorts of custom parts that extend beyond the drivetrain and suspension components. That being said, they’re quite good at suspension too, and their Sport Shocks are a highlight.

They’re available for a few different versions of the Honda Civic, and Skunk2 makes them using the same manufacturing processes as some of their best coilovers. Skunk2 coilovers are excellent in their own right, so this is not a bad thing.

Skunk2 Sport Shocks are generally good, but they do have one slight flaw, which is their effect on the ride quality.

Now, this could be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you’re looking for, but Sport Shocks are very soft, and they’re a lot softer than the stock part. If you want a more comfortable ride, that should be fine, but if you want a sportier driving experience, you might have to dial it in. 

Concluding Summary

There are loads of routes you can take for shock and strut replacements, and you are spoiled for choice when it comes to the best shocks and struts for the Honda Civic. It all depends on your budget and your use case.

For a solid OEM replacement, Monroe shocks should do the job just fine. They’re affordable, and they’re a good stand-in for the factory part. Just don’t expect them to be too impressive in the corners, but with a good set of lowering springs, they might just turn out good.

If you’re after good quality performance-oriented coilovers that don’t break the bank, TruHart is your way to go.

They’re designed for lowering springs from the get-go, and they do a fantastic job of improving the car’s handling without making the ride too uncomfortable. Plus, the value proposition is excellent.

Finally, if money is no object, you’re best off with Koni Yellows. They may be pretty expensive, but they’re some of the best high-performance shocks for the Honda Civic that you can get currently, and as well as their compatibility with multiple generations, your Civic can genuinely put on its best race car impression with these shocks.

What are your thoughts on installing shocks and struts instead of coilovers? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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