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Best First Mods For a 10th Gen Honda Civic [2016-2021]

November 20, 2021

 

There's a good chance if you clicked on this blog, you've recently picked up a Honda Civic and have decided to start modifying it. Luckily, the Honda Civic is one of the most supported platforms out there in terms of aftermarket performance and cosmetic parts, so it's not hard to build your dream Civic. 

In fact, the 10th gen Civic is one of our most popular cars for wheels, tires, and suspension here at Fitment Industries. Coincidence? I think not. 

CHECK OUT THE HONDA CIVIC GALLERY

Whether you picked up a new Civic or you're ready to start throwing money at your long-time daily driver Civic, this best first mods guide will provide a solid foundation for both performance and cosmetic parts.

A white Honda Civic outside a Honda dealership

2017 Honda Civic EX | Enkei RPF1 17x7.5 +48 | Hankook 112v Xl 215/45 

Quick Links:

- Best Cosmetic Mods for a 10th Gen Civic

- Best 10th Gen Honda Civic Performance Parts 

    - New Rubber

   - Cold Air Intake

   - Exhausts

    - Downpipe

    - Bigger Front Mount Intercooler 

    - "Tuning" It Up a Notch

- Final Thoughts: Mods for Your Honda Civic

 

CHECK OUT EARLY BLACK FRIDAY DEALS HERE!

 

A silver 2018 Honda Civic Sport Touring running Artisa ArtFormed Elder 18x9.5 +35 with Continental Extremecontact Dws06 Plus 235/40 and H&R Lowering Springs

2018 Honda Civic Sport Touring | Artisa ArtFormed Elder 18x9.5 +35 | Continental Extremecontact Dws06 Plus 235/40 | H&R Lowering Springs

 

 

Best Cosmetic Mods for a 10th Gen Civic 

If you just picked up a 2016 to 2021 Honda Civic, some of the first mods you'll be inclined to pick up change the look of your Civic, like window tint, underglow, carbon fiber pieces, headlights, and taillights, etc. 

Most of these mods are very much a personal preference and are generally scattered across the board, so I'm not going to go in-depth about these parts. 

However, a few mods that ride the line of being both cosmetic and performance mods are wheels and suspension.

 

A light blue modified Honda Civic Type R cruising down the highway running Rays Engineering 57dr 18x9.5 +38 wrapped in Yokohama Advan Apex V601 265/35 and Swift Springs Lowering Springs

2020 Honda Civic Type R | Rays Engineering 57dr 18x9.5 +38 | Yokohama Advan Apex V601 265/35 | Swift Springs Lowering Springs

New Wheels *wheel slap* (duh)

I first want to note that we're talking about wheels or….rims. Yes, if you call them rims, it's okay, even though some enthusiasts consider using the word "rims" a sin against the car community. 

Moving on, a new set of wheels is arguably the best first mod you can make that not only improves the appearance of your ride but can also have a performance benefit if you pick up some lightweight, track-focused wheels.

 

EXPLORE WHEELS FOR YOUR HONDA CIVIC HERE

 

Luckily, we have an in-depth blog that breaks down 10th gen Civic wheel fitment, so I'd highly recommend giving that blog a read as well. 

 

READ: HONDA CIVIC WHEEL FITMENT GUIDE

 

A blue 2019 Honda Civic Si with Rays Engineering 57xtreme Gramlights 18x9.5 +40 wrapped in Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 265/35 and riding on D2 Racing Coilovers

2019 Honda Civic Si | Rays Engineering 57xtreme Gramlights 18x9.5 +40 | Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 265/35 | D2 Racing Coilovers

At the end of the day, your wheel choice will depend on your personal preference in style. You'll only really want to care about the performance benefits of a set of wheels if you plan on tracking your Civic pretty frequently. 

In that case, we have another blog that breaks down wheel weight. 

 

READ: DOES WHEEL WEIGHT MATTER?

 

A shot of a Michelin tire wrapped in a Enkei TS6 wheel on a Honda Civic Type R

2021 Honda Civic Type R | Enkei T6S 18x9.5 +35 | Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S 255/40 | Stock Suspension

Hard Cornering

Upgrading your suspension is another modification that rides the line of being both a cosmetic and performance modification.

Lowering a car looks great, but it also provides a lower center of gravity and, thus, better handling, so it's another win-win kind of mod. 

 

EXPLORE SUSPENSION UPGRADES FOR YOUR CIVIC

 

A wheel and tire shot on a Honda Civic Type R running Rays Engineering Wheels and Yokohama tires

2020 Honda Civic Type R | Rays Engineering 57dr 18x9.5 +38 | Yokohama Advan Apex V601 265/35 | Swift Springs Lowering Springs

Your build type and driving style will determine the type of suspension you should upgrade to. 

If your Civic is going to be a fun daily driver that you take to an occasional track day and car meet, you could throw on some lowering springs or coilovers.

If you care more about the look of your car rather than its handling, lowering springs will suit you best. They're much cheaper than coilovers and have a simple install. 

 

READ: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO COILOVERS

 

A rear shot of a highly modified light blue Honda Civic Type R

2020 Honda Civic Type R | Rays Engineering 57dr 18x9.5 +38 | Yokohama Advan Apex V601 265/35 | Swift Springs Lowering Springs

If your Civic sees more track days or you care about the handling, coilovers are definitely the way to go because of their adjustability. 

On the end of the spectrum, if your Civic is going to be a stance build, you could do lowering springs to achieve the lowered look. However, if you have the budget, most dedicated stance builds are riding on air suspension

 

CHECK OUT AIR SUSPENSION FOR YOUR CIVIC

 

A white, highly modified Honda Civic Type R on the track running Rays Engineering Ze40 19x9.5 +45 and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S 255/35 and Lowering Springs

2020 Honda Civic Type R | Rays Engineering Ze40 19x9.5 +45 | Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S 255/35 | Lowering Springs

Another important modification to improve cornering (if that's your goal) is a sway bar.

Upgrading your rear sway bar to a thicker, aftermarket sway bar offers more grip because it more evenly distributes the weight under cornering. This would be an advantageous upgrade if you plan to hit the autocross track regularly. 

Additionally, upgrading your suspension bushings will help stiffen things up even more. Since you'll be upgrading your suspension assembly and rear sway bar anyways, you might as well upgrade your bushings, too. 

 

READ: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO COILOVERS

 

A light blue modified Honda Civic Type R cruising down the highway running Rays Engineering 57dr 18x9.5 +38 wrapped in Yokohama Advan Apex V601 265/35 and Swift Springs Lowering Springs

2020 Honda Civic Type R | Rays Engineering 57dr 18x9.5 +38 | Yokohama Advan Apex V601 265/35 | Swift Springs Lowering Springs

 

 

 

 

Best 10th Gen Honda Civic Performance Parts 

Now on to the fun, go-fast car parts! Well, some of these car parts won't actually make you go faster, but they'll help support your power output. 

Thankfully, our friends over at MAPerformance have loads of performance parts and expertise on this platform, so you know where to go when you're ready to start building your Civic.

 

A front of a modified Honda Civic Type R running Rays Engineering 57dr 18x9.5 +38 wrapped in Yokohama Advan Apex V601 265/35 and Swift Springs Lowering Springs

2020 Honda Civic Type R | Rays Engineering 57dr 18x9.5 +38 | Yokohama Advan Apex V601 265/35 | Swift Springs Lowering Springs

Not to brag or anything, but MAP set an instantly impressive World Record for the quickest 1/4 mile pass in their built 10th Gen Civic Si 1.5T (10.80 @ 131.56), so they know a thing or two about building a 10th gen Civic. 

 

CHECK OUT THE HONDA CIVIC GALLERY

 

MAPerformance's World Record 1/4 mile pass in their 10th Gen Civic Si 1.5T 10.80 @131.56.

 

New Rubber

An obvious but necessary upgrade to make on any car is a good set of tires. Tires are the most underrated car upgrades you can make because they're not a "looks" modification, they're purely a function modification and are part of any car's regular maintenance routine. 

Unless you picked up your Civic with a new set of all-season or summer tires, chances are you may need to replace them soon. 

 

EXPLORE TIRES FOR YOUR HONDA CIVIC

 

A red 2020 Honda Civic Si with AVID1 Av6 18x8.5 +35 wrapped in Goodyear Eagle Sport AS 235/40 and riding on D2 Racing Air Suspension

2020 Honda Civic Si | AVID1 Av6 18x8.5 +35 | Goodyear Eagle Sport AS 235/40 | D2 Racing Air Suspension

The tires you choose will depend on your driving habits. If you plan on participating in autocross, check your class's tire restrictions and plan accordingly. 

If you're daily driving, Michelin and Continental are some of the most popular brands we work with and happen to be the couple brands that a lot of Civics in our gallery are running. 

 

BUILD A WHEEL AND TIRE PACKAGE HERE

 

If you're going for a stance build and want some stretchy bois, find a tire that has soft sidewalls that are easy to stretch. I'd suggest checking out the gallery for some build/tire inspiration. 

Regardless, don't underestimate a good set of tires. Tires are the only thing that connects your car to the pavement, so it's worth investing in.

 

A wheel shot of a AVID1 AV6 on a A red 2020 Honda Civic Si wrapped in Goodyear Eagle Sport AS 235/40 and riding on D2 Racing Air Suspension

2020 Honda Civic Si | AVID1 Av6 18x8.5 +35 | Goodyear Eagle Sport AS 235/40 | D2 Racing Air Suspension

 

Cold Air Intake

An easy modification to start with on your 10th gen is a cold air intake.

A cold air intake does just what the name suggests—it brings in colder air to your engine due to its optimal placement in your engine bay.

Stock intakes are often exposed to warm air that radiates from your engine, and remember, cold air is denser and thus better for combustion than warm air.  However, a cold air intake is placed away from the warm corners of your engine, so it's exposed to cold air rushing underneath your car. 

 

CHECK OUT INTAKES FOR A 10TH GEN

 

A 2020 Honda Civic Si with Enkei Tm7 18x9.5 +38 wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport A/s 3 Plus 265/35 with Eibach Lowering Springs

2020 Honda Civic Si | Enkei TM7 18x9.5 +38 | Michelin Pilot Sport A/s 3 Plus 265/35 | Eibach Lowering Springs

Additionally, most aftermarket intakes will have a wider diameter filter and housing, allowing more air to pass through your MAF and into your engine. 

Wait, did I mention the cool intake noises, too? That's a huge plus. 

 

A silver modified Honda Civic running Artisa ArtFormed Wheels and Continental tires

2018 Honda Civic Sport Touring | Artisa ArtFormed Elder 18x9.5 +35 | Continental Extremecontact Dws06 Plus 235/40 | H&R Lowering Springs

While there isn't a noticeable horsepower gain from an intake (debatable, I know, I know), intakes generally require a tune so your car can adapt to sucking in more cold air. 

It depends on the intake you get and the other modifications you add, but research the intake you go with to make the best decision.

 

A grey modified 2018 Honda Civic EX with ADV1 Av20 18x9.5 +38 wrapped in Achilles All Season 245/40 and riding on Stock Suspension

2018 Honda Civic EX | ADV1 Av20 18x9.5 +38 | Achilles All Season 245/40 | Stock Suspension

As I previously mentioned, our friends over at MAPerformance carry tons of performance parts for the 10th gen platform, including intakes.

One of their most popular cold air intakes is the PRL Motorsports "Cobra" cold air intake. This intake has two different MAP housing options, their Street housing, and the Race housing—both utilizing the OEM MAF sensor. 

MAPerformance also carries cold air intakes from popular brands like Injen, Mishimoto, HKS, HPS, Weapon R, and more. 

 

EXPLORE INTAKES AT MAPERFORMANCE

 

Photo from MAPerformance.com

 

Exhausts

One of my favorite upgrades for this platform (every platform, really) is an aftermarket exhaust system.

Similar to an intake, an aftermarket exhaust serves several purposes outside of the cool noises.

An exhaust is another piece of the puzzle to improving your engine's breathing. Factory exhausts can be restrictive due to emissions testing, so you lose the optimal flow of exhaust gases that an aftermarket exhaust is meant to improve. 

 

EXPLORE EXHAUSTS FOR YOUR CIVIC

 

A red 2016 Honda Civic LX with AVID1 Av6 18x8.5 +35 wrapped in Kumho Ecsta 4x Ii 225/40 and Tein Coilovers

2016 Honda Civic LX | AVID1 Av6 18x8.5 +35 | Kumho Ecsta 4x Ii 225/40 | Tein Coilovers

There are a couple types of exhaust systems to choose from, including an axel back or a catback. 

If you want to modify the sound of your Civic but have a smaller budget, an axel back is your best option. If you have performance in mind, a catback will better suit your performance needs. 

 

A red 2016 Honda Civic LX with AVID1 Av6 18x8.5 +35 wrapped in Kumho Ecsta 4x Ii 225/40 and Tein Coilovers

2016 Honda Civic LX | AVID1 Av6 18x8.5 +35 | Kumho Ecsta 4x Ii 225/40 | Tein Coilovers

A popular catback exhaust that MAPerformance has on hand is the Magnaflow Street series catback.

MAPerformance also carries the HKS LEGAMAX Catback exhaust that offers a 50% reduction in exhaust back-pressure. These are both perfect options for a performance-oriented Civic.

 

Photo from MAPerformance.com

 

Downpipe

After picking up an intake and exhaust, it only makes sense to grab a downpipe to complete the flow. 

Upgrading the stock downpipe to a less restrictive downpipe helps the built-up pressure from your exhaust gasses easily escape through your axel back or catback exhaust. 

Two things to keep in mind when upgrading your downpipe and exhaust are your state's sound level and emission laws. Some states are less stringent than others when it comes to any car modifications, but make sure you're at least aware of your state's laws before making such modifications.

 

EXPLORE DOWNPIPES FOR YOUR CIVIC

 

A blue 2019 Honda Civic Si with Rays Engineering 57xtreme Gramlights 18x9.5 +40 wrapped in Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 265/35 and riding on D2 Racing Coilovers

2019 Honda Civic Si | Rays Engineering 57xtreme Gramlights 18x9.5 +40 | Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 265/35 | D2 Racing Coilovers

Again, our buddies over at MAPerformance are coming in clutch—pun intended—with another part for the 10th gen. MAP has their very own catted downpipe for the 1.5T Civic and Civic Si using 304 stainless steel. 

 

MAPerformance Front Pipe | 2016+ Honda Civic X 1.5T | Photo from MAPerformance.com

 

 

Bigger Front Mount Intercooler 

After you've made your Civic's engine breathe better, it's time to make sure its cooling system is up to par. This means upgrading your front mount intercooler. 

The stock intercooler on the 10th gen Civic works well if you're going to leave your Civic just as it was when it left the dealership lot, but judging by the fact that you're reading this blog, that's not the case. 

If you plan to push any more power to the pavement in the future, this is another advantageous modification to make. 

 

CHECK OUT COOLING SYSTEM UPGRADES HERE

 

2018 Honda Civic Sport Touring | Artisa ArtFormed Elder 18x9.5 +35 | Continental Extremecontact Dws06 Plus 235/40 | H&R Lowering Springs

 

"Tuning" It Up a Notch

Once you've stockpiled all of these parts, a new tune is essential.

You can't expect to see some decent power gains or expect your engine to run efficiently without a tune that supports your new modifications. A comprehensive tuning package will let you take full advantage of these mods and manipulate things like boost, fuel, and timing. And who wouldn't want to do that?

 

EXPLORE TUNING OPTIONS AT MAPERFORMANCE

 

A white modified Honda Civic Type R on the track!

2020 Honda Civic Type R | Rays Engineering Ze40 19x9.5 +45 | Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S 255/35 | Lowering Springs

The KTuner Flash V2 Touch is the tuning package for the 10th gen Civic and is exactly what MAP used for their world record-setting Honda Civic as well. 

This tuning package includes three starter maps that allow quick adjustments to fine-tune your throttle response, partial throttle boost response, and your turbo spool.

*cue the boost noises*

 

MAPerformance world record setting 10th gen Honda Civic in the shop on the dyno

MAPerformance's World Record 1/4 mile pass in their 10th Gen Civic Si 1.5T 10.80 @131.56.

The other popular tuning package out there for the 1.5T Civic is the Hondata using its FlashPro tuning module. Again, this tuning program lets you manipulate boost, fuel, and timing to bring out your Civic's full potential. 

 

 

Final Thoughts: Mods for Your Honda Civic

Before you start giving everyone your CC number, nail down what type of build you're going for—A stanced Honda Civic? A track Honda Civic? A fun daily driving Honda Civic? 

Once you've determined what type of build you're going for, you can start to pick up mods on this list that make sense for your build. 

If you're still not sure where to start, wheels, tires, and suspension are STAPLE modifications for any car and any building type. 

Start with those three modifications and go from there. 

 

START BUILDING YOUR HONDA CIVIC HERE

 

A super clean dark grey Honda Civic Type R running ESR Sr08 19x9.5 +35 wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport A/s 4 255/35 and Lowering Springs

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