CHEAP VS EXPENSIVE COILOVERS
December 13, 2019
So, you want to replace the suspension in your car. You want to be like the cool kids with their lowered Civics but you don’t know how much you need to spend to attain your street cred. Well, it so happens that today we will be going over this very subject!
Like with anything on the market that has both a cheap and expensive option, there are always questions about if the cheap option is really a good value or just “you get what you pay for”.
Then for the expensive side, you get questions relating to if the item is an overpriced shiny toy with a brand logo that adds quite a few numbers to the price.
Here are a couple lowered cars from our gallery that use coilover suspension
Tein Street Basis Z: $500-$700 dollars
Tein has a ton of coilover kits covering pretty much everything from cheap, simple kits to expensive “hardcore” kits. Their kits are also specific to the region they sell in which enables them to meet the needs of that region; just a nice little fun fact there.
The Street Basis Z is going to be one of the most affordable coilover kits you’ll find. For getting into tuning this is going to be a kit that eases you into the world of custom suspension with its low price.
What does $500 get you for a coilover kit? Well, in simple terms; the basics.
The good news is that for most people this is going to satisfy their need for lowering their car and increasing the handling. It does provide damper compression rebound adjustment but overall, it’s a very A to B sort of kit.
Many times, that is what a lot of people are looking for. It’s a good, quality kit; just simple is all.
Another big note is that you can get replacement parts quite quickly since Tein is pretty much everywhere globally. We will be going over why this is a big deal when talking about the ultra-expensive super-premium deluxe kit.
KW V2: $1600-$2000+
Oh wow, that’s a big ol’ price gap, isn’t it? This is exactly why this is such an interesting topic; is it worth selling a kidney for suspension? It depends on who you are.
KW is involved in serious professional track racing, so it comes to no surprise that their suspension would be top-notch with the adjustability to get the absolute most out of any track car.
The KW V2, in particular, is packed with a metric ton of features. It’s composite spring seated, it has rebound adjustability, and it’s...dirt insensitive? Well, ok then. It really is everything including the kitchen sink.
You know those racing simulators where you fire up a tuning menu and there are a million different options that only the really hardcore players ever bother with? That’s kinda who this is for, but for real cars.
They use a 7-post driving dynamic testing machine, sounds fancy and it happens to be VERY fancy too! Fancy enough that adds a pretty penny to their products. These machines are used by high-end racing teams and they are extremely expensive which is why the cost is transferred over to the cost of the suspension. Due to this high-end testing of their products they come out extremely high quality and are some of the best for performance-based driving.
The bad news about KW is that since they are based in Germany, repairs/replacement parts will take weeks to come in. That’s a really long time to wait to drive your car; especially when it’s summer, 3 weeks is a big chunk of the best time for street driving.
Which one should you buy? Depends on your needs
The pricing for these two kits is mainly separated by their customization. If you are just looking to have a lower car with quality suspension then the Tein Street Basis Z is perfect for this usage.
If you are ultra-serious about adjusting every single little detail to get the most out of your car then that’s where the KW V2 comes in.
You are paying for the extensive features and testing KW brings to the table. If you are looking at the list of things you can do with this coilover kit and it’s stuff you do not care about, you are going to save a lot of money by running the other way and picking up something substantially cheaper.
In the end, the expensive option isn’t an overpriced shiny toy and the cheaper option isn’t plasticky nonsense that will fall apart in the first corner. The choice comes down to what features you need and how much you can spend.