best cold air intake for chevy cruze
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Best Cold Air Intake for Chevy Cruze Review

As you might’ve already guessed, an air intake system has only one job: to maximize airflow in the engine compartment. That keeps the engine nice and cool during the toughest challenges off the road. The market is full of various options from leading brands, and they all have their pros and cons. So, if you’re not really sure how to find the best cold air intake for Chevy Cruze, this guide will be right up your alley.

Join me, and let’s take a look at my list. I hand-picked three worthy air kits – they will fit the Cruze perfectly and serve you for many years. Check out the comparison table first, consider the best features, and only then move on to the actual reviews. That way, it will be much easier to make the right choice.

Best Chevy Cruze Cold Air Intake (Updated November, 2021)

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Editor’s Choice

AEM 21-744C Cold Air Intake System

1) AEM 21-744C Cold Air Intake System

  • Best Features:
    • Features the company’s trademark Dryflow filter
    • Easily washable and reusable
    • Designed, made, and tested in the US
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Power Increase: 13 HP at 3400 RPM
  • Fits Models: 2011-2016 Chevy Cruze 1.4L Turbo

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Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Desgined to Increase Horsepower and Torque: 2011-2015 CHEVROLET (Cruze)

2) Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit for Chevy Cruze

  • Best Features:
    • Keeps debris from contaminating the engine
    • Available in different colors/styles
    • Backed by a will-not-void warranty
  • Filter Type: Pre-oiled
  • Power Increase: +50% Airflow
  • Fits Models: 2011-2015 Chevy Cruze 1.4L

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K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2017-2019 Chevy Cruze

3) K&N Cold Air Intake for Chevy Cruze

  • Best Features:
    • Improves the towing capabilities, makes the engine roar
    • Available for different Cruze model years
    • Comes with K&N’s ultimate longevity guarantee
  • Filter Type: Pre-oiled
  • Power Increase: +6.4 Hp and 6 lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models: 2017-2019 Chevy Cruze 1.4L
  • Available Options:
    2011-2014 Chevy Cruze 1.8L
    2014-2015 Chevy Cruze 2L

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Best Chevy Cruze Cold Air Intake Review

1. AEM Cold Air Intake for Chevy Cruze

AEM 21-744C Cold Air Intake System

Are you one of those Chevy owners that put ease of use above everything else? If the answer is yes, then I believe AEM’s cold air intake might be a good purchase for you. It is very easy to maintain – wash – and to reuse. You won’t need any extra skills for that. The trademark Dryflow filter, in turn, is this company’s pride and joy. It maximizes filtration, the airflow, and the overall engine performance.

It’s also worth mentioning that this is a US-made product – designed, crafted, and tested in the States. There’s one downside, though: despite the official claim, the filter is oiled. For some people, that is good news, but most pickup drivers prefer oil-free filter media. With this one, you’ll have to do some cleaning before you can start using it.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
4.9
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
The Dryflow filter maximizes the airflow
Very easy to wash/keep clean and reuse
A 100% US-made product
Oiled, despite the manufacturer claiming otherwise

Verdict
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For increasing the airflow, boosting the engine’s performance, and protecting it from overheating, this air filter kit may be a good investment. It’s very easy to clean with soap and water – maintenance won’t take long. Plus, it’s a US-made product that meets strict durability standards. Too bad it’s oiled, even though the company claims it’s not.

2. Spectre Performance Chevy Cruze Cold Air Intake

Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Desgined to Increase Horsepower and Torque: 2011-2015 CHEVROLET (Cruze)

This is the most affordable product on today’s list. With it, you get to choose between several colors and styles, which is always good news. Another standout feature is the market-leading protection against debris. Contaminants are known to find their way into the engine compartment and slowly, but steadily damage the gear. That won’t be a problem with Spectre’s high-performance air intake system.

Last, but not least, the company backs it with a will-not-void warranty. An OE fit, it won’t be hard to install even if you don’t have much experience with aftermarket Chevy parts. The package includes installation instructions, however, they won’t be of much help. The pictures aren’t at all clear, and the guide is a bit too vague. But, again, you’ll be able to handle the whole thing on your own.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
4.8
Mileage
4.9
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
Protects against debris/contaminants
Various color combinations to choose from
Includes a will-not-void warranty
The installation instructions aren’t very helpful

Verdict
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Despite the somewhat odd (and confusing) instructions, this air intake is a safe bet. It is easy to install, features advanced anti-contaminant protection, and includes a generous warranty. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced aftermarket replacement for your Cruze, this might be it.

3. K&N Cold Air Intake for Chevy Cruze

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2017-2019 Chevy Cruze

There’s one big difference between this air intake and the previous two: it’s much more expensive. And the biggest question is – why should you pay a top dollar for it? Well, first of all, it greatly improves the throttle response, which leads to better towing. Secondly, with the K&N kit, the engine starts to sound mighty good. I also want to mention the amazing longevity guarantee.

With this product, you’ll get a 10-year/million-mile warranty deal – that isn’t something you’ll see very often among rivals. The enhanced compatibility with various Chevy Cruze model years is even more reason to consider it.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
4.9
Mileage
4.8
Easy to Install
4.9
Value for Money
5
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
Boosts towing and the engine’s sounds
Compatible with different Cruze model years
Backed by the ultimate longevity guarantee
Not the most affordable option on the market

Verdict
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K&N did an excellent job with this cold air intake. It is reliable, durable, and greatly improves the engine’s performance. Better towing, more HP and torque, and a roaring sound – that’s what you can expect from it. A generous warranty is a part of the deal as well. If only the price was a bit lower!

Conclusion

Planning on upgrading the engine to improve its efficiency, but don’t want to go for something too expensive? You might want to check out some air intake systems then! First of all, they’re relatively affordable and carry good value. Secondly, they can add extra HP, torque, and boost the MPG (miles-per-gallon) ratio. And, most importantly, a decent-quality air kit will significantly prolong the engine’s lifespan.

Today, we checked out some of the finest filters the market has to offer. As always, K&N is one of the obvious leaders and will be a great aftermarket update. Sadly, it’s not particularly cheap. Spectre’s air intake is cheaper, and it makes the engine sound so much better. Finally, AEM’s kit is a US-made product that’s very easy to maintain. Yep, there’s enough to choose from!

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