best cold air intake for honda civic
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Best Cold Air Intake for Honda Civic Review

Did you know that the Civic nameplate is almost five decades old? That’s right: it was first introduced to the world back in 1972! Over the years, the Honda engineers have improved the original concept of a middle-class oriented family hauler. So, nobody expects this car to be an off-roading champ or a high-performance vehicle. And that won’t change even if you install the best cold air intake for Honda Civic.

You will, however, gain better acceleration, more control over the road, and improved mileage. Plus, the engine will start to growl and roar, especially on low RPM. More importantly, the advanced air filtration system will prevent overheating and debris from damaging the engine. After a month of hands-on testing, I picked the following two air kits for the Civic – check them out!

Best Cold Air Intake for Honda Civic (Updated July, 2021)

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Editor’s Choice

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

1) K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Honda Civic

  • Best Features:
    • Improves acceleration, fuel efficiency, and the engine sounds
    • Available for a wide range of Civic model years
    • Backed by K&N’s ultimate longevity guarantee
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Power Increase: 5.7 HP and 5.2 lbs x ft of Torque
  • Fits Models:
    2001-2006 Honda Civic 1/6/1.7L
    2006-2011 Honda Civic 1.8L
    2016-2019 Honda Civic 1.5L
    2006-2019 Honda Civic 2.0L

2001-2006 1.6L/1.7

2006-2011 1.8L

2006-2011 2.0L

2016-2019 1.5L

2016-2019 2.0L

AEM 22-401R Red Short Ram Intake System

2) AEM 22-401R Red Short Ram Intake System for Honda Civic

  • Best Features:
    • Aerodynamic intake design for maximum performance
    • Dyno-tested for a perfect fit with no tuning/calibration
    • One of the least expensive aftermarket air kits
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Fits Models: 1992-2000 Honda Civic 1.6L

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Best Honda Civic Cold Air Intake Review

1. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Honda Civic

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

With K&N, you won’t have to worry about any fitment/compatibility issues, as this company covers a really long list of Civics (2001 to 2019). And, thanks to the trademark longevity warranty, you’ll always be able to get a replacement if need be. It guarantees up to ten years or ten-million miles of service in the harshest conditions. On the performance side of things, this cold air intake kit is a worthy pick as well.

You can expect to get more miles per gallon, which, in the long run, will turn out to be quite beneficial. Plus, thanks to the substantial improvements in the throttle response, the car will take a lot less time to start. Sadly, the gains in HP (horsepower) and torque aren’t that big. But, since Civic has never been a big race-track competitor, that’s a rather minor con.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Boosts mileage, throttle response, and engine sound
Covers a long list of Civic cars (2001-2019)
Packs a ten-year/ten-million mile warranty deal
Doesn’t provide any noticeable HP gains

Verdict
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K&N’s engineers did an amazing job with this air intake system. It improves Civic’s powertrain in many different ways, including mileage, acceleration, and control. And while the HP gains are next to none, that’s well-compensated by the excellent warranty and extended compatibility.

2. AEM Short Ram Honda Civic Intake System

AEM 22-401R Red Short Ram Intake System

Moving on to the second third-party cold air intake on the list, let me tell you a bit about what AEM has to offer. Its biggest selling point is, of course, the affordable price-tag. It’s available at a very cheap price and comes in three different colors. In addition, every single filter goes through meticulous dyno testing. As a result, we get an easy, effortless installation that doesn’t require any calibration or tuning on the user’s end.

Add an aerodynamic intake tube design for an uninterrupted airflow, and you’ll see why I decided to put this air intake next to K&N. Designed and crafted in the US, 22-401R will be a safe bet for most drivers looking to get a reliable, efficient, yet low-budget replacement air kit. There’s one downside, though: the sizzling sound. It usually appears when you go over 3,000 RPM. It’s not that annoying, but still, can be an issue on the road.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
4.9
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
4.9
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Aerodynamic intake for smooth airflow
Dyno-tested: doesn’t require any tuning to work
Comes at an affordable price
Makes a “hissing” sound on 3K+ RPM

Verdict
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If you’re ready to tolerate the hissing sounds this cold air intake makes on high RPMs, you’ll be rewarded with a highly capable system. Affordable, easy to install, and with a super-smooth airflow, it will make sure to protect your Civic from trouble on the road and give it a nice “kick” in terms of performance.

Conclusion

As I mentioned in the beginning, Honda Civic isn’t a performance-oriented vehicle. It’s a compact slash mid-size car with a strong focus on comfort, safety, affordability, and good looks. But that doesn’t mean an aftermarket air intake for it will be a waste of money. On the contrary: to keep the price tag low, Honda didn’t put much effort into the powertrain.

Therefore, with a decent air kit, you’ll instantly feel improvements in acceleration and MPG (miles per gallon). A roaring engine sound will come as a bonus. K&N’s system is all about maximizing efficiency, while AEM is one of the most affordable options for the Civic. So, don’t rush yourself, and only commit to any of these cold air intakes when you’re 100% confident in your choice. Happy driving!

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