best cold air intake for mazda
Mazda

Best Cold Air Intake for Mazda Review

If you want to change the way your Mazda sounds, gain extra HP and torque, and, most importantly, increases the airflow, you’ll need an air intake. I’m talking about aftermarket intake kits that were specifically designed to maximize the filtration and flow of air inside of the engine compartment. That eliminates the risk of overheating, and – again – improves the overall performance. Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 are incredibly popular these days.

That means it won’t be a problem to get replacement gear for these vehicles. But how do you find the best cold air intake for Mazda? The market is, indeed, overwhelmed by numerous offers, and they all claim to be perfect. Well, that’s why you have me! The following list includes just the right picks for both “3” and “6” – go ahead and take a look!

Best Cold Air Intake for Mazda 3 (Updated December, 2020)

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Editor’s Choice

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2011-2013 MAZDA (3)

1) K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Mazda 3

  • Best Features:
    • Oversized, conical-shaped air filter for maximum performance
    • Superior to the OEM system in terms of anti-contaminant protection
    • Quiet on highways, roaring upon acceleration
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Power Increase: 5.58 HP and 4.28lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models: 2011-2018 Mazda 3

2011-2013

2013-2018

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Mazda 3

1. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Mazda 3

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2011-2013 MAZDA (3)

Thanks to the larger-than-life filter design, this air intake kit will serve you for many years. Plus, the oversized conical shape allows for more airflow, which means your engine will be safeguarded from overheating. And let’s not forget how good K&N is when it comes to protection against debris and dust. The filtration system consists of thousands of cotton fibers that keep all types of contaminants at bay, acting as a shield.

On top of that, you’ll be impressed by the new sound characteristics. This cold air intake makes Mazda 3 sound like a performance car when you hit the pedal. But once you reach optimal RPM, the noises dial down, ensuring a smooth, quiet ride. As for the downsides – without a really long screwdriver, it may be a bit tricky to mount the heat shield to the engine. Other than that, K&N did a wonderful job with this aftermarket gear.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Oversized filter design – increases the service life
Excellent protection against debris/dust
Makes Mazda 3 sound like a race car upon acceleration
May be hard to mount the heat shield

Verdict
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Looks good, performs flawlessly, and protects the engine from contamination – that’s the K&N air intake system in short for you. And while you might have some minor problems with mounting the heat shield, overall, installation is very easy and straightforward. Besides, the roaring engine sounds compensate for all of that.

Best Cold Air Intake for Mazda 6 (Updated December, 2020)

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Editor’s Choice

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2009-2013 MAZDA (6)

1) K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Mazda 6

  • Best Features:
    • Specifically engineered for an easy fitment
    • Premium-grade aerodynamic tube ensures a guaranteed HP boost
    • Impressive construction and material quality
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Power Increase: 5.7 HP and 7.7lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models: 2009-2018 Mazda 6

2009-2013

2013-2018

AEM 21-779C Cold Air Intake System

2) AEM 21-779C Cold Air Intake System

  • Best Features:
    • Blocks hot engine air and keeps cool air around
    • Features a top-notch synthetic-media filter
    • Made in the USA and dyno-tested
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Fits Models: 2014-2017 Mazda 6

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Best Mazda 6 Cold Air Intake Review

1. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Mazda 6

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2009-2013 MAZDA (6)

Compared to Mazda 3, it’s “bigger brother”, Mazda 6, is larger, stronger, and requires more air filtration to work properly. So, if you’re looking to replace the stock system with something more efficient, K&N has got you covered. One of its biggest selling points: the engineers specifically designed it to be an easy fit. That eliminates any compatibility issues during the installation (the whole thing won’t take you more than an hour).

Another big pro is the aerodynamic tube. It’s crafted from premium-grade materials and significantly improves performance (HP, torque, up-hill performance, and acceleration). It’s safe to say that every single part of this air intake kit is of the highest quality. Sadly, the price-tag isn’t at all affordable: to get this “royal treatment” from K&N, you’ll need to pay a top dollar. As a long-term investment, it will be a good purchase, though.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Specifically designed to fit Mazda 6 perfectly
Top-notch aerodynamic tube maximizes performance
Market-leading build and material quality
One of the most expensive air intake kits

Verdict
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This is a rather expensive aftermarket cold air intake system. If you’re looking for something cheap, just skip to the next product on the list. On the other hand, the fans of market-leading build/material quality, easy fitment, and reliability might consider it for their Mazda 6. So, it’s a matter of having the budget and being able to spend it.

2. AEM 21-779C Mazda 6 Cold Air Intake System

AEM 21-779C Cold Air Intake System

This cold air intake is all about productivity at a reasonable price. It features weather stripping that keeps the air around the filter nice and cool. The heat shield, in turn, blocks hot engine air, and that results in highly efficient air filtration. However, don’t expect any big gains in HP/torque, or acceleration. During my review, I didn’t notice any significant improvements in mileage either.

Now, it’s a dry filter, and it won’t take you much time or effort to remove, wash, and reinstall it. It’s also important to mention that AEM designed, produced, and dyno-tested this air intake system in the US. That means it was “fine-tuned” for optimal performance on the American streets. One last thing: it won’t be necessary to do any calibration on your Mazda’s computer: just install the air kit, and hit the road!

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
4.9
Value for Money
4.9
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Weather-stripping + heat shield for efficiency
The filter is easy to remove and wash (no oil required)
Designed, manufactured, and dyno-tested in the States
No noticeable fuel efficiency improvements

Verdict
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Despite the modest gains in terms of performance (HP torque), the AEM air intake system will be a good purchase. The affordable price, quality parts, and clean installation instructions are enough reason to pick it over the competition.

Conclusion

Mazda 3 is a compact car, while Mazda 6 is a “mid-sizer”. Both vehicles are stylish, relatively affordable, and boast good looks. Mazda is known for its exceptional line-up of engines and transmissions: they perform greatly on highways, on city streets, and even off the road. There’s always room for improvement, though, and if you want to protect the powertrain from breakdowns, consider investing in an aftermarket air intake kit.

Today, I introduced you to three market-leading cold air intake systems – one for Mazda 3, and two for 6. As I mentioned in the beginning, along with improved airflow, you can also expect to get a boost in horsepower and torque plus more satisfying, “manly” engine sounds. If you still have some questions about these air intakes, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments!

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