The Honda Civic is an amazing car for so many different reasons. It’s efficient, light-weight, fun, sporty, and the list could go on. Civics might not be all-out performance cars, but they deliver plenty for most. For the others, a few simple upgrades can really take the Honda Civic to the next level. Among the best upgrades include suspension and specifically a good set of coilovers. In this guide, we discuss some of the best Honda Civic coilovers along with benefits, costs, and more.
*A lot of the information in this guide applies to all Honda Civics. Our primary focus is on 8th, 9th, and 10th gen Civic coilovers. As such, when it comes to specific products and fitment that info may only apply to 2006-2021+ Civic’s. Otherwise, much of what we discuss in this article applies to just about any Honda Civic.
Civic Coilovers – The Basics
Before jumping into the bulk of this article it’s important to discuss the basics. What the heck are coilovers? What’s the difference between shocks, struts, and coilovers? How do springs tie into this? These are all understandable questions. Suspension upgrades can be confusing since so many words may be used interchangeably.
Worry not, though. We’ll cover these basics and then move onto slightly more advanced topics. Once this info is out of the way it becomes easier to know what you’re looking for in Civic suspension upgrades.
Honda Shocks vs Struts vs Coilovers
To summarize, all of these suspension components are shocks (also known as shock absorbers). Shocks are essentially hydraulic pumps that help dampen impacts and rebound movements. They’re known as struts when the coil spring is actually mounted on the shock with the coil spring collar.
Coilovers are the same as struts, but they allow for adjustable spring location. The coil spring collar can be moved up and down on the shock absorber. This is what allows coilovers to actually adjust the ride height of a Honda Civic.
Civic Coil Springs
Next up are the coil springs. Again, with struts and coilovers the springs are actually wrapping around the shock absorber. The spring is actually the part that holds the entire weight of the Honda Civic. That’s contrary to popular belief as many assume it’s the actual shock or strut that holds the weight.
The springs are actually one of the most important aspects to Civic suspension upgrades. Springs are what keep the car from bottoming out. They also control body roll when cornering, accelerating, and braking. There’s a lot more to springs and we’ll talk about that in the coming sections.
Benefits Of Honda Civic Coilovers
There are a lot of things you can do with the right set of coilovers. How do you know what Honda Civic coilovers are best for you, though? This all depends on goals, budget, driving conditions, roads, and a lot more. Let’s talk about some of the possible benefits of coilover upgrades before diving into the rest.
A few benefits of Civic coilovers include:
- Lower ride height
- Better handling
- Smoother ride
- Replace old/worn suspension
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a few big upsides to Civic suspension mods. One big aspect of coilovers is the ability to lower ride height. This can range anywhere from about 1-3″ drops for most kits while others may allow you to lower 3-4″+.
Improved handling is a big reason many decide to upgrade to Honda Civic coilovers. This is where dampening, spring rates, and other factors are important though. A poor coilover setup can actually hurt handling; more on that later.
Many associate suspension upgrades with a harsher ride quality. Don’t get us wrong – this is often the case. That’s especially true if you want max performance and/or a stiffer setup. However, a quality coilover kit with the right specs can actually offer better handling and comfort.
Lastly, springs and shocks are wear and tear parts. They might still work fine after 10 years and 100,000+ miles. However, it’s unlikely they’re delivering the same ride and handling quality. If you can find a set of coilovers for the right price why not take the opportunity to upgrade old, worn suspension?
Honda Civic Coilover Spring Rates
Spring rates are one of the most important topics here. This measures the amount of weight required to compress the spring 1 inch. You’ll see this stated as 400 lbs/in, for example. In other words, it takes 400 pounds to compress the spring 1″. There’s also the metric system, which goes by kg/mm.
Anyways, the higher the number the stiffer the spring. Stiffer does NOT always mean better handling. That is especially true on less smooth roads. However, if you’re dropping your ride height on coilovers then you do generally need stiffer springs. Going too soft and lowering your Civic too much can cause the chassis to bottom out on the bump stops.
In essence, higher spring rates are good when lowering the car and for smoother road surfaces. They do sacrifice ride comfort, though. Softer spring rates are good for comfort and bumpier roads at the cost of additional body roll.
Choosing The Right Coilovers
There isn’t always a perfect answer here. Figuring out the best spring rates and dampening takes a lot of R&D, testing, and calculations. Even then, road conditions and other factors affect what’s the best spring rate on any given day. As such, it’s best to let the coilover manufacturers come up with the ideal spring rates for each car.
It’s still important to pay attention to spring rates. If you’re looking for OE-style comfort you’ll want something with lower spring rates. Those looking to lower their Honda Civic will likely want to opt for higher spring rate kits. Of course, you can also take the middle ground options.
Really high spring rates typically don’t help handling on the streets. That’s because most streets aren’t perfectly flat and smooth. However, track cars typically use these higher spring rates. On smooth tracks you want high spring rates to minimize weight transfer and body roll.
Best Honda Civic Coilovers Upgrade
Alright. With the background info out of the way let’s jump into some of the best coilover upgrades for the Civic. Again, our main focus is on 8th, 9th, and 10th gen Civic coilovers. These models span from 2006 to the present day. Many of the coilover brands we mention will also fit older Civics. Exact fitment varies, so be sure to double check.
That said, plenty of great coilover upgrades exist for the Honda Civic. The below is by no means an exhaustive list. However, they’re a few Civic coilovers that we believe offer the best balance depending on goals and budget.
1) Civic Raceland Coilovers Upgrade
Tier: Entry-level street or stance
Lowering: 1-3″ Classic, 2-4″ Ultimo
Buy Here: Raceland Honda Civic Coilovers (available for all 1992+ Civics)
When it comes to entry level street coilovers it’s tough to find an option better than Raceland. Many people rant and rave about Honda Civic coilovers from Raceland at this price point. No, they’re not the best coilovers for comfort, handling, etc. However, they do exactly what they’re intended to do.
They are simply quality, entry-level coilovers at an amazing price from a company with great customer service. What more can you realistically ask for at this price? Unless you’re looking to take a pretty big jump up to $800+ it’s tough to beat Raceland. These Civic coilovers get the job done on a budget.
Choose between the Classic coilovers for $419 with 1-3″ lowering capability, or the Ultimo kit at $449 with 2-4″ of drop. The options are excellent with these lowering ranges. Stick with the classic coilovers unless you’re looking to stance your Honda. They have slightly softer spring rates, which is the better choice for modest street setups.
2) Honda Civic BC Racing Coils
Tier: Mid-level street or stance
BC Racing is entering the $1,000+ price point, but that’s standard for the extra features. These coilovers add the ability to adjust damping. This allows you to easily change the compression and rebound characteristics of the shocks. It’s a feature that you’re not going to see often on cheaper Honda Civic coilovers.
With up to 3″ of lowering these can still function as a good option for stancing. Though, if stance is the ultimate goal then you might as well save the money and go with the Raceland for less than half the price. The BC Racing Civic coilovers are a good option for those who want some adjustability and a better mid-tier street suspension offering.
3) Honda KW V1 & V3 Coilover Kit
Tier: Moderate street to entry track
Price: ~$1,200 – 1,500 (V1) or $2,400+ (V3)
If you’re familiar with coilovers you likely know KW. They offer coilover kits from mild street use all the way to full-blown track cars. You also have to pay a premium for their brand name and proven products. The KW Variant 1 (V1) is their modest setup, which starts around $1,200 for the Civic. It might seem expensive compared to the previous Raceland coils. However, this is still a moderate price for mid-top tier street coilovers.
Civic coilovers can get very expensive depending on what you’re looking for. You can also find KW V3 coilovers for the Civic. These are top tier street coilovers that also function well for entry track use. You’ll be shelling out about $2,400 to get some V3’s, though.
Anyways, if you want a really nice set of Civic coilovers look no further than KW. They’re certainly one of the most well known brands, and have a great reputation. KW would be our first choice if we had a moderate budget.
4) Civic Type R Ohlins Coilovers
Tier: Track purpose
Ohlins is a big name when it comes to really high-end track coilovers. Unfortunately, they only make them for the Civic Type R. We’re not aware of any high-end track setups for base model Civics. KW offers some even more aggressive coilovers than the V3’s we discussed above. We couldn’t find any for base models, though.
These setups aren’t for the faint of heart, anyways. They can maintain respectable street use. However, they’re really best suited to track use. These kinds of aggressive Civic coilovers also wear down faster and require more frequent rebuilds.
That said, to any Civic Type R owners looking for some of the best suspension available, look no further than Ohlins. These are excellent suspension kits if you’re willing to pay the price.
Honda Civic Coilovers Summary
Coilover upgrades are a great way to take the Honda Civic to the next level. There’s also a lot of versatility in coilover suspension kits. There are options for all of the various goals and budgets. Whether you’re looking for stance, moderate lowering, mild street use, or all-out track builds there’s a coilover kit for you.
Spring rate and adjustability are two important factors. Those driving their Civic on the street likely want a mild spring rate, and might not need adjustable coilovers. Dropping the car a lot also requires stiffer springs, which can sacrifice ride quality. Ultimately, ensure the setup meets your goals for comfort, handling, and use.
Raceland Honda Civic coilovers are an excellent value at less than $500. It’s a great choice for those wanting stance or an entry-level coilover upgrade. If you want some damping adjustability then BC Racing is a good choice. Otherwise, KW and Ohlins offer some aggressive Civic coilovers for aggressive street or track driving.
What’s your experience with Honda Civic coilovers? Are you considering any?
Leave a comment and let us know!