Scion xB Coilover Upgrade Guide

Scion xB Coilover Upgrade Guide

Jake Mayock

Meet Jake

Jake is a founder of 8020 Media and TuningPro. He has over a decade of experience in the automotive industry including parts sales, writing, DIY modifications & repairs, and more. Jake is currently converting his N54 to a single turbo and building a Miata track car. He’s an experienced, hands-on automotive enthusiast who delivers in-depth, well-researched content.

The Scion xB’s certainly aren’t “performance” cars with 108hp on the Gen 1’s and 160hp for the 2nd gens. However, they can look pretty dang cool when lowered with some aftermarket wheels and other appearance modifications.

When you consider lowering your xB there are a few different options: lowering springs, coilovers, or air bags. This guide is going to specifically focus on the best Scion xB coilover setups. But we will go ahead and cover the difference between lowering springs and coilovers, and coilovers and airbags for the xB so that you can make the right decision on how you want to lower your xB.

Since the xB isn’t build for performance this guide is going to focus on lowering the car, rather than the best performance coilovers. I’m not sure that tracking an xB is a thing, but these coilovers options we mention are for stance, not the track.

Scion xB Coilover Upgrade Guide - Best xB Coilovers

Scion xB Coilover Considerations

Coilovers come in a lot of different forms and applications. Since we aren’t looking for performance here we aren’t going to discuss tube design and other performance-oriented coilover considerations. Instead we’re going to cover the things that are important: damping and camber. And we’ll also cover lowering springs and air bags here too.

If you want to read in-depth about coilovers, you can check out our Ultimate Coilover Upgrade Guide which will cover things like monotube designs and so on.

Adjustable Damping

xB coilovers are going to come in two different forms: pre-set damping and adjustable damping. Damping refers to the shocks and is usually associated with the stiffness or softness of the ride. Shocks control the compression and rebound of the coil springs. In essence, they control how far the spring compresses and how much bounce/rebound there is after compression.

Coilovers with adjustable damping allow you to adjust the damping (usually with 8 to 36 different levels) to have some control over softness and stiffness of the ride. Coilovers with pre-set damping aren’t adjustable but come pre-set from the manufacturer to best match the spring rates and provide a balance between function and comfort.

Adjustable damping is nice to have, but it is a bit more expensive to get. If you’re on a budget, you really don’t need it. If you can afford it, it’s not a bad thing to have. However, since we aren’t focused on performance here, it’s really not necessary. Coilovers with pre-set damping will still provide good ride comfort.

Camber Plates

If you are going for stance, you might be in need of some camber for the wheels. Some of the more expensive coilovers will either come with adjustable camber plates or can be upgraded to have adjustable camber plates. The budget friendly options don’t come with camber plates so they will need to be purchased separately.

Whether or not you need camber plates is up to you and your goals. But a budget set of coilovers with camber plates purchased separately will be cheaper than a set of coilovers that comes with camber plates.

xB Lowering Springs vs. Coilovers

If you are trying to lower your xB lowering springs might look enticing from a cost perspective compared to coilovers. However, we pretty much always recommend coilovers when the budget allows for it, for two primary reasons.

First, lowering springs only give you a fixed drop, usually 1.25″-1.5″ and the ride height isn’t adjustable. Coilovers give you ride height control allowing you to make them anywhere from 0.5″ to 3″ lower and anywhere in between. This is important if you are running aftermarket wheels and tires since the adjustability allows you to play with ride height to prevent any scraping or rubbing against the fenders.

Second, coilovers are way more comfortable than lowering springs. Lowering springs have stiffer spring rates than the stock springs. The damping on the stock shocks/struts is set for the stock coil springs. So when you put a stiffer spring with a shock/strut that has dampening set for soft springs you end up with a really rough ride. While coilovers are usually thought to have worse ride quality, this is actually false. The damping and spring rates on coilovers are set to best complement each other without sacrificing ride quality.

So, coilovers are more comfortable than lowering springs and provide ride height control. Lowering springs are cheaper but are less comfortable and don’t offer the same level of flexibility.

Airbags vs xB Coilovers

Coilovers for the xB will max out around a 3″ drop. So, if you want to go lower than this you need air bags. The benefit of air bags is that they go really low and they can also be raised and lowered with the push of a button, whereas coilovers need to be manually adjusted.

The downside however is that xB air bag kits cost about $2k just for the struts/bags. Then you need to add a controller, air tank, etc. which easily brings the cost closer to the $3,500-$4,000 mark. Additionally, they are more complicated and expensive to install than coilovers. Some forum users have claimed you can DIY/build your own air bag setup for closer to $1,500 but this is only for people that really know what they’re doing.

If you are trying to put your xB on the ground, literally, then airbags are what you need. If being limited to a 3″ drop is okay with you then get coilovers. Especially considering you can get some solid coilovers in the $500 range.

Best Scion xB Coilovers

At the end of the day, a budget set of coilovers is our recommendation over both lowering springs and air bags. Air bags are just too expensive for something that is daily driven and not a show car, and lowering springs don’t have the height control or comfort and are only like $200 cheaper than coilovers.

When you’re just looking for lowering, the best coilovers in my opinion are the budget friendly coilovers. We’re going to lay out our favorite budget friendly set and then provide more expensive options for people who want damping control, camber plates, etc.

1) Best xB Coilovers: Raceland xB Coilovers

Tier: Stance, Budget Friendly, Entry Level
Price: $419
Lowering: 1-3″
Buy Gen 1 xB Here: Scion xB 1st Gen Coilovers
Buy Gen 2 xB Here: Scion xB 2nd Gen Coilovers

Raceland coilovers are the best bang-for-the-buck option for the xB. They offer lowering in the 1-3″ range and will provide the most comfortable ride quality without scraping or bottoming out when fully lowered. They are slightly more stiff than the stock suspension, in a good way, and are still very comfortable for daily driving. However, they don’t have adjustable damping although we don’t think it’s needed with these coilovers given ride quality. Additionally, they don’t come with camber plates.

They are a twin-tube design which makes them less sensitive to small bumps and movements which makes them more comfortable than the below options for a daily driver. Raceland is a good company, they offer great customer support, a lifetime coilover warranty, and have Affirm financing for anyone who wants to space out their payments.

Overall, these are the best coilovers for the price. Especially for an xB where you don’t need monotube coilovers or damping control.

2) More Expensive Setups

If you want damping control and a higher “quality” coilover the costs get closer to the $1,000 mark. These coilovers all have adjustable damping and similar lowering capabilities. Most also either have camber plates or can be upgraded to include them. Most are also a monotube design which is considered a more performance oriented shock and is more sensitive to small bumps and movements.

If you think you need damping adjustability then you’ll need a more expensive setup. If you don’t care about this then these coilovers are a bit overkill in our opinion from a price perspective. Monotube shocks are less comfortable and more expensive compared to the twin-tube Racelands. And as mentioned earlier, throwing some aftermarket camber plates with Racelands will still be cheaper than these options if you need camber.

There are cheaper options out there with damping control, the only one we would recommend is the Godspeed. Any other options, especially cheaper ones are going to be very low quality. And the Godspeed only have a 1yr warranty which is why we would still recommend getting something closer to the $1k price point if you want damping.

xB Coilovers with Damping Control

  • Godspeed MonoSS (budget option)
  • BC Racing BR/RM
  • D2 Racing RS/Rally
  • ISC N1
  • KSport Kontrol

Scion xB Coilovers Summary

Overall, coilovers are the best option for lowering your xB. If you want to put it completely on the ground you’ll need to spend $3k+ on air bags. Lowering springs are an option for a fixed drop but they don’t offer a great ride quality nor do they give you height control. Considering you can get a quality set of xB coilovers for $419, this is our recommendation any day of the week.

If you are looking for more control and adjustability of your ride you can get a set of coilovers with damping control and camber plates. However, to get a quality set that has both of these you are looking at something closer to the $1k price point. While there are cheaper options they are very low quality and usually don’t last very long, especially when fully lowered.

Raceland coilovers are our favorite for the xB because they offer everything you need at a competitive price. You really don’t need $1,000 suspension on an xB.

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