When changing the way your car rides and handles, you need to have parts that you can rely on. Here’s our best car suspension brands guide.
The aftermarket car parts industry is pretty massive. As a result, when you’re starting out modifying a car, it can be a bit tricky to figure out which brands you should turn to. After all, you don’t want to add shoddy parts to your pride and joy by mistake. In this article, we’ll focus on the suspension side of things – namely, coilovers, lowering springs, and air ride.
Of course, there are plenty of other peripheral parts that you could place under the suspension umbrella. Things like anti-roll bars, bushes, strut braces and so on. Companies such as Cusco, Whiteline, and Hardrace can provide those technical bits and pieces. However, for springs and dampers you’ll often need to reach out to a different selection of brands instead.
So, in no particular order, here’s our top 10 best car suspension brands for 2023.
Best Car Suspension Brands
Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Öhlins began trading in 1976. Founded by Kenth Öhlin, the company initially specialised in motorcycle parts. In fact, they’re still a major player in the performance bike scene. However, along the way, Öhlins has picked up a reputation as one of the best car suspension brands around too.
Developed through the top levels of motorsport, results back up Öhlins’ reputation as a great suspension brand. For example, in 1993 Öhlins springs and dampers helped Nigel Mansell on his way towards winning the IndyCar championship.
Clearly, this is a company with a great deal of performance pedigree. Plus, when it comes to buying coilovers from them for your project car, it couldn’t be simpler. Öhlins provides the TTX Advanced Track Day package for a select range of Audi, Lamborghini & Porsche supercars. They also produce some serious adventure-ready suspension for off-road builds. However, the vast majority of people will want the highly commendable Road & Track kit.
Compatible with 24 different marques, Road & Track coilovers give you the best of both worlds. Superb comfort and handling for the road, and hardcore levels of feedback on the track. All of this at the twist of a knob. So, if it’s adjustability and ease of use that you’re after, without compromising on quality, Öhlins is a great place to start.
Want to buy a set? Get Öhlins Road & Track coilovers here.
Everyone likes an enemies to lovers story right? Well, there isn’t any romance to be found here, but TEIN’s two founding partners – Hakaru Ichino & Yoshio Fujimoto – did start out as fierce rivals within the Japanese rallying scene. Soon enough though, their talents brought them together, resulting in a formidable driver & co-driver pairing. However, after their aggressive style started to eat up the team’s supply of coilovers, Ichino & Fujimoto decided to do things their own way. A new suspension manufacturing side hustle began, and they haven’t looked back since.
TEIN (which stands for Technical Innovation) quickly rose to the fore as one of Japan’s best car suspension brands. After winning the prestigious WRC Safari Rally with Toyota, they soon made their mark on the world too. These days, if you’ve got a tuner car, then the chances are that TEIN offers at least a couple of different coilover options for it. Instantly recognizable by their vivid green paint and accompanying ‘Dampachi’ mascot (buy a plush one below!), there’s a wide array of TEIN coilover packages out there.
Some of the most common are Street Basis Z & Street Advance Z. As the names suggest, these are tailored towards people who want a lowered stance and improved handling, without ruining their car’s ride. Flex Zs are a little more expensive and operate around the same ethos, however, they add ride height adjustability. Or, for an even better street and track compromise, the single-tube Mono Sports are available for many popular project cars as well.
Overall, TEIN coilovers are exceptional value for money compared to other brands. Plus, if you really don’t have much budget, TEIN also offers reliable lowering springs for about $200.
Want to get a set? Buy TEIN coilovers and springs here.
In the grand scheme of things, KW is still a surprisingly young company, given its strong industry reputation. First founded in Germany in 1992, KW has been very visible within the realm of motorsport since practically day one. That presence in the performance sector has not only allowed KW to test its products in the harshest conditions, but also allowed it to get its name out there and earn a bit of a rep. For example, KW became serial winners of the Nürburgring 24 Hours throughout the 2000s and 2010s, thanks to supply deals with prestigious teams like Manthey Racing.
Of course, KW has expanded far beyond Europe in the past decades too. That resulted in the development of new brands to sit underneath the KW umbrella – like ST Suspension, for example. Initially a US-only brand, ST suspension parts are now available all over the world.
Refocusing back on the main product line though, the current KW coilover range is split into three groups: Street Comfort, Street Performance, and Track Performance. Each of them do exactly what they say on the tin. Street Comfort isn’t too fussed about going faster, it’s instead all about getting the best possible ride quality. Street Performance, meanwhile, understands that you need to retain a good standard of ride comfort, but places more of an emphasis on handling, visual stance, and driver feedback. Finally, Track Performance is for the hardcore circuit builds.
Want to buy a set? Get KW Suspension parts here.
What if you don’t want to splash out on a full coilover set-up? Well, you can achieve your stance goals by fitting lowering springs around your car’s OEM dampers instead. It’s a much, much cheaper solution, though you pay the difference in a lack of adjustability and potentially less synchronised movements between suspension components. That may sound a bit dramatic, but if you opt for a reputable brand, the comparative losses in ride quality and/or handling are greatly minimised.
Eibach is arguably the best car suspension brand when it comes to lowering springs. The company has been around since 1951, and although it hasn’t necessarily been making aftermarket upgrades for that long, its storied history gives the brand a great deal of manufacturing expertise. Eibach does make coilovers, and even components like wheel spacers too, but its their high-quality, affordable lowering springs for which they are best known.
The Pro-Kit springs are the most popular product of their kind around the world, and for good reason. Unlike less reputable brands, each package has been developed to match the damper settings of the car that it’s intended for. The visual results are brilliant too, with a promised ride height drop of up to 40mm. Sportline springs are a bit more expensive, but thanks to their progressive design, both handling and ride comfort are enhanced.
Check out the full Eibach range here.
If you’re at all into Japanese car culture, or indeed any sort of modified car culture, then you’ll probably have seen the HKS logo before. Typically accompanied by HKS’s iconic ‘oil splash’ colours, the HKS brand is one of the most easily recognisable in the aftermarket scene. However, they aren’t just a good marketing excercise. Their products are also top notch.
Truth be told, HKS is far more than *just* a suspension specialist. They develop and provide all sorts of aftermarket upgrades, from electronics and exhausts, to forced induction and fuelling. Yet, somehow, they haven’t fallen into the trap of being a jack of all trades, but master of none.
All HKS coilovers incorporate a monotube design for more accurate, stabler damping adjustments. A long-term favorite option is the Hipermax S package, which targets both comfort and handling upgrades in equal measure. Then there’s Hipermax R, which although costly, is one of the best-performing street coilover packages on the market.
Alteratively, buy a set of HKS Hipermax IV GT coilovers here.
Yellow Speed Racing
Yellow Speed Racing, or YSR for short, might not have the same cultural prestige as some of the other suspension brands on this list, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook them. As well as coilovers, YSR also manufacturers upgraded brake kits, and even air struts for those of you chasing the ultimate low stance.
Founded in the USA, YSR’s suspension kits will be readily available to our Stateside readers, but they’ve also got a big presence here in Europe too. As a testament to that, YSR suspension is the go-to option for competitors in Britain’s Honda Civic Cup Championship. In fact, hugely-successful UK race team AREA Motorsport even sells slightly tweaked road and track versions of YSR products.
That’s not to say that the standard stuff isn’t fit for purpose though. In fact, YSR’s range of coilovers is rather expansive. Naturally, there’s a number of different street-focused coilovers, designed to prioritise either performance, stance, or balance. But YSR also manufactures some super-specialised kits too. Got a gravel rally build in your garage? Or how about a full-on drift car? Well, YSR will have suspension to fit.
German manufacturer Bilstein has been in the automotive game for around 70 years. In that time, they’ve marked themselves out as one of the best car suspension brands in the world, trusted by several OEMs to supply parts for their production cars.
Of course, if your motor doesn’t feature Bilsteins from the factory, you can pick up a set of their coilovers on the aftermarket. The Bilstein B12 package is the entry level street-focused coilover set-up. Expect handling gains and a lower stance, as well as a pretty good ride too. The next step up is the Evo S package, which adds further damping adjustability and up to 70mm of variation in ride height.
However, some modern cars come fitted with electronic damping components, which can cause problems for tuners when they want to swap out the stock system for something a bit spicier. That’s where the Evo SE package comes in, offering all the functionality of Evo S, with added ease of installation.
Bilstein’s coilover range doesn’t stop there. There’s also a wide array of track day and full-on competition-spec options for you to choose from. So, however hardcore your project is, it’s worth giving Bilstein’s catalogue a look.
Want to get a set? Buy Bilstein suspension parts here.
Air Lift Performance
Given that extreme stance culture is a bit more niche, air suspension brands aren’t as plentiful… yet. However, some brands have been quick to mark themselves out as leaders in that segment of the suspension market. Take Air Lift Performance, for example.
Somewhat unusually, Air Lift’s roots stretch as far back as the 1950s, when they manufactured suspension springs for early NASCARs. By the ’90s, the company had moved into the custom vehicle market, providing air struts to people who wanted their cars and trucks to look super low when parked.
As time went by, Air Lift continued to develop this technology, adding a new dynamic element to the struts. Now, as well as being slammed to the floor when parked, they could also provide coilover-rivalling performance when raised up again on the track. This combination of the company’s racing roots and show car recent past has proved hugely popular, and today, Air Lift provides more than 250 different air suspension kits, with accompanying management systems.
In fact, we recently ran a competition to find the UK’s best Air Lift equipped car! If you want to read more about the winner, click here.
BC Racing Suspension
British-based company BC Racing are coilover specialists, actively involved in both time attack and drifting events. As a result, their products get seriously stress-tested, and that’s helped BC to become one of the best car suspension brands around.
BC Racing’s brand identity is only getting stronger, which is impressive considering that they’re already well-known enough to have their own range of ‘automotive lifestyle’ merch. However, if you aren’t interested in BC’s fun t-shirts and snapbacks, you’ll be glad to know that their coilovers are well worth the hype.
At the moment, several variations of coilover exist in BC Racing’s arsenal, ranging from the affordable but thoroughly street-competent BR Series, all the way up to the 3-way adjustable, circuit flagship ZR Series.
To find out which coilovers they provide specifically for your car, click here. Or, if you want to dive in and get a set, you can buy BC Racing suspension parts here.
The final car suspension brand on our shortlist is one which caters towards tuners on a tight budget. Like Eibach, H&R is a German company, and also like Eibach, H&R specializes in simpler lowering springs rather than full-package coilovers.
Since 1980, H&R has developed performance-enhancing springs for more than 4000 different models across more than 60 different marques. So, whatever you drive, the chances are that H&R will have a lowering kit suited to you.
Of course, these days H&R also manufactures equipment like anti-roll bars, wheel spacers, and even coilovers too. However, springs remain its bread and butter. Fixed springs are naturally the entry-level option, but if you’re willing to spend a bit extra, H&R also offers lowering springs with clever height adjustability. It’s not all about going lower, either. H&R raising springs are a great option for those of you who are looking for a bit more off-road ground clearance.
Want to get a set? Buy H&R springs here.
For some extra background info on suspension matters, feel free to check out the following resources: