The 2023 Toyota Highlander Adds Torque, But It's Still Pricey And Cramped

– Northridge, California

The Toyota Highlander was one of the first three-row crossovers to market, and as one of the segment’s elder statesmen, it’s a popular choice for buyers. This mid-size offering may be shorter and less spacious than the Honda Pilot and Kia Telluride, but luckily, the 2023 model has a new, turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder that offers more torque than both its predecessor and some key rivals.

The 265 horsepower underhood may seem like a letdown relative to the 2022 Highlander’s 295, but the turbo makes a healthy 311 pound-feet of torque, a number that the groaning old V6 could only dream of. The new crossover also gets Toyota’s latest infotainment system – another massive upgrade compared to 2022 – with carryover interior quality and driving refinement. But it’s hard to ignore the Highlander’s relatively high price, as well as the scant rear-seat headroom and iffy cargo capacity with all seats in place.

Quick Stats2023 Toyota Highlander Limited AWD
EngineTurbocharged 2.4-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output265 Horsepower / 310 Pound-Feet
Cargo Volume16.0 / 48.4 / 84.3 Cubic Feet
Price As Tested$50,210
On SaleNow

Despite a drop in power, the 2023 Highlander’s new turbocharged four-banger is much more enjoyable.

The Good: Although I liked the pre-facelift Highlander’s styling and quality interior, its dated V6 and indecisive eight-speed transmission made it a frustrating mount for freeway inclines and two-lane passing zones. That’s no longer the case. Despite a drop in power, the 2023 Highlander’s new turbocharged four-banger is much more enjoyable. It has an 47 extra units of torque. Best of all, the engine hits that 310-lb-ft peak at just 1,700 rpm, which gave me more confidence when merging than the old Highlander did. It’s also more efficient and cleaner-burning than the old V6, and a 5,000-pound tow rating is standard.

The transmission, retuned to take advantage of the new engine, also exhibits better behavior. Smoother downshifts on acceleration and less hunting when climbing a grade make the new Highlander a lot more comfortable.

2023 Toyota Highlander Limited Interior Dashboard 2023 Toyota Highlander Limited Interior Infotainment

Speaking of comfort, the Highlander retains its impressive fit and finish relative to the class, with soft-touch cabin materials everywhere I was likely to contact. The padded knee bolsters and lower door panels are an especially nice touch – some cars cheap out down low, but not the Highlander. There are also lots of places to stash phones and wallets, including two slim shelves on the dashboard and hearty, Stanley-sized cupholders.

And the old Highlander’s Entune infotainment system is finally dead, with the newest Toyota software taking its place. In the case of my Limited tester, the new multimedia system shows up on a crisp, bright 12.3-inch center touchscreen, with an identically sized digital instrument cluster. The steering wheel buttons used to control the gauges are a bit confusing, but the center display is responsive and much improved over Entune. One complaint: I wish the toolbar on the left side of the screen didn’t disappear when using wireless Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Better yet, just give me a home button.

Headroom for anyone in the second or third rows is a bit tight due to the Highlander’s slinky-for-its-class roofline.

The Bad: There’s just 16.0 cubic feet of cargo room with all seats in place, which is down on the Kia Telluride by 5.0 and the Honda Pilot by 2.6. Headroom for anyone in the second or third rows is a bit tight due to the Highlander’s slinky-for-its-class roofline. The sleek design also pinches the side windows to the detriment of both outward visibility and passenger claustrophobia.

That wouldn’t be a huge deal if the Highlander weren’t also one of the most expensive offerings in the segment. Its $38,015 starting price with destination is right in line with the likes of the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Kia Telluride, but prices go up precipitously as you add features. The Limited I drove cost $50,210 with an optional 360-degree camera, which is more you’d spend on the Telluride SX that comes with niceties like heated and ventilated second-row seats and dual sunroofs.

2023 Toyota Highlander Limited Interior Rear Seat

The Verdict: Toyota knows the Highlander is a bit too small for families that use their third rows regularly, which is why the Grand Highlander exists. But some folks may value the smaller crossover’s more parking-friendly size and flowing design. Add in a pleasant interior, much-improved technology, and newfound everyday muscle, and it’s not hard to see why the 2023 Toyota Highlander is such a stalwart.

The Three-Row Alternatives

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum Review: The Right Path
One Big Thing About The 2023 Kia Telluride: Rugged Good Looks

Competitors

Ford Explorer Honda Pilot Hyundai Palisade Kia Telluride Nissan Pathfinder

FAQs

Is The 2023 Toyota Highlander A Hybrid?

The Highlander offers a hybrid powertrain, consisting of a 2.5-liter inline-four and an eCVT, with all-wheel-drive models adding an electric motor to the rear axle. It gets 35 miles per gallon combined in either form. The base Highlander engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four that makes 265 horsepower and gets 23 mpg combined.

How Many Seats Does The 2023 Highlander Have?

The Toyota Highlander seats up to eight with a second-row bench. Go for the optional second-row buckets and it still has seating for seven.

What Is The Toyota Highlander’s Luggage Space?

With all seats up, the Highlander has 16.0 cubic feet of cargo volume. Fold the third row flat and that number goes up to 48.4, and with all seats folded, the Highlander can hold 84.3 cubic feet of cargo.

2023 Toyota Highlander Limited AWD
EngineTurbocharged 2.4-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output265 Horsepower / 310 Pound-Feet
TransmissionEight-Speed Automatic
Drive TypeAll-Wheel Drive
Efficiency21 City / 28 Highway / 23 Combined
Weight4,453 Pounds
Towing5,000 Pounds
Seating Capacity7
Cargo Volume16.0 / 48.4 / 84.3 Cubic Feet
Base Price$36,620 + $1,335 Destination
Trim Base Price$49,360
As-Tested Price$50,210
Best Air Filter for a Mazda RX-7

Air filters are one of the easiest performance mods you can make to your car. Here’s a collection of some of the best air filters for the Mazda RX-7.

Air is just as important for the health and performance of your car, as it is for you. So, do your RX-7 a favor and keep on top of its air filter. There’s a lot of uncertainty about the true merit of air filters as a performance upgrade, but given the age of these cars, a fresh one will inevitably be positive.

So, if you want to get your RX-7 breathing better than ever, here are some of the top aftermarket options on the market…

Best Air Filter for the Mazda RX-7 FC

Pandem FC RX-7 fuelling tuning

Replacement Panel Filters

The FC RX-7 comes with a panel filter as standard, and as such, replacing that dusty old one with a new high-performance panel is super simple. All you have to do is remove the old one from the car’s air box, and place the new filter in its place. Job done!

The idea behind performance panel air filters is that they’ll do better at collecting contaminants, while also improving air flow. And as air is crucial to power, this is meant to improve your car’s performance. However, the reality is that any gains are likely to be minimal at best. Still, it’s a good idea to keep on top of the quality of your car’s air filter, as you don’t want hot or dirty air getting into the mix. K&N are often the go-to air filter brand, and as an added bonus, their products are washable, meaning that if the filter gets dirty you can clean it and re-use it. HKS’s Super Air Filter ($36) is a much cheaper alternative.

Cone Filters

Open-air cone filters replace the standard air box and panel filter. Visually, they look a bit more sporty in the engine bay, and theoretically the filter’s larger surface area should back that identity up. However, it’s worth noting that an open-air cone filter will be exposed to higher engine bay temperatures, compared to a panel filter tucked away in its airbox. And unfortunately, hot air is detrimental to performance. Ensuring good cold air flow into the engine bay is therefore vital if you want to run a cone filter.

A popular example of this for the RX-7 FC is the APEXi Power Intake ($69).

Closed Cold Air Induction Kits

To take things to the next level, you might want to invest in a full-on induction kit replacement, rather than a simple air filter replacement. Before you do that though, make sure to read our induction kit guide.

AutoExe produces a Ram Air kit for the FC-gen RX-7 (and the FD too, actually). If you want the FC-spec one, it’ll cost you $477.

Best Air Filter for the Mazda RX-7 FD

Mazda RX-7 FD Tuning: Intake

Replacement Panel Filters

Like the FC (and most cars, for that matter), the FD RX-7 runs a panel filter as standard. So, replacing the old one with a high-flow panel is super easy.

The HKS Super Air Filter ($25.80) is a good value option, while another popular alternative is the K&N washable & reusable panel.

Cone Filters

Want the more eye-catching look of a cone filter? The APEXi Power Intake ($56.00) is one to consider.

Serious trackday drivers might be interested in a couple of HKS products too. The Super Power Flow ($290.18) intake and Racing Suction Kit ($550.59) are slightly odd looking parts, but claim to increase air intake surface area by 27%.

When weighing up which sort of replacement filter to go for, there are certain form vs function factors to consider. So, be sure to read our panel vs cone guide!

Closed Cold Air Induction Kits

To take things to the next level, you might want to invest in a full-on induction kit replacement, rather than a simple air filter replacement. Before you do that though, make sure to read our induction kit guide.

AutoExe produces a Ram Air kit for the FD-gen RX-7, but at $744 it’s quite an investment. For the money, you get significantly improved airflow, filtration, and engine response, while the carbon airbox will be a nice visual addition the car’s engine bay. Oh, and expect some added induction noise too.

A Mazda RX-7 FC fitted with a headlight duct.

Pop-Up Headlight Duct

Although admittedly not an air filter per se, the KSP ATTAIN pop-up headlight duct is another sort of performance upgrade you could opt for to aid your car’s intake flow. And, as an added draw, it’s got a certain visual quality too.

The idea is that air will flow through the small duct in the headlight casing, towards the intake. KSP suggests that cone filters mounted near the lights will benefit the most from such a design, as it’ll ensure they receive cold air despite being without an airbox.

A headlight duct for the FC RX-7 is priced at $106, whereas the FD part is a little more expensive ($124). Alternatively, Fujita Engineering produces a similar product for the FD for $141.

Looking for Mazda RX-7 content? Try these:

The post Best Air Filter for a Mazda RX-7 appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Honda Civic Type R Wheels

With an abundance of tuning options available for the Honda Civic Type R, we pick out the best aftermarket wheels for each generation to help you modify your car. 

Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter which of these five generations of Honda Civic Type R you prefer, the Type R models all have one thing in common – they were built to be driven… hard! And while the purists may prefer to run their Type Rs on the same diameter wheels the car left the factory with, don’t rule out an upgrade in diameter, especially if you fancy running a lower profile tire.

Similarly, even if you’re intending to stick with the OEM diameter wheel, opting for a wider or lighter hoop is almost a must if you’re planning on the odd track day or even just driving enthusiastically on your favorite local B-road.

Below, we’ve listed our 5 of the best wheels for the Honda Civic Type R and each of the 5 generations. We know, there are now 6 generations of Type R, but the FL5 Type R is too new for us to include, yet. So, that’s basically 25 awesome wheels for you to ogle over. From fully-forged mono blocs right through to three-piece splits, whether you’ve got mega bucks to spend or you’re on a tight budget, there’s something here for everybody. Which is your favorite, though?

Honda Civic Type R EP3 drive by shot

Best wheels for Honda Civic Type R EK9

First launched way back in 1997 the EK9 left the factory on 6x15in wheels, but it didn’t take long for people to start upping the anti in the diameter department. While the hardcore B-road blasting folk or track day fans will still stick with a 15in wheel – and a decent-sized sidewall – the show guys prefer a 16in wheel or even a 17in upgrade on a lower-profile tire.

As we explained in our EK9 Tuning Guide, when it comes to wheel brands, the purists will likely stick with JDM brands like Rays, Weds and Enkei, while those not so brand conscious – or with shallower pockets – can opt for something from the Rota or Japan Racing stables. Either way, just be sure to look for a low wheel weight so as not to affect the fine handling balance. As for your favorite design; well, you won’t go far wrong with any of the below…

Spoon Sports SW388 Civic Type R wheels

Spoon Sports SW388

The SW388 by Spoon is available in 15in to 18in diameter and is probably our preferred choice for the EK9 thanks to its simple, timeless five-spoke design. That being said, the fully forged wheel is by no means cheap, but it is also one of the lightest and strongest wheels here.

Advan RG-D2 Civic Type R Wheels

Advan RG-D2

Advan’s RG-D2 is another motorsport-inspired wheel that’s available in diameters ranging from 15in all the way to 18in. The flow-formed wheel is a middle of the road option in terms of budget and features an open six-spoke design with a nice little dish, too.

Side shot of an EG Civic

SSR Type X

If it’s rare and iconic wheel designs you’re after then you won’t find more rare – or more iconic – than SSR’s Type X. These split four-spoke wheels seem to look great in 15in fitment and, if you can find a set, will no doubt cost you a fair few quid to purchase. Definitely a good long-term investment, though.

WORK Equip 03 CTR wheels

WORK Equip 03

If it’s multi-piece wheels you prefer and you’re looking for a bit of bling, then the WORK Equip 03 ticks all the boxes. Available in both two- and three-piece construction, plus a number of various widths, this retro-look wheel will always turn heads, no matter what color center you choose to opt for.

Japan Racing JR10 wheels

Japan Racing JR10

If you want to turn heads but are working to a budget, then the JR10 should be right up your street, especially as it’s available in 15in-19in diameters, plus a whole host of widths and finishes. Personally, we like the simple silver centers with a polished lip.

Head on shot of silver Honda Civic Type R EP3 with carbon fibre bonnet

Best Honda Civic Type R EP3 wheels

It wasn’t until 2001 that Honda launched the EP3 Type R, which actually came as standard on 17in wheels. While most tuners choose to stick was the OEM diameter, a tire upgrade from the stock 205/45/17s to a wider 215 (or even 225) is often recommended, perhaps with a slightly lower profile tire wall.

As we stated in our EP3 Tuning Guide, the standard 17in wheels are actually quite light, so there is no enormous need to change them, but if you wish to, especially when going for a 225 wide tire, 8x17s can fit quite easily, as long as you stick to no lower than a ET35 offset. When it comes to your preferred wheel of choice, then we’d suggest one of the below which work well with the car’s wedge like appearance. 

Enkei RPF1 EP3 wheels

Enkei RPF1

Enkei’s sexy RPF1 reminds us of a 90’s Formula One wheel which, when you consider Enkei made F1 wheels back then and F1 is part of the wheel’s name, that sort of makes sense. Available in dimensions ranging from 14in to 17in the split six-spoke single-piece design is simply stunning.

Work Emotion CR 2P Civic Type R Wheels

Work Emotion CR 2P

If ever there was a wheel that screamed ‘JDM’ then it’s WORK’s Emotion CR 2P. This deep, two-piece split-rim is available in a multitude of sizes and finishes, plus it works for either a show car or track day application. So, that’s a win, win in our book!

Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 wheels on EP3

Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2

If it’s a hardcore race-look you’re after then you can’t go far wrong with Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2. This 12-spoke, single piece wheel was inspired by the BTCC and is said to be heat treated and also super light. Available in 15in, 17in and 18”, plus a number of widths and finishes, this wheel is a no brainer for us.

Spoon Sports CR93 civic type r wheels

Spoon Sports CR93

Spoon’s CR93 has a real OEM look to it and works especially well on the EP3 Type R. In 8.5x17in fitment the wheel tips the scales at just 21.45 lbs and the spoke design is intended to clear larger aftermarket brake calipers.

Mitsubishi Evo 8 Enkei wheels

Mitsubishi Evo 8 Enkei

If it’s an OEM+ option you’re after, then a lot of people fit factory Enkei wheels that came as standard on the Mitsubishi Evo 8. This simple six-spoke designed wheel is both strong, light and affordable, plus it will clear a large caliper.

A close up front right shot of white Honda Civic FN2 TYPE-R TURBO 00 driving in city with blurred lights behind

Best Honda Civic Type R FN2 wheels

Over here in Europe the third-generation of Civic Type R, Honda’s FN2, was released in 2007,  thankfully still in hatchback form (in Japan they got the saloon-bodied FD2). The FN2 was a much larger car than its predecessors, which was available as stock with an 18in wheel or even an optional 19in. Obviously, the benefit of this is that there are plenty of aftermarket options available for the car. As we mentioned in our FN2 Tuning Guide, the stock offset of ET55 does mean the wheels tuck in the arches a tad too much; ET40 fills the arches much better and still avoids clearance issues, even on an 8.0in rim. As for the type of wheel that suits this car, well it was quite a radical design which you either loved or hated. Those that bought and modified one soon realized that the simple, less fussy designed wheels worked better.

Rays VOLK CE28 wheels

Rays VOLK CE28

The CE28 is a ten-spoke single-piece wheel available in 17in and 18in diameter, plus a number of widths and fitments. The JDM-style design features a pronounced lip and we’d say a 18in fitment finished in bronze is about as good as it gets, especially if you’re after a wheel that both looks good and performs well.

Rota Force wheels

Rota Force

If you’re on a tight budget then Rota’s ten-spoke Force is a great looking wheel for a fraction of the cost of many other higher-profile brands. Available in 17in and 18in diameter, this single-piece wheel also comes in a huge number of fitments, widths and finishes. A great first aftermarket wheel choice.

OZ Racing Alleggerita HLT Civic type r wheels

OZ Racing Alleggerita HLT

Available in 17in and 18in diameters, the Alleggerita features OZ’s HLT (High Light Technology) which offers lightness and resistance, apparently. This nine-spoke motorsport inspired wheel is middle of the road in terms of pricing and is available in a number of widths and finishes.

SSR Professor SP5 wheels

SSR Professor SP5

If you’re after the ultimate show wheel then SSR’s Professor SP5 could well be it. While not cheap, these stunning ten-spoke split rims are available in pretty much any size and fitment you could dream up, not to mention a load of different finishes, too. Stunning!

Bola B1 wheels

Bola B1

If you’re after a definitive JDM-look wheel on an absolute budget then Bola’s B1 is the perfect choice for your FN2. Available in 17in to 19in diameter and in a number of widths, the B1 is a six-spoke stunner than comes in a large array of finishes.

Civic Type r fk2 driving shot

Best Honda Civic Type R FK2 wheels

The 2015 FK2 was based on the ninth generation Civic and featured flared, touring car-inspired wheel arches, which meant plenty of room for wider wheels. While it actually came on 19in wheels as stock, the low-profile tires meant an extra firm ride so we’d suggest dropping down to 18in and fitting a tire with a deeper tire wall. As we mentioned in our FK2 Tuning Guide, a high offset of ET60 pushes the wheels well into the arches and you get a hell of a lot of arch gap which really doesn’t help the aesthetics, however, a set of 20mm spaces can sort this. Thankfully, the choice of aftermarket wheels on offer, due to its 5×120 fitment, is massive.

OZ Ultralegerra fk2 wheels

OZ Ultralegerra

Motorsport-inspired wheels don’t come much more iconic than OZ’s Ultralegerra which, let’s be honest, looks good on pretty much anything but particularly suits the FK2 Type R. Made in Italy the wheel features six double spokes and comes in a huge number of diameters, fitments and finishes.

Rota P1 Civic type r wheels

Rota P1

The Rota P1, in an 18in diameter, is about as good as it gets if you’re after a budget wheel for your FK2. This nine-spoke motorsport-inspired wheel looks particular good in the Gunmetal finish, too. Well, we think so, anyway…

Japan Racing JR29 wheels

Japan Racing JR29

Considering how reasonably priced the JR29 is, it has a really great look thanks to its split five-spoke design. This wheel is available in probably more configuration choices than any other here, but we’d take the 8.5x18in in Matt Bronze.

SSR GTX01

SSR GTX01

Wheel designs don’t come much more aggressive than SSR’s GTX01. Another flow formed wheel from SSR, the GTX01 has a chunky looking design that features 10-spokes and is available with a choice of three different face types (Standard, Medium and Deep Concave).

WORK Emotion D9R

WORK Emotion D9R

The D9R by WORK is a wheel that’s extremely popular with the drift crowd, but which also looks amazing on front-wheel drive cars, like the FK2 Type R. The wheel’s lower offset gives plenty of lip and the D9R us available in a number of fits and finishes.

Modified Honda Civic Type R FK8 front right shot

Best Honda Civic Type R FK8 wheels

The final model we’re looking at here is the 2017 FK8 Honda Civic Type R which was the first to come on whopping 20in wheels as standard (until the Sport Line was launched on 19in rims). In our FK8 Tuning Guide, we concluded that whatever diameter wheel you choose to run on your FK8, you’ll want a lightweight wheel, something flow-formed from the likes of APEX, or something forged (if you’re feeling flush), like the legendary TE37. Funny we should mention that…

Rays VOLK RACING TE37

Rays VOLK RACING TE37

When it comes to probably the most popular and highly regarded choices for FK8 wheel upgrades then the Rays Volk Racing TE37 has got to be up there. Let’s face it, these wheels look good on pretty much everything. The race-inspired wheel comes in a simple six-spoke design and works in pretty much any color. A no brainier if you’re after a timeless wheel that will always look good.  

Apex EC-7 civic type r wheels  

Apex EC-7

The EC-7 is another iconic JDM wheel that comes in a choice of three increasingly concaved faces. No matter what the concave you choose, the spokes are designed to clear most aftermarket upgraded calipers. Quality really is order of the day here, but then that is reflected in the price.

 

WedsSport TC105X

WedsSport TC105X

Light, strong and stunning, that’s probably the best way to describe the WedsSport TC105X. Developed on track, the ten-spoke TC105X comes in a number of dimensions ranging from 15in up to 18in. Amazingly, even the largest sized 11×18” wheel tips the scales at just 8.6kg!

Vossen HF-5 FK8 wheels

Vossen HF-5

There’s just something about the futuristic look of Vossen’s HF-5 which doesn’t just scream JDM… it also shouts FK8 Type R at the same time. The Hybrid Forged (yes, that’s the HF part of the name) wheel is available in diameters ranging from 19in to 24in and widths of 8.5in to 12in.

Desmond Regamaster Evo II Civic type r wheels

Desmond Regamaster Evo II

Finally, Desmond’s timeless five-spoke Regamaster Evo II is a fully-forged monobloc made in Japan that features a nice sized (45mm) dish and in 9.5x18in fitment that tips the scales at just 8.12kg. While sizes are quite limited, these are available in a number of colors.

Relevant content:

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Best Interior Detailer In 2023

Your car’s interior needs some TLC from time to time, too – here’s our guide to the best interior detailer.

There’s more to it than just vacuuming your carpets when it comes to cleaning your car’s interior. The various surfaces, like the dash and doors, get dirty and dusty. And, while you can use generic products, a dedicated interior detailer will make your life much easier. Our guide will help you pick the best interior detailer. Give our introductory guide a read if your looking to find out more about what car detailing is in general.

How I chose these products

Although I haven’t tested each and every one of these products first-hand, I’m a keen car detailer myself. As such, I know which brands are worth your time, and which traits are important to have in a good interior detailer solution.

Best Interior Detailer In 2023

Chemical guys interior cleaner

Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner

Size: 16oz / 473ml
RRP: 
$17.99 / £15.99. Buy Chemical Guys cleaner here.

Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner is capable of effectively removing dirt and grime from various elements of your interior as well as protecting it. You can use the stuff on virtually everything in the cabin, from the dashboard to door panels, carpets, seats (both leather and fabric), steering wheel and more.

It protects by using a UV blocker in the formula, this stops plastics from fading and cracking over time. Additionally, the product is environmentally friendly and biodegradable, making it a safe choice for those who care about the environment. Overall, Chemical Guys Interior Cleaner is a reliable and effective solution for maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of a vehicle’s interior.

Meguiar's interior detailer

Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer

Size: 450ml
RRP: 
$10 / £14. Buy Meguiar’s cleaner here.

Meguiar’s has a lot of interior products to choose from, but I can’t ignore one called Ultimate. Ultimate Interior Detailer has been designed to be used on all interior surfaces. You can spray it on your doors and dash, your center console, and even screens. The non-greasy formula cleans quickly and effectively. Ultimate Interior Detailer has superior UV protection to keep your interior looking cleaner for longer and now features Scotchgard protection. It dries quickly and leaves you with a smart, satin finish. You can’t go wrong with Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer.

Chipex interior detailer

Chipex Factory Finish Interior and Dashboard Cleaner

Size: 500ml
RRP:
$32.95 / £12.95. Buy Chipex cleaner here.

Chipex might be better known for its touch-up paint, but it also produces car care products. We’re big fans of its Factory Finish Interior and Dashboard Cleaner, and it’s a great detailer. Naturally, it excels at removing dust, dirt and contaminants. It’s also solvent-free and safe to use on all surfaces. Application is super-easy, too – simply spray and wipe, and there’s no need to buff. It leaves a satin finish and has a fresh new car fragrance. But our favorite thing is the anti-static formulation that repels dust and keeps your interior cleaner for longer. It’s an excellent interior detailer and one that’s definitely worth checking out.

Autoglym interior detailer

Autoglym Interior Shampoo

Size: 500ml
RRP:
$14 / £10. Buy Autoglym cleaner here

Autoglym Interior Shampoo is an extremely versatile interior detailer. It’s safe to use on all interior fabrics and hard surfaces. You can use it on your doors, dashboard, switches, and pedals, as well as mats and headlining. It quickly and easily cuts through dirt and grime, leaving you with a fresh, clean smell. The low-foam formula is easy to apply and wipe off, and it makes cleaning your interior a breeze. Autoglym Interior Shampoo is a great detailer that performs very well, and it’s a great choice.

Auto Finesse Spritz

Size: 500ml, 1 liter, 5 liters
RRP:
$17.95 / £9.95. Buy Auto Finesse cleaner here

Auto Finesse Spritz delivers in a big way and ticks all the boxes. It lightly cleans and protects plastics and vinyl in one step. It features a water-based formula that’s easy to use, quickly getting your interior surfaces clean. UV inhibitors protect against fading, while the anti-static formula keeps your interior cleaner for longer. It gives surfaces a matt finish and leaves you with a gorgeous scent as the finishing touch. Auto Finesse Spritz is an excellent interior detailer, and it’s a great buy.

303 Interior Cleaner

Size: 473ml
RRP:
$25 / £10. Buy 303 cleaner here.

303 Interior Cleaner is another interior detailer that does everything you need in one bottle. It’s tough enough to tackle stubborn stains, lifting dirt away from the surface. Its formula will also help repel dirt and dust to keep your cabin cleaner for longer. But it’s also gentle enough to be used on any surface. 303 Interior Cleaner will happily clean vinyl and plastic, rubber, fabrics and upholstery, and even leather. You can use it on your carpets, LCD screens, and interior glass, too. It leaves no residue and has a lovely fresh scent as well. It’s a superb detailer that does everything well and is definitely worth a look.

Now you know the best interior detailers, check out our step by step guide on how to clean your car’s interior.

The post Best Interior Detailer In 2023 appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Exhaust for Honda Civic Type R

Looking for the best exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R? Well, here’s some of our top picks from the performance aftermarket.

Often, the car’s exhaust is one of the earliest parts that enthusiasts choose to modify, and for good reason. Quite simply, you get a lot of bang (and sometimes pops) for your buck. Plus, not only will it drastically change how your car sounds, but there’s also some extra horsepower to be found if you choose your exhaust system wisely.

From the factory, older generations of the Honda Civic Type R had a pretty unique exhaust note thanks to their VTEC-equipped, naturally aspirated engines. Some people love the resulting sound, whereas others… don’t. Either way, the introduction of a turbocharger in the mid-2010s lowered the car’s signature high rev limit somewhat, giving it a less controversial (but also slightly less entertaining) exhaust note.

Whichever generation of Civic you have though, you can certainly enhance the way it sounds. The parts aftermarket for these cars is huge, so there’s no end of performance exhausts available. Here’s a selection of our favorites.

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R EK9

Rear 3/4 shot of Ek9

What’s it like as standard?

The Mk1 Honda Civic Type R (or ‘EK9’ to us nerds) was a major turning point for the perception of Honda as a performance brand. Although it looked like a humble grocery-getter hatchback, this pumped-up Civic was lighter, stronger, and much more powerful than your regular family runabout.

Amongst the car’s many desirable features, its party trick was undoubtedly its engine – the B16B. Used solely in this model, the B16B offered us our first glimpse at Honda’s now-renowned VTEC variable valve timing & lift control. Effectively, once the car reached a certain point in the rev range (in this case, 6,100rpm), its ECU would increase the level of valve lift, which in short equals more power.

This, coupled with the fact that the B16B was a naturally aspirated engine, meant that the EK9 Type R was blessed with an easily recognizable high-pitched exhaust note, accentuated by a noticeable change in character when VTEC kicks in.

Given that the EK9 was only sold in Japan in limited numbers, they’re quite tricky to get your hands on. However, if you’re in the market for one, be sure to check out our buying and tuning guides for the car.

Spoon

If you want to extract more performance from your Honda, Spoon is probably the first aftermarket company you should consider. This renowned performance tuner has been a Honda specialist for decades, ensuring to test each of their parts in actual races in Japan’s Super Taikyu motorsport series.

As far as street exhaust upgrades go for the EK9, you’ve got two main options – and actually, they’re fairly conservative by design. Whereas most of the exhausts we’ll feature in this article are cat-back systems, the Spoon N1 muffler ($710) is exactly that – just a muffler. You might also hear these referred to as ‘axle-back’ systems, as instead of including much of the pipework that runs down the length of the car, this package solely contains the rear muffler, which fits into place after the rear axle.

Admittedly, that does reduce the maximum potential for performance and sounds gains, but let’s not forget, the EK9 was a very specialized car to begin with. I mean, Honda even built it at Suzuka race circuit. As such, these Spoon mufflers enhance the sound of what was an already commendable bit of performance kit from the factory. Plus, by not having to fork out for a full exhaust system, you’re able to get your hands on premium Spoon parts without breaking the bank.

The N1 is the option to go for if you want the best sound possible from a muffler upgrade alone, while there’s also a ‘street’ variant ($928) for slightly more sociable sound gains. That said, if you do want to go all-out, Spoon does provide other elements of the EK9’s exhaust system separately. Check out their catalogue, here.

5zigen

You’ll do well to find an exhaust system with a more hyperbolic name than the 5zigen Miracle Fireball. However, don’t let that distract you from the fact that this 5zigen exhaust is actually pretty impressive.

The Miracle Fireball ($921) is a cat-back exhaust system, meaning you won’t fail any emissions tests. Plus, as it’s built from 1mm-thick stainless steel, 5zigen claims that it typically weighs about half that of the OEM equivalent on most of the cars they supply it for.

Finally, you also get a straightened pipe design, designed to aid the flow of exhaust gases, reduce back-pressure, and enhance performance. That straighter design is also good for sound quality, as you can hear for yourself in the video above.

J’s Racing

J’s Racing isn’t a brand that the average car enthusiast will have heard of, but for the JDM afficionados out there, it’s likely to spark a bit of excitement. This tuning house is a Honda specialist that made a name for itself on the Japanese automotive show, ‘Best MOTORing Hot-Version’. The show ran a long-standing touge battle competition between different tuners, J’s Racing being one of them.

Some of – if not the – most iconic cars to come from those televised touge battles were the J’s Racing Honda S2000s. In particular, one build became so well known that it earned its own intimidating nickname: ‘Demon King’. Featuring an extreme widebody and equally eye-catching livery, the car stood out not only for its looks, but also its serious pace.

Anyway, as you can gather from their presence on that show, J’s Racing is a formidable aftermarket performance brand. One of the exhausts that they provide for the EK9 Type R is the R304 SUS Exhaust 60RS ($641). Again, it’s a cat-back design, so is perfectly road-legal, and can even be spec’d with an additional inner silencer to keep things fairly toned down.

The exhaust system is stainless steel and only weighs 7.4kg, though it comes finished in a titanium-effect coating for a more exotic look.

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R EP3

A rear shot of a Honda Civic Type R EP3.

What’s it like as standard?

The second generation of Honda Civic Type R, the ‘EP3’ was the first to officially be sold in Europe. However, any European Honda fans hoping to get a taste of the old EK9’s B16B engine would be left disappointed.

The new century heralded a new family of engines for Honda’s Civic model line-up, meaning that the B16B was out in favor of the new K20A. The new engine was still a high-revving four-cylinder though, so much of the Civic Type R’s core personality remained. In fact, over time, tuners came to love the K20 architecture just as much as the outgoing B16B.

Sound-wise, the EP3 offers plenty of the high-pitched magic that people associated with the EK9, though the crossover into the ‘VTEC Zone’ isn’t quite as pronounced. You’ll certainly still notice it though!

At the moment, EP3 Civics are still reasonably attainable, so if you’re in the market for one, be sure to read our buying and tuning guides.

Tegiwa x Milltek

The first exhaust system on our EP3 shortlist is the Tegiwa x Milltek cat-back ($867/£713), which Milltek constructs from T304L (a highly durable type of stainless steel). It features a 3-inch diameter pipe, which helps to provide commendable sound and performance enhancements.

Click the video above to hear the set-up for yourself. The folks at Milltek also provide a full run-down of the exhaust system’s dyno performance compared to stock – well worth a watch if you’re interested in how the product can make your EP3 quicker, as well as sound better.

Cobra Sport

Given that the UK & Europe was the primary market for the EP3-gen Civic Type R, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are multiple British tuners (like Milltek) that offer upgraded exhausts for it. Cobra Sport is another one.

The road-legal Cobra cat-back system ($700/£575) is a little more restrictive compared to the Tegiwa x Milltek, given that its pipe diameter is half an inch smaller. That said, it still offers sound and performance increases over the stock OEM part, and costs less than the Milltek system.

There’s an element of customizability about the Cobra exhaust too. As standard it comes with a circular tailpipe, but for around $50/£40 extra, you can specify it with an oval exit as seen in the video above.


HKS

If this Japanese hot hatch’s Swindon production line was already a little too UK-centric for you, then how about an exhaust system from HKS to inject some JDM magic back into it?

The HKS Hi-Power exhaust ($949/£840) is a tried and tested product that’s proven popular across multiple performance cars over the past couple of decades. Its straighter pipework allows for improved gas flow, equating to horsepower gains at higher rpm. The system also comes with an inner silencer, but you can remove it if you want to experiment with the sound.

To keep costs down, HKS only uses SUS304 stainless steel to construct the backbox, whereas the rest of the pipework underneath the car is formed from a milder type of steel. Due to the different densities of the material, this has a slight effect on the way that the car sounds too. Check out the video above to judge it for yourself.

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R FN2

Rear 3/4 shot of standard Honda Civic Type R FN2 hot hatch

What’s it like as standard?

Very little changed under the Civic’s hood between the EP3 and FN2 generations of the car. At the time, Honda fans were borderline outraged by the fact that the new FN2 had just a single extra horsepower over the EP3, while weighing in between 60-100kg heavier. Its bubbly exterior design did little to improve the car’s image, either.

That said, this controversial hot hatch eventually outgrew the hate, and developed its own smaller section of admirers. After all, you still get a naturally-aspirated, high-revving four-cylinder engine and playful front-wheel drive handling. And to be honest, compared to today’s cars, the weight is hardly much of an issue.

Expect a very similar exhaust note to the EP3, given that the two models run on largely the same engine.

To this day, the FN2 remains one of the least popular Civic Type R models around, despite its late renaissance in popularity. As such, you don’t have to pay too much to get your hands on one. Tempted? Make sure to read our buying and tuning guides for the car first!

Scorpion

Like the EP3, the FN2-gen Civic was definitely a Europe focused car. In fact, Honda didn’t even sell it in Japan – the domestic market got the more desirable FD2 sedan instead. As such, the majority of aftermarket exhaust systems for this car come from European tuning companies instead – like Scorpion.

Based in the UK, Scorpion offers a resonated dual-exit cat-back system for the FN2, priced at $774/£636. The system features a 2.25-inch pipe diameter, is hand-crafted, and fits correctly in line with the stock rear diffuser.

Check out the video above to hear how the Scorpion exhaust compares to the standard OEM part!

Martelius

Finland isn’t often a country that’s associated with aftermarket performance parts, but Finnish brand Martelius offers a cracking pair of exhaust systems for the FN2 Type R.

The pipework used in this kit has a slightly wider diameter than the Scorpion package, measuring in at 2.5 inches, and also comes in two different variations. The single-pipe exhaust system ($558/£457), as shown in the video above, leaves the right exit empty in favor of a straighter pipe flow, and as you can hear, it sounds markedly different to the standard car.

Martelius themselves do admit that you can sometimes get a bit of unwanted drone come through into the cabin though at motorway speeds, but that’s not a problem with the slightly pricier dual-pipe variant of this exhaust ($752/£616).

Despite the mean sound, both systems are cat-backs, meaning you won’t fail any emissions tests.

Milltek

The Milltek cat-back kit ($1089/£892) for the FN2 Civic Type R is non-resonated, making it louder. It’s also a dual-pipe design, intended to make use of the stock OEM tailpipes – so don’t throw them away!

Crafted from T304 stainless steel, the Milltek cat-back has a 2.5-inch pipe diameter to aid gas flow for better sound and performance, while its straighter-than-stock layout works towards the same goals.

If you’d like to know what that translates into in practice, make sure to watch the video above!

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R FK2

Rear of Civic Type R FK2

What’s it like as standard?

After a short hiatus following the FN2, the Honda Civic Type R returned for a two-year production spell between 2015-2017. The ‘FK2’ Type R came with much wilder aero from the factory, and that’s not all that was new.

Under the hood, the FK2 ditched its naturally-aspirated roots in favor of a turbocharger. As such, its four-cylinder engine could now provide *a lot* more power, and do so while still complying with increasingly tighter emissions regulations. The downside was that a lot of the charisma was lost from the way the car sounded, which – arguably – was one of the main draws of early Type Rs.

As such, it’s fair to say that while the FK2 is a fine performance car, it never really developed much of an identity. So, if you want to give your one a bit more character, perhaps its time for an aftermarket exhaust…

Looking to buy an FK2, or learn about how to tune one? Give our dedicated guides a read.

Armytrix

Armytrix tends to cater towards high-end supercars and luxury vehicles, yet it decided to make an exception for the FK2-gen Civic Type R.

This exhaust system ($4087/£3348) is quite a comprehensive one, removing the stock catalytic converter and replacing it with a high-flow sports cat, as well as redesigning the rest of the pipework and muffler. As a result, Armytrix quotes an approximate 14PS power increase, as well as an extra 12lb ft of torque. Crafted from aluminium, this exhaust system system weighs 3.5kg lighter than the standard kit too.

What’s more, the exhaust even features valve technology, allowing you to raise or lower the car’s volume at the push of a button. This is achievable via the Armytrix key fob, or phone app. Pretty cool, huh?

Watch the video listed above to hear the difference for yourself.

Remus

Next up is Remus. Like the Armytrix exhaust mentioned previously, this Remus system ($3268/£2677) uses valve technology to alter the volume of the exhaust note remotely, via a key fob. However, as it’s only a cat-back design, it won’t cost you as much money as the Armytrix. Admittedly, the gains therefore aren’t as large as that of the Armytrix kit, but an extra 10PS and 9lb ft of torque isn’t to be sniffed at.

Plus, as you can hear for yourself in the video above, the sound of the car is noticeably more aggressive, especially with the valves turned open. By design, these turbocharged Civics are a little deeper and more muted in tone, yet the Remus exhaust still manages to make the core ingredients sound fairly sporty.

Scorpion

What if you need an exhaust upgrade for the FK2 that’s a bit more attainable, price-wise? Well, you may want to consider the Scorpion resonated cat-back, which makes do without switchable valves, and therefore is significantly cheaper.

Priced at $1633 (£1338), the Scorpion system is still a sizeable investment, but stands as one of the best value for money exhaust upgrades around for the FK2. Expect performance gains of around 10PS, and around 5kg of weight saving compared to standard.

As you can hear in the video above, the system definitely has some audible presence, yet it’s not too unsociable either due to its resonated design. However, if you want to go a bit more hardcore, Scorpion also supplies an additional turbo downpipe with sports-cat for $753 (£617). The de-catted version is cheaper, but beware that it won’t pass emissions regulations, rendering it unroadworthy.

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R FK8

Honda Civic Type R FK8 rear shot

What’s it like as standard?

Given how acclaimed the Civic Type R badge is worldwide, it might surprise you to know that the nameplate didn’t reach the United States until the fifth-gen ‘FK8’ iteration came out in 2018.

An undeniable global success, the FK8 Type R picked up where the FK2 left off from a performance point of view, and turned the recipe into arguably the best FWD hot hatch package on the market, if it wasn’t already. Now well into the ‘turbocharged era’ of compact performance cars, the snail remained under the hood of the Civic in its FK8 guise. So again, these aren’t quite as high-revving as the first three models.

Happily though, as the FK8 has a truly global presence, there is an abundance of aftermarket exhaust options out there which aim to eke out a bit more performance, and a better sound. Like, seriously, there’s loads of them out there. For now though, we’ve rounded it down to just three brands that we think are most worth considering.

Looking to buy an FK8, or learn about how to tune one? Give our dedicated guides a read.

GReddy

Like most tuning companies, GReddy manufactures multiple different exhaust systems for the FK8-gen Civic. The two that we’re focusing on here are the DD-R cat-back exhaust ($1050), and the Supreme SP High-Grade cat-back ($1795).

Let’s start off with the DD-R. This is a modern reinterpretation of some of GReddy’s dual-pipe exhausts of the past, created from T304 stainless-steel. The pipework has been designed to flow as straight as possible, while its 3-inch diameter also aids the travel of gas. Customizability is a desirable aspect of this system, given that you can chop and change the tips and silencers for more control over how the exhaust looks, flows, and sounds.

Alternatively, the GReddy Supreme SP HG is a more premium product. Instead of two central exits, the Supreme SP makes use of three. That isn’t just a styling choice either. GReddy’s tri-pipe design has been created with optimal sound and gas flow in mind. The system also features a resonator and peripheral ‘sound chambers’ to keep unwanted drone to a minimum. Like the DD-R, the Supreme SP HG’s pipework is 3 inches wide in diameter, and constructed from T304 stainless steel.

Check out the video above to hear how they compare.

HKS

Two more exhaust options for the FK8 Civic come from HKS. In the video above, the white FK8 is running the HKS Legamax Premium exhaust ($2124/£1740), while the blue FK8 has the HKS Hi-Power Spec L ($1889/£1548). However, when watching the comparison, keep in mind that both cars have been de-catted, meaning they’ll be louder than what you can expect from your car if it’s still got the cat. That said, this will give you a good impression of the differences in tone between the two exhaust systems, at the very least.

Beyond what your ears tell you, here’s the nerdy specs for both systems. Starting off with the Legamax, this exhaust system is actually the same weight as the standard OEM part, however it’s got a much wider pipe diameter (3 inches) and straighter flow, reducing back pressure by 50%!

Meanwhile, the Hi-Power Spec L is nearly 6kg lighter than both the Legamax and standard Honda exhaust system. It also provides a happy middle-ground in terms of volume between the two as well. So, while you won’t get quite such an entertaining exhaust note as you will with the Legamax, you’ll benefit from a more refined ride when just commuting.

Tomei

To finish things off, here’s three different options in one video. Don’t say we never treat you…

Tomei is a renowned JDM tuning brand with decades of experience of manufacturing upgraded performance parts, not only for the street, but for racing too.

In regards to their products for the FK8 Civic, we’ll be focusing on the aptly-named Tomei Expreme Ti Type R exhaust ($1390), as well as its Type S ($1390) and Type D ($1890) counterparts.

Each of the three variants are significantly lighter than stock, but it’s the ‘R’ which is the lightest, tipping the scales at just 7kg. The Type S weighs 10kg, while it’s 13kg for the Type D – though that’s still around 4kg less than OEM. Each of them are titanium, which is surprising given their reasonable price tags.

In simple terms, imagine these systems as a sliding scale. The Expreme Ti Type R exhaust is the loudest, most performance-oriented, whereas the Type D is the most civil. Type S sits between the two. It’s also worth pointing out that both Type R and Type S utilize a single exit, whereas the Type D is a dual-pipe design. For the full spec run-down, click here.

How to buy the best exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R

An aftermarket exhaust is a must for any enthusiast who loves spirited driving – you’ll never want to leave the throttle pedal when your car is on full song. Love it or hate it, that’s especially true for the older N/A non-turbo VTEC Civics. But, before you splash the cash, there are a few factors you need to consider when upgrading. Firstly, why are you upgrading your exhaust? Is it for extra performance? Perhaps it’s just an increase in volume you’re after. Or maybe you want more performance *and* more sound. The first thing to consider, and is the same principle you should use when upgrading the exhaust on any car, is the diameter of the exhaust pipes. If you’re planning on modifying other performance parts, an increase in size can be a good option.

As for sound, how do you plan on using the car? If you’re looking to utilize the Civic’s on-track prowess, you’ll be needing a free-flowing exhaust but one with silencers to adhere to noise limits. If you’re just driving on the road, the world is your oyster. Although too loud and you’ll have the Police to deal with…

Exhaust material

Finally, the material of the exhaust. On the GT-R models, it’s not uncommon to find titanium exhausts as readily-available as stainless-steel, such is the diversity of the Skyline tuning scene. Titanium exhausts will change the pitch of the engine note ever-so-slightly, so if you’re wanting something with more rasp at the top end, aim for titanium. It’s more expensive, guaranteed, but they’re lighter and produce an epic sound. In terms of performance, a titanium exhaust in itself won’t improve your topline figures, that’s down to the exhaust flow.

Still in need of some inspiration? Check out our top Honda Civic Type R feature cars!

The post Best Exhaust for Honda Civic Type R appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Ceramic Coating In 2023

A ceramic coating will make your car look amazing and help to keep it cleaner for longer – here’s our pick of the best ceramic coating.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your car looking its best for as long as possible, a ceramic coating is the way forward. Most ceramic coatings are applied by professional detailers, but there are plenty of consumer-friendly products out there. While they might seem a little daunting, there’s no reason you can’t apply a coating yourself and get great results. With a little preparation and the right product, you can ceramic-coat your car with minimal effort. We’ll help you pick the perfect one with our guide to the best ceramic coating. And if you’re looking for more general car-cleaning advice, check out our overarching guide on car detailing.

How I chose these products

Testing each of these isn’t something I’ve been able to do yet, but rest assured, these aren’t just blind recommendations. I’ve intently kept on top of developments in the car detailing scene for many years, so I’m well-placed to suggest brands and point out the important elements of each product, and explain why they’re important.

Best Ceramic Coating In 2023

Gtechniq ceramic coating

Gtechniq C1 Crystal Lacquer

Size: 30ml, 50ml, 250ml
RRP:
$88/£54.99, buy now.

For many people, Gtechniq is synonymous with ceramic coatings. The British company has a huge range to choose from, but our pick is its C1 Crystal Lacquer. The reason we’ve gone for this coating is that it’s been designed to be easy to use. Applying ceramic coating can be a little daunting, and there’s a lot of prep work involved.

Any product designed for newcomers to ceramic is always going to be a great choice. C1 Crystal Lacquer is the perfect choice for first-timers while also delivering impressive performance. The crystalline film it forms helps protect your paintwork from minor scratches that can happen due to improper washing. While it doesn’t add much gloss, this makes it great for matt finishes. And it offers good gloss retention, so your car will look great. Finally, it will last for up to five years, making it a fantastic choice of ceramic coating.

Gyeon ceramic coating

Gyeon Q2 Pure EVO

Size: 30ml, 50ml, 100ml
RRP: 
$54.99/ £75, buy now.

Another company well-known for its ceramic coating, Gyeon has a huge range to choose from, and we reckon Q2 Pure EVO is the pick of the bunch. It strikes the perfect balance between ease of application and durability. Q2 Pure EVO delivers incredible gloss, while the thick formulation means you only need a single layer. This makes application easier and quicker. The ergonomic applicator makes the process even faster, while the extended wipe time makes it easier to work with. Q2 Pure EVO can be applied outdoors, making it perfect for anyone without access to a garage. You can expect up to 36 months of durability, and this is another superb ceramic coating.

CarPro ceramic coating

CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0

Size: 30ml, 50ml
RRP:
$74.99/ £56.99, buy now.

CarPro’s CQuartz UK 3.0 coating has a lot of impressive features that make it easy to recommend. First of all, application is simple, and no matter how cold, hot or humid it is, CQuartz is easy to work with. Anything that makes life easier when applying a ceramic coating is always very welcome. It has minor swirl-filling abilities, which means that minor paint imperfections will be masked after application. A lot of coatings require you to carry out paint correction before application, so this is another bonus. Naturally, gloss levels are very impressive, and CQuartz has self-cleaning properties to make washing your car quicker and easier. It can last up to two years and will protect your paint from minor scratches, bird droppings and acid rain. This is a ceramic coating that’s definitely deserving of your attention.

Shelby Ceramic Coating

Size: 50ml, 100ml
RRP:
£29.99 (not available in the US), buy now.

You might know Shelby for its cars, but the company also makes detailing products, and its Ceramic Coating is excellent. Once again, this coating has been designed to be easy to use. While Shelby does offer a list of ideal application conditions, they are pretty lenient. This means the application is easy and forgiving, which we like to see. One layer is all you need, though you can add additional layers to enhance the gloss further still. The Shelby coating will conceal minor scratches and swirls, and it’s rain repellent in just 20 minutes after application. That’s a big bonus for outdoor application. It’s very reasonably priced, too, and should last for a couple of years. It’s easy to see why this excellent coating made it onto our list.

Sonax Profiline CC36

Sizes: 60ml, 75ml, 100ml. 
RRP:
£89.95 (not available in the US), buy now.

While it might look intimidating, this German offering is actually not hard to work with, just a little complicated. The Sonax Profiline CC36 ceramic coating kit comes with no fewer than three bottles, two applicators, a microfibre cloth and a pair of gloves. Trust the Germans to make a complete kit that has everything you need. It comes with a surface degreaser, BaseCoat and GlossCoat, and while the application process is more involved, the results are fantastic. It ticks all the ceramic boxes, with stunning gloss, resistance to minor scratches, and easier cleaning. Beading is also fantastic, and it fends off road salt and tar, as well as offering UV and chemical resistance. Properly maintained and given an annual service clean, CC36 will last up to 36 months. A superb ceramic offering from Sonax.

The post Best Ceramic Coating In 2023 appeared first on Fast Car.

The Ford Mustang GT350R Is As Special As Modern Ponies Get

I’ve never fallen in love and harmony with a car this quickly. The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R is a well-documented darling to anyone who has driven one – I was aware of its gleaming reputation before going to review an example for Cars & Bids. However, I had never driven one, and unlike when the car was new, I went into this drive with a more definitive context.

We are, historically speaking, at the end of the road for cars like this as ever-smaller turbocharged engines and electric motors continue to take over the market. I returned from my drive, instantly reflecting on one thing – the GT350R is deservedly special. Without question, at the heart of what makes this car unique is its naturally aspirated Voodoo flat-plane-crank V8. Flat-plane engines are expensive to develop, and they’re usually reserved for small displacement, high-output applications, which is why Ferrari commonly uses them.

The significant benefit of a flat-plane design is that, due to the firing order alternating from bank to bank, the exhaust flow is optimized, maximizing the fluid dynamics of the engine and aiding in its ability to rev quickly. The drawback is that these engines are more challenging to balance than their cross-plane relatives, resulting in more counterweights to offset the vibrations. Applying this design with a large displacement engine is an expensive engineering challenge, but Ford made it happen for this car.

It’s essential to understand all of this because to see this level of engineering and R&D put into a Mustang underscores how serious Ford was about building something historically significant. This car celebrates the naturally aspirated engine, and honestly, it’s hard to believe that they were willing to put resources behind an engine that would only be used in two cars: the standard GT350 and the GT350R. But the notable additions for the GT350R don’t end there.

Ford used the Tremec TR-3160 6-speed manual as the sole available transmission for this car, and that’s a vital distinction. The standard Mustang GT was also available with a manual, but it had a Getrag 6-speed, and it’s nowhere near as sweet as the Tremec. The shifts are hefty but crisp and perfectly match this car’s personality. I felt right at home, and shifting gears was so profoundly satisfying. The ratios are well judged, too, both for big speed and for fun around town.

Ford’s MagneRide system is also terrific. Yes, the car is stiff; it is a sports car. Even so, the magnetorheological dampers give the suspension tremendous compliance. Generally, I prefer to keep cars with adjustable suspension in their “Normal” setting, but even so, it gave me great confidence in the car overall. Similarly, the chassis dynamics are truly sublime. I didn’t get to really push this car in corners (as it’s not mine), but you can tell the performance envelope is impressively high, certainly on the level with a 991 GT3.

More On The Shelby GT350:

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Going Flat Out On Autobahn Sounds Incredible
First Drive: 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

Ford also emphasized weight reduction, removing the rear seats, adding carbon fiber to the core support, and offering this car with carbon fiber wheels – a first in a mass-produced car. Optioned at its lightest (notably without air conditioning), Ford claimed that the R weighed 130 pounds less than the standard GT350. This one wasn’t spec’d this way, and I suspect few ever were, but even so, any piece of weight savings was important as the standard GT350 wasn’t the lightest starting platform.

Of course, this car isn’t perfect. It’s built, well, like a Mustang. The plastics aren’t that nice, and some examples have exhibited engine problems. However, I didn’t let any of this take away from the experience of driving the car. It’s right up there with the very best driver’s cars I’ve ever experienced, and even though some of these engines had issues, this V8 goes down as one of the best of all time.

We should all feel lucky to live through this period of history with the automobile. Yes, for car enthusiasts – like us – we will lose the gasoline-powered engines that we love in favor of electric motors. Still, manufacturers are selecting exciting ways to celebrate and send off the gasoline engine, and this era will be viewed as noteworthy. We should enjoy it while it lasts, and that’s what this car is all about. It’s a love letter to the naturally aspirated V8 and the thrill of driving, which is why the GT350R is so great, pure, and, yes, deservedly special.



Source: Cars & Bids

The BMW XM Lives In The No-Mans-Land Of Performance SUVs

– Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The BMW XM is confusing. On one hand, it is ridiculously quick. With 664 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds, the XM has more than enough grunt to keep up with other super-SUVs from Aston Martin and Porsche.

On the other, the XM is a 6,000-pound luxury SUV with a big ol’ battery pack – probably not what BMW’s M division (which stands for Motorsport, remember) had in mind when it was founded more than 50 years ago.

But if you’re okay with kicking nostalgia to the curb and could care less where your power comes from, there are some things you might like about the XM as a luxury SUV.

Quick Stats2023 BMW XM
EngineTwin-Turbo 4.0L V8 PHEV
Output664 HP / 590 LB-FT
EV Range30 Miles
Base Price$159,995

 

BMW lets you go all out at any speed in any drive mode using batteries only.

The Good: For a 6,000-pound SUV, this thing rips. The 590 pound-feet of torque is delivered in an instant thanks to that 29.5-kilowatt-hour (25.7-kWh usable) lithium-ion battery pack and a single electric motor mounted to the rear axle. The XM launches to 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds and onto a limited top speed of 168 mph with the optional M Driver’s package.

It’s not so bad in the corners, either. The XM has excellent steering feel and a perfect 50/50 weight distribution with a traditional steel suspension – as opposed to the ever-common air springs in this class. The active anti-roll bars sit atop a 48-volt electrical architecture that helps keep body roll to a surprising minimum. The rear-wheel steering (up to 2.5 degrees worth in low and high-speed situations) also makes the XM feel more nimble in tight corners.

2023 BMW XM Review 2023 BMW XM Review

The electric-only driving mode is excellent. Unlike some other EV modes that limit speed or throttle pressure, BMW lets you go all out at any speed in any drive mode using batteries only. And the XM has a pretty decent 30 miles of range – that’s enough to get you at least halfway through Angeles Crest.

The XM also has an unbelievably upscale interior. Merino leather, Alcantara, and carbon fiber trim cover nearly every inch while premium quilted leather is draped over both rows of seats. The back seat’s bench even extends that leather onto the door panels for more comfort when turning to talk to your fellow rear passenger. A thoughtful touch.

 

For the majority of people who lay eyes on this SUV, it probably looks pretty ungainly.

The Bad: One of the things I praised during my initial first drive of the XM was the transition between battery power and gas. But having the XM for a week and driving it on more mundane roads, it felt… different. The electric-to-gas handoff was clunkier than before, the powertrain was loud at low speeds, and the eight-speed automatic transmission couldn’t keep up; it was jerky and unrefined.

The ride quality was also less-than-stellar on some bumpier roads. Yes, it’s still an excellent highway cruiser with great sound deadening and plush seats, but even with the softest suspension setting activated, the XM still crashed down hard over broken pavement and bigger speed bumps.

And then there are the looks. The XM does have some redeeming visual qualities, like the two roundel logos etched into the rear glass, the stacked quad exhaust tips, and the overall profile. For the majority of people who lay eyes on this SUV, it probably looks pretty ungainly. Certain colors and configurations help, but BMW’s styling continues to be controversial.

2023 BMW XM Review

The Verdict: The XM’s edges are rough, both literally and figuratively. BMW M faithful will probably stay away from this SUV due to its clunky plug-in powertrain, hefty curb weight, and questionable styling – and rightfully so. But as a luxury SUV with amazing straight-line speed, the XM at least hits on some of the basics. 

More On The BMW XM:

BMW XM Loses $9,900 And Part Of Its Name
2023 BMW XM Pulls Out A Lot More Power Than Advertised In Dyno Test

Competitors

Aston Martin DBX 707 Bentley Bentayga Speed Lamborghini Urus Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT

FAQs

Is The BMW XM Fully Electric?

No, the BMW XM is a plug-in hybrid – but it does have one of the most advanced electric driving modes available currently. The XM allows you to drive at any speed in any drive mode using battery power only with a range of 30 miles.

What Is The MPG Of The BMW XM?

The BMW XM gets 14 miles per gallon combined when only using its V8 engine, but it gets 73 MPGe when the battery is fully charged. The XM has a total driving range of 300 miles.

Is The BMW XM The Most Powerful M Car?

The BMW XM was the most powerful M car ever built when it debuted, but it was soon overtaken by the even more powerful BMW XM Label. The more potent version of the XM has 738 horsepower.

2023 BMW XM
EngineTwin-Turbocharged 4.4-Liter V8 PHEV
MotorSingle Permanently Excited Synchronous
Output664 Horsepower / 590 Pound-Feet
TransmissionEight-Speed Automatic
Drive TypeAll-Wheel Drive
Battery29.5-Kilowatt-Hour Lithium-Ion
Speed 0-60 MPH4.1 Seconds
Maximum speed168 MPH (w/M Driver’s Package)
Efficiency14 MPG / 73 MPGe
EV Range30 Miles
Charge Type240 Volts @ 7.4 Kilowatts
Charge Time3.25 Hours
Weight6,062 Pounds
Seating Capacity5
Base Price$159,000 + $995 Destination
As-Tested Price$165,895
Best Snow Foam Lance In 2023

We picked six top snow foam lances and pitched them against each other to see which is best for the pre-wash stage of cleaning your car.  

Snow foam makes not only makes car detailing so much easier, but it’s also an essential part of the pre-wash stage. To do it right, you need the right tool for the job. A snow foam lance or cannon is essential for applying snow foam to your car’s bodywork. There are a few different designs out there, so it can be tricky to choose one. They range from cheap and cheerful to quite expensive. But that’s why we’ve put together this test to help you pick the best snow foam lance.

About the tester

I am Fast Car’s Detailing Product Tester, and I have been into cleaning cars for many, many years. In that time I’ve tried more detailing products than most, and have a huge array of personal favorites in my collection. I’ve tested and used everything from great detailing products to the ones that no one should be using. Pitting products against each other means I know what works and what doesn’t. The best products in these tests are the ones that I will personally be using, so you know they’ve really impressed me.

I’ve chosen six of the most popular snow foam lances on the market. Every snow foam cannon on our list promises good performance, but some are better than others. I’ve picked a selection that includes the cheapest lance you can buy, well-known lances, and expensive lances. There is something here to suit every need and every budget. Remember that snow foam lances have specific connectors for different pressure washers. Make sure you choose the correct fitting for you. 

Best snow foam lance group test

Best Snow Foam Lances at a glance:

  • Best Overall and Editor’s Choice: MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2.0. RRP: $89/£46.95.Buy Now.
  • Best Value: Amazon/unbranded Snow Foam Lance. RRP: $26.20, buy now. £18.99, buy now.
  • Approved: Hydro 360 Snow Foam Lance. RRP: £20.99. Not available in the US. Buy Now.

MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2.0 snow foam lance

MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2.0 – Best overall and Editor’s Choice

RRP: from $89 / £46.95. Buy MJJC Foam Cannon Pro here

Pros:

  • Fantastic horizontal and vertical nozzle adjustment
  • Soft pick-up hose with weighted filter
  • Excellent foam

Cons:

  • Measurements only go up in 100ml increments and are only numbered at 500ml and 1000ml
  • Expensive

MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2.0 snow foam lance in action

While every snow foam lance here performs well, there had to be a winner, and it’s the MJJC Pro V2, by a clear margin. This snow foam lance starts off strong thanks to its wide base for stability and a decent-size filler neck. It feels solid, and I like that the foam adjuster makes it clear which way to turn it for more or less foam. It also has the best pick-up hose in the whole test, as it’s soft and flexible and comes with a weighted filter at the end. This means that whichever way you tilt the MJCC snow foam lance, it will always be able to suck in snow foam solution.

It offers horizontal and vertical adjustment, and the foam spray pattern has a wide range of adjustment. It also produces plenty of foam and is just excellent to use. The only negative point is the measuring gauge, which only goes up in 100ml increments, and only has numbering at 500 and 1000ml. But honestly, that was me looking for something I didn’t like. The MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2 is the best snow foam lance here, a clear winner, and the one I will be using from now on.

Read our full review of the MJJC foam cannon here.

Amazon snow foam lance

Amazon/unbranded Snow Foam Lance – Best Value

RRP: $26.20, buy now. £18.99, Buy now.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Detailed measurements

Cons:

  • No horizontal or vertical adjustment
  • Falls over
  • No pick-up hose filter
  • Narrow filler neck

Amazon/unbranded Snow Foam Lance in action

Ever since I started using snow foam, this has been my personal snow foam lance of choice. It’s definitely a no-frills experience, but for the money, it’s hard to complain, even though it’s not got much in the way of features. It feels cheap, there’s no pick-up filter, there’s no horizontal or vertical adjustment, and it falls over constantly. It also has a narrow filler neck. But the measuring scale starts at 100ml and gives you numbered increments all the way to 1000ml, which is nice. It’s incredibly easy to use and delivers decent foam. Crucially, you can pick these up for a little over $/£10 if you shop around. Mine has never let me down, and if you’re on a budget, I can absolutely recommend this snow foam lance.

Be sure to read the full review on the Amazon Basics lance here.

Hydro 360 Snow Foam Lance

Hydro 360 Snow Foam Lance – Approved

Price: £20.95. Not available in the US. Buy the Hydro 360 lance here

Pros:

  • Textured neck indent for extra grip
  • Chunky nozzle grip with horizontal and vertical adjustment
  • Pick-up hose filter

Cons:

  • Very stiff nozzle adjustment
  • Measurements start at 200ml and only go up to 800ml

Hydro 360 Snow Foam Lance in action

The Hydro 360 was the snow foam lance I had the highest hopes for. I expected it to win, but ultimately it just fell short. There’s a lot to like here – there’s a nice-sized filler neck, and I really liked the hand grip indent in the bottle. The nozzle feels nice and chunky and is easy to grip with wet hands. You also get an intake hose filter, though the hose is a little stiff. There’s also horizontal and vertical adjustment. Foam levels are impressive, and it has the biggest spray angle adjustment range of any snow foam lance here.

Unfortunately, the nozzle adjustment is incredibly stiff. This makes it hard to adjust just the spray pattern without also moving the horizontal/vertical adjustment portion. This makes it a little frustrating to use, and you really need a firm grip on the nozzle when adjusting. Also, the measuring markings don’t start until 200ml and stop at 800ml, which is annoying when one liter is the norm. But it’s still an excellent lance overall.

For more advice, check out our full review on the Hyrdro 360 foam lance.

Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance

RRP: $62.95 / £39.95. Buy the Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance here.

Pros:

  • Looks and feels great to use
  • 1500ml capacity
  • Pick-up hose filter

Cons:

  • No horizontal or vertical adjustment
  • Measurements start at 250ml and only have markers every 250ml

Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance in action

The Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance is arguably the nicest-looking lance I tested. This snow foam lance feels expensive and is very nice to use. It has the wider filler neck I want to see and a nice stable base. It also has a filter on the pick-up hose, which, again, is nice to have. It’s the biggest snow foam lance in this test and will hold 1500ml of liquid, which is another selling point. This makes it great if you need to wash something big and you want as much snow foam as possible. There’s no horizontal and vertical adjustment, though, which it gets marked down for. Also, the measuring scale is vague, only starting at 250ml and only having markers at 250ml increments, which is annoying. But otherwise, it’s a solid choice, it performs well and is ideal if you have larger vehicles to wash.

Check out the Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance full review here.

Autoglym Polar Blaster Snow Foamer 

RRP: $50.77, buy now. £45.99, buy now.

Pros:

  • Feels great to use
  • Widest filler neck on test
  • Neck indent makes it easy to hold

Cons:

  • No measurement scale
  • No horizontal or vertical adjustment
  • No pick-up hose filter

The Autoglym Polar Blaster is a snow foam lance I have been using personally for a while now. It’s a very well-built snow foam lance, and Autoglym has made the effort to make sure it stands out. I like the adjuster knob design, and the nozzle is easy to adjust, with good grips ideal for wet hands. The bottle, meanwhile, has the largest filler neck of any snow foam lance in this test. It’s nice and stable, and I like the hand grip around the neck, as well. There’s no filter on the pick-up hose, but it is soft and flexible, which is nice.

However, there’s no horizontal or vertical adjustment, which is unacceptable at this price point, really. Also, as Autoglym intends it to be used with its own Polar Series products, there is no measuring scale. That’s really annoying, and I actually drew my own with a marker pen. So, while it’s nice to use and delivers impressive foam, it can’t compete with the best snow foam lances here.

For more info, read the full Autoglym snow foam lance review.

MTM Hydro PF22.2

RRP: $84.99, buy now. £85.91, buy now.

Pros:

  • Lovely action on adjuster knob and nozzle
  • Horizontal and vertical adjustment
  • Measurements in 50ml increments

Cons:

  • Narrow filler neck
  • Bottle feels cheap
  • No pick-up hose filter
  • Narrow spray pattern
  • Expensive

The MTM Hydro PF22.2 is a snow foam lance that promises a lot. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the most disappointing foam cannon to use. That being said, it does have some very nice features. I love the action on the adjuster knob with its soft clicks. It also has the nicest nozzle of any snow foam lance in this test. The spray pattern adjuster is easy to turn and shows you which way to twist for a narrow or wide spray pattern. The horizontal and vertical adjuster is equally well-designed. It clicks into place beautifully and has markers for horizontal and vertical spray orientation.

The scale is also very comprehensive, with markers every 50ml. The bottle has a wide base and a textured section for extra grip. However, there’s no filter, and the pick-up hose is stiff. The bottle looks and feels cheap and has a narrow filler neck. But worst of all is the spray pattern. It has a tiny range of adjustment, and even its widest setting delivers a disappointingly narrow spray pattern. Add in the high price, and it’s hard to recommend this snow foam lance.

For a closer look at its pitfalls and potentially redeeming features, read our full review of the MTM Hydro PF22.2.

How Each Product Was Tested

I assessed each snow foam lance on several criteria. Size, functionality, ease of use, features, and price were all considered. I checked how well each snow foam lance performed in a variety of key areas. The amount of foam, the spray pattern, and what it was like to use were also taken into consideration. I have been using various snow foam lances for years, so I know what makes a good one, and I’ve found some new favorites among this selection.

What To Look For When Buying The Best Snow Foam Lance

The perfect snow foam lance will have several useful features. You want a nice, wide filler neck, which makes life easier. A wide base means it won’t topple over when you’re not using it. You want a wide range of spray pattern adjustment as well. This allows you to quickly coat the whole car or just spray a small section.

Horizontal and vertical spray pattern adjustment is also very nice to have. A measuring scale on the side of the bottle is essential for ease of use. Finally, soft pick-up hoses and filters are a nice bonus that’s well worth looking out for. This can make all the difference between a good snow foam lance and a great one.

Looking for the right products to use in your new lance? We’ve got you covered with our guide to the best snow foam in 2023.

The post Best Snow Foam Lance In 2023 appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Suspension for Nissan Skyline GT-R

Looking for the best suspension for a Nissan Skyline GT-R? Well, whatever the type of build you’re going for, we’ve got you covered.

What’s the point of a beefy engine if your car doesn’t want to go around corners? For that reason, suspension is one of the most important upgrades you can make to your car. Not only can it improve drivability, but it’ll also inspire more confidence when you’re behind the wheel. Not to mention more grip and better handling. Add those things together, and your lap times should begin to tumble.

When it comes to upgrading suspension, it’s not simply a case of ‘one size fits all’. Instead, you’ll want to opt for a different set-up depending upon two things: A, which Nissan Skyline GT-R generation you own, and B, what sort of build you want to turn it into.

So, without further ado, here’s the best Nissan Skyline GT-R suspension that the aftermarket has to offer.

The side of a modified Nissan Skyline R32

Best Suspension for a Nissan Skyline GT-R R32

What’s it like as standard?

Fresh from the factory floor, the R32 GT-R came with independent double wishbone multilink suspension at both the front and rear. You’ll find a pair of coil springs and an anti-roll bar at either end of the car, as well as unequal upper and lower control arms at the front.

The front end of a pristine white example.

Best street suspension for a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

We’ll start with suspension set-ups designed for the street, because let’s be honest, that’s where most of us will spend 99% of our time behind the wheel.

Coilovers are naturally the way to go to improve the vehicle’s handling and achieve an attractively low ride height, however you don’t want to go too extreme with a street build. Instead, this sort of project requires a bit of compromise. After all, no matter how much of a hardcore racer you are, you don’t want to give yourself a back ache every morning on your commute. For that reason, it’s best to go with a suspension kit that offers tangible handling improvements without sacrificing comfort entirely.

BC Racing are a good benchmark brand for this sort of thing. Their BR Series of coilovers can fit an R32 and sell from $1214 (£999). At that price point, you’ll be getting a product that you can trust to be reliable (and effective!) without totally blowing your budget. However, if you do have a bit more cash that you’re willing to splash, then we’d recommend going for an Ohlins Road & Track kit. These are arguably the best multipurpose coilovers on the aftermarket, and will set you back $3290 (£2663).

Front 3/4 driving shot of HKS Nissan Skyline GT-R R32

Best circuit suspension for a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

Let’s say that your R32 GT-R isn’t your daily driver though. What if instead, you’re turning it into a purpose-built track car, designed to be trailered across the country and eat up every closed circuit it encounters? Well, in that scenario, you’ll want something a bit different.

When comfort isn’t really a consideration, you can unlock a whole new world of coilover set-ups. These extra-firm kits are designed to maximize your car’s ability to deal with pesky apexes, while providing excellent feedback to the driver. However, you wouldn’t want to drive with them on bumpy public roads.

One of the best hardcore track suspension kits you can get for the R32 GT-R is APEXi’s N1 Evolution Damper package. A well-known brand from the heyday of JDM tuning houses, APEXi is still active in motorsport today, and that means they’re pretty well set-up to provide you with a top tier track kit. The N1 Evolution system will cost you $2799 (£2440) but for that you get a custom package developed specifically to your driving style and goals – whether that be track days, time attacks, or even drifting. There’s 25-way manual damping force adjustability built into the kit too, incase you want to fettle with things further.

Admittedly, $2799 is a bit steep, but for about a grand less you could bag yourself some TEIN Mono Racing coilovers instead. You get slightly less adjustability with these, but TEIN are still well-regarded enough for you to be confident in this kit’s performance.

Pandem Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

Best stance suspension for a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

For the best results when going for a slammed look that you can actually drive, you’ll want an air suspension kit. If you’re already clued up about these, you’ll know that air kits tend to be on the pricey side. AirRide will hook you up from $2404 (£1979), though you’ll need to pay extra if you want the management system as well.

Airdynamiks are another stance specialist that caters for the R32. Its kit costs a comparable $2340 (£1894), though again, you’ll need to pay about 50% of that retail price on top to get your hands on a management system.

The Best Budget Options for a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

Up until this point though, pretty much all the options we’ve spoken about cost north of $1000 – but that’s out of financial reach for many of us. So, what if you’ve got less than a grand to spend, but still want to pick up some aftermarket suspension that’ll give you both performance and aesthetic gains? Well, the key is not to scrape the barrel. If you’re paying anything less than 500 quid for a full set of coilovers, then chances are it’s a mod that isn’t worth doing.

However, some trusted brands do cater for more cost-conscious car enthusiasts. TEIN are a great example of this. Their Street Advance Z package provides damping adjustability and a twin-tube structure for $771 (£624). Or, for more control over your R32’s ride height, TEIN’s Flex Z package can be had for $993 (£804) instead. Of course, these won’t offer the same end results as higher-tier products, but at least with a company like TEIN you can be relatively confident that the low price point won’t come back to bite you.

Peripheral Suspension Parts

Suspension isn’t just about springs and dampers. If you want to maximize your R32’s handling capabilities, you’d be wise to sort out its bushes and anti-roll bars as well. The R32 comes with rubber bushes from the factory, but by now they’re bound to be rather tired. You could simply replace them like for like, or, if you don’t mind trading a bit of comfort for performance, you could even look to swap them with firmer polyurethane ones from the likes of SuperPro. Upgraded anti-roll bars are also crucial to counteracting body roll. Cusco supply these for $315 (£255) apiece.

For a closer look at the best ways to modify your Nissan Skyline GT-R R32, check out our dedicated R32 tuning guide. Or, if you’re in the market for one, check out our R32 buyer’s guide instead.

Close up frontal shot of a silver Nissan Skyline GT R R33 driving on a race track

Best Suspension for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

What’s it like as standard?

In standard guise, the R33 GT-R’s suspension looks almost identical to the R32’s, albeit now part of a longer wheelbase and with stiffer camber at the front. However, upon release, the R33’s size – and consequently, the way it handled – was a slight point of contention for enthusiasts. Realistically, a stock R33 GT-R isn’t quite as bad as people make it out to be, but suspension is nonetheless one of the first mods you’ll want to do to improve its dynamic traits. So, here’s our advice on how to make that happen…

Modified Nissan Skyline GT-R R33

Best street suspension for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

Ohlins offer their Road & Track set-up for the R33 GT-R as well as the R32, so naturally it takes the top spot here as well.

However, if you’re looking for something different, HKS’ Hipermax S package is well worth a look. Priced at around the $1800-mark (£1500) depending upon supplier, HKS Hipermax S coilovers aim to maximize comfort while still offering solid performance gains.

Alternatively, you could go for a MeisterR ZetaCRD set-up. These can be used for occasional track days, but like the HKS package, are best suited to public road use instead. You still get 32-point damping adjustability though in order to tailor the ride to your specific preference. Available for $1245 (£1008), these are on the more affordable end of the premium-quality spectrum.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 cornering shot

Best circuit suspension for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

The similarities between the R32 and the R33 suspension set-ups mean that some aftermarket options will cater to both cars. For example, the APEXi N1 Evolution track kit mentioned above is also available for the R33, though it’ll cost you an extra $100 (£82) compared to the R32 version.

Alternatively, if you’re after a *slightly* more affordable set of circuit coilovers, the MeisterR GT1 package is worth a look. Manufactured and designed in the UK, they’ll set you back $2283 (£1879). The GT1 package’s party trick is its bespoke Staggered Digressive Valve technology, which promises to retain the car’s quality of steering response and control while providing excellent damping over uneven track surfaces.

Best stance suspension for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

Sadly, air suspension is no cheaper for the R33, so if you want to stance your car while keeping it usable, you’re looking at a cost of at least three grand.

KS Racing will sort you out for $6600 (£5432) if you want their full kit complete with digital management system. On the cheaper end of things, AirRide provides an R33 suspension kit without the management system for $2404 (£1979). If you want to add the management system into the package though then the price will start to creep up towards that of KS Racing.

The best budget options for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

We sang the praises of TEIN’s Street Advance Z and Flex Z coilover packages when referring to cheaper options for the R32, and since they also supply similar kits for the R33, we’ll shout them out again here.

Peripheral suspension parts

The same advice about bushes and anti-roll bars applies with the R33 GT-R too. However, if you want to take things a step further, Nengun will sell you a range of peripheral Nismo suspension parts; including arms, links, and tension rods – all of which are stronger and more durable than their stock equivalents. Each Nismo set costs between $250-$500.

For a closer look at the best ways to modify your Nissan Skyline GT-R R33, check out our dedicated R33 tuning guide. Or, if you’re in the market for one, check out our R33 buyer’s guide instead.

The front end of a Fast and Furious Skyline

Best Suspension for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

What’s it like as standard?

After a slight wrong turn with the R33, for many people the R34 generation of Skyline GT-R signaled a return to form for Nissan. The comparatively shorter platform of the R34 made for a slightly better handling package fresh out the box. However, even the mightiest of JDM hero cars can begin to feel a bit soft when you really push it hard. Don’t get us wrong, the R34 makes for a great drive even in stock guise, but if you want to maximize its potential, the aftermarket suspension industry has you covered.

Mine's Skyline GT-R R34

Best street suspension for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

Ohlins’ $2490 (£2015) Road & Track kit is also applicable to the R34 GT-R, so it gets another mention as our top choice.

Alternatively, JDM icon brand HKS provides a range of options for this car. The Hipermax R set-up is the pinnacle of HKS suspension technology, offering features such as lighter springs, improved shock fluid and 30 steps of rebound adjustment. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to $2580 (£2124) though, you could spend around half a grand less on a HKS Hipermax S kit. This is a slightly older design that isn’t quite as cutting edge (for example, it lacks pillowball mounts), but is still highly capable for street use.

A third option is BC Racing’s premier ER series. BC Racing ER coilovers are comparable to HKS Hipermax offerings, and will cost you $2223 (£1799).

Front 3/4 shot of Tuned Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

Best circuit suspension for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

If you’re serious about circuit driving, or even official time attack events, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s a wide range of high-end track suspension kits for the R34 GT-R.

For example, the Nitron NTR R3 kit has been designed for serious grassroots/semi-pro motorsport, so should be more than capable of handling some track days. Given that these are designed for circuit-only builds, expect the ride to be fairly unforgiving on the street. They aren’t cheap either. This coilover kit sells for as much as $4822 (£3903).

Don’t worry if you can’t stretch that far but still want to get serious with your racing lines. Nitron themselves sell a slightly more restrained ‘R1’ kit for $3657 (£2960), while Ksport offer tailored R34 GT-R suspension kits for circuit, asphalt rally, drag, and drift builds! The road rally, drag, and drift coilovers tend to sell for around $1600 (£1295).

Realistically though, if you’re only doing a few track days every so often, upgraded street suspension like the options mentioned in the previous segment should do the trick nicely.

Liberty Walk ER34

Best stance suspension for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

If you want to achieve the perfect stanced look with your R34 GT-R, AirREX is the company to go to. Their premium kit is hardly cheap at $4647 (£3825), but crucially it provides impressive performance capabilities for when you aren’t parked up.

If nigh-on four grand is too much though, Airdynamiks will hook you up for $2340 (£1926), though don’t expect as much adjustability or indeed as much poise through the bends. They sell a kit for the R33 GT-R too, in fact.

Best budget options for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

BC Racing are a highly reputable suspension brand, and if you can’t afford their premium ER coilovers, maybe you’ll fancy the BR kit instead. Although admittedly not as capable as the ERs, you still get important features like 30-way damper adjustability for a price of $1214 (£999).

We haven’t forgotten about TEIN either. These budget heroes are able to help with your R34 GT-R build too. The Flex Z coilover kit mentioned in the R32 and R33 segments is available for the R34 as well for $770 (£623).

Peripheral suspension parts

There’s plenty of supporting suspensions mods to go along with your fancy new coilovers. Cusco will sell you aftermarket anti-roll bars for around $315 (£255) apiece, or Whiteline will do you a front and rear combo pack for $600 (£461). Camber arms, track rods and bushes are all part of Hardrace’s catalogue, meanwhile.

For a closer look at the best ways to modify your Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, check out our dedicated R34 tuning guide. Or, if you’re in the market for one, check out our R34 buyer’s guide instead.

Driftworks HICAS eliminator kit.

HICAS Lock-Out

The R32, R33, and R34 generations of Nissan Skyline GT-R all feature the HICAS four-wheel steering system (not to be confused with ATESSA E-TS four-wheel drive system, which all three cars have too).

The purpose of HICAS is effectively to reduce the amount of AWD understeer that the Skyline has to deal with through corners, however it does have its downsides. By now, your Skyline’s HICAS system may be faulty, given its age. Or, even if it’s still working as it should, you might not like the way it feels to drive. Some owners feel that the system makes the car a bit too twitchy and unpredictable when you’re really pushing it.

Happily, if you want rid of HICAS, Driftworks offers a full Eliminator Kit. This removes every part of the Nissan rear steer system, replacing it with fully adjustable, heavy-duty rod ends and toe control arms giving precise adjustment and more confidence inspiring handling.

Geometry

Finally, it goes without saying that whichever generation of Skyline you have, and whatever type of build you’re striving for, you should always get a geometry alignment carried out after installing new suspension parts or aftermarket wheels & tires. Your average garage should be able to ensure that everything’s straight, but if you want to dial in some custom camber or toe set-ups, then head to your nearest specialist instead.

For some extra background info on suspension matters, feel free to check out the following resources:

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