Coilovers Vs Stock Suspension: Weight, Comfort & Ride Quality

By June 23, 2022Coilovers

The purpose of coilovers is to lower the car so that you get optimal weight distribution and reduced body roll. Lowered vehicle ride provides more efficient balance that helps the vehicle perform better on sharp manoeuvres.

Question comes here, coilovers are known for their excellent performance, why don’t most manufacturers offer the suspension in their vehicle line?

The answer to this is that if it’s compared with stock shocks on daily drivers, coilovers turned out to be a bitter encounter. The stiffness of a drive is not ideal for a daily commute. Stock shocks have a tendency to be soft, and they are fabulous at taking hits. However, stock shocks are not ideal performance-wise when racing or driving.

Myself as well as other car enthusiasts have coilovers on their vehicles despite driving them every day. In this article, I will compare coilovers with stock suspensions in terms of performance, comfort, and cost. The following topics will be included: –

  • What does suspension do?
  • What is a coilover?
  • What are coilovers good for?
  • Who needs a coilover
  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Which suspension is best for daily driven cars
  • Final thoughts

I’ve also prepared a summary table for better view of the details.

Coilovers Stock suspensions
Handling Sportier handling, improve handling if replaced with stock Comfortable handling
Cost $300 – 25,000 Depends on vehicle type
Performance improvement Better handling, height-adjustable option, suspension adjustment No effect
Suspension fail Moderate Risk Reliable
Vehicle Damage None None
Legal Yes Yes
Warranty Suspension warranty will be void Will not affect
Suitable For Racing Yes Not recommended

What Does Suspension Do?

coilover-suspension-overview

Suspensions are highly important for your car. The main purpose of suspensions is to keep the car on the road and provide comfort to the driver and passenger when the car is running on an uneven surface. Suspensions do the job of keeping the car tires on the ground and without the suspensions, your tires won’t make any grip and you will not be able to drive the car.

Suspensions come in different types and each type is made for a specific reason. The stock suspension we get from the factory is designed to provide the best comfort and road clearance possible. Some suspension systems are specifically made for performance upgrades.

Coilovers are known all over the world for performance and ride height modifications. Coilovers are made to optimise your car handling according to your personal preference. A car owner can choose a specific spring rate for his coilovers. Coilovers are not universal, they can be fit into many cars but each car has to be equipped with the right pair of coilovers with the right springs.

Recap: What Is A Coilver?

Coilovers Anatomy

Coilovers are a simple suspension upgrade for automobiles. Coilovers are both mechanically and anatomically different from the stock suspension shocks. Suspension adjustment isn’t possible on most stock suspension.

A Coilover is capable of offering a variety of suspension alterations that can facilitate vehicle control and enhance track performance. Coilovers are installed to lower the car’s height, which is recommended for reducing body roll and improving high-speed cornering.

The stiffer springs in automobiles allow tires to make their grip on the road sturdier and enable the car to become more stable while riding. That’s why so many car enthusiasts are looking forward to this upgrade.

What Are Coilovers Good For?

Are Coilover Suspension Good

Coilovers are ideal for making your vehicle suspension to be more stable, especially on sharp turns. It basically substitutes your stock suspension with a stiffer and more powerful single-coil suspension instead. Allowing you to adjust your vehicle height according to your preference along with the rebound and damping compression control.

The nature of coilovers is such that they are most often used to lower or raise the elevation of a vehicle. Low ground clearance helps lessen the body roll of the vehicle and improves its road holding ability. It also can make the appearance of your vehicle more aesthetically interesting.

Do I Really Need Coilovers?

Your vehicle’s driving style affects what kind of suspension you prefer. The Coilover provides you with better handling compared to the stock suspensions. It is not as comfortable as the stock suspensions, however. 

Coilovers make your ride slightly stiffer and bumpier, but not to the extent to cause discomfort (if on recommended settings), but are highly recommended for racing on the track.

Coilovers offer adjustable suspension options. You can adjust its height to a specific height prior depending on road condition.

Who Needs A Coilover Suspension: Coilovers Vs Stock Suspensions? 

Stock vs Coilovers Suspension Installed

Car enthusiasts, racers would usually install coilovers on their cars. The objective behind installing coilovers is to get a sportier look, controlled handling, and maximum road grip for high-speed corners.

So, what is body roll? When making a sharp turn or high-speed turn, you can feel that the wheels of your car are not making proper contact with the ground. 

It’s because when you are taking a turn, the center of gravity of your car changes, and the weight distribution on each tire changes as well, therefore it cannot give you the extra grip. 

Coilovers solve this problem by allowing you to lower your car and with stiffer suspension, you get more grip and handling control.

Coilovers can provide you and your car more than simply reducing the uncovered height. It can provide adjustment options for each individual tire, such as rebound and compression damping of each coilover according to your personal preference and track conditions.

If you want to lower your ride or you want more aggressive and better handling on track, then you should definitely get coilovers. Without the coilovers, it will be a big risk of losing control of the vehicle and getting yourself in an undesirable scenario.

RELATED ARTICLE: Why Do People Lower Their Cars?

Can Coilovers Be More Comfortable Than Stock?

The answer here is no. Coilovers can’t be more comfortable than stock because they are made with keeping three things in mind which are… handling, handling, and handling.

You got the point, right? 

A “well-sprung” suspension offers softened springs and shocks that give you a favourable ride both on even and uneven ground.

People often complain about their coilover experience as too uncomfortable ride quality which can be caused by bad quality coilovers or the wrong spring rate of coilovers.

While choosing coilovers for your car make sure that you go with the right spring rate — the recommended spring rate is 280 front / 160 rear.

READ ARTICLE: Coilovers For Daily Driving: How To Make Them Comfortable?

Do Coilovers Improve Ride Quality?

Coilovers improve the road grip, handling, and weight distribution of your car’s tires. Which can be considered as “ride quality”.

If you are considering having coilovers installed for additional comfort, you are making a big mistake. The tradeoff is the sportier handling and adjustable ride height for the noise and comfort when you install coilovers in your car. 

By far the greatest drawbacks of coilover are that it cannot be as comfortably ridden, but it is specially designed for use in racing tracks. Comfortability is not a priority when you crave sharper turns…

On the other hand, the stock suspensions are great for a daily city drive. They make driving more comfortable because they are built to make your experience behind the wheel as pleasant and quiet as possible.

Which muffler is your car right now?

Do Coilovers Make The Ride Bumpy?

Coilovers may cause the ride to be stiff and bouncy. It is because the suspensions of these Coilovers are inflexible.

I agree that coilovers which have been poorly set up are often uncomfortable and don’t do a good job managing bumps, but it’s not their fault. There are a lot of good coilovers out there. The right spring rate, rebounding, and compression control is actually not too bad to be daily driven.

If you are thinking about installing coilovers then make sure to choose the right setup. If you are not sure about what coilovers do you need for your car, then read this article where I have explained in detail, see article below.

READ ARTICLE: Are Coilovers Universal: How To Get the Right Fit?

In another article where I have mentioned the best coilovers available in the market;

CHECK ARTICLE: Best Coilovers: What To Look For When Buying? 

Are Coilovers Lighter Or Heavier Than Stock?

Good quality coilovers are lighter than the stock OEM suspensions. Coilovers weigh 20% less than the stock suspension also, it reduces the unsprung weight and adds more benefits to the suspension performance.

Having a light suspension system in your car improves your driving performance. You not only save weight with coilover suspensions but also get more advantages and adjustments, most importantly, improved performance! Coilovers come with complete height adjustment control, rebound control, and compression control.

Warranty: Coilovers Vs Stock Suspension

Installing coilovers may void the suspension warranty of your vehicle.

Since the coilovers replace stock suspension the warranty of the suspension system will be void if coilovers do any damage to your vehicle. However, to invalidate your car’s warranty, the dealer has to prove that the damage was directly caused by coilovers. Hah!

Which Suspension Is Best For Daily Drive Cars: Coilovers Vs Stock

Stock suspensions are the best choice for daily driven cars. It is more comfortable and reliable for normal roads. Coilovers are more suitable for robust vehicles and favorable handling experience.

In a situation similar to when a car is about to hit a dip or bump in the road, the soft springs of the suspension will perform better in absorbing the impact of the blow.

Coilover suspensions, which use a tighter spring than the stock suspension, do not offer much protection against bumps and dips.

RELATED ARTICLE: Impact Of Coilovers On Camber: Are They Adjustable?

Final Thoughts

Comparing coilovers to stock suspensions, the coilover reveals itself as a more high-performing automotive option, while the stock suspension is ideal for daily use. The aim of coilovers is to offer better performance and features for car enthusiasts, and height adjustment is yet the main reason for this car part’s popularity.

Coilovers are the superior choice for suspension upgrades on a car when you’re looking for more control. They give you better handling on tighter high speed cornering.

By comparison, maintenance cost of coilover suspensions may be pricier than stock suspension. Be sure to keep this in mind. Not everybody drives fast and craves for extra grip on turns, thus if you aren’t serious about high-performance riding, stick to the stock suspension system.

The price difference between both suspension systems is higher. Coilovers cost more than stock suspensions. Good quality coilovers could cost you around $1,500 – 2,000.

Chai WJ.

Chai WJ.

I am a car enthusiast and a passionate rider who loves to discover new places. Since the pandemic, I can't go to places and I started to blog and share information that I learned. I'm not easily distracted, I just... OMG, do I hear a Supra?

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