Best Aftermarket Cold Air Intake System 2021 – Tested & Recommended

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Installing a cold air intake system is a famous modification every car enthusiast loves. Whether the CAI system provides extra power or not, it produces a deep throaty sound.

Besides, a cold air intake also gives you an HP boost, increases throttle response, and improves gas mileage. But the heck is- the market is flooded with a ton of CAI systems. From the crowd, it will be challenging to pick the right air intake system.

Luckily, our editorial team enlisted the 10 best aftermarket air intake systems after conducting thorough research. Each of them comes from trustworthy brands. They are functional, simple to install, and effortless to clean. To explore more awe-inspiring features of them, stick with us till the end.

What is Aftermarket Cold Air Intake?

An aftermarket cold air intake means the CAI systems made by third-party companies other than your car’s original manufacturer. Such air intake systems require no box to enclose the air filter, alternating it with a smooth intake tube. By installing an air intake, your car engine gets a massive flow of cold air, which boosts up the horsepower to enjoy solid acceleration.

Is It Worth to Buy Aftermarket Cold Air Intake?

The advantages of installing an aftermarket air intake system into your car are significant. Think of it like this- your car’s factory CAI system has a cold- but it blocks its head, and your vehicle fails to take a deep breath. In this case, your car never runs smoothly. And an air intake system works as a medicine to let your car function properly.

By installing a CAI system, your car engine receives a large amount of cold air. An increased amount of air allows more fuel to burn efficiently, which boosts up horsepower.

Therefore, a massive volume of cold air into your car engine increases throttle response. So, if you wish to enjoy solid acceleration, don’t hesitate to install an air intake system. Nonetheless, the CAI system also improves gas mileage as it adds extra horsepower and increases fuel efficiency.

To sum up, it is worth hundreds of times to invest your money in an aftermarket cold air intake system.

Top Rated Aftermarket Cold Air Intake 2021 -Comparison

Image

Name

Fits For

Rating

Price

 K&N 63-3082 Cold Air Intake

 K&N Cold Air Intake

Chevy/GMC/Cadillac (Silverado, Suburban, Sierra)

4.5/5
MOOSUN 4 inch Cold Air Intake

MOOSUN 4 inch Cold Air Intake

GMC/Chevy V8 4.8L/5.3L/6.0L Silverado 1500/2500/

4.5/5
Airaid Cold Air Intake System

Airaid Cold Air Intake System

CHRYSLER/DODGE, Challenger, Charger)

4.5/5
Volant 151536 PowerCore Cool Air Intake

Volant PowerCore Cool Air Intake

2001-2006 Chevy/GM/Cadillac Truck, SUV

4.5/5
aFe Power Performance Intake System

aFe Power Performance Intake System

Fits for Dodge RAM HEMI

4.5/5

10 Best Aftermarket Cold Air Intake System Reviews in 2021

After scrutinizing hundreds of products, our editorial team enlisted these aftermarket cold air intake systems. All of them are functional, easy to install, and boost up horsepower & torque. To discover more breathtaking features, don’t forget to check the detailed review below.

1. K&N 63-3082 Cold Air Intake

Need only basic tools to complete the installation
Roto-molded HDPE intake tube to increase high volume of airflow
A custom heat shield protects the entire unit from the heated engine air
Fits for Chevy/GMC/Cadillac (Silverado
1500, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra)

Simple to install, add extra horsepower, and improve mileage! All of these go with the K&N 63-3082 Cold Air Intake. The installation process is like get up and go as it comes with every attachment. Therefore, you need only commonly used tools, including wrench, extension, blade screwdriver, and Allen wrench.

It features a roto-molded HDPE tube which helps to increase the volume of airflow to your car engine. As a result, you will get an extra 10.68 horsepower to ride smoothly. The only cons we discover is- it provides a deep throaty sound. You may don’t like the sound. However, the extra horsepower and better mileage you will get outweighs the little rumble sound.

Roto-molded HDPE Intake Tube: The low restricted intake tube allows more air to travel through it to your car engine. An increased volume of airflow helps to gain extra horsepower & torque.

High-flow Air Filter: This air intake system is paired with a washable & reusable air filter. The extra-large air filter can catch extra dirt, dust, and pollen. You can go 100k miles under normal driving conditions, and you don’t need to clean & empty the filter.

Oiled Cotton Filter Media: The air filter contains thousands of microscopic cotton fibers. This innovative design of the cotton filter media can withstand contaminants from reaching your car engine. In simple words, dirt, dust, and debris can’t penetrate the fibers, which protect the engine.

Heat Shield: It features a custom heat shield that can resist high temperature coming from the engine, and protects your entire air intake system.

Pros
  • Improve horsepower
  • Convenient to install
  • Enhance fuel efficiency
  • Increase throttle response
Cons
  • Make extra sound

2. MOOSUN 4 inch Cold Air Intake

Convenient to install
Improve filtration efficiency
Boost up horsepower & torque
Fits for GMC/Chevy V8 4.8L/5.3L/6.0L Silverado 1500/2500/3500 Black

A cold air intake system is an exceptional modification every car & truck owner loves and modifies their car with it. Installing the right CAI system in your car brings a massive difference between performances. And MOOSUN 4 inch Cold Air Intake will resemble that performance.

With it, you can gain and enjoy an improved fuel economy. Plus, the air intake system boosts up the horsepower to 8-10% and the torque as well for a smooth ride. Nonetheless, the installation process of this CAI system is a breeze.

Smooth Intake Pipe: MOOSUN air intake system has a smooth intake pipe, which reduces intake restriction. As a result, a massive amount of airflow enters it and goes to your car engine freely. An increased airflow boosts up the horsepower to 8-10% and torque to 6-10%, increasing throttle response.

Oversized Air Filter: The CAI system comes with an extra-large air filter to catch & trip more dirt, debris, and dust. It improves the filtration efficiency to 95%. So, you don’t need to worry about the contaminants that can bring damage to your engine as this filter shields those. Moreover, the oversized filter needs no frequent cleaning until you drive the car up to 100k miles.

Premium Material: Made with durable alloy steel and covered with a heat-resistant coating, this air intake system is built for the last. The air filter, couplers, and tube seals of this intake are made with high-quality silicone rubber. As a result, they won’t crack easily and can resist heat up to 400F. Indeed, this CAI system is durable and lasts for years.

Easy Installation: Unlike other air intake systems, it includes every part, including air filter, intake pipe, couplers, and more for easy installation. The best part is- it requires only the basic hand tools like a screwdriver, a ratchet set, and pliers to complete the installation process.

Pros
  • Increase fuel efficiency
  • Washable & reusable air filter
  • Produce a nice growling sound
  • Made from high-quality and durable material to ensure longevity
Cons
  • Though the installation method is easy, its installation instructions are a bit tricky to understand.

3. Airaid Cold Air Intake System

Hassle-free installation
Offer superior filtration
High-performance reusable filter
Fits for CHRYSLER/DODGE (300, 300C, 300S, Challenger, Charger) AIR-353-210

We already know the engine of a vehicle is a giant air pump. But the factory air box restricts the airflow, and over time, your car starts choking because of a lack of air. At the same time, the car starts losing the horsepower & torque you need for a smooth drive. To bolt-on horsepower, installing an aftermarket air intake system will be an excellent modification. And the Airaid Cold Air Intake System is what your car needs.

Upgrading your car with this intake system, your car can take a deep breath with the fresh cold air it draws. As a result, you will gain more horsepower and torque.

Aero-dynamic Intake Tube: AIRAID CAI system comes with an aero-dynamic intake tube. It is specially designed to draw a high volume of air into your engine. Plus, this air intake also decreases turbulence. All of these contribute to boosting up horsepower & torque.

Dry Air Filter Media: With a synthetic non-oiled air filter, this air intake system can shield contaminants and offers excellent airflow. The dry washable & reusable air filter can trap dirt, dust, and debris and prevent them from reaching your car engine. In short, it assures superior protection to the engine. Besides, you can wash the filter with water and reuse it for years after years.

Effortless Installation: Like other CAI systems, this air intake also comes with every attachment. You need only the basic hand tools like a screwdriver and ratchet set to install the intake system. Therefore, the hassle-free installation instruction also makes the process easy.

Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Offer superior filtration
  • Improve throttle response
  • Dry filter media provides excellent protection to your engine
Cons
  • The front bolts of this air intake system don’t fit well

4. K&N ‎71-3082 Cold Air Intake Kit

Easy to maintain
Increase horsepower
World-class engine protection
Fits for Chevy/GMC/Cadillac (Silverado
1500, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra) 

K&N is a widely accepted air intake manufacturer that designs easy to install and high-performance CAI systems. Among them, K&N 71-3082 Cold Air Intake is one of the best intake systems. Installation is just a piece of cake and takes only 30-40 minutes.

It also produces a deep throaty sound, and you can feel the horsepower difference on your 2015 Chevy Suburban or 2014 Sierra. Therefore, the black fit and finish of this air intake system are excellent. It fits and looks stunning in the engine bay of your Suburban or Silverado.

Boost Up Horsepower: Dyno-tested and a low-restricted intake tube draw 50% more airflow to your car engine than the factory box. In return, the engine produces extra 8.3 horsepower. You can feel the acceleration when you go into the deep throttle. Plus, you can hear a nice scream coming under the hood.

Sturdy Construction: Made with durable aluminum material and powder coating, the K&N air intake system is built to last for years. Because of the construction element, it can resist corrosion. Besides, the intake tube is covered with heat-resistant powder. As a result, high temperatures coming out of the engine can’t damage this air intake.

World-class Protection: Every K&N air intake system features an oiled-cotton media filter. With its innovative design, this filter contains thousands of microscopic fibers. It means tiny particles can’t reach your car engine penetrating the filter wall, which shields your car engine and increases its lifespan.

Pros
  • Last for the long
  • Improve throttle response
  • Reusable & washable air filter
  • Require minimum maintenance workflow
Cons
  • The fittings of the air intake are fragile as they use cheap plastic

5. Volant 151536 PowerCore Cool Air Intake

Improve throttle response
Sturdy construction increase durability
Include maintain-free PowerCore air filter
Fits for 2001-2006 Chevy/GM/Cadillac Truck, SUV

Volant CAI system uses a high-velocity venturi filter adapter. It offers a smooth passage through the MAF sensor into the intake tube to draw more airflow than the factory air box. Therefore, Volant 151536 features an extra-large air box. It has a wide opening to collect a massive amount of airflow to boost up your car performance.

Therefore, this air intake system from Volant is better compared to its counterpart in form and ease of installation. It fits your 2001-2006 Chevy or Cadillac.

PowerCore Air Filter: Unlike other air intake brands, the Volant air intake system features a PowerCore air filter. It requires no maintenance, and you don’t need to clean it until you reach up to 100k miles. This CAI system is excellent for hard driving conditions.

Boost Up Performance: Cool airbox with a wide opening, the air intake system allows more air to your car engine. And the more cold air your engine receives, the more oxygen it gets for combustion. It doesn’t only improve the fuel efficiency but also boosts up horsepower & torque.

Effortless Installation: The Hassle-free installation method of the CAI system convinces us to include it on our list. It takes only 30 minutes to complete the installation workflow with commonly used hand tools like a screwdriver.

Pros
  • Improve fuel efficiency
  • Increase horsepower and torque
  • Require minimum cleaning workflows
  • Intake tube made with Polyethylene to prolongs the life of the air intake
Cons
  • It’s a little bit tricky to line up the mass airflow sensor with the adapter to secure it to the airbox.

6. aFe Power Performance Intake System

Easy to clean
Offer advanced filtration
Fits for Dodge RAM HEMI
A custom heat shield to protect 
air intake system from high temperature

Do you want to get an air intake system consistent in performance, fitment, and ease of installation? Then, aFe Cold Air Intake System is what you wish to put into your car. Its fit and finish are right on point and feature every attachment for hassle-free installation.

Moreover, its 3-1/2″ diameter black air intake tube is smooth enough to draw an increased amount of airflow to improve horsepower. Plus, this intake system comes with a 3-layer air filter, which resembles performance, protection, and convenience.

Enhance Performance: This stage-2 air intake system comes with a smooth air intake tube to collect more air and provide it to your vehicle engine. Plus, the CAI system has a 3-angle adapter to speed up airflow to boost up performance & throttle response. All of these contribute to raising the horsepower to 18 and torque to 27lbs. x ft. Indeed, the intake system outperforms the factory intake by 27%.

3-layer non-oiled Washable Air Filter: Unlike other CAI systems, the air intake features an oversized Pro Dry S air filter. This low-restricted air filter allows more air to travel freely to your car engine for maximum airflow & performance. Besides, its extra-large size filter holds more pollen, dirt, and dust for convenient cleaning operation. On top of this, this air filter traps tiny particles and prevents them from reaching your engine to offer superior protection.

Hassle-free Installation: Installing this air intake system from aFe is a breeze. It includes all hardware and components you need for the complete installation process. Therefore, you need only some commonly used tools to install the entire air intake system with ease.

Pros
  • Simple to clean
  • Convenient to install
  • Offer superior filtration
  • Boost up throttle response
Cons
  • Though it is easy to install, the instructions this intake system includes are vague.

7. Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit

High-quality air filter
Improve engine sound
Designed to increase horsepower
Fits 1999-2007 CHEVROLET/GMC/CADILLAC (Silverado, Avalanche, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra, Yukon, Escalade) SPE-9900

If you are looking for an air intake system similar to K&N at a limited budget, Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit will be best for the bucks. Though it is low in price, it doesn’t sacrifice its quality and performance.

Like K&N air intake systems, this air intake system is dyno-tested and specially designed to increase horsepower & torque. It boosts up to 50% more airflow than the restricted factory box. To discover more awe-inspiring features, continue to read.

Improve Your Car Performance: The polished intake tube lets the air enter your car engine without any restriction. Plus, it is dyno-tested and specially designed to provide 50% more airflow than the factory airbox. As a result, you can feel the horsepower difference in your car by installing it. Therefore, it also increases acceleration and uphill performance, which you can feel when towing.

High-performance Air Filter: Unlike other air intake systems, the Spectre CAI system comes with an upgraded oil synthetic air filter. It withstands particles, pollen, dirt, and dust and prevents them from reaching your car engine. So, these contaminants don’t bring any damage to the engine, which prolongs its lifespan.

Easy Maintenance: No one loves to check the air filter frequently while driving. And this air intake system will be a lifesaver by reducing the need to check the filter often. It features an extra-large air filter, which can hold more debris. So, you don’t need to check the filter and clean it frequently.

Pros
  • Boost up throttle response
  • Include every hardware & accessory for easy installation
  • Require no cleaning until your drive the car up to 100k miles
  • Heat Shield protects the air intake from the heated engine air
Cons
  • It would be best if the company provides better quality clamps

8. K&N ‎63-2593 Cold Air Intake

Increase horsepower
Effortless installation
Protect your engine from harmful contaminants
Fits for 2015-2019 Ford F150, 2.7L V6,63-2593

K&N makes a big name in manufacturing high-quality and high-performance air intake systems. And this K&N 63-2593 Cold Air Intake System is not an exception to that. Like other air systems from K&N, it also includes all hardware and components to make the installation a piece of cake.

Therefore, it comes with a roto-molded HDPE intake tube to provide more airflow to your engine, which assures you to boost up horsepower & torque.

Designed to Increase Horsepower: This K&N air intake system has a roto-molded HDPE intake tube. It is a smooth and low-restricted pipe, which allows more air to enter the car engine. On top of this, the CAI system is dyno-tested to provide 50% more airflow compared to the factory air box. All of this helps to boost up horsepower & torque to improve overall car performance.

Oversized Air Filter: An extra-large air filter of this air intake can capture more debris and dirt. So, it requires no servicing and cleaning until you drive your vehicle up to 100k miles. Above all, the oversized air filter also provides more airflow to increase horsepower.

Oiled Cotton Media: The advanced filtration system features hundreds of microscopic cotton fibers. Its exceptional layer designed with oiled cotton media helps to protect your engine by preventing contaminants from reaching the engine.

Pros
  • Simple to clean
  • Convenient to install
  • Make a deep throaty sound
  • Require low maintenance workflow
Cons
  • The airbox seal-to-hood is too thin.

9. AEM 21-732C Cold Air Intake System

Easy to install
Fits for Subaru WRX
Collect cool air to boost horsepower
DryFlow synthetic air filter offers advanced filtration

AEM 21-732C Cold Air Intake System will be an excellent modification for your 2015 WRX. This air intake system places the air filter outside the engine compartment technically. Due to this, it collects cooler air which contains more oxygen to burn the fuel efficiently. In return, you will get more horsepower & torque you need for smooth riding.

Apart from these, the air intake system comes with a washable & reusable air filter. It means you can rinse the filter with soap and water and reuse it.

Increase Power & Torque: AEM CAI system is specially designed to generate more horsepower and gain torque. The air intake system technically relocates the air filter outside your engine compartment. In return, it can collect cooler air and satisfies the hunger of the engine with cold air. So, your car can take a deep breath and provides you the extra power & torque you need for a long drive.

Dry-Flow Synthetic Air Filter: AEM CAI System comes with an extra-large dry-flow synthetic filter. It is washable & reusable, which means you can rinse it with soap and use it after drying the filter. Due to its large size, it also allows more air to enter the engine to improve horsepower. On top of this, the air filter is also functional and prevents the contaminants from reaching your car engine.

Durable Construction: This air intake system uses durable aluminum as the intake tube material. Plus, every hardware it includes is made with premium quality elements. As a result, you can use the cold air intake system from AEM for years.

Pros
  • Effortless installation
  • Protect your engine from contaminants
  • Improve horsepower & throttle response
  • Hold more debris and require less cleaning workflow
Cons
  • Produce a bit louder sound

10. Injen Short Ram Intake System

Washable & reusable
Convenient to install
Fit for vehicle specific
SuperNano Web air filter increase horsepower and provides upgraded filtration

At number 10, we enlisted this high-performance and sturdy air intake system that comes from Injen. The Anjem Technology has made it a point to provide you the horsepower and torque you need for smooth riding. Plus, its industry-standard craftsmanship gives it a long-lasting life. So, you can use this air intake system for years to come.

SuperNano-Web dry air filter: The high-flow SuperNano-Web air filter of this Injen air intake system is specially designed to boost up airflow and filtration efficiency. As a result, you will get an increased amount of horsepower & torque for a smooth drive. Plus, this air filter helps to protect your car engine from dirt and contaminants.

Smooth Intake Piping: Injen’s smoothing intake piping removes restriction and allows more air to draw into your car engine. And you know a high volume of cold airflow increases the horsepower to improve your vehicle performance.

Long-lasting Air Intake: Like other aftermarket CAI systems, this intake uses sturdy construction material to ensure longevity. The intake tube uses durable aluminum. Plus, the cold air intake system features a heat shield to protect your air intake from the high temperature coming from your engine.

Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Effortless installation
  • Improve horsepower and torque
  • Made with durable material to ensure longevity
Cons
  • The installation instructions are not good enough.

What to Look Before Buying Aftermarket Cold Air Intake

Take the following criteria into account before choosing an aftermarket cold air intake for your car.

Compatible with Your Vehicle or Not

First off, consider the fit and finish of an air intake system before purchasing one for your car. Each of the CAI systems is made for a specific vehicle. Not every air intake fits every car. So, it will be a wise decision to check your car’s model, make, and year first. Then, get an air intake that is compatible with your vehicle.

Performance

Increasing car performance is the chief reason behind purchasing a cold air intake system. Always get a CAI system that features a smooth intake tube. Such an intake pipe allows more air to enter your car engine. Therefore, pick one that also features an oversized air filter to let the air travel through it without any restriction. All of these contribute to boosting up horsepower and torque. And an increased amount of horsepower improves the overall performance by improving throttle response.

Filter Type

Every air intake system brand includes different types of air filters. Oiled cotton media, Dry Air Filter, SuperNano-Web air filter are some examples of them. Each filter type has upsides and downsides. It will be better to pick an air intake system that features a washable & reusable air filter.

Durability

The built-in material of an air intake system determines the longevity of your CAI system. HDPE, aluminum, or stainless steel are some of the construction elements every air intake brand uses. Choose an air intake system that is made with any of these materials to ensure longevity.

Protection Feature

Here protection feature means- an air intake system that protects itself from the high temperature coming from the engine. Plus, it would be best if the CAI system can protect your car engine. In this case, choose an air intake that features a heat shield and advanced air filter. Because of the heat shield, the heated engine air can’t damage your CAI system. On the other hand, an upgraded air filter protects your car engine by capturing harmful contaminants.

Ease of Installation

Easy installation is another criterion you should consider before picking an air intake system. Fortunately, every air intake we enlisted is convenient to install. Each CAI system comes with every attachment and features an easy-to-flow instruction guide for effortless installation.

Maintenance

Most air intake systems we included require a minimum maintenance workflow. You can wash the air filter with water and reuse it after cleaning it. On top of this, some of the air filters need no servicing until you go up to 100k miles.

Brand

Choosing the right air intake system for your vehicle is challenging as there are hundreds of options available. To get rid of clutter, it will be best to stick with brands. All of the air intake systems we enlisted come from popular & trustworthy brands like K&N, Injen, Volant, AEM, and aFe. So, you can pick any of them without any hesitation.

Aftermarket Cold Air Intake FAQ’s

Are aftermarket cold air intakes worth it?

Ans: Yes, buying an aftermarket cold air intake is worth thousands of times. It collects cold air to burn the fuel more efficiently, which increases horsepower & torque.

Do cold air intakes increase horsepower?

Ans: Yes, cold air intakes increase horsepower by improving combustion. Therefore, you can also feel the solid acceleration by installing a cold air intake system as it improves the throttle response as well.

How much horsepower can a cold air intake add?

Ans: Generally, you can gain an extra 5-10 or max 20 horsepower by installing a cold air intake system.

Does a cold air intake Make your car louder?

Ans: Yes, a CAI system makes your car louder.

Conclusion

Cold air intake systems fill your car engine with cold and ample amounts of air. You know that an increased airflow is responsible for efficient fuel combustion resulting in producing horsepower & torque.

You can find a lot of air intakes in the market. But all of them will not provide the power you need to bring back life to your old car. Fortunately, these 10 best aftermarket cold air intake systems we reviewed above will meet your needs. So, you can pick any of them for your car.

Reminder: Before picking an air intake system, don’t forget to check your vehicle’s model and fit.

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Brian Hazel

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Hazel (Automotive Enthusiast)

I am a professional auto repair & automotive enthusiast currently living in USA. My interests range from all types of vehicle maintains & repairing.

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