Looking for the best Honda Civic Type R suspension? Well, whatever the type of build you’re going for, we’ve got you covered.
It’s all well and good having a load of powertrain upgrades, but 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 car modifications you can make. Not only can it improve drivability, but it’ll also inspire more confidence when you’re behind the wheel. Add those things together, and your lap times should begin to tumble. If you haven’t got a CTR but still looking for the best suspension? We’ve got you covered in our best car suspension in 2023 guide.
Now, when it comes to aftermarket 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 Honda Civic Type R generation you own, and B, what sort of build you want to turn it into.
So, without further ado, here’s the best Honda Civic Type R suspension that the aftermarket has to offer.
Best Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R EK9
What’s it like as standard?
The EK9 was the original Honda Civic Type R, and for many, it’s still the best. Undoubtedly, its party piece has to be the high-revving B16B: the engine that introduced the world to the ferocity of variable valve timing & lift control; the very first known record of VTEC kicking in, ‘yo’. It wasn’t just about the feel of the engine though either, it even had the credentials to impress the stats nerds. When it was new, the EK9’s small but mighty 1.6 liter four-banger had the highest ever hp-per-liter of any naturally aspirated production motor!
That said, a genuine EK9 is so much more than just a sixth-gen Civic hatchback with a special motor dropped into it. It also included various weight-saving measures to make it as svelte as possible, while the entire shell was seam-welded for strength. Suspension-wise, you’re looking at double wishbones front and rear, as well as factory-upgraded sway bars. In short, it handles like a treat even in stock form. That’s not to say you can’t improve it though…
Best Street Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R EK9
Whether it be for street use or something more serious, we’d advise opting for coilovers if your budget allows it. Spring-over-shock packages have plenty of upsides compared to cheaper options. For example, you’ll know for sure that the spring rate matches the damper as they’re supplied by the same company, saving you a lot of fettling and guesswork. Plus, you get way more adjustability to fine tune things compared to simple lowering springs, for instance.
Yellow Speed Racing Dynamic Pro Sport coilovers might be a bit of a mouthful, but that shouldn’t put you off. Competitively priced at $888 (£720) , these will give you excellent handling without compromising too much on ride quality. In fact, they’re well suited enough for light track day use too if you fancy. The same is also true of the MeisterR Zeta CRD package, which offers 32-stage damping adjustability, as well as independent ride height and spring pre-load adjustment.
TEIN are a well-respected suspension brand from the Civic’s homeland. Their most advanced coilovers are the $1629 (£1320) Mono Sports. These provide full length height adjustment and come with a monotube design, which provides further enhanced damping thanks largely to only using a single valve rather than multiple.
Best Circuit Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R EK9
If you’re turning your EK9 into a serious track-only build, you’ll probably want to go for a more elite set of performance coilovers. Ride comfort on the road will not be a primary objective here. Instead, these options are all about getting the best lap times possible.
At the top of the pile lies the $4816 (£3903) Nitron NTR R3 package – the coilover kit responsible for VLN lap records at the Nürburgring. Designed to deal with Europe’s toughest endurance races around the Green Hell, these NTRs use a 40mm piston design with ultra-strong rods. As a result, they’ll certainly be able to cope with any track day or time attack that you can throw at them. In fact, for non-competitive use, you might find them to be a little bit overkill.
So, to save a bit of cash, how about the Premium Competition package from Yellow Speed Racing? This coilover kit is explicitly for circuit builds, and is priced very reasonably at $1219 (£899). For the money, you get 33-way damping adjustment and a long history of development on track.
If you want to go full JDM-spec, APEXi produce a range of track-oriented coilovers for the EK9. The best of the bunch is the $2699 (£2187) N1 Evolution package, which comes with 25-way damping adjustability, a monotube design, and highly durable damper fluid that’s proven capable of dealing with professional GT races. Alternatively, for $1099 (£891) you could opt for the N1 ExV package, so long as you only plan on fairly light, infrequent track days. Although capable of providing a great feel on the circuit, the ExVs are primarily street coilovers.
Best Stance Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R EK9
For the ultimate stance, you’ll want a set of bags to help you achieve the lowest possible drop when static. Air suspension is a bit more technical than your average springs and shocks job, but the results are hard to beat. The biggest draw of air suspension is the fact that your car doesn’t have to be permanently glued to the floor. You can drop it hard at car shows or when parked, but then raise it back up to a usable level when you actually need to get from A to B. With air bags, the days of scraping every curb or speed bump are over.
If you want to go down this route with your EK9, we’d point you in the direction of Air Lift. Although not specific to the EK9 Type R, Air Lift claims that their 3H air package will fit Civics built between 1992-2000. The full kit retails for $2425, or you can buy the front and rear struts individually without the accompanying management system for $675 a pop. The full-price package includes a controller, app, integrated manifold, and all the stance functionality you could ever wish for.
Best Budget Options for a Honda Civic Type R EK9
If you’re building an EK9 on a fairly strict budget, fear not, as there are still a number of options out there that can achieve good results without breaking the bank.
TEIN’s Street Advance Z ($770/£624) package is, as the name suggests, primarily street focused. You can adjust the damping settings, but if you want more control over ride height, you’ll need to grab the $992 (£804) Flex Z kit instead.
If adjustability isn’t too much of a concern for you, then lowering springs will probably be the way to go. TEIN S-Techs will only set you back $192 (£156) but provide an approximate 20mm drop. Or, on the other end of the price spectrum, Spoon Sports’ progressive lowering springs promise to achieve similar results in ride height reduction, while maintaining a close-to-standard ride quality. Plus, you get the added street cred for repping Spoon. Just, don’t go looking for any MoTeC system exhausts…
Peripheral Suspension Parts
The EK9 comes with cheap and replaceable rubber bushes from the factory, so replacing them with a firmer polyurethane upgrade makes a lot of sense. Not only do you get a genuine performance benefit of the stiffer bush and less unwanted flex in the suspension system, but they’ll never need replacing again in the future.
A full bush kit like Energy Suspension’s Hyper Flex kit costs $343 (£278). But, if you don’t have the time or money to do the whole set at once, there’s nothing wrong with replacing each bush individually.
Torque GT supplies a wide array of peripheral suspension parts for the EK9, ranging from anti-roll bars, to strut braces, and everything in between. Well worth a look if you’re serious about optimising the way your Civic handles on the road.
Best Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R EP3
What’s it like as standard?
If the EK9 was the mythical JDM forbidden fruit, the EP3 was the car that solidified the Type R’s reputation in Europe. Albeit built in Swindon rather than Suzuka, the EP3’s character reflected that of its predecessor, just on a much more global scale.
Honda swapped out the glorious B16B engine for a still-high-revving K20, and in time, tuners came round to the idea that that was no bad thing. Handling-wise, the EP3 boasted Renaultsport-rivalling dynamics straight from the factory floor. Its rear multi-link set-up gave it a playful feel that ensured it won many a hot hatch group test. Mind you, some felt that the car’s assisted steering could sometimes be a little too vague. Plus, when faced with the pantomime of early VTEC engines, it’s easy to forget that the chassis isn’t quite as thoroughbred as the powertrain, so if you’re not careful you can end up understeering your way into trouble. That said, the EP3 is still a bloody good hot hatch, arguably one of the best of the noughties. But you may find it in need of some upgrades to keep up with modern standards…
Best Street Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R EP3
BC Racing BR Series coilovers are a tried and tested option that have won many fans over the years. Although positioned as BC’s entry-level offering, the BR Series is still thoroughly capable of dealing with your average street car needs, combining performance with comfort.
Elsewhere, Bilstein offers B14 coilovers ($2058/£1668) for the EP3 Civic, featuring a monotube damper and claimed ride height drop of 15-35mm. Alternatively, their B16 package ($3049/£2471) adds damper adjustability for those who want to fine tune their ride.
A third option is MeisterR’s ZetaCRD coilover kit. Priced at $1294 (£1049), ZetaCRDs include 32-way damping adjustability, independent ride height and spring rate customization, and camber adjustable top mounts.
Best Circuit Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R EP3
Yellow Speed Racing is a good place to start when looking for track-focused coilovers for your Civic. Handily, one of their circuit-spec kits is supplied by AREA Motorsport for $1080 (£875), a UK-based firm that specializes in racing EP3 Civics, to great success. AREA has even added their own minor tweaks to the Yellow Speed ingredients, offering you a track day set-up worthy of the grassroots motorsport scene.
BC Racing don’t just do high performance street suspension. The ZR Series coilovers are track-orientated, featuring 3-way adjustability thus giving you control over high-speed rebound separately from low-speed rebound. You’d do well to find a suspension package that offers that sort of functionality for a price as competitive as $2664 (£2159).
Best Stance Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R EP3
These days, the best stance builds are sitting on air suspension, giving their drivers the best of both worlds: the low-slung look without the ruined ride or handling. The AirRide Gold kit, priced at $2221 (£1800), is a popular choice for the EP3 Civic. Management systems will add additional sums to that price though, ranging from $1018 (£825) for a Manual Paddle Controller, all the way up to an extra $3547 (£2875) for the Delux Computer System package.
Alternatively, you could opt for an AirREX kit instead. You can buy the struts alone for $3554 (£2880), but we’d recommend adding an Air Lift 3P Management system into the mix for a total price of $5898 (£4780). That said, AirREX themselves also offer pressure or height-based systems at a higher premium. This unlocks individual corner control, pre-set ride heights, 12-way adjustable damping, as well as an array of other features designed to maximize the balance between ride height and drivability.
Best Budget Options for a Honda Civic Type R EP3
Suspension can get very expensive, very fast. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Lowering springs are a great option for drivers who don’t mind compromising their ride a little bit for the sake of a desirable drop in ride height. Eibach Sportline lowering springs ($342/£277) are a particularly aggressive option, providing a 50mm drop at the front, and 30mm drop at the rear. Or, for a less risky approach, the Eibach Pro Kit ($327/£265) features progressive springs to help minimize reduction in ride quality.
TEIN S-Techs, meanwhile, offer a still-impressive 20mm drop for the cheaper price of $252 (£204).
But what if you’re adamant that you want full coilovers rather than mere lowering springs? Well, TEIN can easily hook you up for less than a grand. The TEIN Street Basis Z packages offers a twin-tube design with adjustable ride height, but fixed damping for $711 (£576). Or, one step up the TEIN product ladder, Street Advance Z coilovers adds damper adjustability for a total price of $814 (£660).
Peripheral Suspension Parts
Most OEM cars come fitted with rubber bushes from the factory. These are cheap and replaceable, and are likely to have worn out by now, so swapping them for a firmer polyurethane upgrade makes a lot of sense. Not only do you get a genuine performance benefit of the stiffer bush and less unwanted flex in the suspension system, but they’ll never need replacing again in the future.
Anti-roll bars do exactly what they say on the tin – resist your car’s propensity to body roll. By fitting stiffer items you can increase their effect. For the EP3, you have two main options: the JDM spec ARBs are actually a big improvement, so these are a popular fit, and at around $140 (£114) each they are good value for money too. If you are looking to go a little more hardcore, Progress and Tanabe also make even stiffer versions for a little more money.
Best Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FN2
What’s it like as standard?
Perhaps a bit unfairly, many people consider the FN2 to be the runt of the Civic Type R litter. There is some method to the malice though. For instance, some disliked its soft spaceship-esque lines, others disliked its practically non-existent power increase over the EP3. From a handling point of view, one of the major gripes that people had about the FN2 was that it ditched the EP3’s rear multi-link suspension set-up in favor of a simple beam. An unpopular cost-cutting measure, but one that doesn’t have too big of an impact on the car’s fun factor.
The FN2’s relatively lowly reputation means that it’s often the most attainable generation of hot Civic on the market. In other words, it’s a bit of a bargain, if such a thing even still exists in the world of used cars.
Best Street Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FN2
To get the most out of your FN2 Civic on the street, you’ll want a decent set of aftermarket coilovers. BC Racing provide a trio of solutions for the FN2 Civic Type R, starting with the BR Series, priced at $1294 (£1049). This offers a great blend of improved performance and reduction in ride height, while still ensuring that commuting in the car doesn’t become too jarring. Next, there’s the RM Series ($1529/£1239), which adds an inverted damper unit. This moves the system’s oil and gas reservoir away from the hub, thus reducing the car’s unsprung weight for a more responsive drive.
Finally, BC’s premium option for the FN2-gen Civic Type R is the ER Series coilover package ($2158/£1749). There are two main benefits of opting for this flagship product. One, you gain the ability to adjust compression and rebound damping separately, and two, the coilovers come with external reservoirs. Essentially, this increases the damper’s oil capacity, which in turn helps to minimize oil temperatures. As a result, you get more stable damping rates, which improves handling.
On the slightly more attainable end of the spectrum, TEIN’s Flex Z kit is also available for the FN2. For $1214 (£984), Flex Z offers a twin-tube coilover design, with 16-way adjustable damping and ride height adjustability too. Or, for $1043 (£845) AREA Motorsport will hook you up with some road-spec suspension built by Yellow Speed. These feature a monotube design rather than twin tubes, as well as 33-way damping adjustability and pillowball upper mounts.
Best Circuit Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FN2
Civics are very popular track day, time attack, and grassroots racing cars, and the FN2 is no exception.
If you like the sound of the Yellow Speed DPS coilovers mentioned above, you’ll be interested to know that AREA Motorsport offers a track-tuned variant of the same set-up (featuring revised spring rates and top mounts). That package is priced identically to the road-focused version, costing $1043 (£845).
If you’re taking a holistic approach to tuning your suspension for circuit driving, AREA’s ST1 track package is also worth a look. In addition to the coilovers, you also get Hardrace adjustable drop links and polyurethane bushes thrown in for a combined price of $1625 (£1325).
More serious track work will require more serious coilovers though. The Yellow Speed Racing Club Performance kit should do the job, offering 3-way adjustability for added rebound and compression tuning. A set of those will cost you $2727 (£2210).
Best Stance Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FN2
Air suspension is the way to go for maximum lows, and AirREX will sort you out with a kit for your FN2 Civic. You can purchase the bagged struts alone for $2961 (£2400), while the full digital management system demands some extra cash on top. There are two variants of management kit that you can go for, with the cheaper of the two being the pressure-based system rather than the height-based one.
If you go down that route, the full struts & management system kit will cost you $5738 (£4650).
Best Budget Options for a Honda Civic Type R FN2
If you’ve only got a tenth of that budget to spend though, or perhaps even less, then lowering springs may be the best choice for you and your FN2.
These lack the adjustability of coilovers or bags but will provide the ride height drop you’re looking for at a much cheaper price. Just beware that you may have to give up some of your car’s ride quality as a trade-off.
Eibach’s Pro Kit promises to minimize the damage done to ride quality by incorporating a progressive spring design, and can be picked up for as little as $268 (£217). Alternatively, TEIN S-Techs will do a similar (if perhaps slightly less refined) job for $207 (£168).
A third option is H&R’s Sport Lowering Springs kit, which also uses a progressive design to minimize ride quality losses. These offer an approximate 25mm drop in ride height and sell for $301 (£244).
Peripheral Suspension Parts
Working in conjunction with a set of coilovers, uprated anti-roll bars will help tune the FN2 Civic Type R to give even more grip. Many performance options feature multiple settings to make the bar stiffer or softer, so you can play around and find the perfect set-up for you. If you feel like covering this basis, check out Torque GT’s range of Whiteline anti-roll bar products.
Another area of the suspension worth looking at is the bushes. Most of the stock rubber bushes will be worn out by now, so replacing them with a firmer polyurethane upgrade makes a lot of sense; not only do you get a genuine performance benefit of the stiffer bush and less unwanted flex in the suspension system, but they’ll never need replacing again in the future.
Best Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FK2
What’s it like as standard?
The FK2 heralded a big new era for the Civic Type R. Turbocharging had introduced the hot hatch genre to a whole new world of horsepower figures. As such, the FK2 needed a more sophisticated suspension set-up from the factory to deal with its newfound 310PS. The simple rear torsion beam set-up from the FN2 remained (albeit reinforced a bit), however, at the front, there was some much-needed innovation.
The car comes with MacPherson struts and clever anti-torque steer knuckles at the front, as well as adaptive dampers all-round. You can make the dampers firmer by pressing the R+ button on the dash, though that setting is generally deemed to be too harsh for regular road use.
Best Street Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FK2
To get the performance and aesthetic gains of lower suspension, without having to deal with the bone-shaking R+ nonsense, coilovers are the way to go. If adjusted properly, these will offer all the gains you’re looking for, while retaining a perfectly acceptable ride.
One popular kit is the KW Variant 3 package, costing $2784 (£2256). V3s provide you with the ability to adjust compression and rebound rates independently of each other, as well as lowering rates of 15-35mm at the front and 5-25mm at the rear.
Beware, however, that if you want the R+ button to work properly and retain its other features of sharpened throttle response etc, but without error messages on the dash, you will need to budget for an electronic damping cancellation kit. These are available from KW for $384 (£311). The same applies for the other coilover packages mentioned below, so just bear that in mind.
Yellow Speed Dynamic Pro Sport coilovers are a more attainable option, priced at $1103 (£894). You don’t get the same amount of adjustability, but YSR are no mugs when it comes to dialling-in suspension for Civics.
Best Circuit Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FK2
Nitron are well-equipped to provide you with some hardcore circuit suspension if lap time crunching is your goal. The NTR R3 coilovers won’t be much fun on the road, but on the track, their 3-way adjustability and proven grassroots motorsport pedigree will come into its own.
If you take track days seriously, but still want to drive home without breaking your back, maybe give Ohlins Road & Track coilovers a go. As far as street suspension goes, most tuners rate R&T coilovers towards the top of the pile, but they’re a formidable track option too. You can put them into ‘race mode’ by simply twisting a knob (oi, no giggling at the back), but remember to twist it back again for the drive home. A set of Ohlins R&Ts will cost you $3546 (£2874) with the necessary electronic damper cancellation kit included, or a bit less without.
Best Budget Options for a Honda Civic Type R FK2
For the drop without the cost, lowering springs are your friend. The Eibach Pro Kit is one of the most trusted solutions out there, offering progressive springs which promise not to utterly cripple your ride quality – important, considering there’s no adjustability built into these simple springs. Once you’re in, you’re in. It’s that sort of vibe. Anyway, a set of Eibachs will cost you just $363 (£294).
H&R are another top brand in the lowering springs scene. Their products will give you roughly a 20mm drop in ride height all-round, and have a retail price of $369 (£299).
Peripheral Suspension Parts
The FK2 is getting on towards seven years old now, so the OEM bushes may still be OK, but it’s worth checking them just in case. A full upgraded polyurethane bush kit from the likes of SuperPro or Polybush will cost around £380, but you can upgrade individual areas one at a time to ease the financial burden.
Anti-roll bars do exactly what they say on the tin – resist your car’s propensity to body roll. By fitting stiffer items you can increase their effect. For the FK2, its rear beam system means it only has an anti-roll bar at the front. Brands like Cusco or Whiteline produce uprated items for around $360 (£291), while you can add an additional rear ARB in the form of Hardrace’s 17mm kit for $278 (£225). Meanwhile there is a whole smorgasbord of braces available from Swave & Summit (from $177/£143) that will help stiffen the chassis to improve handling. You can check them all out, and much more besides, at Dream Automotive.
Best Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FK8
What’s it like as standard?
The FK2 was pretty remarkable in the way that it handled. Along with the likes of the Renaultsport Megane and Cupra Leon, the FK2 Type R was firmly part of the mid-2010s tussle for FWD Nürburgring lap records. For that reason, it would’ve been silly for Honda to have tried to reinvent the wheel, or rather, suspension. Instead, they focused on evolving what was already a formidable package. For example, the adaptive damping was re-tuned to refine wheel control through aggressive cornering.
With all of Honda’s little refinements onboard, the FK8 Type R became one of the sharpest hot hatches out there – a masterclass in how to build a front-wheel drive performance car. Still, where’s the fun in leaving things stock…
Best Street Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FK8
BC Racing’s BR Series of coilovers are a relatively affordable option as far as this market goes. The BR tech has been tried and tested on a number of cars over the years (including some of the ones mentioned above), and just as with those, the FK8 responds very well to these springs and shocks.
Slightly higher up the price list is TEIN’s Flex A coilovers ($1899/£1536), featuring new Hydraulic Bump Stopper technology. This tech has been refined in the most competitive rally championships in the world, and ultimately intends to reduce the impact that bumps have on controllability at speed. You also get all the lovely functionality that TEIN Flex Z users will be familiar with. Like the FK2, you’ll need an electronic damper delete kit to get rid of dashboard error messages when installing new coilovers. Happily, Dream Automotive supplies these Flex As with a host of accompanying delete kits.
Another coilover package that can be spec’d with one of those eliminators is the HKS Hipermax IV SP. Featuring a monotube design, these coilovers will offer even greater handling response on the road thanks to more reliable damping, which has the added benefit of ensuring a decent ride too. You can pick up a set of HKS coilovers for $3338 (£2700).
Truth be told, there’s a great range of street coilovers out there for the FK8. Ohlins Road & Tracks are always worth consideration, but you may wish to check out Dream Automotive’s full catalogue to find the perfect solution for your individual build or budget.
Best Circuit Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FK8
Track-focused coilover kits are always a bit pricier than their softer street-bound counterparts. Still, you get the quality that you pay for, and KW’s 2-way Clubsports are well worth the investment, should you wish to take the track in a serious way. Designed at the grueling Nürburgring Nordschleife, these coilovers have been put through the ringer. If they can deal with the ‘Green Hell’, then we’re pretty sure they can handle whatever conditions your local track can throw at them.
TEIN Mono Racing coilovers, meanwhile, offer a similarly competent experience but will save you a few hundred dollars.
Best Stance Suspension for a Honda Civic Type R FK8
For those of you looking to fit bags to your FK8, one option you might wan to consider is the Ksport Airtech system. Designed to withstand both street and circuit use, as well as slamming your car to the floor when parked, this air suspension kit costs $3286 (£2658). For the money, you get a coilover-thrashing 0-120/200mm ride height drop, as well as 36 levels of damping adjustment.
Best Budget Options for a Honda Civic Type R FK8
If you’d rather protect your bank balance and go down the lowering springs route (to place around your FK8’s standard shocks), you’ll be spoilt for choice.
TEIN S-Techs are very much the entry-level option – at least, as far as reputable brands go, that is. They’re priced at £237 (£192), making them one of the most cost-effective ways of lowering your car. However, if you can stretch to $480 (£388), you could bag yourself some Eibach Sportlines instead. In the development process of these springs, Eibach worked closely with RealTime Racing – an outfit that competes with Honda vehicles in professional motorsport. So they come with a pretty good pedigree.
The cream of the lowering springs crop though, at least in respect to the FK8, has to be the ones offered by Spoon Sports. There’s arguably no better Honda tuner out there, and Spoon has worked hard to perfectly match its lowering springs to the traits of the FK8’s stock dampers. Admittedly, you’re probably paying a bit extra for the Spoon brand name, but if you wanted a set of lowering springs that you were 100% sure wouldn’t disappoint – these are probably the ones. Still, at $896 (£725), you’re beginning to creep into coilover territory…
Peripheral Suspension Parts
Another good value upgrade is a thicker rear anti-roll bar. Fitting one will dial out understeer and give the chassis a slight tendency to oversteer, which can be seen as a benefit in a front-wheel drive car. There are a few available, such as Eibach’s two-way adjustable offering, which is tubular, making it lighter. You can pick one up for $323 (£261).
Strut braces, links, arms, and bushes are all worth upgrading too if you want to maximize your FK8’s potential. Happily, Dream Automotive has got you covered with all the small stuff too.
Finally, it goes without saying that whichever generation of Civic 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 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: