Are you driving on difficult terrains or towing a trailer or your RV? Do you wish you had extra horsepower output from your car’s engine when on the highway? Look no further, and read our guide on the best intake systems.

Now get extra and enhanced power performance from your car’s engine and more torque to manage those driving conditions. Upgrade with a car intake system that suits you the best.  

But what does that do? Is it worth the investment?

Oh! A car intake system gives your car’s engine extra air that gives your vehicle extra engine power and torque when combined with additional fuel. Results? Your car’s engine gets a different output race, and the throttle response is wonderful. Awesome, isn’t it? They give not only your vehicle enhanced combustion but also power gains and increased torque.

Remember that upgrading your car’s air intake system is one of the main methods of power-packed performance. Regular maintenance and replacing leaking or used car engine oils and more are other ways.

Even the Wall Street Journal mentions the need for a change in your car’s cold air intake system as one of the best ways to increase your vehicle’s performance. Forbes backs up this thought with their detailed research.

But which one is the best for you? If you are caught up with this question, our reviews will assist you.

Top 3 Picks For Best Intake Systems [Comparison Table]

Our detailed research shows the following 3 top picks.

Best Choice


aFe Power Magnum FORCE Cold Air Intake System (54-12192)

  • A five-layered air filter that is oil-based
  • Amazing thirty-two horsepower
  • Sixteen-gauge, two degrees bent conical air filters
  • Easy to install and operate
  • Compliant to CARB norms in all fifty states
  • Made in the USA

Premium Choice


K&N Cold Air Intake System (71-3070)

  • Guaranteed enhancements 
  • Designed for best and a high airflow airflow
  • Filter cleaning at a million miles only
  • A washable air filter that is reusable for a lifetime
  • All parts are made from black components
  • Easy to install with bolt-on process

Best in Budget


Spectre Performance Air Intake SPE-9900

  • Lightweight and durable aluminum tubes
  • Enhanced horsepower and torque gains
  • A washable air filter that is reusable
  • Increase response of throttle
  • Better engine sound

How Did We Pick the Best Intake Systems for Your Car?

Our pick of the best intake system for your car is based on detailed research. This research was carried out what’s available, brand, performance, price, durability, ease of installation, and a host of other things. Of course, the suggestions of auto experts also guide our research.

Read on for more!

Best Intake Systems 2022 [Reviews]

Here are the top recommendations. Don’t lose focus of your needs and budget as you search for the correct air intake system for your car.

1.     aFe Power Magnum FORCE Cold Air Intake System (54-12192)

Looking for extra power and torque? You cannot ignore the aFe Power Magnum FORCE 54-12192 Cold Air Intake System that comes to you from a reputed company, ‎AFe Power.   It is designed with the latest technological equipment, including AutoCAD designing, 3D- scanning and printing, and manufacture. It is made in California, USA.

This item weighs only twelve pounds, not adding extra weight to your engine or car. This conical/oval-shaped dual air filter is made from a cotton base and can give you enormous horsepower. How much? Right up to thirty-two horsepower and thirty pounds of torque. Woah, amazing, isn’t it?

This five-layered gradually going finer air filter is a perfect choice that keeps all dirt and dust out from your engine. In addition, it gives clean, cold air to your car’s engine for enhanced power. For those who are particular, you can now relax as the heat yield holds on close to your car’s factory air box, on the lower half. You will notice that the black-length twin-tube design shows the wonderful balance of its H-shape, thereby giving you a stabilized performance.

Approved for use in all fifty states, it rids you of any worries while crossing over into California or other states with stringent CARB laws. Would you like this model with well-polished tubes? Don’t you worry, the aFe Power Magnum has a variant model with polished tubes too!

This air intake system is built for your use as it is made from ABS material. It is designed from strong vacuum-packed plastic, reinforcing its strength for durability. These tubes join the intake air system’s housing and offer maximum power. This also reduces any noise produced by a car intake system.

You will be amazed at the deployment of a high sixteen-gauge heat shield. This latches to the factory air box on the lower half with a clip. Easy to install. 


  • A five-layered air filter that is oil-based
  • Amazing thirty-two horsepower
  • Sixteen-gauge, two degrees bent conical air filters
  • Easy to install and operate
  • Compliant to CARB norms in all fifty states
  • Made in the USA


  • A bit expensive

What’s there to worry about when you have an easy-to-install, easy-to-operate, powerful car intake system with the right torque and horsepower? Now drive safely even in extremely wet conditions, knowing that you have invested in a premium quality product.

2.     K&N Cold Air Intake System (71-3070)

Stuck between choices and brands? K&N or a Spectre?

K&N is one of the oldest and best car intake systems that has engineered and designed the latest technology. Get super high performance and power with this K&N cold air intake system 71-3070. In addition, the manufacturers offer you a ten-year or a million-mile warranty on this product, amongst other features that make it worthwhile to buy.

This car intake system has been tested in the manufacturing process to give you more nearly fifty percent increased airflow. This number is compared to the traditional OEM box air filter and intake tube that your car comes fitted with. In addition, you can hear the sound of the powered engine under your car’s hood.

This Blackhawk Induction air intake system has a salient feature. It has an oil-free synthetic filter and a black powder-coated aluminum tube for air intake. Next comes the layered DRYFLOW® synthetic filter. What does it do? It sets the base for your car’s engine for an enhanced airflow for power. No oil is required. It also gives you a steel heat shield that helps protect you from high temperature-based heat intakes.

Are you towing a trailer or other behind your car uphill? Relax, as you now get increased acceleration and performance on uphill movement. How is that? Well, you get an improved throttle response that makes the job easier. Awesome, isn’t it?

This cool air car intake system also protects your car’s engine from any contaminants that may be harmful while sucking in the air. In addition, it has an excellent filter inside that doesn’t require any cleaning for approximately a million miles. Now that’s something for sure.

Are you worried about installation? Haha! This car intake system has a bolt-on system that makes any installation seem easy. If you have basic hand tools, this K&N air intake system is the one for you. 

Does your car need any tuning after installing this car intake system? No. Rest easy as everything has been tested in the factory, and after the bolt-on installation, you will be comfortable.


  • Guaranteed enhancements for torque and horsepower
  • Intake tube is made from powder-coated aluminum and has a dry synthetic air filter.
  • An excellent air filtration system that replaces OEM air filter and intake tube
  • Designed for best and a high airflow airflow
  • Filter cleaning at a million miles only
  • A washable air filter that is reusable for a lifetime
  • All parts are made from black components
  • Easy to install with bolt-on process
  • Made in the USA


  • Check for CARB laws for some states

Drive on any terrain as you are assured of your car’s performance, even on difficult terrains. Get that enhanced power performance and torque to maneuver the difficult terrains or an uphill climb. With this K&N Black Hawk car intake system, you can never go wrong. 

3.     Spectre Performance Air Intake SPE-9900

Your search for one of the best cold air car intake systems ends with this Spectre Air Performance intake kit. What is special? Well, you just won’t be able to dismiss the aluminum tubed car intake system, which is lightweight and gives you the best performance that you have been looking for. Now drive easy, even while navigating a steep climb or more.

Don’t go by its low price. The Spectre’s manufacturers have the latest technology that has been engineered and designed to suit the most commoner’s pockets. They have not left any stone unturned for giving you the best at a low price.

This high-performing car intake system provides you with the best quality throughout its long service life for your car. It has some of the best high-quality parts. The prime position is the powder-coated steel heat shields that protect your vehicle’s engine from the high-temperature air intake. You won’t miss the high-quality polished aluminum tubes. Lightweight yet effective, the lines dispense hot air easily, giving you more power and higher torque.

The name comes from a red Spectra air filter installed to give your car a higher airflow. Now wash and clean it and reuse it for its lifetime. The entire kit includes all possible parts that are needed. No need to go hunting anymore.


  • Lightweight and durable aluminum tubes
  • Enhanced horsepower and torque gains
  • A washable air filter that is reusable
  • Increase response of throttle
  • Better engine sound


  • Limited increase in mileage performance

If you are on an economical budget, the K&N Cold Air Intake Kit is the one for you. Compared to others in its class, it comes with all basic features at an affordable price, making your drive a powerful one.

4.     K&N Cold Air Intake Kit 71-3058

K&N manufactured cold air car air intake systems are among the best in the aftermarket replacements. They have engineered and designed some of the best car intake systems. Being one of the pioneers, you will never regret buying a K&N car intake system. You also get short air, an air charger, and ram air intake systems.

The K&N Cold Air Intake Kit 71-3058 is one of the least expensive units in its class compared to compete. Results? All the same! You get the enhanced torque and increased power performance by adding extra cold air intake to the car’s engine to burn proportionately add fuel for higher car performance.

This car intake system ensures that there is minimal air intake restriction. Thus, it allows maximum air to be inhaled into the air filter much higher than the original stock air intake. Results? Increased acceleration and horsepower for your car give you a smooth drive and a controlled one.

Feel the change in throttle experience and the car’s performance on an uphill drive, around bends, and more. This K&N car intake system unit has microscopic inbuilt strands of filter fiber that dispels either water or air from getting your car’s engine. So no more chances of your car’s engine getting damaged. Isn’t that wonderful?


  • Air filter made from gauze – washable and reusable for a lifetime
  • Air filter dispels water and dirt, preventing engine damage
  • Nice range and variations of cold-air intake systems
  • Crosslink nylon intake tube
  • Ten year or million-mile warranty manufacturer warranty
  • 50% more airflow than OEM air intake
  • Easy to install bolt-on system
  • Made in the USA


  • Check for CARB approval for certain states

Using a car intake system from an industry leader like K&N assures you of the best performance of your car when you need it. Be it an uphill movement, towing something heavy, or difficult terrain, you can easily depend on this car intake system for increased power and torque when you need it.

5.     K&N Cold Air Intake Kit (V8 57-1542)

Now drive assured for higher power performance and increased torque to tow trailers or your RV or more. This cold air intake system has a tube made from sturdy and high-density polyethylene. How is it made? It is constructed from a high-tech roto-molding process that assures you of little or no turbulence. As a result, you get the best airflow into your car’s engine and superb torque and performance. 

What about a heat shield? Ah! That’s included, and hence you don’t have to worry about any damage to your car’s engine, and thus you get increased durability.

You can install this unit quickly in less than an hour for those who know the trade. In addition, you will not require any modifications to your car as it uses the OEM mount-on.

There is no need to tune your car’s electrical circuit unit or ECU after installation. You can always do this as a part of your csar’s regular maintenance later.

Its filter requires cleaning only at every one hundred thousand miles. You may wish to clean and reuse the filter earlier, though. Of course, this is under normal driving conditions. If you get on to difficult terrains or different temperate zones, cleaning the air filter earlier is always helpful.

Remember that this is the air filter certified for most racetrack sports car events by NASCAR.


  • Provides high-density airflow and superb filtration
  • Easy installation with bolt-on technology and simple tools
  • ECU retuning is not required after installation
  • Ten year or million-mile warranty manufacturer warranty
  • Does not nullify or cancel vehicle warranty
  • Made in the USA
  • Certified for usage in all fifty states


  • Check for fitment with your vehicle

K&N car intake systems are exceptional for quality and assured performance. As you see, we have three of them featured in this article. So, pick one that you find the best for your car.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Intake Systems for your Car

Are you looking for higher torque and more horsepower from your car? You don’t need to buy an upgrade! Stop! You only require a better car intake system than OEM, which has superb performance and easy installation. Isn’t it? So here are a few considerations.

1.     Vehicle specs

Getting a car intake that does not match your car’s specifications will be a waste.   Check the car owner’s manual for the specifications.

2.     Brand

The brand name is an important decision when buying an aftermarket car intake. You want to ensure safety, quality, compliance, and enhanced power-packed performance as you remove an OEM and use an aftermarket car intake system. You do not wish to a broken-down car every time!   With a brand name, you are assured of quality and performance.

3.     Filters: Dry or Oil-based?

It is important to seek clarity on what filters are used in your car intake. A filter should prevent dust and dirt particles from getting into your car’s systems. Filters that are oil-based have chances of leakage and can damage the engine. Though they offer you enhanced usage as you can clean them and reuse them. They are replaced only if they are torn/broken.

A dry filter is best if your car is already equipped with a mass airflow sensor (MAF).   

What does a MAF do? An airflow sensor notices the quantity of oxygen coming into the engine. It then regulates the amount of fuel to be released to the engine for combustion. A MAF is critical as the original OEM sensor may not be able to identify the extra oxygen being supplied with an add-in car intake system. This fine-tunes the engine for an enhanced air to fuel ratio for combustion. Finally, this leads to enhanced power.

4.     Thermal specs

The performance of any car is affected by the heat thresholds that a car intake filter can sustain. Check and ensure that you have the right temperature threshold. Filters help keep a car’s engine combustion levels in check by providing cool air.

5.     Piping: Plastic or Aluminium

Aluminum pipes are known to have increased air intake temperatures. They could rattle if they aren’t bolted correctly in place. They may not match the color of your car. They tend to get very hot to handle after the car engine runs for some time. However, their durability is the key feature.

Plastic pipes, on the contrary, settle well with the color and theme of your car. They don’t rattle as much even if a screw or a nut comes loose.

On the other hand, they may be slightly more expensive than the aluminum ones.

6.     Ease of installation

Check on the ease of installing the car intake system you have selected. If you find it too complicated, choose another one.   You don’t want to be running to your mechanic and incurring additional costs for a minor add-on.   Check instruction manuals and user feedback before you buy one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.     Is an air intake system important for your car?

The combustion of fuel and air within a car’s engine determines its performance. When you supply extra air, you are seeking enhanced horsepower and performance. A mass air filter directs this excess air directly into the fuel injections system. It also determines the extra amount of fuel needed to burn with this additional air intake. When these extra air and fuel burn, you get enhanced, powerful performance. Hence, an aftermarket car air intake system is helpful.

2.     Can cold air intake damage your engine?

Yes, if the car intake system is not installed correctly and the car’s engine maintenance is not regular, it could cause trouble. So, what should you do? First, ensure that the air filter is not close to the air intake inlet. If it is, it could absorb water from and send it to the car’s engine; thus, damaging it. If that’s the case, you should explore a closed boxcar intake system.

Ensure that you have the right model of car intake system for increased horsepower output that drives your car’s engine.

3.     Which cold air filters are the best?

OEM suppliers install standard and regular-sized, dry paper air filters. Aftermarket systems use dry or oil-based air filters, usually having cotton gauze as a medium. They will need to be replaced periodically to ensure your car’s engine gets clean and pure air. However, these reusable filters can easily be washed for the next use.

4.     Does a car need tuning after installation of a car cold-air intake?

No! You don’t need to tune your car’s engine after installation. Instead, a cold-air car intake can give you enhanced horsepower for increased car performance.

5.     What kind of performance should you expect with a new car intake system?

The main purpose of an aftermarket car intake system is to provide more air to a car’s engine for increased performance.   Results? Enhanced torque and enhanced horsepower that drives your vehicle. You will notice an increase of between five to twenty horsepowers, depending upon your car’s engine, type of car intake installed, and more. Additionally, expect an increased torque between twenty to seventy feet.

While these are normal to expect, you could further higher power and torque with a super heavy-duty car air intake system. You can easily measure the changes through various tools and instruments or measure mileage.


Finally, as we come to a wrap-up and hope that our review of the best intake systems is something you enjoyed reading, did you get the answer to your question, is a car intake system worth investing in? Well the short answer is, Yes, definitely yes!

How? Remember that a normal car from the manufacturing company is best suited for the most common needs. It is designed and engineered a larger audience’s expectations. Also, check out this guide explaining how to start a car without keys.

If you need extra power and torque because of the terrain you drive on or the long routes you drive to for work or pleasure, you certainly need it.

Remember, if you drive with stability, this results in better mileage than extra power, which you may use for getting faster to your destination. But then you should be prepared for the slight extra noise that you may get.

Mileage or power and torque? The decision is certainly yours!