10 Best Cold Air Intake Systems
for October 2022

Cold air intake systems, also known as cold air intakes, are devices that attach to the front of the engine to improve airflow. They're designed to reduce engine temperatures, which can help improve horsepower and acceleration.

The Different Guide has tested dozens of cold air intake systems over the years, evaluating them based on performance, quality, and ease of use. We evaluate performance using dyno tests, which measures horsepower and acceleration, as well as engine temperature. We evaluate quality, including durability, fit and finish, and ease of use, including installation, operation and maintenance.

The best cold air intake systems, according to our experts, are high-quality, easy to install, and easy to install. They're also affordable, with prices ranging from $50 to $500.

Different Guide editors independently choose recommendations. Purchases made through our links may earn us commissions.

1
9.6
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AFE Power 54-76009 Momentum GT Pro 5R Cold Air Intake System for 4Runner/FJ Cruiser

AFE Power 54-76009 Momentum GT Pro 5R Cold Air Intake System for 4Runner/FJ Cruiser

by Advance Flow Engineering
What We like

AFE says this intake increases horsepower and torque by about 19 horsepower and 24 pounds-feet. The kit installs in about 20 minutes and requires no modifications to your vehicle.

2
9.5
SCORE
Roto-Fab 10161061 Cold Air Intake System for Cadillac CTS-V 2016-2019

Roto-Fab 10161061 Cold Air Intake System for Cadillac CTS-V 2016-2019

by Roto-Fab
What We like

Not an upgrade you're likely to regret. The Rotofab air-intake system was easy to install, and now the car pulls harder on the highway handling.

3
9.2
SCORE
AEM 21-849DS Cold Air Intake System

AEM 21-849DS Cold Air Intake System

by AEM
What We like

The AEM 21-849DS is a bolt-in cold air intake that increases horsepower and torque and improves engine sound. It is not a free-flowing cold air intake, so it doesn't provide as much cold air intake as the cheapest upgrade we tested, the Edge Products Cold Air Intake Filter.

4
9.1
SCORE
AEM 21-827C Cold Air Intake System

AEM 21-827C Cold Air Intake System

by AEM
What We like

This CAI uses stock intake tubes, so installation is very straightforward. At no additional cost, AEM's CAI includes a pre-oiled air filter and a heat shield.

5
8.9
SCORE
Airaid Cold Air Intake System: Increased Horsepower, Superior Filtration: Compatible with Compatible with 2011-2019 CHRYSLER/DODGE (300, 300C, 300S, Challenger, Charger) AIR-353-210

Airaid Cold Air Intake System: Increased Horsepower

by Airaid
What We like

The AIRAID Cold Air Intake System is a good choice for improving horsepower and lowering fuel consumption. Buyers can save some money by purchasing a reusable filter, but the maintenance required might be prohibitive.

6
8.5
SCORE
AEM 21-795C Cold Air Intake System, (Carb Compliant), AEM-21-795C, Gunmetal

AEM 21-795C Cold Air Intake System

by AEM
What We like

AEM's cold air intake system dropped 10 decibels, which puts it on par with the sensors and actuators most other car companies offer as part of a traction control upgrade package.

7
7.5
SCORE
AEM (21-721C) Cold Air Intake System, Black

AEM (21-721C) Cold Air Intake System

by AEM
What We like

This is the best cold air intake system for the money. It is easy to install (we had ours up and running in a matter of minutes) and pulls in cold air at a consistent rate.

8
7.4
SCORE
aFe TA-3016P Takeda Cold Air Intake System for Infiniti G37 Coupe 2008-2011 V6-3.7L

aFe Power aFe TA-3016P Takeda Cold Air Intake System for Infiniti G37 Coupe 2008-2011 V6-3.7L

by AFE Filters
What We like

The Takeda cold air intake system is a very well designed and well built product. It performs as advertised. The intake is an attractive piece of aftermarket equipment.

9
7.4
SCORE
aFe Power 54-76212 Cold Air Intake System (Non-CARB Compliant), 1 Pack

aFe Power 54-76212 Cold Air Intake System (Non-CARB Compliant)

by aFe Power
What We like

This intake system didn't boost our stock engine's performance, but it added 2 hp. And its smooth sound really impressed us.

10
7.4
SCORE
Airaid Cold Air Intake System: Increased Horsepower, Superior Filtration: Compatible with 2019-2020 CHEVROLET/GMC (Silverado 1500, Sierra 1500)AIR-200-382

Airaid Cold Air Intake System: Increased Horsepower

by AIRAID
What We like

At half the price of our winner, AIRAID's intake system doesn't do too badly in terms sound and performance. It's missing a few key features, however, such as extra filters or a mounting kit.

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