Have you ever wondered what is the best cold air intake for Tacoma? If you own the vehicle, you definitely tried to upgrade it in any way possible, give Tacoma’s amazing potential to become a true beast on the streets.
What Is The Best Cold Air Intake For Tacoma?
Well, in this article, you’ll find plenty of products that have the potential to be named the best cold air intake.
What’s sure is that the K&N Cold Air Intake Kit 77-9039KP is one of the most popular and appreciated brands in the entire market, so whenever you see the name, you can be sure that it will work well in the long run.
Why K&N Cold Air Intake Kit 77-9039KP Is The Best Brand For Toyota Tacoma?
K&N Kit 77-9039KP air intake is the best on the market when it comes to increasing horsepower instead of just making cars louder.
It’s increased horsepower, enhanced acceleration and great performance made it the best choice for Tacoma.
Do Cold Air Intakes Really Increase Horsepower?
Another common question that you probably can’t wait to find an answer to is whether cold air intakes increase horsepower or not.
Let’s make this clear from the very beginning: in general, they do.
But you have to choose the right product in order to get the best out of it. Most cold air intakes just delete the car’s resonator in the engine compartment, making the tract much louder.
How Do I Get More Power Out Of My Toyota Tacoma?
Surely you can get more power by replacing your old cold air intake of your Toyota Tacoma.
But you have to choose the products wisely for the best performance.
Do Cold Air Intakes Improve The Sound?
All cold air intakes improve sound for sure, but you need to put work into research if you want to maximize your Tacoma’s power output.
You can also check the best batteries for your Toyota Tacoma.
Comparison Table for the Best Cold Air Intake For Tacoma
|K&N Cold Air Intake Kit 71-9039|
|K&N Cold Air Intake 77-9026KP|
|K&N Cold Air Intake 57-9015-1|
|Spectre Performance Cold Air Intake SPE-9060|
|K&N Performance Cold Air Intake Kit 57-9025|
|aFe Power Momentum GT Cold Air Intake Kit 51-76005|
|aFe Power Magnum Force 51-81162|
|Spectre Performance Cold Air Intake SPE-9962|
|Volant Cold Air Intake 185406|
|Auto Dynasty Black Aluminum Cold Air Intake System|
10 Best Cold Air Intake For Tacoma Reviews
01. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit 71-9039 – Best Quality Cold Air Intake For Toyota Tacoma
- Tested for increased horsepower
- Improved towing and uphill performance
- Louder tract
- Enhanced acceleration
K&N Performance CAIs are some of the best on the market when it comes to increasing horsepower instead of just making cars louder.
The company has a specific method of eliminating the air path restriction in vehicles through the replacement of regular air filters. This intake kit is specifically designed to increase horsepower and make the car as loud as possible.
The airflow filter is designed for easy mounting and removing, while also being washable for a long lifespan.
The filter is also oversized, which means it provides more airflow, thus a powerful sound and increased power. You’ll need just a few hand tools to get this installed, with no additional kits required – no cutting, no drilling.
The best part about this cold air intake is that it won’t contaminate the car engine by any means, thanks to the micro cotton fiber filtering system.
The only major downside is that you may hear the engine suction sound now and then. It’s not such a big deal but you should know this before investing in K&N.
- Doesn’t require filter cleaning
- No additional tools required for installation
- Zero engine contamination
- Great lifespan
- Noticeable suction sound
- Time-consuming installation process
02. K&N Cold Air Intake 77-9026KP – Best Overall Toyota Tacoma Cold Air Intake
- Adds an increase of up to 50% in airflow
- Visibly increases acceleration
- Loud sound and improved performance
- No engine damage involved
K&N are known for their exquisite cold air intakes, and this model doesn’t make any exception from the rule. It increases the airflow by up to 50%, a number that K&N already used its clients with.
Because of the materials used and the system put in place by the brand, the cold air intake is supposed to last for up to 10 years.
Compared to other products on the market, this model offers targeted performance for on-demand acceleration, both off the line and uphill.
What’s even more interesting is that it also improves performance while towing through better throttle response.
There’s no question that it deeply improves the sound your engine makes and it’s also a low maintenance product.
The filter is washable, so you can rest assured that no debris will reach the engine.
The engine might still suffer damage after long periods of usage.
- The maintenance process is convenient – no cleaning required
- Quick installation process
- Guaranteed horsepower increase
- Excellent durability
- The engine can run rough from long-term usage
- Engine airflow sensors can interfere with the CAI’s performance
03. K&N Cold Air Intake 57-9015-1
- General airflow increases with up to 50%
- Better acceleration, including up-hill
- Louder engine sound
- Improved performance
What’s most interesting about this CAI version is that it fits older vehicles, making it much easier for car owners to upgrade their rides without needing to change them.
Cold air intake can entirely change how the vehicle performs and sounds, so the 57-9015-1 is exactly the product you need. Moreover, it also fits some versions of Toyota’s 4Runner model, giving it a bit more flexibility.
The product has all qualities you should look for in a cold air intake – it eliminates any obstruction, visibly increasing the airflow to the engine while making the sound louder and the performance much better.
It uses a conical high-flow filter coming in a bigger size that still fits well near the engine. Through this filter, the air intake keeps debris away from your engine, increasing service life for the product.
This product is known for its compliance, as it is legal in no less than 50 states. Always check regulation when you’re adding an upgrade to your vehicle, especially if older.
- Doesn’t damage your vehicle’s engine
- Legal and available in more than 50 states
- Impressive longevity (min. 10 years or the equivalent in miles)
- Straightforward installation
- Known for leaking air and causing engine errors
- Low-performance gains
04. Spectre Performance Cold Air Intake SPE-9060
- Tested 50% increase in airflow compared to factory components
- Throttle response improvement
- Increased torque & horsepower
- Oiled, synthetic filter
Spectre produces great cold air intake kits, with the SPE-9060 being one of their most appreciated products. It is one of the few cold air intakes that marry a good price with a great performance.
The product increases both horsepower and torque, while also improving the sound of your Tacoma’s engine. It is dyno-tested and uses its own filtering system.
The uphill performance of your vehicle will be visibly changed for the better, and you don’t have to worry about filter cleaning either.
It needs to be cleaned after 100,000 miles of usage, which is the equivalent of about one year worth of driving.
There’s little to no risk of engine contamination thanks to the synthetic filter design. The filter is also oiled, and the entire system is protected against water leaking.
- Doesn’t require cleaning before reaching 100,000 miles of usage
- Bolt-on installation system
- No debris can reach the engine
- Won’t interfere with your car’s warranty
- Installation can take up to two hours
- Very small mileage gain
05. K&N Performance Cold Air Intake Kit 57-9025
- No ECU tune required
- Dyno-tested for both acceleration and airflow increase
- Protects engine from contaminant substances
- Improves throttle response
When it comes to eliminating airflow obstruction, K&N really knows what it is doing. The 57-9025 kit managed to give the engine the most power through the cold air.
It doesn’t use a regular, standard filter, but an oiled, synthetic one for a higher flow intake system.
A very interesting thing about this product is that it doesn’t require any ECU tune, which means you won’t spend an additional amount on it.
The product is dyno-tested, increasing acceleration and airflow without any issues or engine damage involved. The filter is also oversized and water-resistant so that you can wash it after dirt gathers up.
This way, you make sure that no debris is getting inside the engine. It is conical-shaped and fits the engine compartment perfectly for easy access.
As for installation, you won’t need additional tools behind basic hand ones and what comes into the kit.
As for gas mileage, it’s unlikely that you’ll see a huge difference, but you might have to face a slight increase.
- Increases both sound and performance
- Easy, bolt-on installation system
- Filter-cleaning is required only after 100,000 miles of usage
- Long lifespan
- Small changes in gas mileage
- Low-quality installation parts
06. aFe Power Momentum GT Cold Air Intake Kit 51-76005
- Customized CAD design with roto-molded housing
- Made of heat-soak materials and cross-linked polyethylene
- Urethane plug included
- 100% polyurethane frame
aFe products are also highly appreciated in the industry thanks to the increase in performance for Toyota Tacoma cars.
It’s best to mention from the start that this product is non-carb compliant, and it’s a bit different compared to your basic K&N products.
The factory intake faces an outflow of up to 39%, but it will not reach 50% like similar variations of cold air intakes.
The filter itself is different too: it has 3 synthetic layers and is not oiled, being washable, and offering the best protection against debris or contaminants.
The intake tube is roto-molded and is designed in CAD for the best possible fit. The entire housing of the kit is sealed and is made of one piece only so that it keeps the waterway.
In terms of risks, this aFe product is known for reducing the possibility of damaging your engine, while bringing to table all benefits of the kit.
- One-piece design for easy installation
- Airbox doesn’t have to be removed for inspection
- 3-layer, progressive air filter for maximum performance
- High-quality clamps included
- No CARB exempts
- High price compared to similar models
07. aFe Power Magnum Force 51-81162
- Three-layer, non-oiled filter
- Sealed housing with inlet scoop
- Made of heat-insulating molded plastic
- 119% outflow and 13 horsepower added
Continuing with yet another impressive product from aFe, the 51-81162 version is just as important to mention in this top because of its features.
It follows the same three-layered, non-oiled filter design that is also washable thanks to its synthetic nature, thus balancing a convenient fit, performance increases, and protection.
As with most aFe products, the cold air intake is sealed for water leakage prevention, with the intake track made of heat-insulated plastic, molded specifically to fit the place.
The only issue with this product is that it is not CARB exempt, which means it is not legal in some states that are heavily regulated in this direction.
The most impressive aspect of the Power Magnum is that it increases the factory intake by up to a whopping 119%, a number that you rarely see in CAIs.
You should expect around 13 horsepower and 21 lbs./ft torque gains.
- Tremendous horsepower increase
- Proven outflow and torque increase
- 100% polyurethane filter
- Easy installation process
- Not CARB exempt
- Dimensions should be double-checked to ensure it fits
08. Spectre Performance Cold Air Intake SPE-9962
- Dyno-tested for 50% increase in airflow
- Visibly improves engine sound
- Increases torque and vehicle performance
- Keeps engine clean through high-quality filters
The biggest highlight of the Spectre Performance CAI SPE-9962 is that the installation process takes under 30 minutes and it comes with very clear instructions.
If it’s the first time when you’re installing a cold air intake, this one might be the best option for you.
The system fits perfectly without trouble or without having to move other parts around. Like other products from Spectre, this CAI will increase the performance of your Tacoma, as well as add improvements in terms of sound.
The filter is designed by Spectre and it is a low-restriction one. The intake tube is made of polished aluminum for the coldest air generation, with an additional powder-coated heat shield for extra performance and safety.
The kit includes everything you need for the installation, so no further investment is required for putting it together.
- The filters don’t require cleaning before 100,000 miles
- Oiled filter design against contaminants
- Great lifespan thanks to the materials used
- Bolt-on installation
- Might cause damage to the engine in the long term
- Slight changes in mileage
09. Volant Cold Air Intake 185406
- High-quality materials
- One-piece design
- High-grade filter that can be cleaned
- Complete installation kit
After analyzing popular brands like aFe and K&N, it is important to bring Volant into the picture. Not many people know about this cold air intake, even though it’s a great product taking into account its price.
It is made of cross-link polyethylene, which makes it durable and efficient. The filter is reusable, changeable, and easy to access for convenient cleaning.
The design is made of one piece to ensure water resistance and avoid engine damage.
The clamps that come in the packaging are made of stainless steel for extra durability.
- Great performance in exchange for a convenient price
- Heat-resistant materials for extra performance
- Stainless steel clamps for durability
- Silicon connectors
- Not compatible with some air sensors
- Hole alignment might be off and require adjustments
10. Auto Dynasty Black Aluminum Cold Air Intake System
- Known for long durability
- Considerable increases in horsepower and torque
- Improved throttle response
- Lightweight materials used
Auto Dynasty produces high-quality cold air intakes, this model being one of their most appreciated.
It has the potential to be the best cold air intake for Tacoma but note that it only fits those produced between 2005 and 2011.
This intake is known for the great improvements it brings to a performance, but also for the filtration efficiency.
Your car’s engine will remain healthy throughout the entire period of usage.
You can adjust the inlet pipe in length and diameter so that it matches your engine’s resonance and drag as much air as possible to the cylinders.
- 95% better filtration efficiency
- Gains of 5-10 HP and 8% torque
- Gas mileage improvement
- Easy to install
- Non CARB compliant
- Hole aligning issues may occur
Guide To Choosing The Best Cold Air Intake For Tacoma
When making upgrades for your car, you want to invest plenty of time in research before actually putting money in a kit.
Enhancing the vehicle’s performance is directly related to what products you choose.
This guide to choosing the best cold air intake for Tacoma answers the hottest questions on the topic and tells you what factors you should keep in mind when opting for this upgrade.
Even though this is rather a small upgrade to make, there are a few times that can change your entire experience with CAIs.
Find out which below.
01. Model & Year
Before making any purchase, double-check your car’s model, release year, and other technicalities that might influence the cold air intake kit installation.
The older a car is, the more difficult it will be to find the best cold air intake for it. Commonly, cold air intake kits fit vehicle models launched in a specific timeframe.
For instance, you can search for the “best cold air intake for Tacoma” and you’ll find all options for this model of Toyota, along with the kit’s serial number and the year range it is suitable for.
Check with your mechanic if you’re not sure of the cold air intake’s size or other installation aspects.
As mentioned before, there are different types of cold air intakes and one of the differences is made by the materials used in building them.
The best choice you have is opting for a heat-resistant material that doesn’t collect heat.
Collecting heat leads to downgrading the efficiency of cold air intake and – ultimately – defeating its purpose.
Heat-resistant materials will keep the air cold and performance efficient.
03. The System it Uses
There are two styles when it comes to cold air intake: short ram and true cold. The first one is known for easy filter access.
This way, you can clean it as often as required or change it without a hassle if needed. The installation process is also much shorter and straightforward for these.
The second one is known for producing the biggest cold airflow by pushing the filter as close to the engine as possible. This type fits the needs of drivers who want visibly increased performance.
04. Engine Compromising
You should know that there’s a slight risk of engine compromising if the filters you’re buying are not high-quality.
Debris and contaminated air can easily reach the engine through low-quality filters, resulting in engine damage in the long term.
This is why you should make sure to buy high-quality kits and preferably opt for a washable filter.
Engine failure can also occur from the lack of water shielding, so keep an eye on this feature too.
FAQ’s About Best Tacoma Cold Air Intake
What is a Cold Air Intake to begin with?
Before getting into technicalities, let’s clarify what a cold air intake is in the first place.
CAIs or – on their long name – cold air intakes are aftermarket systems that are meant to make your engine sound louder by drawing more air into it.
By doing this, air also reaches the throttle body and also increases the vehicle’s overall performance.
There are cold air intakes that contain plastic and metal, but they are not as efficient as aluminum and polymer ones.
The explanation behind this is purely scientific – heat sensitivity.
The more heat the materials absorb, the worse – as the product’s name says.
The same goes with filter location – some are near the engine, others are towards the car’s front side, thus changing how they send air into the throttle body.
It’s paramount to keep in mind that not all cold air intakes help with car performance, as some may even negatively influence gas mileage or acceleration.
It is all related to air molecules: hotter air molecules have a smaller concentration of oxygen, while colder air ones have a higher concentration of oxygen, making the molecules considerably bigger.
As in the case of a fire that needs to be maintained, you need to give it more and more air.
If less to no air reaches the fire, it will slowly die out. The situation is quite similar to engines.
They produce more horsepower and a wild sound as cold air in bigger quantities reaches the combustion chamber.
Of course, a downside might come with it: your vehicle might start consuming more fuel than it usually did.
Hopefully, you found this article about finding the best cold air intake for Tacoma useful.
We tried to gather some of the most appreciated products in the market in one single place and sincerely reviewed each to make the purchasing process easier for you.
If you’re interested in similar content, keep an eye on our website.