There are a few good reasons why you would want to ditch your car's factory exhaust and switch to an aftermarket kit. Stock pipes can keep you from squeezing out the most power out of your engine. If you want to unleash the tiger under your car hood and have some throaty growl to go with it, a cat back exhaust system can give you that, along with enhanced fuel economy. Craving for bigger brawns and muscles for our powerhouse, we equipped our Honda CR-X with the 600-0200 aftermarket exhaust system from AEM. We put this AEM exhaust system to the test to see how it fares with other aftermarket options. Here's what we have to say:
- Estimated hp gain is 2.3 hp at 5,700 rpm
- Manufactured as a cat back exhaust system
- Comes with a 409 stainless steel tail pipe (2" diameter, 17 gauge wall thickness)
- Features a packed 304 stainless steel muffler
- Has a 1 3/4 409 stainless steel mid pipe
- Configured as a single exhaust
- Comes with a brushed stainless steel exhaust tip
- Not legal for use and/or sale in California
- The aftermarket exhaust system is a custom fit to our Honda. Installation isn't easy breezy, but everything worked well because what we have surely fits the vehicle specs. The OE routing paths are the same, and the kit meets the requirements. Everything lined up. Connections are tight and solid.
- Aside from precise fit, it also maintained the OE finish, especially for the exhaust tip, even if there are modifications in the aftermarket exhaust design.
- The cat-back exhaust gave our ride a sporty sound, and we like it. It has a deeper growl than before, giving our Honda a throaty voice.
- We can't say that the aftermarket exhaust system injected a liberal dose of power into the engine, but it did help make it easier for the engine to generate power under the same conditions. We noticed some improvements in hp, although it's not always that remarkable. In highways and freeways, we can see how fast our Honda can get. It can easily jump off and accelerate. The engine seems to breathe more easily as well.
- This can be a perfect partner to an aftermarket air intake as well. The underlying benefits can be felt more if paired with this mod.
- We initially didn't see the remarkable difference in fuel consumption. We noticed it after a few hundreds of miles. We made a bit of fuel cost savings.
What's not so great
- We had to deal with the burning odor for a while. It seems that the exhaust system has a longer burn-in period.
- The kit is not street-legal in all 50 states. Its use and sale are prohibited in CA.
What we think
If you want a less restrictive exhaust with reduced backpressure, this aftermarket exhaust can do the job well enough. It can give the vehicle much needed boost without sacrificing fuel economy or affecting the engine condition. It offers decent hp gains and performance enhancements.