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The Volkswagen MK6 Jetta was first introduced in 2010 and ran through 2018. This was one of Volkswagen’s best-selling Jetta’s because they lowered the price to make it more mainstream. In its 8 years of production, it went through one facelift in 2014, which specifically made independent rear suspension (IRS) standard in all Jetta trims. Pre-facelift & post-facelift Jetta GLIs and Jetta Hybrids already had IRS, more on this later. Since Volkswagen was cutting costs and making the Jetta more accessible to consumers on a cost basis, many things suffered, such as suspension and handling. Although it is a sedan, a set of coilovers can not only change the appearance of this car but also drastically improve handling.
MK6 Jetta Coilovers Considerations
When it comes to coilovers, there are a lot of components to take into consideration. However, before we get into considerations, it is important to figure out what you’re trying to accomplish with a set of coilovers. We would assume that the majority of Jetta owners are going for stance or better street handling performance, but we know there are some track Jettas needing some upgraded suspension. When looking to purchase a set of coilovers, there are a few things to look out for such as monotube vs twin-tube, spring rates, dampening adjustability, and coilovers vs lowering springs. We’ll go into all of these below.
Monotube vs. Twin-Tube
Without going into the in-depth technicals, we will keep it simple so it is easier to understand. Monotube and twin-tube refer to the internals of the coilovers and the shock design.
Twin-tube coilovers have two chambers; one that contains hydraulic gas and one that contains hydraulic fluid. Since there are two chambers, there is a chance that the two substances mix causing ride quality to be less precise and less sensitive. However, these do provide a more comfortable ride for the daily driver. Twin-tubes are less expensive to manufacture, therefore they are cheaper to the consumer.
Monotube coilovers only have one chamber that contains hydraulic gas and hydraulic fluid that will never mix. Since the substances will never mix, they will be more precise, more sensitive, and will be best used for track purposes. Because of the higher technology in a singular chamber, these do tend to be more expensive for the consumer.
Spring rates are an important component to take into account because it measures how much weight or pressure it takes to compress the springs by 1 inch. This is often measured by lb/in or KG/mm. A higher spring rate, 420lb/in, for example, will be stiffer because it takes more weight or pressure to compress the springs an inch. Track setups tend to have higher spring rates because the suspension needs to be precise for those corners. A lower spring rate, 220lb/in, for example, will be well suited for daily drivers because it will provide a softer more comfortable ride.
Last but certainly not least, is dampening adjustability. Dampening refers to the control of the compression of the springs and how quickly they rebound after being compressed. So, dampening adjustability means that a consumer has the ability to adjust the dampening force of the coilovers. Not all coilovers have adjustability as an option. However, this isn’t always a bad thing. Many companies offer pre-set dampening which provides the optimal dampening settings. These aftermarket companies have devoted a lot of money in R&D to ensure the pre-dampened sets provide the best driving experience for the customer. Dailys or stanced drivers may lean towards pre-set dampening, whereas adjustable dampening will likely be found on track setups or high-performing street vehicles.
Coilovers vs. Lowering Springs
This is a heavily debated topic when it comes to lowering a vehicle. Many consumers may resort to simply buying lowering springs for cost purposes, which we completely understand. Essentially, lowering springs just replace the factory springs and lower ride height by 1-3″ on average. Coilovers on the other hand not only lower ride height but will drastically improve handling and the driving experience. Coilovers include upgraded struts and shocks for only a couple hundred dollars more. Oddly enough, coilovers happen to be easier to install than lowering springs, which will provide cost savings due to labor.
In short, if you are just wanting to lower your MK6 Jetta a fixed amount and don’t care about improving handling or comfort, springs are the way to go. However, as we stated above, for only a couple hundred more dollars, you could get far more benefits. If it were us, we would choose coilovers 10 out of 10 times, but going back to vehicle goals, everyone is different.
MK6 Jetta Coilover Benefits
- Ride height adjustability (up to 4″)
- Dampening adjustability
- Increased handling performance
- More cost-efficient option for replacing factory suspension
- Comfortable driving experience
Best MK6 Jetta Coilovers
Before jumping into the best coilovers, the ones we picked fit the Gen3 GLI specifically. If you are looking at other coilover options for other trims, let us know in the comments and we will assist you in any way we can! Also, we will go into IRS vs Beam Axle shortly, but PLEASE make sure the coilovers you order will fit whichever suspension your MK6 Jetta has.
Now when it comes to “best” coilover sets, this goes back to goals. We can’t choose what you want, but we can provide information to assist in your decision. Below we will list our favorites, but we highly advise doing your own research to ensure the best fit. Most of our readers are either looking for stance or just better street performance handling, so entry-level coilovers will be best. However, we know there could be some readers that are trying to build a track star MK6 Jetta, so we will make sure to include a high-performance street and track setup. We’re going to cover 3 different setups specifically: stance, street, or track.
Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) vs. Torsion Beam (Beam Axle) Suspension
Before we jump into our favorite coilovers, IRS vs beam axle suspension is worth bringing to your attention. As stated above, IRS became standard on all 2014 Jetta models, although the GLI’s and Hybrids already had IRS from 2010. Beam axle suspension was found on 2010 – 2014 Jetta’s. The technicals of each suspension aren’t too important, but it is crucial to know which type each Jetta has before ordering a set of coilovers.
Torsion beam suspension, or often referred to as twist beam, is as simple as it sounds. Two wheels are attached to the end of a bar that twists slightly when under load. This design gives the two wheels a degree of independence and it isn’t as stiff as a solid axle. Beam axle suspension was found on 2010 – 2014 MK6 Jetta’s, excluding 2010 – 2014 GLIs and Hybrids.
Independent Rear Suspension, or IRS, has two springs that allow the rear wheels to move independently without impacting the angle of each wheel, like beam axle suspension. IRS typically provides a smoother ride. IRS was found on 2014 – 2018 MK6 Jetta’s & 2010 – 2018 MK6 Jetta GLIs and Hybrids.
1) Raceland MK6 Jetta Coilovers
For starters, Raceland coilvers are going to give you the biggest bang-for-your-buck. They offer coilover kits for 50mm beam axle suspension and 55mm beam axle suspension and independent rear suspension. If you have a question on which set will fit your Jetta, reach out to them and their excellent customer service will help you ASAP. They also offer a wide variety of customization that is tailored to specific drivers. Raceland has their Classic kit that lowers ride height by 1-3″ and is suitable for daily drivers. They have their Ultimo kit that lowers ride height by 2-4″ and is suitable for stanced and street drivers. Lastly, they offer their Primo kit that lowers ride height by 2-4″ and comes with dampening adjustability which is suitable for drivers that want high-performance suspension on the streets and stance.
Starting at $419, Raceland delivers high-quality coilover kits at half of the price of its competitors. Coming with a lifetime warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, it is hard to beat Raceland coilovers.
Driver: Stance or Street
Buy Here: Raceland Volkswagen MK6 Jetta Coilovers
2) Bilstein MK6 Jetta Coilovers
Bilstein is an aftermarket suspension company that has been around for over two decades and they are very well known for producing top-quality coilover kits. Their main focus is on high-performance and track setups. The PSS B14’s features a monotube shock design that provides a ~1-2″ drop in ride height and comes with progressive rate springs. Coming in at $995, this kit is perfect if you are a driver that is looking to improve street handling and your driving experience.
Driver: Street or Track
Buy Here: Bilstein Volkswagen MK6 Jetta GLI PSS B14 Coilover Kit
3) BC Racing MK6 Jetta Coilovers
Another name that is well-known for coilover kits, specifically for Volkswagen’s, is BC Racing, often referred to as simply BR coilovers. The BR series coilover kit features a monotube shock design that lowers ride height by a minimum of 2″ and provides 30 levels of dampening adjustability. Whether you are someone that is wanting to track their GLI or have high-performing street use coilovers, these are for you. Coming in on the pricier side at $1,195, you will not be disappointed for spending the money.
Driver: Street or Track
Buy Here: BR Series Volkswagen MK6 Jetta GLI Coilover Kit
MK6 Jetta Coilovers Conclusion
Overall, the best coilover setup depends on what your vehicle goals are. If you are daily driving your Jetta, twin-tubes are the way to go. If you are looking for a track setup or high-performance coilovers, monotubes are the way to go. We do want to reiterate because of the cost, Raceland is our top choice for coilovers that will provide the biggest bang-for-your-buck.
Let us know what coilovers your riding on in the comments. Finally, if you want to read up on more MK6 Jetta content, here’s our write-up on “MK6 Jetta GLI Tuning Guide“.