Best Performance Exhaust

The Best Performance Exhaust [Buying Guide]

Nothing in life gives a thrill like the roar of a large CID (cubic inch displacement) motor.

It sounds even better with a little rumble coming out of the tailpipes!

A growling exhaust system not only provides satisfaction, but it is also a real head turner.

Whether you are looking to replace a worn out exhaust or you want to ditch your old OEM exhaust, you can’t go wrong by adding some more airflow to your exhaust system.

Replacing your system will give you increased horsepower and add a few MPG to your gas mileage. It also gives you that spine-tingling roar that adds to your ride’s unique style.

Alright, so you want to snag a nice exhaust, but you don’t want just any run of the mill piece of junk that is worn out in a year or two.

How do you find the best performance exhaust system for your sportster?

I’ve done some research and I’ve found some of the best exhaust systems on the market today. Keep reading and discover what your car has been asking for, a premium performance exhaust system!

Best Overall

Flowmaster is the biggest name in aftermarket exhaust systems, including this outstanding cat-back product.

Made from stainless steel, this unit offers a variety of tip styles and colors. Coming in black or chrome, it carries a super aggressive sound and offers factory mounting points for easy installation.

Besides the outstanding sound, the best thing about this unit is the Limited Lifetime Warranty. Any company that offers a warranty like that knows they have made an extremely durable product.

They aren’t really concerned about returns.

You won’t experience any popping or backfiring on deceleration like you can with some other units.

Another great feature is this unit is loud. But it’s not so loud that you can’t hear a passenger or you have to crank up the radio super loud to hear it.

This has a deep idle noise that you will love but at the same time, it is not annoying.


  • It comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Installation is super easy
  • You get made in the USA quality


  • A few users complain that the hangars and flex pipe rusted after a few years
  • Some users find the sound too aggressive
  • Occasionally, the kits are missing hangars or other small pieces

If you are looking for a quality made, premium exhaust system, you want the excellence that Flowmaster is known for. The Outlaw exhaust setup gives you the clean, aggressive sound you want for your vehicle.

Best Performance Exhaust for a Ram 1500

If you’ve got a Ram truck, you want it to sound like a truck, am I right? The Borla exhaust setup is exactly what you have been looking for!

This model is designed to fit Ram 1500 5.7L V8 rear-wheel drive, 4 door models.

It has an awesome look to it, with a stainless steel chrome tip that you can’t help but notice from the back. It has the Borla name embossed into the muffler and it is designed to go directly through the bumper, so it looks OEM.

Borla offers a pretty outstanding warranty of one million miles for all non-moving parts, other than catalytic converters. Since this is a cat-back model, you don’t have to worry about that.

Keep your receipt and a note of the mileage.


  • It has a one-million-mile warranty
  • It’s easy to install
  • It looks as good as it sounds


  • A few users complain that the setup isn’t as aggressive sounding as they wanted it to be
  • Some complaints about bent pipes during shipping
  • A wiring harness is located near the muffler, which made some installers nervous but there are no reported problems

If you are planning to fork out the cash for a premium exhaust system that fits your Ram like a glove, Borla is exactly what you have been looking for.

Best Performance Exhaust for a Toyota Tundra

Between MagnaFlow and Flowmaster, it’s hard to tell which name is better known. There is no doubt that MagnaFlow makes top quality products that you can rely.

This performance exhaust is no different.

Made in the USA, this model is designed to not only give your smaller Tundra a bigger sound but give you better fuel economy as well.

This exhaust system is the perfect balance of aggressive sound, but not so aggressive that the neighbors complain about it.

The MagnaFlow comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Can’t ask for more than that!

Always double-check the application before purchase. This unit is made for the 5.7L engine, 3-inch exhaust pipes, and a TRD suspension.


  • It doesn’t have that annoying drone sound on the highway
  • It has a Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • There’s no popping or backfiring


  • Some users complain about poor welds around the muffler
  • The sound is not as loud as some users expected

It’s actually difficult to find people who did not love the MagnaFlow system on their Tundra!

For the majority of people who drive their Tundra every day, the MagnaFlow is the perfect mix of growling noise and great looks.

Best Performance Exhaust for a 350Z

If you’ve got a Nissan 350Z in your garage, you probably love decking out your Z with the newest gadgets and accessories. Why not make your 350Z sound as awesome as it looks?

This model is made to fit Nisan 350Z between 2002-2008.

Invidia backs up their product with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

It’s made from stainless steel, has CNC machined flanges, and has a beautifully polished finish. Each system has mandrel-bent piping so you get reduced back pressure and more horsepower.

This is made for a 350Z, but it is quite easy to install. When it comes to exhaust parts, you get what you pay for, and if you want the top of the line for your Z, you’ve come to the right place.

This is nothing short of a great exhaust system that you will not only hear but feel.


  • It has a Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • I love the awesome looking chrome pipes
  • It’s easy to install for most people


  • Some users complain that the bolts didn’t line up for them
  • A few users didn’t like the sound
  • Other Z owners said that the noise inside the cab was too loud

The Invidia exhaust system will take your 350Z to a whole new level, even if you leave the standard tune on the motor.

Does a performance exhaust increase horsepower?

Catback Exhaust

The short answer here is yes, it can!

Some people think that they can transform their ride into a race car by replacing the muffler with a better one. While a new muffler can help, the difference isn’t going to be that drastic.

You need to open up airflow going in and out of the engine. For most people, this means investing in a “cat-back” exhaust system.

Cat-back means replacing everything from the catalytic converter back to the tailpipe. This includes replacing mufflers, resonators, and pipes.

Replacing your OEM exhaust with a cat-back exhaust system should increase your horsepower by 2-3% for a V8 and 3-5% for a 4 cylinder.

These increases are typically what you see in the real world. What you read on an exhaust manufacturer’s website is usually going to be an overestimate.

You can also multiply the HP increase by increasing the air going in to the engine as well. Look at an air intake kit for increased performance.

What exhaust system adds the most horsepower?

There isn’t one brand that adds more horsepower than another. Increasing air going in to and out of an engine will increase horsepower more than any one exhaust system.

Horsepower is calculated by multiplying torque by revolutions per minute, or RPM. If your new exhaust adds 10-foot pounds of torque at 5,000 RPM that will give you an increase in horsepower of 9.5 ponies.

Adding other modifications, such as a cold air intake or headers, combined with a cat-back exhaust system is one of the best methods for improving horsepower.

Engines don’t work on exhaust alone, so you should consider adding or modifying whatever you can do to increase your horsepower.

How much HP does a Catback exhaust add?

Adding a cat-back exhaust system can increase your horsepower by as much as 3-5% for 4 cylinder engines a 2-3% for V8’s.

This means that if you are packing 350 horses under the hood of a V8, adding a premium cat-back exhaust can add another 7-10 horses.

Most people use cat-back systems because it is illegal to mess with the anti-smog systems, including the catalytic converters. It’s more than just a fine in most states. In some states it can mean jail time.

Do straight pipes give more horsepower?

The short answer here is yes, straight pipes will absolutely give you more horsepower.

When there is nothing to restrict the exhaust, such as mufflers or catalytic converters, you bet that your ride will be nearly flying!

Straight pipes give you increased performance and a unique sense of style. They also reduce weight on the vehicle, improve fuel economy, and you will get to hear what a motor really sounds like.

Let’s talk about why no one but race car drivers use straight pipes:

  • Loud, Loud, and oh my it is ever LOUD! You will be violating noise laws everywhere you go
  • Rampant emission output. There are no smog controls such as catalytic converters
  • They are expensive unless you make them yourself. It is difficult to find straight pipes for every make and model, so you would need to have them custom made
  • Tune and tune again. Your motor is designed to work with smog and exhaust controls. Without those controls, you will need to find how to tune the motor so it will run properly

The only application for straight pipes is for professional racing. They are definitely not for a daily driver!

The Winner

For specialty vehicles, such as the Nissan 350Z, you will most likely want to go with a product that was designed specifically for your machine, such as the Invidia that we review above.

For the majority of vehicles, you are going to want to go with the Flowmaster Outlaw setup.

This is the best kit for the money and the limited lifetime warranty proves that Flowmaster stands behind their product.

The Flowmaster Outlaw has the deep, throaty rumble that you want your ride to have, but it isn’t so loud that you are annoyed by it. This unit is quite easy for the average DIYer to install.

Most users installed this puppy in less than 2 hours. Many people state that the instructions are right on target, which made installation simple.

You can pay for a cheaper system, of course, but what kind of warranty do they offer?

The bottom line? The Flowmaster Outlaw will make your vehicle sound like one bad ride!

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