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      09-15-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
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Drives: 2016 Golf GTI SE
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bay Area

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Thumbs up The only Sonic Tuning S1 Coilver Review you should read!!!

This is my journey from spring/shocks to an aftermarket coilover suspension on my 2007 335i e90. Enjoy!

So I have had a few different setup’s on my 2007 e90 335i over the last 3 years. It’s been a total of 2 spring/shock setups which both have felt essentially the same. When I think back about this, I really wish I had just gone out and done a coilover setup. I am a noob when it comes to suspensions so I thought that I wouldn’t need coilovers for the street anyway, since I don’t track my car. Though my car looks low with the H&R springs/stock shock combo, it can ge harsh over dips. For those of you who are looking at getting a spring and shock combo, I highly suggest you spend the extra few hundred dollars and get a coilover setup. Its really going to be a set it and forget it setup.

Current H&R Sport/Stock Shock Impressions:
The current setup I have right now is drivable but very rough and because its bouncy, makes the car not fun to drive at all. I have to slow down at certain areas of the freeway, to keep from bouncing around on my seat. I’m sure those of you who have done a spring/stock shock combo like me can attest.

Now on to the Sonic Tuning S1 coilover review. I recently just had these put on as I found a great deal from a member down in LA who was selling his. I ended up picking these up and just got them installed today at a local shop in SJ in the Bay Area. Let’s go to the review now.

The install itself was pretty straightforward, it took the shop about 3 hours. HOWEVER, the shop did mention that the fronts took over 90 minutes to adjust. I guess these coilovers are not easy to adjust the front height setting.

Dampening Setting:
When it comes to ride comfort, I want to be in a comfortable car. Having been on stock shocks and lowered springs for the longest time, I definitely need the added comfort. With that, I have set both the front and rear dampening levels to 5. So that is, 5 front and 5 in the rear. I can tell you that this setup is perfect for me. It’s not stiff at all. You do feel the road and bumps but I think that is affected by being on 19 inch wheels with low profile tires. I rather would have a softer ride than one that is stiff and harsh. The dampening is night and day compared to H&R springs with stock shocks/Bilstein HD shocks. The dampening just works perfectly and no bottoming out yet for me.

First Drive Impressions:
Now that I have the coilovers installed, time to let you all know how it feels and drives. I put about 20 miles on it so far, but I can say I am very happy. For those of you debating on shock/spring vs coilovers, I can tell you that coilovers are what you should do without a doubt. I consider myself a noob for sure, but after having shocks/springs for 20k miles and now riding on the coilovers with just 20 miles of usage, the answer is simple. I am really happy about this decision. The way the dampening just soaks up the bumps and road imperfections is awesome. It's hard to describe how it really feels, but I will tell you that I am very happy. Some people who got these coilovers have said it was very bone jarring. I can definitely say that on the settings for 5 and 5 front/rear for the dampening, it is very manageable and like OEM sports or better if not. I probably could go even stiffer on the dampening but I think I will leave it at this and see how I feel over the next few weeks. I've also drove over a few railroad track crossings at around 20-25mph and the coilovers performed great! I don't really have anything negative to say about this setup, except for maybe the installers pain with adjusting the height on the front.

Another thing that was vastly improved was braking. The brake pedal is almost 50% more responsive than from when I was on H&R springs/shocks. The coilovers really improved the braking of the car and how it comes to a stop. This is another positive of going to coilovers.

After some more mileage on the coilovers, for some weird reason, I feel as if the car accelerates quicker. I may be over thinking it, but it just feels like the car gets going quicker, not sure how coilovers would make it feel this way. I think someone else on the board also felt this as well. Either way, it's much improved from my previous setup.

See picture below for before and after. The pic in the link here is with the H&R sport springs and Bilstein HD shocks. As you can see the car is really slammed.

Pictures (attached) are of the Sonic Tuning S1 coilovers. I did not want the car to be too slammed, or too high. I think this looks great IMO.

3 day review:

I've probably driven the car with the new suspension now about 3 days or so. I live in the Bay Area and have driven on inside roads, 237, 880 North/South, 84 and it still behaves perfectly and is composed. The dampening still manages to soak up the imperfections and road irregularities I mentioned initially.

Questions? Please ask away!
Attached Images
Current: 2016 GTI SE
Past: 2012 335i (f30), 2007 335i (e90)

Last edited by vip; 10-11-2012 at 05:42 PM.