Top 8 Best Cold Air Intakes for Jeep Wrangler

For generations, the Jeep Wrangler has cemented itself to be the OG of off-road vehicles. Everything that the Wrangler has is for the off-road: it’s got a dynamic 4×4 drivetrain, durable front, competent rear axles, powerful transmissions, and even a coilover suspension. Suppose you care about performance and you want something to make your Jeep Wrangler a more capable vehicle. In that case, you better get your hands on some aftermarket modifications like performance intake systems.

Performance intake systems can bring a lot of benefits to a naturally extroverted car like the Jeep Wrangler. Most of the aftermarket intakes have a lot of innovative features that will make your SUV perform better. Some of these said features include advanced air filters, low restriction tubings, and heat shields. Ultimately, an aftermarket performance intake kit supplies cold and clean air to the Jeep’s engine, translating to more added horsepower, better acceleration, and most of all, better mileage. 

Are you looking for some high-quality intake systems for your Jeep Wrangler? Then this must be your lucky day! Jeep Wrangler forums and customer reviews are treasure troves of information for what to get for your vehicle, and we’ve explored every one of them to bring you a list of the best Jeep Wrangler intake. Check the list out to see what’s the perfect intake system for your vehicle!

#1 K&N Blackhawk Cold Air Intake Kit

  • Manufacturer: K&N Engineering
  • Features: Black Dryflow air filter
  • Power Gain: 7.26 HP
  • Compatibility: Jeep Wrangler JK (2012-2018)

Let’s start the list with the most famous aftermarket cold-air intake provider: K&N Engineering. K&N intake kits receive a lot of love and good customer reviews because of their reliability. For the Jeep Wrangler, they’ve got the Blackhawk, a cold-air intake system that offers tactical style and a proven increase in engine performance. It is reported to produce 7.26 horsepower at 5,600RPM and an extra 7.79lb-ft of torque at 5,000RPM. This added horsepower is useful for trekking hills, mountains, and any other rugged terrain.

#2 aFe Power Magnum Force Stage-2 Cold-Air Intake System

  • Manufacturer: aFe Power
  • Features: Pro 5R filter
  • Power Gain: +12hp
  • Compatibility: Jeep Wrangler JK (2012-2018)

Here’s another one of the best Jeep Wrangler intakes you should get your hands on as soon as possible. The Magnum Force Stage-2 cold-air intake system has got everything you need in terms of performance benefits, such as an increase of up to 12 horsepower and 13lb-ft of torque and fuel economy improvement. This intake system is composed of a heat-insulating roto-molded tube, a progressive 5-layer air filter, and a black powder-coated to keep the heat from the engine bay away from the incoming air. Overall, the Magnum Force Stage-2 is a bang for the buck purchase that will bring practical benefits to your Jeep Wrangler. 

#3 Rough Country Cold Air Intake System

  • Manufacturer: Rough Country
  • Features: Premium reusable air filter
  • Power Gain: N/A
  • Compatibility: Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-2018)

When looking for off-road aftermarket parts, it’s pretty impossible to look over the Rough Country. A pioneer provider of aftermarket parts of off-road vehicles, Rough Country got a specific cold-air intake for the Jeep Wrangler. This intake is cheap, sufficient, and durable. It’s straightforward to install, too; it’ll take you just 1 to 2 hours! The Rough Country Cold Air Intake comes with a low-restriction intake tubing, a heat shield, a reusable air filter, and all the other necessary hardware you need for installation.

#4 Red Rock 4×4 Cold Air Intake Kit

  • Manufacturer: Red Rock Offroad
  • Features: High flow reusable conical air filter
  • Power Gain: N/A
  • Compatibility: Jeep Wrangler TJ 2-Door (1997-2006)

Aside from Rough Country, there’s another pioneer in off-road aftermarket parts; the Red Rock Offroad. They’ve got a cold-air intake kit that can improve the performance of the Jeep Wranglers of the old, specifically Jeep Wrangler TJs. The Red Rock 4×4 cold-air intake kit provides more power and torque while preventing air contaminants’ power-robbing from entering the AMC engine. The Red Rock 4×4 cold-air intake kit is an affordable option you can get if you’re leaning into budget-friendly cold-air intake systems.

#5 Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit

  • Manufacturer: Spectre Performance
  • Features: Reusable air filters with synthetic media
  • Power Gain: N/A
  • Compatibility: Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-2018)

Another one of the best Jeep Wrangler air intakes you can find out is the Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, and it’s easy to install. You won’t have to spend a fortune anymore to have more horsepower and torque because the Spectre Performance air intake kit has the basic things you need from an aftermarket intake. More airflow? Check. A reusable air filter that only needs to be washed instead of being replaced? Check. Easy bolt-on installation? Check! If you’ve got a restricted budget and you’re looking for an entry-level intake kit, and you’re not planning to ravage the outdoors anytime soon with your Jeep Wrangler, then the Spectre Performance air intake kit is perfect for you.

#6 Mishimoto Air Intake System

  • Manufacturer: Mishimoto
  • Features: Comes with oiled or dry air filter media
  • Power Gain: 10.8hp
  • Compatibility: Jeep Wrangler JL (2018-2020)

Do you own the latest model of Jeep Wrangler? Good for you! You can introduce an extra 10.8 horsepower and 11.4lb-ft torque to your Jeep Wrangler JL with the Mishimoto performance intake system. Mishimoto wants the 3.6L Pentastar engine to perform at peak efficiency, so they precision-engineered a roto-molded tube, stuck it on a large air filter, and integrated some resonators to the tubing to low-restriction tubing. The result is a dyno-tested increase in horsepower, torque, and 36% more airflow, far better than what the stock intake could provide. Overall, the Mishimoto air intake system is arguably one of the best cold air intakes for the Jeep Wrangler JL.

#7 aFe Power Momentum GT Performance Intake System

    • Manufacturer: aFe Power
    • Features: Pro 5R/Pro DRY S/Pro GUARD7 filters
    • Power Gain: +12hp
  • Compatibility: Jeep Wrangler JK (2012-2018)

If you think we’re done with aFe Power air intakes, think again because we still have the Momentum GT performance intake in tow. This intake system differs from the Magnum Force in terms of the quality of the intake hardware, housing, and the available air filters. The Momentum GT features a one-piece sealed housing connected to an auxiliary air scoop to ensure that the air is cold enough before it gets into the engine. This one-piece housing is then secured with T-bolt clamps made from stainless steel and a reinforced silicone coupling. The Momentum GT has fewer parts than the Magnum Force, making it easier to install than the latter.

#8 Banks Ram-Air Intake System

  • Manufacturer: Banks 
  • Features: Giant high-flow air filter
  • Power Gain: +8hp
  • Compatibility: Jeep Wrangler JK (2012-2018)

If there’s something iconic about the Banks Ram-Air intake system, it’s got to be it’s gigantic black housing covering a sizable conical air filter. This large conical air filter, along with the housing, a vast inlet, smooth tubing, and some resonators, is responsible for the dramatic improvement of airflow to the engine and constitutes the Banks Ram-Air intake system. A critical element that sets this air intake from the rest of the intakes in this list is the use of “Helmholtz” resonators, responsible for eliminating the engine drone while keeping a throaty sound. The Banks Ram-Air intake system is a reasonably affordable intake system for those who want better airflow for their engines, along with a throaty under-the-hood sound.

Jeep Wrangler Cold-Air Intake System: Is It Worth It?

A lot of Jeep Wrangler owners debate the importance of cold-air intakes in their vehicles. Some say yay, while others say nay. Many argue that the gains cold-air intake systems bring are too low even to make a difference, while others claim that cold-air intake systems work great for the Jeep Wrangler simply because aftermarket air filters are worth the investment. So to answer the question: it depends. It depends on why you want a cold-air intake system on your Jeep. Is it for the gains? The money you’ll save off of aftermarket air filters? Ultimately, if you want a better horsepower output and uphill performance, you should get one.

You can reap many benefits by simply installing an aftermarket intake system on your Jeep Wrangler. Since a Jeep Wrangler is an off-road monster, you can get a lot of value for every penny you’d spend on a cold-air intake system. Some of these benefits include better performance output in terms of horsepower and torque, better air for your engine, and the most essential feature of all, gas mileage improvement. The Jeep Wrangler needs all of the MPG improvement it can have, and since this benefit comes along with other useful services, you can be sure that your next off-road adventure will be more memorable.

About Bryce Cleveland 494 Articles
Bryce founded Dust Runners Automotive Journal in 2014 as a way to write about the cars he found interesting. He currently owns a 2003 Honda CRF450R Supermoto, 2006 Nissan 350Z, and a 2018 Yamaha MT09. Follow him on Instagram for more @bryce.cleveland.

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