In 2014 as part of our original Avant resto project, we upgraded the suspension with new control arms and a set of Solo-Werks coilovers. We were excited to try out these budget-friendly coilovers on our wagon and see what they were all about. We reviewed the initial quality of the coilovers and found them to be very good, with no real problems on the exterior. Fast forward 2500 miles and we were still in love. The suspension had settled and hit its operating average. We found the ride to be stiff, but not un-drivable. We were shocked at how well the Solo-Werks had performed up until that point, given they were an entry level coilover.
Fast forward to nearly 15k miles later, and unfortunately, the story has changed. With just under four years and 15,000 miles, our Solo-Werks have gone bad on us. While we are not totally surprised, we were hoping that the strong initial start would carry these coilovers farther. The coilovers are still fully functional, but the ride quality dropped off drastically. Now the car feels unsettled and floaty, the shocks have lost a large amount of damping and the springs seem to be doing all the work. The car went from a very stiff tight suspension setup to a rolling mess, at speed the coilovers make the car feel unsettled and loose in the corners. After inspecting the suspension for possible failures elsewhere (cracked bushings, worn control arms, etc.) we found all the other components to be in working order. Our rear shocks, however, have lost a noticeable amount of damping rebound. The front shocks have done better, but only marginally so. While our avant wasn’t factory ride height, it also wasn’t so low as to be out of a reasonable range for these coilovers. We had left 2” and 4” of thread height on the front and rear respectively. We had also adjusted the ride height to be higher as the coilovers settled over the initial break-in period.
Would we still recommend these coilovers? Unfortunately, we would have to say no. Is the price amazing? Yes. Does the initial quality of these Solo-Werks check out? Yes. However the ride quality falls off quickly and while 15k is no small amount of miles, we feel that even basic coilovers should last longer. As we have learned many times, there is no escaping the old adage “you get what you pay for”. We still feel that Solo-Werks have a place in the market. They are a good application for a quick budget build or crazy backyard project. However, we don’t feel we could recommend them to a hard working enthusiast looking to lower their pride and joy. There are other options out there that would make for a better ride and probably last longer as well.