Initial Review of KONIS Shocks/Struts

Greetings to everyone here at the forum! I am a long time lurker here at the forum since I bought my 2016 Mazda CX-5 back in Sept of 2015. My car has approxiately 59,xxx miles on the odometer. I decided that I wanted to add a little more handling performance to my Mazda CX-5 since I like to drive a little spirited once in a while. Although the CX-5 has great handling dynamic caracterictics from the factory I felt there was still room for much improvement. So at 59,XXX miles I decided to change the struct/shocks despite them still being in useful conditions.

My initial review of the Konis Red Active Technology shocks/struts has to be one of the best bang for the buck modifications. This has changed the driving handling dynamics of the car for the better. The car squating when accelarating and nose dive when braking are completely eliminated. The ride quality also improved. And when taking the twisty curves it flattens out with minimum sway inclination, way better than OEM struts/shocks. I wish I had done this modification on the first 1,000 km when I had the car brand new. I cannot praise enough these Konis shocks/struts. I have not read anyone here at the forum that has done Koni Shocks/Struts modification to their CX-5, so I decided to share my initial review of them on the first 100 miles of testing them. I highly recommend them for those still on the wall indecisive if they should put these on their ride. For me it was worth the money, and had I known before I would have swapped them a long time ago.
 

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Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
Thanks for the review.

Sounds like you're happy with your modification. Koni has been around forever...great product.

I always smile when I read of people making performance mods and remember that the subject of the sentence is an SUV.
 
Thanks for the review.

Sounds like you're happy with your modification. Koni has been around forever...great product.

I always smile when I read of people making performance mods and remember that the subject of the sentence is an SUV.

Yes, indeed Koni are a great product. Years back (2004) I had Koni Yellows on a 1982 240 Volvo b21ft that I once owned and enjoyed them for what they were. I didn't go for the yellows because I knew they would be too rough on a daily basis even setting them up in there lowest soft setting. The koni Red Active Technology are a perfect match even with the OEM spring rate. It just enhanced the ZOOM ZOOM to another level. Glad you enjoyed my review. I hope this will help others on their decision if their looking to pull the trigger on these KONIS RED.
 
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you replaced old shocks with Konis?

- results of the comparison are not surprising...

replacing new shocks with Konis would be more interesting
 
you replaced old shocks with Konis?

- results of the comparison are not surprising...

replacing new shocks with Konis would be more interesting

I had the 2016 Mazda CX-5 SUV since new with only 6 miles on the odometer. I know how my car performed when I had since new. Had I test driven a CX-5 with the KONI back then, I would have changed the new oem shocks/struts in a heart beat with RED koni. The Red koni shocks/struts are just better plane and simple. Watch a YOUTUBE video where they tested a pracitically brand new BMW with oem and one with RED KONIS. The video speaks for itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0dWGWr4-Yo
 
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tibimakai

San Dimas CA
:
USA
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
I was thinking about this with my CS springs. I may do it when time comes to replace my struts. I'm at 59xxxk myself. It still feels fine though.
These struts have softness adjustment possibility(front are rear)? I'm not familiar with these struts.
 
I was thinking about this with my CS springs. I may do it when time comes to replace my struts. I'm at 59xxxk myself. It still feels fine though.
These struts have softness adjustment possibility(front are rear)? I'm not familiar with these struts.


If you are riding on CS springs which have a drop of 3.25" Front and 3.25" Rear they will not be compatible with these springs. Koni recommends a 1.25"-1.50" maximum drop. The Koni can be used with some lowering springs that have a drop of 1.25"-1.50". If you use them beyond that drop you will have diminishing returns according to what they state. Over at the koni website they have an Active Lowering Kit that the koni Red Active Technology struts/shocks are paired with Eibach springs that have a 1"-1.50" mild drop.

The Koni Red Active Technology are not hand adjustable like the Yellow Koni are, where you adjust using a knob to twist and set them soft to very firm. Red Koni self adjust according to the road bump rebound frequency feedback they receive (Hydraulic Mechanical). Here are some links to the info. I hope this helps with your decision. If you are going to get the Koni and want the aesthetic of the lowering springs I would suggest getting from Koni their Active Lowering Kit.

https://www.koni-na.com/en-US/NorthAmerica/Products/Cars/1165-Special-Active-Lowering-Kit(Red)/

https://www.eeuroparts.com/blog/10734/koni-fsd-is-now-koni-special-active/
 
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I just got Koni special actives at 110K miles on my 2014 CX5 AWD.

Not as impressed as I thought I'd be. Let me explain...
1. The ride is much smoother/comfortable than what it ever was (from new to 110K miles)....almost like a layer of refinement was literally added to struts.....very happy with this aspect.

2. The handling is not as good as it was when the car was new, it was an absolute blast to drive with the stock toyo 19' tires and firm struts.

3. I also simultaneously hated the ride quality/ noise levels when it was new as I thought I was too firm for my life situation back then (just had a baby boy, had a longish highway commute etc).....replacing tires with Michelin's at about the 40K mark helped a bit with decreasing noise and improving ride quality, added dynamat and dynapad at around 80K miles and that helped a lot with NVH.

4. Stock struts were on the last legs at 110K miles and I decided to replace the with Koni special actives, before replacing I was worried that the ride may be too hard.(it was not).

So what am I bitching about?
My problem with Koni special active is now the ride is a plush but handling is not as good as stock was. The signature mazda dna in ride quality is missing, the ride used to be firm and noisy but had a certain feel to it....that is gone. the whole point of getting a mazda is the mazda ride quality (atleast for me)....so it is smooth yes but if I wanted smooth i would have bought a toyota or nissan in the first place.
 
I just got Koni special actives at 110K miles on my 2014 CX5 AWD.

Not as impressed as I thought I'd be. Let me explain...
1. The ride is much smoother/comfortable than what it ever was (from new to 110K miles)....almost like a layer of refinement was literally added to struts.....very happy with this aspect.

2. The handling is not as good as it was when the car was new, it was an absolute blast to drive with the stock toyo 19' tires and firm struts.

3. I also simultaneously hated the ride quality/ noise levels when it was new as I thought I was too firm for my life situation back then (just had a baby boy, had a longish highway commute etc).....replacing tires with Michelin's at about the 40K mark helped a bit with decreasing noise and improving ride quality, added dynamat and dynapad at around 80K miles and that helped a lot with NVH.

4. Stock struts were on the last legs at 110K miles and I decided to replace the with Koni special actives, before replacing I was worried that the ride may be too hard.(it was not).

So what am I bitching about?
My problem with Koni special active is now the ride is a plush but handling is not as good as stock was. The signature mazda dna in ride quality is missing, the ride used to be firm and noisy but had a certain feel to it....that is gone. the whole point of getting a mazda is the mazda ride quality (atleast for me)....so it is smooth yes but if I wanted smooth i would have bought a toyota or nissan in the first place.

Sorry for the long delay, been out of the forum for some time. In my experience with my 2016 Mazda CX-5 front wheel drive it's been better than the OEM in terms of ride quality and handling. If we were to compare the AWD to FWD from the 2016 Mazda CX-5 there is a vast weight difference. We are talking about 377 lbs in the AWD than the FWD due mainly to the rear differential drivetrain. In the car world of handling weight is everything, why do you think the Honda Type R is FWD (2wd) and not AWD. Just recently I installed a trailer hitch to my CX-5 that weights approx. 34-36 lbs give or take. After I installed the trailer hitch I immediately notice that the handling went down a notch, nothing drastically, but I could notice a difference. The car now feels more button-down in driveability, which I kind of like better. But, tossing it around the twisty's I could feel the extra weight in the back.

I recently in the past week change my tires. I had General RT-43 T rated tires. I now have the Continental LX-25 V rated tires. Now the car has an improved plush ride and turn-in handling response. The difference is the Continental LX-25 is just a better performance tire at the sidewalls for better handling (V rated than T rated).

I am sure if I uninstalled the 34 Ibs weight hitch on the back the car will have better-handling performance now with the Continental LX-25 tires.
 
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