Best Cat-Back Exhaust Systems in 2021

Jerry Wilson
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If you’ve ever wanted to beef up your car’s performance, then you’ll know that sometimes changing your exhaust system can give you exactly what you need.

Most reasonably sized cars come with a factory-installed exhaust system, which is often made up of a mid-pipe leading off from the engine into a single muffler, ending in two tail pipes.

That’s it.

But what if you want more, you want a “cat-back exhaust system,” a system that perfectly pairs the mid-pipe, muffler, and tail pipes to give you a well-rounded sound, a mouth-watering exhaust note?

NameCategoryProduct
Flowmaster 817692 Outlaw Stainless Steel Aggressive Sound Cat-Back Exhaust SystemBest OverallFlowmaster 817692 Outlaw Stainless Steel Aggressive Sound Cat-Back Exhaust System
Magnaflow 16518 Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust SystemBudget PickMagnaflow 16518 Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System

1. Flowmaster 817692 Outlaw Stainless Steel Aggressive Sound Cat-Back Exhaust System

Our rating: 9 / 10

Flowmaster 817692 Outlaw Stainless Steel Aggressive Sound Cat-Back Exhaust System

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Affordable
  • Handcrafted construction

If you’re looking for an inexpensive but effective cat-back exhaust system, Flowmaster’s 817692 Outlaw stainless steel aggressive sound cat-back exhaust system is an excellent choice.

According to users, the system is easy to install. In addition, the aggressive sound is quite pleasant and resembles that of a sports car.

The one thing to note about this system is that because it’s handcrafted and not put together by robots using industrial equipment, the fit and finish can be a bit spotty. Fortunately, the system still performs really well despite a loose fit.

2. Magnaflow 16518 Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System

Our rating: 8 / 10

Magnaflow 16518 Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Musky undertones
  • Cant miss the rumble
  • High quality stainless steel
  • Great price point
  • Easy install

Cons:

  • The muffler is a little bulky
  • Shorter than expected
  • No include clamps

If you like to leave a nice set of burnt rubber behind, chances are you’ll end up on an exhaust forum sooner or later. In order to belong there, you’ll have to choose a great cat-back exhaust system.

The Magnaflow 16518 catback exhaust system promises the ultimate performance thanks to its dual tip design. This improves the exhaust flow to give you more bottom end torque than you have ever experienced.The system is composed of an exclusive stainless steel that provides a great look while also ensuring the exhaust lasts a long time.

This exhaust system also includes all hardware needed for the installation and rubber hangers allowing you to get your new exhaust on your car faster.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best cat back exhaust system?

The best cat back exhaust system will be the one that will meet your needs. These components are all designed to meet the same basic needs (increase horsepower, louder exhaust note, better flow), so what it boils down to is exactly what you want out of your system.

For those who want horsepower the single exit is the best cat back exhaust system.

For those who are looking to get that signature sound then duel and quad exit cat back exhaust systems are best.

If you are more interested in looks and better flow for improved performance, then our universal with resonator and mufflers is the best cat back exhaust system for you.

Do cat back exhaust systems improve performance?

The simple answer is yes. A cat back exhaust system will improve performance on most cars. This is true of both turbocharged and naturally aspirated engines.

There are two main reasons for this. The first is that having a cat back exhaust system replaces the restrictive stock muffler with a free flowing, larger piping that uses separate chambers to amplify sound. This will increase back pressure by around 10-20 PSI which will cause your engine to work harder. This will provide a slight increase in power across the RPM range.

Is a cat back exhaust worth it?

The simple answer is yes! Cat-back exhaust systems don’t just make the exhaust note louder; they rejuvenate the back pressure and airflow of the exhaust which results in increased horsepower, better gas mileage, and the unmistakable burble that every sports car enthusiast loves.

Even if you aren’t after the improved performance, a good system will usually include a resonator, a muffler with a quieter and mellower exhaust note, and an exhaust tip. All of these components are stylish additions that most cars usually lack, so even the sound of your exhaust will improve the style of your car.

What are the best exhaust systems?

Sounds simple, right? But if it was that simple, then everyone would have an exhaust system.

Here's what we recommend you look for in the execution of your exhaust system.

Conclusion

It’s not uncommon for a driver to decide they want a little more power and excitement from their ride, and that usually means installing a new cat-back exhaust system. Such a modification is usually not hard to do, and it can also save you money since these systems cost much less than a whole new exhaust system. And adding a cat-back exhaust system to your car can also give it a much better look than the stock pipes that originally came with your car, although again that is entirely your personal choice.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Flowmaster 817692 Outlaw Stainless Steel Aggressive Sound Cat-Back Exhaust SystemBest OverallFlowmaster 817692 Outlaw Stainless Steel Aggressive Sound Cat-Back Exhaust System
Magnaflow 16518 Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust SystemBudget PickMagnaflow 16518 Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System