Monroe vs. KYB Struts & Shocks: Which Suspension Brand is Best?

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When it comes to comparing the best suspension brands on the market, you might find yourself making the Monroe vs. KYB comparison. Both are trusted brands, with their own loyal following of car enthusiasts who are looking to restore an OE feeling to their ride.

But before we dive in, it’s important to note one thing. Even though the terms “shocks” and “struts” are used interchangeably, they do have slight differences. While they both serve the same function – to enhance the car’s overall handling, smooth braking and tight steering – the main difference comes in how they are designed. In addition to aiding with braking, struts also provide additional structural support for your suspension system. 

Every car will require one or the other – while some will even use a combination of both on the front and rear ends. We make it easy to help you find the best shock absorbers and struts for your ride. You can simply put your make, model and year in our vehicle finder tool and we’ll pair you with the best suspension brands and aftermarket parts that are compatible. 

Before you go out looking for your own aftermarket suspension parts, though, we’ll leave you with a KYB struts review, a KYB shocks review, a Monroe struts review, a Monroe shocks review and a whole lot of material to think about when comparing Monroe vs. KYB suspension systems.

Monroe vs. KYB: The Best Suspension Brands Battle it Out

Whether you’re upgrading your stock suspension, replacing worn out struts, or simply want to make sure you have the best shock absorbers possible in your ride, installing quality components is the only way to guarantee you feel fewer bumps, improve vehicle stability and get even tire-wear. 

But, what performance parts are best suited to your style of driving — KYB shocks or Monroe struts? We’ll share customer reviews of KYB and Monroe while comparing the highlights of both these top-tier brands to find the right fit for your ride.

Our KYB Shocks Review

KYB might just be one of the best-known suspension brands out there. Made and manufactured in Japan, their shocks come standard on almost one in four vehicles – straight from the assembly line and across the globe. 

But that is just one reason why KYB is a leader in the performance parts industry. They’ve made a name for themselves by taking their knowledge beyond those stock KYB suspension systems and are now the largest supplier of advanced aftermarket shocks and struts for both daily drivers and street-racers. KYB struts are manufactured with components and valving customized for your specific vehicle’s needs — whether to restore your vehicle’s original handling and control or to take that control to peak performance levels. 

For those who follow normal driving standards, the KYB suspension line-up offers two popular choices. The Excel-G shocks (the alternative to Monroe’s Quick-Strut), which are designed to restore OE performance, and Gas-a-Just (compared to Monroe’s OESpectrum shocks) monotube struts to deliver a firmer ride with more control than twin-tube designs. Meanwhile, the latter are for drivers who like to take it to the limit.

What our Customers Say: A KYB Struts Review and KYB Shocks Review

Our customers report fast installation and a squeak free, factory-like feeling at a wallet-friendly price after installing new KYB suspension parts. From making Honda Civic mods to replacing worn out shock absorbers on adventure vehicles, it’s open roads and smooth sailing ahead for KYB fans. 

Excel-G KYB Shocks Review: Best shocks ever
Reviewed by Yosmany R (Miami, FL) for a 2002 Honda Civic
“[I] Used them in combination with lowered springs (Tein) and the ride is amazing. I got the best of two worlds: a comfortable ride and nice look, and it’s all thanks to the quality response of these KYB shocks.”

KYB Struts Review: Rear Struts for My IS350 F-Sport AWD
Reviewed by Jason F (Newport News, VA) for a 2011 Lexus IS 350
“I had a rear strut blow out with 66,000 miles on the vehicle. Obviously, I don’t know how the previous owner drove the car, but that’s way too soon. The dealership quoted me $600 while doing my state inspection… NO THANKS! These [Gas-a-Just] struts were priced right and easy to install. They complement my F-Sport suspension and there is no more “thud”! I would highly recommend these KYB Struts!!!”

When comparing KYB vs Monroe, the drivers that tend to prefer KYB suspension parts are those looking for more stiffness and extra-responsiveness control. This is great for rough roads, potholes and higher speeds. They may also be better for drivers of overseas-manufactured vehicles.

SHOP KYB SUSPENSION

Our Monroe Shocks Review

Monroe is also known as one of the best suspension brands when it comes to looking for complete strut assembly. Their line-up of struts and shock absorbers are made in the USA and have been instilling confidence in drivers since 1992.

Using technologies designed to match the OE ride and handling of your daily driver, Monroe shocks are available for most popular cars, light trucks and SUVs. The brand comes from humble beginnings in small-town Monroe, Michigan. They created one of the first complete, ready-to-install complete strut assemblies in the industry and are now a household (or garage-hold) name. Because of the widely-known name, many people think Monroe wins the Monroe vs. KYB debate for the best shock absorbers.  

But, while Monroe shocks and struts have made branded themselves as ride control specialists, that’s not necessarily the case every time.

What our Customers Say: A Monroe Struts Review and a Monroe Shocks Review

It’s true, Monroe does the best job of sticking to OEM specs for your ride. They feel a bit smoother than KYB and focus less on high performance, providing great stability on highways and making those morning commutes stress-free.

Monroe Quick-Strut Review: Great!
Reviewed by David B (RED BLUFF, CA) for a 2005 Toyota Matrix 
“Installed on my 05 Toyota that has 160k miles. Other than oil changes and tires this is the first repair I have had to perform. The ride and handling in my matrix is great since installing the new quick struts. Very pleased.”

Monroe Shocks Review: Perfect
Reviewed by George D (Warrenton, NC) for a 1994 Toyota 
“Before I installed the Monroe OESpectrum Shocks on the front and rear of my pickup I could feel every dip and bump in the road. After installing the OESpectrum shocks my truck rides as smooth as a new truck.”

SHOP MONROE SUSPENSION

Your Smooth Ride Awaits

Choosing between KYB vs. Monroe for the best shocks and struts doesn’t have to be a hassle when you consider just a few simple things. 

If you want shocks simply to replace the worn-out factory parts on your ride to return it to its once pristine nature, consider KYB Excel-G struts or the all-in-one Strut-Plus complete assembly. Or Monroe offers a line-up of suspension parts specifically designed to restore your OE ride control – like their quick struts and OESpectrum options we reviewed here. 

For shocks and struts that can stand-up to rougher road conditions, KYB Gas-a-Just monotube shocks and struts are a great choice. If you’re still not sure what to choose between Monroe vs. KYB shocks, check out the many strut and shock reviews left by AutoAnything customers. Search based on your specific vehicle to find out what drivers like you are saying about the best replacement shocks or performance struts for your ride.

SHOP ALL SHOCKS & STRUTS

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I am a writer and adventure travel blogger. I enjoy slow travel and going where there aren't roads - be it overlanding with my 1986 Ford Econoline campervan or my Surly Disc Trucker touring bike. Heck, sometimes, I'll even grab a backpack and hike. I'm more of a DIY person and spend way too many hours YouTubing videos about campervan renovations.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I have a Toyota Corolla S with 280K miles on it. My wife complains about a poor ride but I guess I’m so used to it that I don’t notice it.

    I see no leaks/grime, no indication of failure, no excessive springyness when bouncing. Can shocks go bad just from age? Do you think my ride would improve by replacing them?

    Thanks,
    Jerry

    • Hey Jerry,

      At 280k miles, your shocks are almost assuredly worn out, that’s a lot of miles! It’s such a gradual change in handling characteristics that it can be difficult to notice. ~80k is normally about when you’d need to start looking into changing out the shocks on a daily driver, so if you’re on the original ones, that’s a lot of miles for a set of shocks and struts.

      You will definitely feel the difference in replacing them, and it can help with tire wear as well. If you need recommendations on what to get, I can help you out with that as well.

      Cheers!
      Garrett

  2. Thanks for the quick guide though it didnt appear quick but i really needed it because i was torn between making a decision to buy kyb or monroe and a person advised me to get monroe of which wasnt reallg convinced but thanks to you, i got proper details regarding shocks. I totally appreciate. we need people like you all over. passion is what drives business….

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