Garages everywhere are filled with grease monkeys who are debating this.
Are bagged car stances cheaters? Are static stances not good enough? Wrenches fly and words get heated quickly when debating either side of the issue.
The truth is, each one has its benefits and downsides. One is an old school, one is a new school filled with modern technology. The question will normally come down to the opinion of an educated car nut.
But, what if you don’t know?
If you don’t, you’re in luck. I’ve broken down the pros and cons to both so you can get fully informed as quickly as possible so you too can jump in on the debate.
Let’s start by breaking down what stances are.
What is a Stanced Car?
The stance of a vehicle is always about the suspension height and the fitment of the wheels in the fender arches.
These stances are talked about when a variety of vehicles come up in discussion. Vehicles are known to refer to their stances frequently include pickup trucks, off-road vehicles, and some sports cars.
The term typically described a customization style of a vehicle, and you may also hear it be called “slammed” or “lowered.” However, don’t get the term confused with a lowrider – it’s different.
Lowered cars are meant to improve handling. Lowering the vehicle’s center of gravity when it’s on a wide track translates into better handling for the driver.
The opposite is true for stanced cars. Yes, stanced cars do have lowered suspension, but it requires so more effort to achieve that you’ll lose an incredible amount of flexibility when it comes to handling. It’s purely done for an aesthetic look.
Most of these vehicles sit low enough to the ground that they’re incredibly easy to damage. However, the cool, slick look that it gives off lures many gear freaks into modifying their cars. More often than not, if you see a stanced car, it’s likely solely for display and isn’t driven often, if ever.
The lowered suspension is either done by lowering springs and coilovers or by using air suspension. This is where the great debate comes into play.
Static stance cars use coil overs to mechanically lift lower their suspension. Air suspension is frequently done by using airbags to lower and raise the suspension at your preference.
Both are great to have in your vehicle. The lowered suspension is always fun to show off and you’ll catch the attention of many with these upgrades.
But, to have a preference will mean taking a side in the war that is static vs bagged car stances.
Static stance vehicles are lowered but are stuck in that position. This means that you can’t adjust the suspension of your vehicle – they’re static.
You can achieve this type of lowering in a couple of different ways.
Lowering Your Springs
This is the most cost-effective way to lower your vehicle.
Once you’ve lowered your springs, you’ll now be stuck at that suspension until you change something.
It’s a good idea to buy sport dampers as the stock shocks on your vehicle likely won’t handle a lower spring that they aren’t built to handle. Failing to do this can result in a blown suspension as you cruise around as low as you can get – on the asphalt.
- The cheapest and most effective way to achieve a static-stanced vehicle
- Relatively easy to perform the changes
- You’ll be irreversibly damaging your vehicle
- Will likely require you to purchase after-market shocks
This is, by far, the most popular way to achieve a static stance.
It’s a bit more costly than lowering your springs, but it’s looked at as the much better option by most car professionals and enthusiasts. If you’re looking for ‘street credit,’ this is also your option. Most hardcore static fans (and there are thousands) endorse this route.
Lowering your coilover suspension will limit you to one height, so you’ll still have a static stance. However, you can adjust your height by jacking it up to your desired height.
While it may cost you more than lowering your springs, it’s better for keeping the integrity and value of your vehicle as high as possible. In other words, you won’t irreversibly damage your car this way.
Be warned, by lowering your car to a similar height to achieve a static stance, you’ll run into problems most won’t. This includes branches, squirrels, and pebbles slamming the front of your car.
- A moderately-priced option for achieving a stanced vehicle
- Moderate control over the height of your vehicle if you’d’ like to change it
- Favorited by most
- Looked upon positively by most of the ‘hardcore’ community
- You still won’t be able to easily adjust the height of your vehicle
- You will run into handling issues
- Good luck with speedbumps
For many, airbags used for air suspension are the superior choice if you care about your vehicle.
This route is the most expensive out of all of the options to achieve a stanced car but may be worth it.
This method will replace your springs and shocks with airbags that are designed to be filled with air and adjust to whatever height you deem perfect.
Many of these systems can be programmed so you can adjust different heights for different scenarios and change them at your pleasure.
You’ll be able to lower your car and achieve that sweet, glorious stance aesthetic without sacrificing the body of your vehicle.
This will also allow you to lower your car more so than by coilover suspensions or lowering your springs. Seriously, your car will look like it’s sitting on the ground. In all reality, it may be.
At the same time, you can go over speed bumps and drive into your garage without worrying about going several hundred dollars in the hole because you took a turn too sharply and hit a twig.
If you want lower than the lowest, you can choose to camber as well. Achieving a negative camber moves the tops of your wheels inward so that they can be tucked inside the fenders. This may cause tire wear that you wouldn’t see otherwise or cause issues with your suspension, so be sure to monitor the condition of your vehicle frequently.
If you’re in a debate on car stances, you’ll probably hear someone call using air suspension as a way of cheating. This is because you won’t run any risk of vehicle issues by punching in a few buttons and changing the suspension of your vehicle.
While this bothers some, it’s also considered a smart and effective way to achieve a stanced vehicle without permanently ruining it.
It’s a win-win for those looking for more control in a stanced vehicle.
- All the flexibility in your suspension that you crave
- Drive knowing that you have a sweet looking car without having to worry about speed bumps
- Smart and effective if you’re looking for bang for your buck in the long term
- The most expensive method to achieve a stanced car
- Looked at by some in the community as cheating because you don’t run the risk of damaging your vehicle when driving it
Is a Stanced Car Right For You?
If you’re an average joe looking to upgrade your car with some neat aesthetics, this isn’t for you.
Doing this to your vehicle typically means you have a car you want to display for the world to see and don’t intend on driving it frequently.
If you do lower the suspension on your vehicle this much, be prepared for a lot of problems when you drive it. Your handling will become almost non-existent as you make turns as wide as a semi-truck.
If you’re looking for the sickest looking vehicle possible and aren’t afraid of keeping up with maintenance, this can be a great look to show off at events or to friends and family.
The choice is yours.