MagnaFlow, Borla, or Gibson?

 In 5th Gen Mods, Install

Cat-back Exhaust (MagnaFlow, Borla, or Gibson?)

MagnaFlow Exhaust Cat-Back Exhaust Install - Installing New Exhaust

Catback Exhaust Options for the 5th Gen – Which Exhuast is right for you?

This is a general overview of exhaust system options for the 5th Gen. What most people run and our thoughts on what systems might work best for you, depending on your goals.

Everyone has different goals when it comes to an exhaust system and there are only a few options for an exhaust, so hopefully one will fit your style.

Exhaust systems increase air production, and combined with a CAI (cold air intake) can really step up the airflow through your engine. If you are really looking for performance, look at the supercharger made by Magnuson. It is only here where you will find the holy grail of holy shit 4Runner power.

We got a question so I thought it might help someone else with a similar question.

What exhaust should you buy for your 5th Gen?

Hey there, I am currently looking to get an exhaust system for my 2016 TRD Pro 4Runner. I Just installed a Flowmaster on my Buddies Jeep Wrangler JK and I really liked the way it sounded with the 6 Cylinder.

It got me really interested in that system. But after looking all over the internet and doing some research it seems like they don’t make a complete system for this truck, but that’s when I stumbled upon your page and read up on it.

I noticed that you said they make a Flowmaster Cat-back system for this truck. Is this system like the Magnaflow and Borla where all you do is remove the old and in with the new, or am I going to have to take it to a shop to have them weld and all that?

From the ones that you mentioned on your page which one would you recommend and why? Also, I want a system that is not going to give me issues with Droning.

In the case that it is a complete system for the Flowmaster could you please send me some links where I could purchase this?

I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

MagnaFlow, Borla or Gibson

When it comes to exhaust systems, you have a few options. Each of these exhaust systems has their up’s and downs. If you are looking for an exhaust that is super deep, go with a Flowmaster. If you are looking for semi-deep, go with MagnaFlow. If you are on the more conservative end and looking for an exhaust that will not drone out on you, go with the gentleman’s exhaust (the Borla).

The problem with Flowmaster is that they have discontinued the Flowmaster Cat-back System 409S – Single Rear Exit – Force II. This leaves your options down to the MagnaFlow, Borla or Gibson.

Exhaust Options

  1. Flowmaster Cat-back System 409S – Single Rear Exit – Force II (DISCONTINUED)
  2. Magnaflow Catback – Check Today’s Price
  3. Borla Catback – Check Today’s Price
  4. Gibson Superflow Single Exhaust – No Experience with this one


If you go to the Flowmaster website and punch in anything 5th Gen 4Runner (anything from 2010-2014 says discontinued and everything from 2015-2018 says unavailable).

This Flowmaster exhaust would have been the go-to system for someone looking for a deep rumble on idle and throttle.

Flowmaster systems sound amazing, to say the least. They are deep, mean, aggressive and just down-right impressive. Wouldn’t it be nice if Flowmaster continued making an exhaust for us 5th Gen guys?


Probably the closest you will get to a Flowmaster system with a few downsides. With the Magnaflow, Idle can sometimes rattle (which will make you want to pull your hair out). Magnaflow does make a solid product, though so it is hard to understand why such a “Well-Built” product rattles like you built it yourself.

Although as of late, I have not had any problems with it. It was at about 12 months in, it was giving me massive rattle problems at idle. I then went on an 18-mile trail with some buddies and things must have “settled in”… who knows. Since then, no problems (knock on wood).

Overall the Magnaflow is a good sounding product and it does open up your airflow quite a bit. This combined with an intake makes a world of difference in the ride quality and performance.

The Magnaflow has a deep growl at about 3k-3400 RPMS. It sounds incredibly impressive in this range. But, the MagnaFlow has droned out from time to time. At highway speeds and at around 2500 RPMS, but it really is not that bad, at least with our TRD Intake on.

RPM Sounds of the MagnaFlow

  • 2400/2500 RPMS – Deep Throaty Growl
  • 3000 RPMS – Mellows Out
  • 3500-4500 RPMS – Pushes a Deep Raspy Popping

Overall, I would recommend it but then again, the rattling is something to watch out for. There is also a guy on YouTube that has uploaded like 15 videos about how much he hates MagnaFlow, so you will really need to be the judge on this one.

If I had to buy again, I might go with the Borla but I love how the Magnaflow sounds. It’s a tough choice.


The “Gentleman’s Exhaust” is what Jeff calls it. And, it is. I heard a Borla on a 4Runner a couple months ago and its a good mix of sexy, subtle and aggressive. This system overall is really clean and definitely not as deep as the MagnaFlow, but still, opens up the airflow like any exhaust should. For the whole article on the Borla and video

A similar problem with the rattling happened with the buddy Jeff from Minnesota.

I began to notice, at the end of my 15-minute drive home from work. Intense rattling. After inspecting the vehicle I realized that as the tailpipe arcs over the rear axle, it comes in close proximity to the heat shield for the spare tire. While this has plenty of clearance at rest, the tailpipe does expand with heat, and thus was coming within the vibratory distance of the heat shield. I simply bent the heat shield away and that completely solved the problem.

Gibson Superflow

No real experience with the Gibson over here. If you are looking at the Gibson and you are thinking about buying it, please let us know if you do an install on it and please share it with us. You rarely see owners with the Gibson Exhaust and it really does lead me to wonder why. They make incredibly well-built products and come from a long line of performance mods, Gibson definitely has the backing to provide power exhaust systems.

Straight From Gibson: In the early 90’s, when performance exhaust systems became popular for sport trucks and 4×4’s, friends asked, couldn’t they get the power and torque they wanted with lower level of noise inside the cab? With our complete testing and manufacturing already in place for the RV market, phase two of GIBSON began.

What Exhaust Should You Buy?

This is a tough question but at the end of the day it comes down to MagnaFlow or Borla for me. I think the main deciding factor here is that MagnaFlow has a deeper growl, while Borla is a bit more reserved. And, both of them can have a tendency to rattle at low RPMS. With your exhaust system options; MagnaFlow, Borla, or Gibson, you have some tough choices but I know what I would still buy at the end of the day.

Good luck with your search


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Showing 2 comments
  • Kristian

    Thank you so much for this. This really helped me out and I think I have finally come to a final conclusion on what to get, and that’s going to be a Magnaflow. Which I believe would have been your choice as well no? Haha

    Again thank you so much for taking the time to write up about this and helping me make a decision, I will check to see if anyone updates with other information between now and when I get my exhaust.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      No problem. In the end, yes I would go with MagnaFlow again. But if we get a 6th Gen 4Runner when they come out, I might go with a Borla Exhaust just to see and feel the real difference. Who knows. In any case, glad we could help!

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