Corsa vs Borla: A Thorough Comparison

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by | Auto Parts, Car Style

For those with generous budgets set aside, a Corsa or Borla exhaust system upgrade is the logical choice. A simple muffler replacement too, actually.

There are, however, some core differences between the two brands – despite the exceptional quality of manufacture and acoustics they share.

Here’s how I’ll structure my article:

  • Corsa vs Borla exhaust systems: including Corsa Extreme vs Borla Atak
  • Explaining the different Borla exhausts: Atak, S-Type, Touring
  • Specific recommendations
  • Corsa vs Borla mufflers, including Borla Pro XS vs S-Type
  • Cat-back vs Axle-back exhausts: what are they?
Product Image
Borla Atak Cat-Back
  • Borla's most aggressive-sounding exhaust lineup.
  • Deep acoustics with a slightly chambered tone nuances.
  • Bassy notes at WOT, more prominent inside the vehicle.
Check Prices & Fit
Product Image
Corsa Extreme Axle-Back
  • A premium take on axle-back exhaust systems.
  • Crisp and clean sound, with zero droning to be heard.
  • Elegant, toned-down acoustics inside the vehicle, loud enough outside of your car.
Check Prices & Fit

Quick heads up muffler-wise:

If you’re a fan of slightly improved OEM acoustics in your muffler, I recommend the Borla Pro XS.

It’s not much louder than stock, but the change of tone allows for a deep, rich growl you won’t hear elsewhere.

Borla Pro XS

For those who desire OEM-like sound upgraded by a richer, more nuanced tone. Very popular with a reason.

Let’s dig deeper into these premium steel beauties with siren song acoustics. I’ve additionally included a few clear-sounding Youtube videos for you to hear the difference. Borla and Corsa deserve better to be appreciated in their full acoustics.

As always, feel free to click on the Table of Contents and go to whichever section interests you the most.


Corsa vs Borla exhausts:
(Plus Corsa Extreme vs Borla Atak)

Let’s be clear: manufacture-wise, both brands are very high quality. T-304 premium stainless steel instead of cheap metal alloy crap. Strictly US-based production – Ohio for Corsa, Tennessee for Borla. Well thought-out design that allows for optimal flow and sound acoustics.

Corsa and Borla have a zero compromise policy on manufacturing quality, so let’s focus on the important factor:

Sound. That’s what we usually want to check out, right?

Without a doubt, one of the biggest differences is the anti-drone feature of Corsa exhausts. It’s not a marketing gimmick; Corsa Extreme for example really drowns out low frequencies and provides a crisp, polished sound.

Not that Borla exhausts are a full drone parade. But when you’re in your car, you can hear some small notes of droning. Borla exhausts and specifically the Atak, are louder if you’re sitting inside.

On the contrary, a Corsa will sound louder from the outside but remain mellower when you’re inside.

I’ve seen this pointed out many times, and I fully concur: Corsa has more rasp compared to OEM exhausts, while Borla has this slightly chambered tone to its deep acoustics.

Product Image
Corsa Extreme Axle-Back
  • A premium take on axle-back exhaust systems.
  • Crisp and clean sound, with zero droning to be heard.
  • Amazing acoustics inside the vehicle, loud enough outside of your car.
Check Prices & Fit

It’s up to personal preference, but the Borla is amazing while revving. You can feel its power, especially the most aggressive Borla Atak exhaust. When cruising or driving, though, Corsas really feel cleaner and more refined.

Both brands sound equally great on cold starts, maybe the Borla is just a little bit better.

At WOT (wide-open throttle) is where their acoustics differ more, with Corsa showcasing its loud, but mellower and tame sound. On the contrary, Borlas amp up their bassy and deep sound.

At highway cruising and if you’ll be driving the kids around, the Corsa might be a more fitting choice.

I’m of the firm opinion that Borla exhausts suit muscle cars like Chevy Camaro better. This Borla Atak for Camaro is a prime example of an aggressive, deep rumble born to roar on a muscle.

Camaro Borla Atak

The most aggressive take from Borla exhausts. Raw, deep rumbling acoustics for street domination.

This is one of the most crisp-sounding Youtube videos showcasing the differences in Corsa Extreme vs Borla Atak sound:

Explaining the different Borla types

While Corsa has less diversification in their cat-back or axle-back exhausts, Borla is a bit more complicated.

Generally, there are three Borla exhaust system types: the Atak, S-Type, and Touring.

People often compare Corsa Extreme to Borla Atak, because these are the most aggressive exhausts from both brands. There’s also Corsa Sport, which is more or less equal to Borla S-Type in raw acoustics.

Here’s how Borla describes their three cat-back or axle-back exhaust series:

I don’t see the Touring mentioned much, but it’s also kind of logical.

Given the higher price tag, most people would want to hear something louder, something more powerful and raw as an exhaust system swap. Touring really is just a line above stock, in my opinion – it’s actually featured as a stock part for GM Performance.

In any case, it makes sense why most mod enthusiasts go for S-Type or Atak.

Here’s how the different Borlas sound. The video features the magnificent Borla 140585 Cat-Back exhaust for the 2015-2022 Mustang EcoBoost:

Specific recommendations

I’m not sure if you prefer a cat-back or an axle-back (more on that later). The majority of exhaust system replacements I’ve seen with both Corsa and Borla involved a full cat-back swap.

As I said, I’m partial to Borla on Camaros. Corsa fits Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra better somehow. Again, personal taste.

You can get Corsa or Borla on places like Amazon, SummitRacing, and similar retailers. A few years ago Amazon was really bad in terms of product lineup. It’s become way better now, with genuine Corsa and Borla sold.

Here are a few of the highest-rated Borla setups:

Product Image
Borla Atak Cat-Back
  • Borla's most aggressive-sounding exhaust lineup.
  • Zero compromise manufacture made in Tennessee, US.
  • Relatively easy to setup and install for a cat-back system.
Check Prices & Fit

As far as the highest-rated Corsa exhaust systems go, here are a few:

Product Image
Corsa Axle-Back
  • A premium take on axle-back exhaust systems.
  • Crisp and clean sound, with zero droning to be heard.
  • Amazing acoustics inside the vehicle, loud enough outside of your car.
Check Prices & Fit

Corsa vs Borla mufflers

I’ll be honest with you, while it’s 50/50 with exhausts, I’m a much bigger fan of Borla’s mufflers.

It’s just that I’m a fan of those deep rumbling, aggressive growling mufflers that you can feel in your bones. In this sense, the Borla S-Type is the pinnacle of muffler replacements for me.

But there’s another factor at play here. At comparable performance levels, Borla mufflers are slightly cheaper than their Corsa counterparts like the Corsa Pro.

Corsa Pro Series

For people with a better budget who want a refined take on powerful muffler acoustics. Optimized design for drone-free xperience.

When speaking of Borla, we have to distinguish between their two main muffler lineups. Yep, I’m talking about…

Borla Pro XS vs S-Type

As I pointed out at the beginning of my post, the Pro XS is closer to OEM mufflers. What this muffler achieves is a difference in tone. Instead of raw power acoustics, you have an intelligent, nuanced enrichment of stock muffler sound.

It’s very popular for a reason: the muffler gives you better acoustics without going overboard. Perfect for people who want a more upscale muffler, but worry about getting tired of the constant deep rumbling of a louder option.

The S-Type lives up to its name and its belonging to the Borla S-Type family of mufflers and exhausts. A more aggressive, more powerful, and lower-pitched sound that will impress anyone on the streets.

Without a doubt, the S-Type sounds the best at cold starts and builds up its growl on WOT.

Product Image
Borla Pro XS
  • Closest Borla to how your OEM muffler sounds.
  • Not obnoxiously loud, with very refined change of tone.
  • Premium grade stainless steel for durability and lack of 'tin' acoustics.
Check Prices & Fit
Product Image
Borla S-Type Muffler
  • Pure power, with loud, deep rumbling made to impress.
  • Perfect for street performance or muscle car projects.
  • Impressive cold start acoustics.
Check Prices & Fit

Cat-back vs Axle-back exhausts

I won’t get too technical here, but I’ve definitely seen quite a few people confused about these two types of exhaust system replacements.

The ‘cat’ in cat-back doesn’t refer to…well, animals. Though I could see how this setup looks like a cat’s back a bit.

‘Cat’ is short for ‘catalytic converter’. Borla claims they’ve come up with the term; I haven’t found a way to verify this, but it does sound plausible.

In any case, a cat-back exhaust replaces everything you have with your stock exhaust systems. This means all of the catalytic converters, up to the tips. It’s an aggressive aftermarket measure that focuses on drastically different acoustics.

You’re basically swapping out every single pipe down there!

What about Axle-back exhaust systems?

A way more moderate take on aftermarket modding, an axle-back exhaust means you’re simply changing your muffler, rear pipes and tips. These exhausts are perfect for people on a stricter budget who want just the right amount of sound upgrade.

Corsa and Borla offer both for your convenience. Take your pick and shoot for the setup you’ve dreamt of putting in your vehicle. Again, there’s nothing wrong with axle-back and I guarantee you they’ll still give you enough sonic oomph!


I won’t lie to you, this article did take some time. It’s really hard to summarize all my thoughts on Borla vs Corsa exhausts; much harder to write them out on ‘paper’ in a coherent way.

Hopefully, this roundup helped you out. We’re not talking about some cheap exhaust upgrades here. Both brands are a serious investment so it’s nothing less than imperative to have proper info on how they function or sound.

I can’t comment on exhaust alternatives yet (but there’s something down the pipeline!) For mufflers, though, I recommend you check out my Cherry Bomb muffler guide if you want something cheaper. Not everyone has a premium budget for muffler replacements only.

Now, for a cat-back exhaust? I wouldn’t cut down on costs for such an experience, I’ll be honest.

If you have any questions or want to share your own impressions of Corsa or Borla, let me know in the comments!