NTPOG Tanabe DTM-Medalion Review

Author: John Haley

Overall Impressions
Don't let anyone fool you, this is a LOUD exhaust. It's very deep and not at all raspy, but it will definitely rattle pictures on your neighbor's wall. The fit and finish of the exhaust is top-notch. Unfortunately, this is probably not the best choice if you're interested purely in performance, but I think it's the best looking of all the exhausts available for the 5th Gen, and second only to the Mugen in sound (which, incidentally, is around $900).

Installation Impressions
Tanabe provides all the nuts, bolts, and gaskets you need for installation. The exhaust is actually 3 pieces; a straight piece that bolts to the catalytic converter, a curved piece that follows the stock plumbing, and then the muffler piece. It fits perfectly, all the pipes are mandrel-bent all in the right places. The pipes are aluminized steel, the muffler (which is smaller than the stock muffler) and the tips are polished stainless steel.

The tips are about as close to the bumper as they can get. When I first put it on, they actually touched a tiny bit at the very bottom edge of the little black rear skirt. It stank for a few days as the plastic first melted, then burned away, but the damage was minor and not visible at all. For the first thousand miles or so, the exhaust really soots up the rear bumper as it breaks itself in. That went away eventually (maybe 1200 miles or so) and now it only soots when I leave it at WOT for a long time. If you wash the car every week or two, you won't have any problem. Just put another coat of wax on that part of the bumper.

Performance Impressions
Performance.... hmm... the butt-o-meter didn't register a whole lot. The higher range seems to run a little freer and possibly breathe a little deeper, but I've seen dyno plots that show the exhaust adding about 7 horsepower or so, and that sounds/feels about right.

For comments or questions, e-mail me.

This page last updated 4/3/01.