Review: Sylvania SilverStar zXe Headlights

Sylvania SilverStar zXe

Have you ever stood around a party showing off your car’s headlights to your friends before?  Well, I can tell you from my personal experience that most people won’t get it.  In retrospect, I may have had one too many shots but no big deal right?  I will say this, the friends of mine who did get it all agree – these Sylvania SilverStar zXe headlights are damn sexy!

Subaru XV Crosstrek headlights

A couple weeks ago a representative from Sylvania gave me the opportunity to review a set of brand new Halogen replacement bulbs called the SilverStar zXe.  These lights are direct OE replacements and are designed to mimic the bright white color of HID headlights without the expense or headaches involved with retrofitting an HID kit.  Sylvania has always been my go-to manufacturer for replacement headlights in the past as I’ve found that they are designed well and last a long time so I was more than excited to give these new zXe lights a try.

Left is the new zXe white, right is OEM yellow

Left is the new zXe white, right is OEM yellow

Installation couldn’t have been easier in our 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek.  I just popped the hood, removed a single trim piece and pulled the OE lights out of their housings and replaced them with the zXe bulbs.  If it wasn’t for taking pictures and comparing the old-to-new lights, the full upgrade would have taken about 10 minutes.

Sylvania SilverStar zXe on Subaru XV Crosstrek

Once installation was complete I stood back and admired the new look.  The first thing I noticed was just how white these lights appear.  I drive a Honda S2000 that has factory installed HIDs in the 4300k range which is the approximate color temperature of daylight sun, and looking at the cars side-by-side, I can confirm that the zXe bulbs are actually closer to white than my Honda’s HIDs.  At night, the light being emitted is just as bright as before.  There has been no noticeable drop in visibility nor have I gotten any high-beam treatments from oncoming traffic – my biggest fear with anything that is supposed to mimic aftermarket HIDs.  Also of note, these lights are legal for highway use in all 50 states – another positive checkmark in the “why use these over aftermarket HIDs” box.

With a retail price of $59.99, these bulbs are certainly not the cheapest replacement bulb option out there.  However, a savvy shopper will find that they can be had from Amazon or similar online retailers in the $40 range, depending on the size. Check out the box to the right which will update with Amazon’s cheapest price for a common size bulb and you can choose your own size from there.

If you’re thinking about purchasing an aftermarket HID kit but aren’t sure if you want to deal with the hassle or expense involved, I can easily recommend these Sylvania SilverStar zXe bulbs as an alternative.


Categories:: Car TechCool StuffProduct Reviews


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