Subaru is quite a unique car company. They design and manufacture cars that don't quite fit in with any other kind of car on the market. They create their own space in the market and fill it quite well. For decades now, Subaru has manufactured cars that hold their value extremely well, are extraordinarily reliable, have superior adeptness on the road and off, and all around provide a great car for people to drive. There are a few things that are surprisingly unique about Subarus. One surprising thing that's unique about Subaru is their prolific use of the "Boxer" engine in their vehicles, which is significantly different in design than the standard V-shaped engine. A boxer engine, or a flat engine, uses horizontally opposed cylinders with a punch, counterpunch design that eliminates some of the unbalanced forces that remain in a V-shaped engine. A boxer engine paired with the iconic Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive drivetrain will define almost every single Subaru made since 1972.
The startling uniqueness of Subaru, paired with legendary reliability, means that owners of Subarus are proud owners, owners just as unique as their Subaru. Most Subarus have one owner their whole life and hold their aftermarket value like crazy. In more recent years, Subarus have broken their way into the rally world, along with the street world, where we find endless varieties of Subarus modded in so many different ways. Some of these end up really cool, some of them not so much. Here's 20 of the worst modded Subarus, and 5 of the best.
25 Seems Practical...
This Subaru Baja has come a long way from its stock roots. With a plethora of aftermarket modifications, somehow this particular build doesn't really seem to congeal into any sort of actual concept or statement. It has fairly low-profile tires which aren't all that good for off-roading or much terrain besides a dirt road. But then it has a snorkel, which is put on a car so that it can go through deep water, especially rivers, without drowning the engine. This mod would have a hard time making it to any rivers, let alone across them. It's also equipped with a heavy-duty roof rack, lined with floodlights and what looks like a few tools that might be necessary when off-roading. Again, the furthest this car could probably go is to the parts store, where the owner could just get the needed tools, instead of strapping them to the top of the car where they'll probably never be used. But where's the fun in that? And how will people know that you're a totally cool off-roader?
Of course, we can't forget the huge steel bumper guard on the front of this thing, also equipped with floodlights. What purpose does that serve, exactly? Of course it helps protect the car, but I'm sure that thing weighs an extra two to three hundred pounds, along with the excessively heavy roof rack that doesn't hold much purpose either.
24 Right Where It Belongs...In A Parking Lot
I don't think it's ever been easier to say that this is the definitive way to ruin a Subaru. The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system I would be comfortable saying has been compromised. No longer symmetrical. At all. And why on Earth is the exhaust sticking out right in front of the back wheel like that? Do they want backseat passengers to suffocate if the window is down, and then burn their legs on the exhaust pipe while their getting out? I guess so.
One of the things about this mod that bothers me the most is the lack of bumpers.
Obviously, if you were going to lift a Subaru and put wheels like this onto it, you have to modify the wheel wells, as they clearly won't fit such beefy wheels. But why is the solution to just take the whole back and front bumper off? Why do they think that will work, that the best solution is just to remove them entirely?
You obviously spent a lot of time and money completely redoing the suspension and drivetrain, why not bother throwing in a few extra bucks to have a little bit of bodywork done? Flare the fenders a little, reshape them to fit those godawful tires? How hard could that be? This impractical Subaru mod clearly belongs right there, and I hope it stays there.
23 Just LOOK At That Back Wheel
I have so many questions about this modded Subaru. Why is this necessary? Do the wheels even turn at all? On a scale of bad to really really terrible, how atrocious is the ride? How many sets of tires have you gone through driving your car the mile from home this parking lot is? Two sets? Three? When it comes to slamming a car, a lot of things have to happen, and it's actually pretty expensive. It isn't exactly practical, ever. In this case, the camber of the wheels is changed, to be "stylistic" when lowering a car. It's not practical in this case as negative camber is used by race cars to have more grip when cornering.
Cars like this are usually way too low to even attempt racing and aggressive cornering, so it ultimately amounts to super uneven wear on the tires, excessive stress on them and the car, and actually reduced grip in almost every scenario. The camber on that back wheel is so preposterous, you can see the tire corner lifted up, and the rim at the top tucked into the body. Hopefully it's not scraping. The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive this Subaru came equipped with has once again been completely wasted on this mod.
22 What Is That?
After looking at this car for quite some time, I think what probably will end up bothering me the most no matter what is the shovel attached to the back of this Subaru Brat. Why? Well, because they spray painted it the same color as the body. Can someone explain to me why it's necessary to spray paint a shovel so it blends in with the car? Does it make it more practical when it's army green? If the shovel being a different color is so bothersome, why stop there? Why not paint the license plate green? And the windows? And the entire interior? Who knows, but this Subaru is painful to look at for so many reasons. The engine set up we have up front is mind-boggling.
A Subaru Brat is known for having an engine that will run for three hundred thousand miles, or longer; it's one of the most reliable cars ever built.
So why would you put something like that engine in? And then to spray paint most of it green? Such a tragedy. At least there's a mismatched selection of somewhere around eleven lights haphazardly attached to the front of the car. Plus a round blinker for a square hole and I think that's three blinkers in the middle? There's no point trying to understand the logic of this car any longer.
21 Not The Type of Hybrid You Think
The color palate on this Subaru Baja mod is quite refined, actually. I think it works, and it's all tied together quite nicely. Alas, it still looks quite silly lowered like that, with that weird flatbed cover on the back. It looks like a very strange cross between a sick Volkswagen station wagon and a lowered, pimped out GMC pick up truck. It's not a good combo under any circumstances, and the fact that this is a Subaru makes it even stranger. To add to the strangeness, it's one of Subaru's more unusual models ever made, the Baja, which you can basically just call a Subaru Legacy with a truck bed.
This modded out Subaru, though, has a bed cover, so it's back to being what I would describe as a normal station wagon. But way uglier. One thing that is slightly different about the Baja is it's rugged abilities and towing capabilities. Of course, when you drop the car down to be a low-rider, you lose virtually all of those perks. So what we have here is essentially a car-truck hybrid that has been modded out to be just a normal car. An ugly one, that is.
20 I Don't Think That's A Very Good Tractor
At least I can say with fair certainty that this mod was done with a decent standard of quality. The paint job is professional, neat, well done, the plaid seats are actually tasteful. We've got some pretty crazy wheels on this thing, but at least they are well painted, have nice tires, and look like actual tractor wheels. They might actually be them, too. The best thing is that apart from those things, the rest is still stock, which means this Subaru Brat still has a little of its original essence left.
That being said, it's still such a preposterous concept. Why is it necessary to make your Subaru look like a John Deere? And even have the branding painted on the sides? Subaru as a stand-alone is a great company that has made some truly impressive vehicles and is making them. Same for John Deere.
This company is without a doubt the standard for tractors, no one thinks of anything else when they think of a good tractor, but yellow and green.
So let them stand for themselves. Take the money from this mod and by a vintage green and yellow John Deere, and keep this Subaru Brat and keep it as spectacular as the day it rolled out of the factory.
19 A Truly Perplexing Pink Truck
I am sensing a vast amount of contradictions and paradoxes coming from this Subaru Baja in particular. The Baja model to me is a car that is already trying to be way too many things at once. At it's core, it was designed to replicate and call to mind the unbridled off-roading capability and speed of the trucks that race in the Baja 1000. Add to this that it's a production car that was also designed to be practical, functional, and comfortable. So they married this rally-truck concept with functionality and class, watering it down and mixing these flatbed truck elements from America with the Subaru Outback, all muddled with its rally roots, and in the end, it just plain doesn't work. It's a Frankenstein's monster of a car. Then add to it the garish, Malibu Barbie pink and this car screams "NO" in so many different ways.
At least the wheels are a pleasing black, which actually adds a surprising amount of sharpness and definition to this mod. Not saying it's good, but at least they got one thing right, and didn't put in hot pink wheels as well, or some tacky spinners. And thank goodness they didn't lower this one.
18 I Don't Know If I Should Be Impressed Or Not
First off, this is a legitimately old Subaru . This body model is from some time in the mid 80's, which if you think about what this poor car has been forced to go through (as is evident by this picture) it's quite impressive that in some form it is still running.
Of course, it probably has had the entire suspension redone, along with perhaps an entirely new engine and gearbox, but in some form this modest station wagon from the 80's has survived.
Which is pretty amazing. Of course, none of that is speaking on how dumb and silly this mod is. It's not exactly well taken care of, with an entire brake light unit missing, gas gap wide open, solid steel bumper and roof rack painted canary yellow, along with a slew of unseen dents and scrapes I'm sure. Of course, no real Subaru is complete without a host of bumper stickers. It's what makes a good Subaru great. At least they took the time to make it actually off-road capable, and they're willing to follow through on that with their passion by taking it on the trail.
17 Straight Out Of An 80's Halloween Bash
Did this Subaru owner accidentally drive through a nail salon? Or was it a Halloween hit and run? We may never know. What we do know, is that this looks terrible. Those vibrant splashes of fluorescent lime green and grape purple do a lot of terribly sad things to this Subie. It could definitely be described as cheap and childish. I suppose that would be okay if a 5 year old was driving it. However, I highly doubt that to be true. The air dam could look sick, if it didn't have such a harsh uppercut of alien green.
It does, which is why it looks atrocious. Also, let's be clear: outlining the grill in the same color doesn't make the rest of it okay. I'm not even sure what direction they were trying to go with the mods. And the pattern on the bumper looks like it hopped straight out off of a pair of men's shorts from the 80's. Please, please don't abuse your Subaru like this. I'm begging you. You'd be better off with no mods. Unless, of course, you're auditioning for a children's movie. Or if you're looking to be made fun of.
16 What. Is. It?
Wow. There are so many things wrong with this Subaru. Are we even sure that this is a Subaru? Modifications are supposed to make a vehicle look cooler and perform better, or at least one of the two. These ones definitely don't do either.
The most apparent mod of this train wreck is the half bumper that screams literally "I got in a train wreck".
I had to do a triple take with this picture before I realized that no, the bumper was not actually broken and yes, it was meant to look this way. What's up with the lights? The bulbs don't even have a cover. Let's just say I like where they started but do not like where they ended up.
So, let's move on to the next most pressing question, the elephant in the room. Why is the passenger side wearing a bright green hat? Is it a hat? Or is that a crown? No one is really sure, and I don't really want to meet the owner of this Subaru. We've also got the tacked on fenders which make no sense, an American flag patch on the sun visor, and a significant amount of detail in neon green. So this isn't exactly a cheap mod, it's just done absolutely terribly. Such a waste of money.
15 Impreza Gone Rogue
The most amusing part of this picture to me is how many other junky Subarus from the 90's there are behind the one in the foreground. And they're all modded out the same way, all off-roading trails that normally belonged only to Jeeps and similar SUV's. I imagine modifying a Subaru to be able to legitimate off-road would be a fairly rewarding journey, despite all the skeptical looks and laughs you would get. It seems like this crew is quite capable, with a bunch of tacky, rusted out 90's sedans in the middle of the mountains.
There's no denying how silly it looks, a road-going vehicle beefed up to look and perform like an SUV. You could totally call these souped-up Subies "SUB's" instead of SUV's. This particular Impreza model has a lot of off-road capabilities, but not the climbing and rock crawling kind. These models of Subaru's are used primarily in rallying. And they are phenomenal, they're incredibly well suited for it. But I guess if you'd rather rock crawl... to each his own. I guess.
14 Spent All The Money On The Wheels
The bodywork to me is what stands out the most on this rather horrendous Subaru Brat. Apart from its generally ugly state of existence, the color is nice, the overall condition of the car is good, no huge rust stains, nothing like that. But there's some serious dents in this thing. If you've got the time and motivation to lift the car and give it some big chrome wheels, why not go a little extra step and get some body work done? It doesn't have to be elaborate or perfect. Just enough to get those giant caverns out of the side panels.
13 Well Photographed, But Still Impractical
Overall this modded Subaru Forester is quite clean. It's simple, not extravagant, and not too far towards any extreme. But the impracticality of it makes me lose all interest. Lower a Subaru if you want sick street looks, tight cornering, and a slick look for the tarmac.
Keep it the same and or only slightly lowered if you are planning on actually taking it camping.
It looks great, and it's all fun and games, that is until you actually load up all your gear into the car and realize your bumper and almost every element of your undercarriage is now scraping on the ground... Like I said, pretty impractical.
12 Not Very Well Thought Through
Here we have another case of conflicting interests. We've got a lowered Subaru on some pretty big rims. On their own there's nothing terrible about them (except that they clash with the car majorly). Pair that low ride, low profile, big rim concept with a trailer hitch and you begin to have issues.
Yeah, the Subaru engine and drivetrain can handle a modest trailer. They're kind of designed for those sorts of things, but as soon as you put this particular Subaru under load, for example by putting a trailer on the back bumper, you soon realize that the quite forgiving and adept Subaru suspension has been compromised, and you've got wheels rubbing against all kinds of things.
11 Is It Supposed To Look Like That?
I think I'm not mistaken in saying that this Subaru is also trying to take part in a tractor pull. And I'm really not sure why anyone thought that would be a good idea. I suppose I could be completely off base, too. At least it looks like their having a really good time. I guess wherever this winter is, it must be long, cold, and boring. At least they put enough effort in to redo the wheel wells and to make the paint match, quite nicely actually, and to give it an extra bumper instead of tearing out the old one and smashing on a terribly large piece of sheet metal steel.
10 We've Officially Seen It All
I never thought I'd see something this strange in my entire lifetime, to be honest. We've got, not only one of the most outlandish Subarus that went into production, but we've got it decked out with the craziest mod I've seen in a while.
Such a strange collection of ideas is on display here, and to be honest, it's all pulled off rather well.
Strange, stupid, virtually useless, but well done nonetheless. Except for, of course, that hideous roof rack. Of all the money you can spend to build this, you chose to put one of the cheapest looking stock roof racks on it. At least beef it up or something. Make it a little unique. I mean, look at what you're driving. Right?
9 What Are The Light Bars Protecting?
By and large this Subaru was kept fairly stock. We don't have a huge lift, only a modest one (which still looks silly in my opinion, but that's irrelevant. The body and roof racks aren't loaded with ridiculously un-useful and heavy items, and there's no terrible paint job. Just a fairly hip decal well placed on the hood. What is going on with that brush guard? What is it guarding, exactly? Those puny bars couldn't stand up to much because of how big they are, and the headlight is left exposed anyways. Nice try.
8 Yes, That Trailer Has A Dirt Bike On It
This mod is very strange to me. It seems like it comes from a different time, a different land or place. It's a pretty uncommon Subaru, lowered with a body skirt kit, pulling a trailer. A custom trailer carrying a dirt bike on it that is also lowered. With, by the way, quite a steep camber, which I'm not sure the point of. Are they taking corners at racing speeds with their low rider trailer that would necessitate a camber like that? I get the continuity concept, the "complete setup" idea, but it's not like this particular set up is practical or useable. Which makes it really uncool.
7 Rubbing Against The Line (Well...Wheel Arches)
I am uncomfortably conflicted about this Subaru mod. We've got a car that looks pretty sweet. It's clean, impeccably built, not a color, decal, line, or aftermarket addition out of place. The rims look great. Even the tires are perfectly shiny. Bottoms, too. But it's so impractical. You can probably take it on a track, but even then the camber versus ride height is so unbalanced that the speeds needed to justify that camber can't be reached with a car with such limited suspension. Never mind all the horrible things that extreme camber is doing to every element of the drivetrain, steering, braking, and suspension.
6 Okay Dude, Pick A Genre
And get a hood. I get your engine is sick as can be, clean as possible, and modded out beyond belief. But open the hood, for goodness' sake, don't rip it off. And why do you need a roof rack? If you're making a high performance street racing Subaru, don't you think the extremely significant wind drag of an extra large roof rack is going to slow you down? A lot? And lower your total performance and gas mileage? While at first impression, this Subaru looks slick and sick, it doesn't make a single bit of sense.
5 Okay, Now That's A Sick Subaru Mod
The yellow writing on the tires matches the tinted headlights, and that's so sweet. It's simple, nuanced, and makes this Subaru look totally sick. We've got stunning rims with low profile tires, but they are actual racing tires, which means they were made to perform. The suspension is normal, maybe stiffened for racing and cornering, but not lowered so there's no flex or ability to take a bit of a beating. If the owner of this modded Subaru had as much finesse and eye for practicality when souping up the engine and performance aspects, I'm sure this thing is a beast.
4 Almost Looks Like The Batmobile
Everything about this Subaru screams "perfect". Going for the blacked-out look without tinting the windows is so unusual, and it works so eye-catchingly well. The rims are absolutely great, and no negative camber! Aftermarket wide fenders complete the totally unique and jagged look of this stinger of an STI, giving it a mean, bulldog stance that doesn't sacrifice anything except for typicality. I'm sure the engine is beefed and tuned extraordinarily well. And the best thing, the handling must be fantastic because they kept everything according to it's design. This Subaru looks sick, and designed for one thing: performance. And beauty.
3 Stanced Cars Are Actually Cool Though
Even though it's impractical, I get stancing cars. Lowering them can look cool, classy, retro, and hip all in the same second, if it's done right. In the case of this mint 90's Subaru hatchback, it completely works, absolutely. The gold rims are understated, bold, and scream classy. Since the far extreme mark hasn't been met, this car has enough space and decency to be able to still be sporty and have good performance (and still be relatively comfortable to drive), which gives it so many cool points.
2 Maybe This One's Just My Opinion. . .
I think this rally version of a BRZ is one of the tightest mods I've seen yet. And I know, it doesn't make sense. One of Subaru's only sports cars, modified to be a rally car? Isn' that a bit backwards? Yeah, but that doesn't mean this car isn't sweet. It's a lean mean rally machine that's ready to eat up any terrain.
This specific mod is super professional as well, equipped with top of the line rally equipment on every level.
It makes me geek out a little bit. Well, a lot.
1 Another Sick STI Build
This STI screams aftermarket, with a super unique body skirt, executed with slick style, slick matte gray paint, turbo upgrade, rims, tint, just to name a few mods. Every modded piece fits together to create a mean, racing ready Subaru. The camber is normal, the ride isn't ruined, and they remembered to actually put in a roll cage. I'm sure, judging by that turbo upgrade, that everything under the hood is just as carefully thought out. It's the details that make a car beautiful, and this modded out street Subaru is perfect in almost every detail.
Sources: offroadsubarus.com, jalopnik.com, Subaru.com, subaruoutback.org