My Subaru isn’t just a car that I drive from point A to point B; it’s a tool that I use to explore the world around me and safely transport me on my adventures. But to feel fully happy with it’s capability and reliability, I added a handful of vital modifications – things that improved the driving experience and brought the car up closer to its full potential.
I wanted to create a helpful accessory guide for other Subie owners who want to install similar upgrades. But I wanted to make sure that I was offering the best mods in the best order that would help the largest number of people. What’s most helpful for me may not be as useful to the majority of other drivers. While I routinely drive on 4×4 trails and would initially recommend mods for offroading, I understand that the average person may never want to take their Subaru on the trails.
So I turned to the masses and began collecting info from threads on Reddit to find things to suite everyones needs. I browsed through every discussion page I could find related to “best Subaru accessories” or “best Subaru upgrades” and tallied up the results of the community’s favorite accessories. I took all the data I found and compiled the eight most recommended upgrades to help you start modifying your car today!
Here’s the 8 most popular accessories for Subarus ranked by percentage of user recommendation:
- All-Weather Mats (37% Recommendation)
- Good Tires (24% Recommendation)
- Roof Rack or Cargo Box (12% Recommendation)
- Cargo Area Protection (10% Recommendation)
- Liftgate Light Upgrade (9% Recommendation)
- Window Visors (4% Recommendation)
- Portable Air Compressor (4% Recommendation)
- OBD2 Scanner (3% Recommendation)
Each of these are ranked by their frequency of being mentioned by a Subaru owner when giving their opinion on good accessories. So while more than 37% of people would likely suggest all-weather floor mats, they made up 37% of the total recommendations.
I really like that these suggestions can benefit people of all driving styles. Not everyone is going to be taking their Subaru offroad the way that I do. I feel that each of these accessories can improve the overall driving experience even if the car is simply a daily driver. Yet if you find yourself using your Subie as a dedicated offroader or mountain car, these will benefit you as well.
All-Weather Floor Mats
Whether you are an offroad enthusiast or just planning to use your Subaru as a daily driver, a set of all weather floor mats can make interior clean up so much more simple.
Non-cloth floor mats are a practical choice recommended by 37% of Subaru owners. I found that WeatherTech, Husky Liners, and TuxMat are the current top picks, offering great protection for your car’s carpets.
Go ahead and hit muddy trails without dealing with a swampy interior for weeks. Practical and easy to clean, good floor mats ensure your Subaru stays clean even if you regularly ski, snowboard, or take your Subary offroad.
With a rubber all-weather floor mat, you can simply dump them out into the garbage. If one of these three brands aren’t an option for you, I always look for something that has raised sides to contain dirt, moisture, and mud.
Whether you love off-roading or just cruise around town, having solid tires is key. 24% of Subaru owners in the Reddit vouch for Falken Wildpeak AT Trails as the top choice for all sorts of terrain. From city streets to snowy adventures, these tires are like your trusty sidekick, gripping every surface with ease.
The same way rubber floor mats keep your interior clean, Falken Wildpeak Trails keep your Subaru rolling smoothly through whatever terrain you encounter. Make your Subaru adventures memorable, and confident without the need for regular tire repairs.
There are additional options for good tires that I might recommend for avid offroaders since the AT Trails aren’t known for strong sidewalls. However, for something that handles daily driving very well, it’s a great choice. Just remember not to go TOO big or heavy with your tire upgrade.
Roof Rack or Cargo Box
Loading up for a weekend getaway or always going on spontaneous camping trips? A roof rack or cargo box can transform your Subaru into a portable basecamp. This accessory made up 12% of recommendations from Subaru enthusiasts. Thule and Prinsu take the lead in popularity with Spider No-Drill and Yakima also being well-known brands with great reputations.
Think of roof storage as giving your Subaru a backpack. Toss in your gear, hit the road, and be ready for wherever you could possibly want to go without worrying about a cramped interior.
Skiers and snowboarders love being able to throw damp gear up into their cargo box to reduce any moisture inside the vehicle. Offroaders (such as myself) have used a roof basket to store dirty recovery gear like recovery straps. Some folks even use their roof storage to carry full size spares.
Check out this article if you’d like to see some of the best roof basket options.
Cargo Area Protection
From rear cargo mats to trunk organizers, cargo area protection comes highly recommended making up 10% of all accessory suggestions from Subaru owners.
No more rattling tools or rogue groceries! With the right cargo area protection, your Subaru’s trunk becomes a tidy, organized home base for all your adventures. Mats, liners, and organizers – they’re there to help keep your car’s interior protected and clean.
This is especially helpful for those of us with pets who tag along in the cargo area.
I also really like how trunk liners can make oil spills easier to clean up. I always carry additional fluids on long trips and I’ve spilled a quart of gear oil in my Forester’s trunk before. It was so much easier to clean up than if it had gotten into the carpet.
Liftgate Lighting Upgrade
Late-night store runs become frustrating in the shadowy cargo area with the stock light barely offering enough light to see what you’re doing. LED upgrades go beyond brightness, offering safety, convenience, and a more aesthetically pleasing experience. Safety and security are enhanced, deterring nighttime prowlers and improving visibility in poorly lit areas.
Upgrading to LED bulbs is affordable and brings the overall feeling into the 21st century very nicely. It’s one of the best bang for the buck installs I’ve done and it makes it so much easier to see what’s in my trunk at night.
I also really like how LED bulbs conserve energy and make dead batteries less likely. I’ve accidentally left the dome light on overnight and still been able to start the car. This is a huge factor for me. I’ve since switched all my cars to LED interior lights. I recommend that everyone switch not just their hatch area lights, but as many interior lights as possible.
Window visors provide a perfect mix of comfort and practicality. They deflect rain, wind, and glare, offering a host of benefits:
- Rain or Shine Comfort: Drive with the windows down even in light rain or wind, thanks to the shielding effect of window visors.
- Natural Ventilation: Rain guards allow for constant air circulation, creating a refreshing breeze even on damp days.
- Sun Protection: Enjoy the sunshine without squinting. Visors deflect harsh glare that comes in through the very top of your window in the late afternoon and early morning.
- Reduced Wind Noise: Experience a quieter drive with reduced wind noise, allowing for a more relaxed driving atmosphere.
- Visual Appeal: They give your Subie a sleek, sporty touch, proving that visors offer both style and function.
Window visors might seem minor, but their impact on driving comfort is actually substantial. Whether on a highway or a scenic mountain road, they provide a convenient way to provide airflow while staying protected from moisture. Crack the windows, enjoy the scenery, and let the fresh air in.
Portable Air Compressor
Keep your Subaru on the road with the addition of a portable air compressor. This recommendation made up 4% of mentions from Subaru owners on Reddit. Compact yet powerful, these handy compressors ensure peace of mind for any tire-related mishaps and offer the ability to air down safely for offroad driving.
There are a few great reasons to always have an air compressor on board:
- Safety no matter where you’re at
- Offroad capability
- Easily inflate items like air mattresses, rafts, or paddle boards
Give yourself a little extra peace of mind with the addition of an OBD2 scanner to your tool box. Making up 3% of recommendations from the Reddit Subaru community, this compact tool provides insights into your Subaru’s health, enabling you to diagnose engine issues quickly.
No More Surprises: Stay ahead of potential problems by quickly identifying and understanding vehicle issues. An OBD2 scanner can help you understand why that dreaded check engine light came on. You can use the information to research the issue and see if it’s something that needs to be addressed immediately by a mechanic, or if the car is still safe to drive for short distances.
Cost-Effective Maintenance: Save on unexpected repair costs by catching minor issues early. With real-time diagnostic information, you can make informed decisions about your Subaru’s maintenance to help prevent issues in the long run.
User-Friendly Diagnosis: Despite its sophisticated capabilities, OBD2 scanners are user-friendly. Plug it into your Subaru’s OBD2 port, and within moments, you’ll have access to a wealth of information about your vehicle’s performance. I also like to use a scanner that has the ability to read live data. I’ve been able to use this feature to diagnose different problems related to timing and fuel.
There are a lot of good options that can be purchased by the average owner for under $100. I’ve had great luck with Innova and Autel scanners. But the options are almost endless. Either way, a scan tool is a very good accessory to own no matter your level of mechanical knowledge.
After going through countless Reddit threads by hand, these were the top eight items I found for upgrading your new Subaru. I hope this has been helpful for you regardless of your level of vehicle knowledge. Whether I’m just driving city streets or venturing offroad, these easy additions have helped make my Subaru more enjoyable and even reliable to own.
So, forget the fancy stuff – you don’t have to go overboard to get started with vehicle mods. Just throw in some all-weather mats, pump up those tires with a portable air compressor, and make the most out of your Subaru journey! It’s not just about driving; it’s also about the process of customizing your vehicle to meet your needs as best as possible. Here’s to hitting the road and turning every drive into a mini-adventure!