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Subaru Outback Ultimate Mods & Upgrades

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Table of Contents


The Outback is a reflection of Subaru’s passion for exploring the great outdoors and is an emblem of versatility and dependability.

The Subaru Outback made its debut in 1994 as a variant of the Subaru Legacy wagon in the American market.

The idea was to merge the comfort and manoeuvrability of passenger vehicles with the off-road capability and storage space of sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

High ground clearance, comfortable interiors, and plenty of cargo space make the Outback an ideal vehicle for outdoor adventuring, like camping and road trips.

It’s robust build allows it to tread through challenging terrains, while its spacious and cozy interiors ensure a comfortable journey for all passengers.

While a great car in standard form, there are lots of great mods to enhance the Outback’s functionality, performance and reliability. 

In this guide, we’ll take a look at these mods to help you get the most from your Outback!

Roof Rack

The Subaru Outback is known for its versatility, ruggedness, and love for adventure.

Fitting your Outback with a roof rack takes that adventure-ready spirit to a whole new level, adding practicality and convenience to your travels.

By installing a roof rack, you can substantially enhance your Outback’s cargo carrying capabilities.

With the extra space offered by the roof rack, you’ll be able to carry additional items like bikes, kayaks, canoes, skis, and snowboards.

Road trips, camping excursions, and family vacations become significantly more comfortable, allowing you to pack all your essential gear without sacrificing passenger space.

Though not always the primary goal, installing a roof rack on your Outback also has the potential to increase its resale value. Prospective buyers seeking a versatile, adventure-ready vehicle will appreciate the added functionality provided by a high-quality roof rack.

You can purchase both used OEM roof racks as well as aftermarket options for various models of the outback on eBay here.

Bull Bar

The key aspect of a bull bar is the protection it offers.

The Subaru Outback is often used for off-road driving, and a bull bar can be paramount to avoiding damages from accidents or collisions with wildlife, bushes, branches, rocks, or other off-road obstacles.

Another key benefit is the bull bar’s utility as a mounting point for various off-road accessories. Items like winches and lights can be easily attached once a bull bar is installed on your Subaru Outback.

The options available to you will largely depend on what year your Outback is and where you are in the world.

Sites like Subaxtreme and EastCoastBullbars offer bull bar’s which cater to those living in America.

Performance Exhaust

If you’re looking for a performance boost and a more sporty sound from your tailpipes, then an aftermarket exhaust is what you need.

Aftermarket performance exhausts produce a deeper, more aggressive tone compared to stock systems.

The varying options offer different sound profiles, from a subtle rumble to a roaring growl. 

The sound boosts you get will largely be dependent on what engine you have in your Outback.

The Boxer engine and 6 cylinder variants can sound particularly nice with a free flowing exhaust, while the diesel engines don’t tend to produce as much of a sporty sound in comparison. 

In addition to improved sound, you can also unlock extra power and torque from fitting a performance exhaust.

The better exhaust flow provided by these systems allows the engine to expel exhaust gases more efficiently, improving its performance.

Improved exhaust flow is achieved through larger diameter pipes, optimized bends, and minimal restrictions, resulting in a more responsive throttle and increased acceleration.

This helps the engine breathe better and will produce a noticeably better throttle response. 

If you’re primarily after a sound increase, then an axle-back or cat-back system is what you are after.

These systems replace the standard muffler/backbox for a free flowing sporty one to unlock more sound. 

These systems also often feature polished pipes and stylish exhaust tips that can make the rear end of your Outback look very fresh.

If you are after maximum performance from the exhaust upgrade and don’t mind spending a bit more, then you will want to go for an exhaust system that upgrades the downpipe and catalytic converter section as well.


A remap or tune is a fantastic way to unlock additional power and torque from your Outback without adding any physical modifications to the car.

Many tuning companies will call this a Stage 1 map which is essentially just a software map.

The power gains you can expect will largely depend on the health of your Outback and what engine it has in standard form. 

Some of the engines are much more tuneable and respond better to remaps than others.

Lets take a quick look at some estimated power gains from some of the engine variants assuming the engine and it’s accessories are in good health.


Original: 147bhp  Tuned: 175bhp 


Original: 241bhp  Tuned: 260bhp 


Original: 162bhp  Tuned: 180bhp 

These are estimates and will vary slightly.

If you have other performance modifications fitted to the car like an aftermarket exhaust or intake then this can also increase the power you get from a bespoke remap.

Wind Deflectors

Wind deflectors, also known as rain guards, are an excellent addition to any vehicle, including the Subaru Outback.

Wind deflectors allow you to crack open your windows slightly without allowing rain, snow, or debris to enter the cabin.

This increased ventilation helps maintain a comfortable temperature inside the car, even in extreme weather conditions.

One of the most noticeable benefits of installing wind deflectors is the reduction in wind noise when driving with windows partially open.

This allows you to enjoy a quieter and more relaxing ride, without the need to crank up the volume of your sound system.

Most wind deflectors designed for the Subaru Outback come with a simple installation process, requiring no special tools or professional assistance. You can easily attach the deflectors to your Outback  using the provided adhesive or clips.

There are a variety of affordable wind deflectors from quality brands like HEKO available on eBay.

Skid Plates

Skid plates essentially serve as protection shields for your Subaru’s underside.

They are critical accessories, especially for off-roading adventures or for anyone driving in harsh conditions regularly.

These plates safeguard crucial components like the oil pan, transmission, and exhaust system from damage by rocks, ridges, or other road hazards.

If you love sporadic spirited drives in the wilderness, installing skid plates on your Outback is crucial.

The skid plates fortify your Outback’s off-road prowess, letting you navigate through uneven landscapes knowing your car’s critical components are secure.

Designed to absorb constant pressure and impact, skid plates are generally made from highly durable materials such as heavy-duty steel or aluminium.

Once installed, you can be assured of many years of protection without requiring frequent replacements. A great worthwhile mod if you plan on keeping your Outback for a while!

GetPrimitive as a great choice to go for and are very popular among Outback owners.

LED Bulbs

When considering enhancing the performance and visibility of your Subaru Outback’s headlights, you might want to consider high power LED bulbs.

LED headlights offer a brighter and more directed beam of light compared to traditional halogen bulbs, leading to considerably better night visibility.

Due to their robustness and design, LED lights can last three to five times longer than their halogen counterparts, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

If you are thinking of converting your halogen lighting to LED, check with our countries regulations and laws surrounding this as it is prohibited in certain places.

Lift Kit

A lift kit provides increased ground clearance, allowing your Subaru Outback to navigate off-road terrains more easily.

This reduced risk of undercarriage damage makes outdoor adventures safer and more enjoyable.

Another key advantage to the taller ride height is the improved vantage point you have on off-road trails, allowing you to see better over dips.

The additional clearance also allows for larger tires, which can increase your Outback’s off-road capabilities.

Whether it’s gravel, mud, snow or rocky trails, a lifted Subaru Outback can handle these conditions much better.

Stiffer Rear Sway Bar /Anti-Roll Bar

A stiffer rear sway bar from eBay significantly reduces the body roll of the car, particularly during sharp turns.

This means the Subaru Outback remains more level while manoeuvring bends, adding an increased feeling of stability and security, a distinct advantage on windy country roads.

With less body roll, the Outback has more predictable handling. This is especially important when navigating irregular terrains or sharp corners at high speeds.

The stiffer sway bar firms up the suspension to provide finer steering response and better overall road feel.

Finishing Thoughts

The mods and upgrades you go for will largely depend on how you use your Outback and what kind of driving you do.

For you owners who like your off road adventures, functional mods such as upgraded suspension systems and underbody protection will be most beneficial.

If you’re after a performance increase, an exhaust, intake and a remap will give you the best bang for your buck and give you additional torque for steep hills and towing. 

By combining functional and performance mods, you can transform the Subaru Outback into the ultimate adventure mobile, ready to conquer the great outdoors.

Happy modding!