When you think of custom Subarus, maybe you think about slammed WRXs with massive vape clouds pouring out the window. Or maybe you picture a plethora of bone-stock Outback wagons making their way to the hiking trail littered with vegan bumper stickers across the tailgate.

Subarus (and their owners) get stereotyped a lot, usually unjustly. When it comes to Subaru performance, most think of either track-ready WRXs or fire-breathing rally cars sliding sideways on a circuit. But lifting Subarus for increased overland and off-road capability is a thing — and it’s getting more popular. A lifted Subaru is almost as regular as a lowered one.

My wife and I attended all but one of the seven 2023 Subiefest events across the U.S. this summer. We witnessed the lifted Subaru trend in full effect. From Ascents and Foresters, to WRXs and even BRZs, we saw adventure-ready Subarus across the country.

What Is Subiefest?
Subiefest is a series of events specifically for Subaru vehicles, and they’re presented by Subaru of America. They include a car show, autocross, drifting demos, classes, and vendors at each. The event was composed of seven shows from coast to coast:

  • Wicked Big Meet (Stafford Springs, CT)
  • Subiefest California (Arcadia, CA)
  • Big NW Subaru Meet (Portland, OR)
  • Boxerfest (York, PA)
  • Subiefest Texas (Grand Prairie, TX)
  • Subiefest Midwest (Joliet, IL)
  • Subiefest Florida (Daytona Beach, FL)

Each event had a slightly different vibe with unique builds and passionate owners. Subaru of America brings a massive setup complete with vehicles from its private collection, some of the latest Subaru models, rally cars, and has all sorts of swag to hand out. Other vendors peddle parts, apparel, club memberships, and a megaton of accessories. You’ll even have the chance to meet pro rally car drivers such as Bucky Lasek and Travis Pastrana. If you’re into Subies, you need to go to a Subiefest.


Why We Were at Subiefest
From June through October, we attended each of these enthusiast shows. We were there on behalf of Subaru of America to accompany the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness we rallied on the 2022 Alcan 5000 Summer Rally. We got to talk about the car, our experience on the Alacan, and everything about off-road Subarus.

There were lots of great questions about the Alcan 5000 as well as the car we drove, despite the fact it was mostly stock. The exceptions were a Rally Innovations light bar, Lightforce Venom lights, a Thule roof basket/cross bar setup, a set off Maxtrax, a Front Runner Outfitters Wolf Pack Pro storage box, and a Factor 55 HitchLink 2.0 and WARN recovery gear. We also had a number of Scosche mounts for communications and Ledlenser headlamps for nighttime.


Subiefest And the Subaru Scene
Subifest also gave us the opportunity to get immersed in the Subaru scene and check out what people were doing to their vehicles. And while there were lots of lowered on-road cars, there were a surprising amount of lifted Subarus. From the Mountain Roo chapters to wild one-off cars with big tires (even for a 4x4) and engine swaps, the lifted Subaru crews were just as passionate as the on-roaders. Think of it this way: while some people like chocolate, and others like vanilla, we all like ice cream. And whether we’re talking a lifted Legacy or a widebody WRX, everyone loved Subarus.

Subiefest (and Subaru of America) isn’t ignorant to this trend. In fact, they even had an overlanding parking area for some of the more adventurous vehicles in attendance.

More and more people are using crossovers on their adventures (the new Crosstrek Wilderness is further proof). And to see so many overland-capable Subarus was a breath of fresh air.