Are Subarus Ricer? Exploring the Myth of Rice in the Subaru Enthusiast Community

If you are a car enthusiast, chances are you have heard the term "ricer" being thrown around in car communities. The term usually refers to cars that have been modified in a way that emphasizes style over function, and is applied to a wide range of vehicles. However, Subaru owners often get a bad reputation for being ricers due to their love for showy modifications. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of "rice" in the Subaru enthusiast community to determine if the label is deserved.

Defining the Ricer Phenomenon

The term "ricer" derives from the word "rice burner," which was originally used to describe Japanese motorcycles that were prone to overheating and performance problems. In the context of car culture, the term "ricer" is used to describe a car that has been modified to prioritize aesthetics over performance. These modifications can include badly installed body kits, massive wings, oversized wheels, and exhaust systems that produce more noise than power.

Are Subarus Really Ricers?

So, does the label of "ricer" apply to Subarus specifically? The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. While it is true that many Subaru owners love to modify their cars for show rather than performance, this is not exclusively the case. Subaru has been known for producing performance-oriented vehicles, such as the WRX and STI, which have a strong culture of aftermarket support for genuine performance modifications.

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However, there are also many modified Subarus that fit the definition of "rice." Some of the popular modifications that are often seen as "ricey" in the Subaru community include fake carbon fiber, LED lighting, exaggerated body kits, and stance (extreme wheel fitment). While these modifications may look cool to some people, they can also make the car slower, less reliable, and contribute to tire wear and suspension damage.

The Negative Connotations of Being a Ricer

Regardless of whether or not the label of "ricer" applies to a particular Subaru, it is not a compliment. In fact, it is often a source of ridicule and judgment from other members of the car community. Being labeled as a "ricer" can also have negative consequences in car shows, where judges may deduct points from cars that have offensive or poorly executed mods.

Furthermore, Subaru owners who focus solely on looks rather than performance may miss out on the true potential of their vehicles. A modified Subaru that has been optimized for performance can be a joy to drive, offering a balance of power, handling, and reliability that is difficult to match in other cars.

Subaru Enthusiast Culture

Ultimately, Subaru enthusiasts come from all walks of life, and their reasons for modifying their cars are varied. There are those who crave raw speed and performance, and others whose primary goal is to express their individuality and stand out from the crowd. While there is nothing inherently wrong with either approach, it is important to remember that modifications that prioritize aesthetics over functionality can have negative consequences, and that being labeled as a "ricer" is not a complement.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a ricer in car culture?

A “ricer” is a term used in the car community to describe a car that has been modified to prioritize aesthetics over performance. This can include modifications that make the car slower or less reliable, and that contribute to tire wear, suspension damage, and excessive noise.

What are some common “ricey” modifications for Subarus?

Common “ricey” modifications for Subarus include fake carbon fiber, LED lighting, exaggerated body kits, and extreme wheel fitment (stance).

Are all Subarus ricers?

No, not all Subarus are ricers. While many Subaru owners do modify their cars for aesthetics rather than performance, there are also many who prioritize genuine performance upgrades.

Why is being labeled a ricer considered negative?

Being labeled as a ricer is considered negative because it implies that the car owner has prioritized style over performance. This can lead to ridicule and judgment from other members of the car community, as well as negative consequences in car shows. Additionally, modifications that prioritize aesthetics over functionality can have negative consequences, and limit the true potential of the car.

Can a Subaru be modified for both performance and aesthetics?

Yes, Subaru can be modified for both performance and aesthetics. Genuine performance upgrades that enhance the car’s handling, acceleration, and braking can increase both functionality and aesthetics, while modifications that don’t affect the car’s functionality can enhance aesthetics without sacrificing performance.


In conclusion, the label of "ricer" is not something that Subaru enthusiasts should strive for. While aesthetics are an important aspect of modifying a car, it is equally important to ensure that modifications do not negatively impact the car’s performance. By understanding the distinction between style and function, Subaru enthusiasts can enjoy both the look and the feel of their modified cars without having to worry about negative consequences. So, are Subarus ricers? The answer is up to each individual owner to determine.

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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