5 Best Performance Sub-Compact Cars - Auto Tuning Store

5 Best Performance Sub-Compact Cars

When it comes to Performance Sub-Compact Cars, they offer a considerable amount of gas mileage and convenience at the price of interior space and size. However, just like any other vehicle they can be modified to meet the user’s intent. There are professional tuners and garage mechanics who place the best aftermarket parts in these vehicles along with making separate modifications which create a more powerful, higher performance car.

Why Should Sub Compacts Be Modified?

Although sub compacts have a seemingly limited range in which they can be modified, the truth is that the better manufactured versions have plenty of ceiling built in for modifications. Today’s sub compacts are very well built and can handle heavier parts and even larger engines to a certain degree which will boost their overall performance.

The trick is finding the right model of sub-compact to modify. By no means is this list the definitive answer but only a starting point for you to think about.  Based on my research and experience any of these five cars would make a great project car or daily driver.   Each has its pros and cons.  Enjoy the read.

Five Best Sub Compacts to Modify



1. Acura Integra RSX

Acura Integra RSXUntil it was labeled the RSX, this was arguably the most misrepresented sub compact of them all. With both Honda and Acura monikers it was difficult to keep them apart.  With people placing Type R stickers onto their regular Integra models, the RSX is very similar to the base GRS which is just made for upgrades and other modifications. When done properly, a modified RSX is something to behold.


2. Honda Civic


Honda CivicThe Civic is a real beauty to modify, particularly the pre-Si versions as they do not have the bigger, more powerful engines. Many tuner companies which include the Mugen division of Honda offer some type of upgrade for the Civic models. However, the car itself is best known for being very light in comparison to similar models and swapping out the older engines for a new, more powerful version makes this an excellent choice for modification.


3. Mitsubishi Lancer EVO

Mitsubishi Lancer EVO

One of the most robust sub compacts ever built, the Lancer Evolution is the one of the best in the Mitsubishi line and it’s perfect for modifications. This is because many alterations that boost the power and performance are rather simple to make which is why so many in the US prefer this particular model above all others.


4. Scion FRS / Subaru BRZ

Scion FRS

The nifty Scion FRS and its sister car, the Subaru BRZ are great sub compacts that make for a superb platform for modifications. Boasting the well reviewed Boxer engine, which is just begging for more tuning, these cars scream for more power.  The vehicle itself is very well suited to new parts and engine modifications that make it fairly simple to come out with new versions that improve it to a great degree.


5. Subaru WRX STi

Subaru WRX STi

This particular model is one of the easiest to modify and the results are quite powerful. Of course, it is best if you use top quality aftermarket parts and do not push the vehicle past its specifications. With over 400 hp in the engine which can be easily boosted, this is one of the more exciting sub compacts for performance programmers to modify.


The judicious use of aftermarket parts along with getting expert assistance is essential to having a properly modified vehicle that strikes the right balance of power and overall performance. Sub-compacts are traditionally limited in this area, but the top five as listed in the article have a considerable ceiling in terms of their original engineering for some effective modifications to create an improved experience.

I would welcome anyone to comment on my top 5 list, whether they agree or disagree. That is the beauty of our hobby, there really is no right or wrong answer. It is all up the imagination of the builder and how radical he or she wants to push it. Autotuningstore.com is here to help with any modification projects. We cater to the enthusiast who isn’t satisfied with a stock vehicle. We carry performance parts to boost horsepower and torque.

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