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These are the best cars to modify for a DIY project in 2022

Subaru Impreza WRX STI Hatchback

Car modification is one of the most colorful and important segments of the car culture. It all started before World War II with the American Hot Rods of the early 1930s and enjoyed a golden era in the 1950s and 1960s. In the late 80s and early 90s, the JDM performance cars saw the light of day, leading to popular tuners. The culture is still very much alive, equally practiced in professional custom shops and modest amateur home garages.


The easiest way to a custom build is to buy a donor car and hire a professional tuner to personalize it to your liking. But some gearheads may want to get their hands dirty, do it themselves, and enjoy the process. In that case, it’s important to note that not all cars are created equal and some models make it easier to customize than others. You have to look at the ease of working on the vehicle, the existing communities around the car and the level of aftermarket support for parts. Here are the most tuner-friendly cars you can customize for a DIY project in 2022.

10/10 Honda Civic

The Honda Civil became popular with the tuning public after its amazing appearance in the first Fast and Furious movie. Since then, it has become a popular choice for people who want a performance car but can’t afford a top-class sports car. It’s affordable, durable, mod-friendly, and easy to work on.

All generations have vibrant communities and strong aftermarket support. Coupe versions from 2022 are great platforms to start your DIY car project journey. Mods range from a simple change from factory alloy wheels to performance mods to increase power, speed and overall performance.

RELATED: These are the coolest mods for your Honda Civic

9/10 BMW M3 E36

The original BMW M3 E30 is subject to some of the most awe-inspiring builds in the automotive world, and the limit is literally the customizer’s skills. But these are quite expensive these days, leaving us with the next big thing in the lineup, the M3 E36.

In recent years, the E36 has become one of the most popular models to modify. It’s an affordable choice with robust aftermarket support. The 1995 S50 and 1996-1999 S52 models have strong inline-six engines that deliver great performance out of the box and are the perfect foundation for a DIY project.

8/10 mini

The Mini played a leading role in The Italian job film deserves its lasting place in pop culture. But even before that, it was an extremely popular car to modify with a cult following and an extensive aftermarket. It’s a great platform to exercise your creativity, and there’s almost five and a half million of the classic Mini lying around or waiting for some love.

Builders have exploited every possibility for customization, from lowering to chopping, extending and redesigning. also what great mini projects get engine swaps ranging from Kawasaki motorcycle engines to Honda VTECs, turning them into little pocket rockets.

7/10 Volkswagen Beetle

The VW Beetle boasts one of the most distinctive and timeless looks in the automotive industry. Both the classic and modern models provide an enjoyable driving experience. While the old Beetle didn’t pack a big punch under the hood, it gives you the most versatility in a project car.

It features custom tasks ranging from 4×4 dune buggies to drag racers, rat rods, and pretty much anything that can conjure a ghost. Also, its bare nature is like a blank canvas, making it easy to take apart, work on, and express your ideas.

RELATED: 20 Of The Sickest Modified VW Beetles

6/10 Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86

The Subaru BRZ and its Toyota 86 twin love a mod, and simple part upgrades dramatically improve the car’s performance. Most tuners focus on the engine mods, with the FA20 offering great tuning potential and taking a lot of abuse from the stock internals. A turbocharger, supercharger and a few decent kits can contribute to a huge power gain.

You can dive further and upgrade the suspension and brakes to improve the already great handling. You will also easily find plenty of easy to install cosmetic mods including cool liveries and body kits to transform the look of the car.

5/10 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda Miata MX-5 is one of the most popular starting points for a car project. It’s relatively cheap and has good weight distribution, handling and enough power to have fun with the rear-wheel drive system without getting into trouble. They are extremely easy to work on and subject to cute customization commands.

First-generation Miata samples are dirt cheap and are a good point to practice your customization skills. But even pros love them for their versatility, with options ranging from simple body kits to roll cages and V8s.

4/10 Honda S2000

The Honda S2000 offers exceptional handling and big power even in stock form, with the small F20C producing the most specific output for a naturally aspirated production car. But like most Japanese sports cars, it has great potential and is easy to customize. A few mods make the cars more fun and meaner track weapons.

There’s also a vibrant community to support your build, with active forums and a rich aftermarket supplying parts for any mod you have in mind.

RELATED: Here are some of the best mods for your Honda S2000

3/10 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

The Lancer Evolution kept the Mitsubishi brand alive in the 1990s with its WRC exploits. The Evo evolved from a rally car to a track racer and a street racer before being discontinued in 2015. Still, it enjoys strong aftermarket support that allows for plenty of customization options, while maintaining its perennial rivalry with the WRX.

The last iteration came with an attractive chassis and is easy to customize. The Evo community is also one of the most vibrant and you can easily get help if you get stuck.

2/10 Subaru WRX ST

As soon as the powerful Impreza variants reached the American shores, gearboxes began to work on them. That was nearly three decades ago and the aftermarket scenes continue to grow. You can easily order everything online, from a simple air filter to a completely finished engine.

They come from the factory with powerful engines, AWD and capable transmissions, making them a great platform to start building. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can install a bigger engine, better brakes and other performance modes to make it the ultimate track beast.

RELATED: These are the best mods for your Subaru WRX STI

1/10 Jeep Wrangler

You are more likely to spot one modified Jeep Wrangler than a full stock, thanks to ease of customization, massive aftermarket parts support, and an ever-growing cult-like fan base. The body is the quickest and easiest place to start, with a pair of bumper guards and headlight eyelids giving it an instant, meaner look.

While it comes standard with hardcore off-road capability, you can improve on this just because you can. Commonly used mods include lift kits to increase ground clearance, an intake snorkel for increased wading ability, and a set of off-road performance tires.