Are Subaru Roof Racks Universal?


Whether Subaru roof racks are universal or not is a question that comes up frequently. The truth is that they do not apply to all and hence are not universal.

Knowing which roof rack system works with your particular Subaru model is crucial because each has a different design.

This article will examine the various Subaru models and roof rack systems in detail.


Subaru Rack


What Subaru Vehicle Model Do You Own?

Many of Subaru's vehicles are well-liked by people who enjoy the outdoors and seek adventure. The Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, and Ascent are the most popular vehicles with roof rack systems.

All of these models feature a roof rack system, although depending on the generation and year, they may have different roofs or roof rails.


Over the past several years, the Subaru Outback has risen to the top of the preferred outback vehicles. The most talked-about generations are the 5th and 6th gen (the 5th gen runs from 2015 to 2019 and the 6th gen from 2020 to 2022).

Both can be categorized as crossover vehicles because they have larger bodies and wheelbases than earlier models.

The roof rack systems between the two versions are dissimilar. The current model features rails spaced further apart than the earlier generation, with roof rails that go front to back.

Platform roof racks or crossbars are compatible with both models. Make sure when choosing, you go for the best Subaru Outback roof rack for your needs.


The Subaru Forester was one of the first compact crossover SUVs to hit the market in the late 1990s. It is one of Subaru's most well-liked cars and has a solid reputation. The Forester has ample interior room and all-wheel drive as standard.

The Forester can accommodate both platform roof racks and cross bars thanks to its side-to-side roof rails. Therefore, getting a roof rack that matches Forester's roof rails' measurements is critical.


The Crosstrek sells the fastest in the US; it typically sells in just 12.9 days after it is placed on a dealer lot. The Crosstrek is a lot like an Impreza hatchback with body cladding, substantial roof rails, and that amusing lift.

The Crosstrek can accommodate platform roof racks and cross bars because it combines roof rails and attachment points for roof racks.

However, the dimensions of the Crosstrek's roof rails and attachment points must match the roof rack you choose for safety reasons.


Ascent is the largest Subaru currently on the market. The Ascent SUV can seat eight passengers in three rows and has all-wheel drive. A flat-flour turbocharged engine with 260 horsepower and continuously variable automatic transmission power.

Roof rails on the Ascent go from front to back flush with the roof. It is compatible with both platform roof racks and cross bars, but it's crucial to pick one that matches Ascent's roof rails in size.


How Do I Know Which Roof Rack My Subaru Needs?

The good news is that roof racks are readily accessible for all Subaru vehicles, including the Subaru Outback roof rack, regardless of year and generation.

However, the alternatives for roof racks will differ based on the type of roof or roof rails, particularly in installation options. For example, cross bars or a platform roof rack are often your options.

Platform roof racks are well-liked because of their adaptability and toughness. They can hold a variety of attachments, including luggage boxes, kayaks, and bikes, and they are made to carry large weights. 


Roof Rack


Platform roof racks also offer a bigger carrying capacity due to their larger surface area. However, platform roof racks might be more expensive than cross bars, which is a drawback.

For transporting lighter loads, cross bars are a more cost-effective solution. They can fit a variety of attachments, including ski racks and bike mounts, and are simple to install and remove.

If you rarely carry big objects, cross bars are a decent option.

Price, rack dimension, and rack mounting design are essential considerations when selecting a roof rack for your Subaru. Be sure the roof rack you select is within your price range and can transfer the stuff you need to haul securely.

You should also check that the roof rack is simple to put on and take off and that it won't scratch the paint or roof of your car.



In conclusion, not all Subaru roof racks are compatible with all vehicles. Therefore it's critical to know which one will work with yours.

Additionally, Subaru models' available roof rack alternatives will vary depending on the model year and generation and the roof or roof rail system.

You can select a platform roof rack or cross bars depending on your requirements and price range.

When selecting a roof rack, consider aspects including cost, rack size, and mounting style.

Doing this will ensure you have a reliable way to move your equipment and enjoy your upcoming journey.        

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