Not all modifications that you make to your car have to be on the exterior or on the engine, exhaust or the ECU. There are a number of very simple car interior mods that you can make that do a lot to enhance the atmosphere and potentially even the resale value of your car in the future.
In today’s blog, we’re looking at cool interior car mods that are easy to achieve but really add a great deal of impact to the interior ambience. If you're after some exterior mods, check out our list of best cheap car mods.
Comment below with your favorite mod that's not listed and we'll add it to our list!
1. Seat Covers
Let’s start with simple car interior mods, like seat covers. Seat covers have massive visual impact since the car seat is arguably the most visible and prominent feature in your car’s entire interior. It takes up the majority of the interior space and is certainly the largest single object that you put into the passenger cabin.
The best thing about aftermarket seat covers is that there are so, so many designs to choose from, even for cars that come across as more specialty like Teslas have many choices in the seat cover market. A seat cover is a simple mod to make that helps your car’s interior better reflect your taste, and even your personality. They’re also easy to remove and replace if you ever get sick of them, and can be applied with no tools.
2. Custom Pedals
OEM pedals can be so dull to behold, especially ones that came with an older car that you wish to modify more widely. The interior can really pop when you install some custom brushed-metal finish pedals, or alternatively a set of pedals that contain your car’s logo, especially something like a Porsche or Audi.
Altering the pedals is actually straight forward and doesn’t require any kind of major modification to your drivetrain as you might have thought. The pedals are just exterior show to help you work the mechanism, changing the way they look is actually quite easy.
3. Floor Mats
Another very simple step you can take in the interior is with custom floor mats and carpets that make the floors appear more luxurious, more comfortable under-foot, or of a different color or style.
Luxury cars like Rolls-Royce and Bentley are well known for their sumptuous carpeting that you find throughout. By adding custom-shaped floor liners and other inserts and mats, you can do a great deal to the interior of the vehicle. Furthermore, such additions are also very useful for protecting your original carpets, which helps the car to better retain its resale value.
4. Ambient Lighting
LED lighting strategically placed around your car’s interior – especially under your dash – is arguably the best-value interior modification in terms of ease of installation versus overall impact on the interior. They really look like a luxury addition when all they are in reality is some well-placed strip lighting either filling interior hollows with ambient glow, or carefully applied edge trims that help all the interior edges to pop with color and light.
Since it was mostly the luxury car brands that started the trend of interior LED ambient lighting of different colors (and often still offer it as a standard feature), adding some of your own lighting is a real luxury touch that is very budget-friendly. Dark window tint can make this mode feel more intense with less intrusion from outside lights.
5. Sound System
If the stock multi-speaker sound system is not enough, then switch it out for a JBL, Harman Kardon or Bose system that will make every note stand out that much more clearly and enjoyably. Those who want to really take an interior sound system to the next level could also explore the possibility of sacrificing some trunk space to install a subwoofer.
The most extreme interior audio modding can make the trunk look like a DJ set that belongs in an Ibiza nightclub, but you don’t have to go that far. New speakers and sound equipment can do a great deal to improve how much you enjoy your drive.
Topmarq founder Quinn details his early car experience with a story about building custom sub ensclosures for his Mazda 3 hatchback. The accent in the trunk behind the seats gave the Mazda a very unique feel!
6. Steering Wheel Covers
We’re back to covers now. Your steering wheel is easy to cover in a similar way to your seats and can make your wheel not only look more beautiful, but potentially feel more comfortable in-hand, which is useful on longer drives. From flowery patterns to solid colors and old-world soft leather, there are seemingly countless choices when it comes to steering wheel covers.
7. Rear Video Screens
If you often have rear passengers in your car, especially children, then installing video screens and even games to play on them is simpler than you thought. Having rear entertainment screens of any kind really lends an atmosphere of opulence and luxury to the car’s interior that passengers and drivers can easily get behind.
8. Rearview Mirror
You could make your rearview mirror wider, or install one that has a digital screen built in, or even just find some interesting covers or backs to the mirror to add bling and dazzle to the mirror. There are some who will just hang furry dice from the mirror and be done with it, but there’s just so much more you could achieve if only you applied the imagination.
9. Phone Accessories and Chargers
Simple additions like a dashboard smartphone holder, or some extra USB chargers, are mods that can make your car a more tech-friendly space and also can be installed with minimal hassle. Installing new USB and other ports can be somewhat trickier, but the right professional should find the job easy enough.
You could even consider the possibility of wireless charging units being installed if you’re worried about your car’s interior getting cluttered up with wires, as many people do. The future is all wireless, after all.
10. Carbon Fiber
To finish our list, we have to mention carbon fiber. No list of cool interior car mods would be complete without talking a little about carbon fiber. Just as the top-of-the-line Italian and German supercars make use of carbon fiber surfaces on their interiors, so too can you. It doesn’t have to be an entire dash wrap, but you can get certain surfaces modified with a sheen of carbon fiber without breaking the bank.
Even just a few accents in carbon fiber can have huge visual impact, not to mention helping you to retain a lot of resale value further down the line. Many people attach great monetary value to a car with carbon fiber inserts and features. Similar to how vehicle wraps can make a large visual impact, these minor changes can upgrade the overall feel of the vehicle.
Conclusion: Don’t Forget the Detailing
It’s not exactly a modification, but even just getting your car fully detailed can have a huge impact on the atmosphere and the impression passengers get from sitting in it. Cleaning the surfaces, dusting out the vents and vacuuming and shampooing the carpets, as well as treating your upholstery well are all simple regular things you can do, or hire someone to do for you, that preserve and protect the interior of your car, but also make every drive a feel-good experience. Therefore, never miss a detailing and your interior mods are sure to stand out all the more.