Towing capacity is often an overlooked automotive feature, but can significantly improve a car's overall utility. If you'd like to take your boat or camper trailer with you on your road trips, consider choosing a vehicle from Subaru's current lineup.

Towing Basics

Before diving deeper into the towing capacity of each Subaru model, it may help to consider this basic towing guide that can help you have a fun and safe towing experience. Here are some things that you need to look out for when towing a trailer:

  • Increase your usual following distance. Keeping a safe distance to the car in front and adapting it to road conditions is one of the basic guidelines of driving, but it's especially important when you're towing a trailer. Given the longer braking distance necessary when towing, you should significantly increase that distance.
  • Avoid trailer sway. Trailer sway is when your trailer moves from side to side behind your vehicle due to a lateral force from sources like crosswinds or large vehicles passing by. When you feel your trailer swinging like a pendulum, quickly stop accelerating and gently reduce your speed until the trailer stabilizes. 
  • Double-check when changing lanes. With Subarus being excellent for towing, you may forget that you're carrying an extra load. You should, however, be extra careful when changing lanes on the highway, as both your visibility and acceleration are reduced. 
  • Avoid sudden braking. Carrying an extra load puts additional pressure on your vehicle's braking system. By avoiding sudden brakes you can prolong the life of your brake pads. 
  • Try not to get stuck. Finally, when carrying a trailer you need to be extra careful about getting into tight spaces. Even a small parking lot can be a dead-end if you have no room to maneuver, so you may end up getting stuck.

Subaru Lineup Towing Capacity

2022 Subaru SUV line up

Subaru SUVs are comfortable, elegant, and delivers great performance both on and off the road, but they're also great for towing. Here's how much each model can tow:

Subaru Crosstrek

Despite being the smallest Subaru crossover SUV, the Crosstrek has a decent towing capacity. Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces up to 152 horsepower, but can be upgraded to a 2.5-liter with 182 horsepower, which is a little more appropriate for towing. Its towing capacity is up to 1,500 pounds, which is impressive for a vehicle its size, and with completely different priorities. This towing capacity means that you can safely tow a small camper trailer, boat, or ATV trailer. 

The main reason for such a good towing capacity compared to the vehicle's size and weight is Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which consists of a longitudinally mounted boxer engine paired with a symmetrical drivetrain with half-axles that are equal in length. This combination provides ideal weight distribution and lowers the vehicle's center of gravity, making it significantly more stable when carrying heavy loads. This system improves your driving performance and pleasure even without a trailer as well.

Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forrester is slightly larger than the Outback and also has a 1,500-pound towing capacity. The two also have the same engines and the Forrester also features Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive in all trims, hence the similar tow ratings. It also features Subaru's X-MODE, which significantly enhances vehicle stability in any situation and road condition. Also included is Subaru's Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which uses special sensors to monitor all relevant vehicle parameters and take automatic steps to keep the vehicle balanced. 

Subaru Outback

The Outback is a larger vehicle than the previous two, with the extra weight and power helping its tow rating. Its standard engine is the 2.5-liter, 182-horsepower engine that's the top choice on the Crosstrek and Forrester. Its larger size means that its tow capacity, when equipped with this engine, is an impressive 2,700 pounds, almost twice as much as the other two models. This allows you to carry much larger camper trailers, boats, and anything else you may need towing. All stability features on other Subarus, like standard all-wheel drive, X-MODE, and VDC, are all present on the Outback.

If you need to tow more than 2,700 pounds, the Outback's second engine can increase the towing capacity even further. The turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine can produce up to 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, pushing the Outback's maximum tow rating to no less than 3,500 pounds. Also, regardless of which engine you choose, the continuously variable automatic transmission will offer a smooth experience.

Subaru Ascent

The Ascent is Subaru's largest SUV, which also means it has the biggest towing capacity. The turbocharged 2.4-liter 182-horsepower extra engine option for the Outback is standard for all Ascent trims, delivering enough power for most towing needs. Although the base version's towing capacity is limited to 2,000 pounds, any other trim offers an amazing 5,000-pound tow rating, which is more than some trucks can offer.

Subaru Lineup Tow Capacity Compared

The towing capacity of Subaru SUVs is largely proportional to their size. Although every model delivers excellent tow ratings for its category, heavier models with larger engines naturally have better ratings. If your towing needs are limited to carrying a small boat or camper to the beach or to a lake on weekends, the Crosstrek and Forrester would do an excellent job. 

The Outback, however, can carry almost twice as much, seriously improving your options and allowing you to tow a larger trailer. Finally, if you plan on doing some serious towing, the Ascent definitely has your back, with its 5,000-pound tow rating opening up many opportunities. 

Your vehicle's tow rating should match your towing needs. With all Subaru SUV models delivering having a great towing capacity for their size, it's only a matter of deciding what you plan on carrying with you on trips. Visit us at Hiley Subaru of Fort Worth and you'll get the chance to discover all the vehicles in Subaru's lineup, take them for a test drive and decide which one suits you better.

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