Can A Subaru Outback Tow a Trailer? (Camper, RV, Towing Capacity)

Can A Subaru Outback Tow a Trailer

Have you ever asked yourself If a Subaru Outback can tow a trailer? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Subaru is one of the most beloved names in the automobile world. The company is well-renowned amongst outdoor enthusiasts.

Most Subaru vehicles have all-wheel drive, so they can handle a variety of terrains. Also, many Subaru cars can tow trailers.

So, can a Subaru Outback tow a trailer? Yes, the Subaru Outback can tow a trailer. The average Subaru Outback is equipped to tow between 2,700 and 3,500 pounds. This is enough to tow lightweight boats, small pop-up campers, utility trailers, and more. 

What is the Subaru Outback?

Subaru launched the outback in 1995. The Subaru Outback was a spin-off of the Subaru Legacy, which is Subaru’s popular sedan. It is designed as the Subaru version of a station wagon.

It has four doors and can fit five people. It has exceptional storage in the back, which is part of why it is so popular amongst outdoor lovers.

The Subaru Outback Legacy was revised and remodeled throughout the years. In 2000, the Subaru Outback became its line, not just a spin-off of the Legacy line.

This change solidified the Outback as Subaru’s station wagon.

The Subaru Outback features an all-wheel drive and the rear hatch is spacious for storage. It is frequently regarded as one of the safest vehicles that someone can drive.

Read also: 55 Best Small Travel Trailers / lightweight Travel Trailers For Sale

Can a Subaru Outback Tow a Trailer?

Subaru Outbacks can tow trailers. They do not all come with trailer hitches installed, so you will have to purchase a trailer hitch and have it installed before you can start towing.

Luckily, this process is simple and many brands of hitch available are compatible with Subaru Outbacks.

Depending on the year and specifications the towing capacity of a Subaru Outback can vary. In general, Subaru Outbacks can tow between 2,700 and 3,500 pounds.

The following table shows the towing capacity of the Subaru Outback:

Year of Production Subaru Outback (engine) Max. Towing Capacity
20212.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ®2,700 pounds
20212.4L Turbocharged Subaru BOXER ®3,500 pounds
20202.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ®2,700 pounds
20202.4L Turbocharged Subaru BOXER ®3,500 pounds
20192.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ®2,700 pounds
20182.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER®2,700 pounds
20172.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ®2,700 pounds

Read also: How Much Can a Subaru Outback Tow? (Explained)

Subaru Outback Towing Capacity by Year

There is not much variation in the towing capacities of recent Subaru Outbacks. Subaru has stayed with their standard engine design which is reliable and strong.

That being said, in recent years there has been some variation in the engine that has created differences in the towing capacity.

The 2021 Subaru Outback is offered in two different engine options.

  • The 2.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ® engine has a maximum towing capacity of 2,700 pounds
  • The 2.4L Turbocharged Subaru BOXER ® engine has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. This is a great option if you know you will need to tow heavier loads.

The 2020 Subaru Outback features options as well.

  • The 2.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ® engine has a maximum towing capacity of 2,700 pounds
  • The 2.4L Turbocharged Subaru BOXER ® engine has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

The 2019 Subaru Outback features a 2.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ® engine that can tow up to 2,700 pounds.

The 2018 Subaru Outback features a 2.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ® engine. That engine is equipped to tow up to 2,700 pounds.

The 2017 Subaru Outback features a similar engine design to the more recent models. It has a 2.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ® engine that can tow up to 2,700 pounds.

The Subaru BOXER ® engine is designed to reduce damage in accidents. It features smooth acceleration and it has won awards.

With extra safety, smooth acceleration, and awards backing up its efficiency, it is no wonder that Subaru keeps using the Subaru BOXER ® engine on its Outbacks.

Read also: Can a Subaru Forester Tow a Camper or Small Pop Up Camper?

Can a Subaru Outback Be Modified to Tow a Trailer?

Subaru Outbacks do not all come with trailer hitches installed. That being said, Subaru offers optional hitches that are available for all Subaru Outbacks.

The installation process can take more time. Alternatively, if you are getting your Outback from a Subaru dealership, they may be able to install the trailer hitch for an extra fee before you even drive your car off of the lot.

Read also: How Much Does It Cost To Install A Trailer Hitch On A Subaru Outback?

If you plan on installing the trailer hitch yourself, you will need to make sure you have everything you need to be safe. You will also need to collect wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers.

In total, it will take about one hour to install the trailer hitch yourself. The installation process includes lowering the exhaust, trimming the heat shield, attaching spacer blocks, and finally attaching the trailer hitch.

If you are not purchasing a Subaru brand trailer designed for your Outback, it is important to take note of the towing capacity of the hitch you are using.

Just because your Subaru Outback can tow 2,700 pounds, that does not mean that any trailer hitch can handle 2,700 pounds. Always check the towing limit of the hitch before you install it.

Similarly, do not assume that attaching a hitch with a 4,000-pound towing capacity can increase the towing capacity of your Subaru Outback.

Always stay within the limits of what your vehicle can safely tow. Going outside of the towing capacity can damage your engine, transmission, and brakes.

Can You Put a Trailer Hitch on a Subaru Outback?

Yes, you can attach a trailer hitch to a Subaru Outback. If you want to install the trailer hitch yourself, just follow these instructions.

Read also: Trailer Hitch Installation How-To-Guide

Alternatively, you can ask the Subaru dealership to install the trailer hitch for you. Since Subaru offers standard trailer hitches for their Outbacks, this process is inexpensive and fast.

Subaru Vehicles that Can Tow Trailers Without Modification

If you are interested in a Subaru that can tow, but you are not sure that the Outback will fit your needs, there are other Subaru cars available that can tow trailers with Subaru brand hitches.

These vehicles all offer Subaru’s renowned all-wheel-drive system, which makes them great for people looking to tow trailers on less than standard terrain.

When selecting your Subaru, keep in mind what you want to tow. Whatever trailer you have or plan to use will need to weigh less than the towing capacity of your vehicle.

Subaru Ascent

The Subaru Ascent is Subaru’s largest vehicle. It is an SUV that can hold up to 7 or 8 people, depending on the package you select.

The Subaru Ascent also has a spacious storage area that can hold around 86 cubic feet of gear. It offers the classic Subaru all-wheel drive.

The Subaru Ascent also offers the largest towing capacity of any Subaru vehicle. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds. If you plan on towing a camper and bringing the whole family, this is the best Subaru for you.

Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester is similar to the Outback in size. It is a compact SUV, so if you want great storage space and strong handling in rough terrain, the Forester is a great option.

The Forester has the 2.5L 4-cylinder Subaru BOXER ® engine. It also has great storage space, with up to 69 cubic feet when you count the seating area.

Without counting the seating area, you still have 31 cubic feet of storage space. The Subaru Forester has enough seats for 5 people.

The Subaru Forester is not the strongest towing vehicle that Subaru offers. It can only tow 1,500 pounds, so if you are planning on towing a lot, an Outback or an Ascent is probably a better choice.

Easy Trailers to Tow

It is important to stay within the towing capacity of your vehicle. This will extend the life of your vehicle and keep you safer on the road.

The following trailers are light and generally will be safely within the towing capacity of your Subaru Outback.

  • Pop-Up Camper- Pop-up campers are some of the lightest campers on the market. They have sides that fold down like a tent, which give them their name. Those light, collapsible sides also make pop-up campers weigh less than average camper trailers.
  • Boat Trailers- Most boat trailers weigh around 600 pounds. The weight you need to watch is the weight of your boat. Luckily, if you are only planning on towing a small aluminum boat, the Subaru Outback should be ready to handle it.
  • Teardrop trailer– Teardrop trailers get their name from their iconic shape. The shape is designed to be aerodynamic and to save space. These trailers are designed to be light and easy to transport.

Can a Subaru Outback Haul a U-Haul Trailer?

Yes, a Subaru Outback can haul a U-Haul trailer, as long as the trailer and its contents do not weigh more than 2,700 or 3,500 pounds (depending on the towing capacity of your Outback).


Subaru Outbacks can tow trailers. They have towing capacities between 2,700 and 3,500 pounds, depending on which engine you select.

Not every Subaru Outback comes with a trailer hitch installed, but Subaru will easily install the hitch for you.

With a towing capacity of around 3,000 pounds, you can tow many utility, boat, and camper trailers. This makes it easy to take your fun on the road with your Outback.

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Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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