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Old 01-31-2019, 08:38 PM   #1
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Subaru Ascent towing

Is anyone towing with the 2019 Ascent? Rated at 5000 capacity and 500 hitch weight. We're considering moving up to an Ascent. Our 2012 Outback seems to be at it's limit with our Escape 15A. We're in the mountains-- Montana and Canadian Rockies.
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:41 PM   #2
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No experience, but I read about someone who said it was great. I'm also looking at the same car. I finally saw one in person but have to get in to test drive and see what the middle bench seat looks like.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:02 PM   #3
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Specs say the Ascent has 19 cup and bottle holders, what more can one ask for in a tow vehicle.

My question would be is the 2.4 4 cyl engine sufficient for towing a 19? says it makes 277 lbs of torque.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
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My question would be is the 2.4 4 cyl engine sufficient for towing a 19? says it makes 277 lbs of torque.
I would think so. Turbocharged so producing 260hp as well. Not sure at what rpm it makes these numbers, but this is awfully close to my V6 4Runner.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:20 PM   #5
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Note the OP is talking about towing their 15 not a 19, I'm sure that's plenty of power for them, better than their Outback
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:21 PM   #6
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There have been at least two discussions dedicated to the Ascent:
New Subaru SUV- 7 passenger-
Subaru Ascent TV
... but they were too early for anyone to have even driven one, let alone tow with one.

Anyone who is concerned with the suitability of a 2.4 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine in an SUV for towing will presumably be similarly concerned about towing with the new Ford Ranger pickup, which has a 2.3 litre turbocharged four-cylinder as the only available engine.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emers382 View Post
Note the OP is talking about towing their 15 not a 19, I'm sure that's plenty of power for them, better than their Outback

Must have had the 19 cup holders stuck in my mind.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:51 AM   #8
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I had a chance to inspect one very thoroughly while getting my Forester serviced. Big car, the second row of bucket seats slide forward to allow access to rear seat, when 3rd row folded down a lot of space, the second row does not fold down flat. Automatic closing rear and plethora of cup holders all over. It reminds me of a SUV trying to imitate a minivan. The rear end is independent as are all Subaru models due to the all wheel drive. It is a big SUV but not sure the power is there for a dedicated towing vehicle, maybe a couple of time a year, but nothing more, it is too nice inside to load up with "stuff" for the trip. BTW, the seats appeared to be leather. The spare underneath did not appear to be full sized and there is no towing package or brake controller, did not see any wiring either nor a place for a hitch.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:12 AM   #9
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Last time I had our Outback serviced I asked the service manager about factory towing control and hitch. Subaru has a hit h for it but one has to have a brake controller installed buy and outside source .
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:50 AM   #10
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. Subaru has a hit h for it but one has to have a brake controller installed buy and outside source .
When I purchased my Grand Cherokee, it did not have a factory brake controller installed. As part of the sales negotiation, I had the dealer pay for, and install, a Tekonsha brake controller. I wanted the dealer to do the work as I figured they knew the wiring the best. Plus this costs them very little compared to retail cost to me.

Also had them include a third chipped key. The key costs them very little but the retail price is obscene.

Also had them include the factory roof rack. Again, a low cost item for them but high cost retail for me.

When you’re buying a car, everything is negotiable.

They readily agreed to all of these low cost items. A few hundred dollars to them, but probably a thousand to me.

Your Subi is a super choice.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:47 PM   #11
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I had a chance to inspect one very thoroughly while getting my Forester serviced. Big car, the second row of bucket seats slide forward to allow access to rear seat, when 3rd row folded down a lot of space, the second row does not fold down flat.
I'm waiting to see the 8 passenger which has a bench seat in the second row. Leather is an option- 8 passenger is supposedly available in all trims.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:50 PM   #12
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Not sure how a 2 nd row bench seat would slide easily to gain access to third row? At least with the buckets you are only moving one or could go between the seats also.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:56 PM   #13
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Not sure how a 2 nd row bench seat would slide easily to gain access to third row? At least with the buckets you are only moving one or could go between the seats also.
It's a split bench. Highlander offers the same option but not in all trims. I haven't seen either so don't know how it works but don't really care, either, as the way back seats are just useless appendages as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:02 PM   #14
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It's a split bench. Highlander offers the same option but not in all trims. I haven't seen either so don't know how it works but don't really care, either, as the way back seats are just useless appendages as far as I'm concerned.
Yes, needless weight.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The rear end is independent as are all Subaru models due to the all wheel drive.
The rear suspension is independent because it was designed in this century, and isn't a pickup truck. Independent rear suspension is actually an easier match with front wheel drive than with AWD or just rear wheel drive.

For those into the technology, Subaru has a good technology web page (that links to the platform, but there are also sections for engine, suspension, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The spare underneath did not appear to be full sized...
Good point: the specs say "Compact 18-inch spare".

The Ascent owner's manual has an interesting section regarding tire storage:
Quote:
The spare tire holder is designed to carry only the following kinds of tires.
– The temporary spare tire that came with your vehicle
– A full-size flat tire
A full size flat tire should be stowed in the spare tire holder in an emergency only. After having the full-size flat tire repaired, immediately swap it with the temporary spare tire.
Never stow a full-size tire that is not flat in the spare tire holder. Doing so can result in damage to adjacent under floor parts and can lead to a serious accident.
Since the manual also says not to tow with the compact spare, so an owner should plan on calling a tow truck in case of a flat, or carrying a full-size spare for the Ascent in the cargo area or trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
... there is no towing package or brake controller, did not see any wiring either nor a place for a hitch.
Obviously there's a way to mount a hitch; it would be difficult to establish a 5,000 pound towing rating without one.

Equipment often varies between the U.S. and Canada, but here all levels of Ascent above the base "Convenience" trim include "Pre-wiring for accessory trailer hitch", "Trailer Stability Control", and the 2270 kg (5000 lb) towing capacity; even the Convenience has 908 kg (2000 lb) towing capacity. The owner's manual shows that the capacity difference is due to the "air-cooled continuously variable transmission fluid cooler". Although the wiring may not (and probably doesn't) include brake control provisions, this is a towing preparation package... as standard equipment.

The hitch is listed on the Subaru.ca website as an accessory, which would normally be dealer-installed (although you could do it yourself if you're handy with tools). Mounting points are not apparent on an Ascent without the hitch, because the hitch structure replaces stock bumper structure. Even if the vehicle has the hitch and trailer wiring, you might not notice them because the receiver and electrical connection are under an appearance cover when not towing. They even publish the entire installation manual, if you want to see the details.

Overall, this looks like it is equipped for towing like a typical SUV, with a particularly nicely integrated Class 3 hitch.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:35 PM   #16
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Brian,
Can you tell if the hitch is attached to bumper or frame?
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:46 PM   #17
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Brian,
Can you tell if the hitch is attached to bumper or frame?
The hitch replaces the bumper structure, and is bolted to the vehicle's structure (or "frame"). It bolts to the same places as the non-hitch bumper, but with additional attachment points further into the vehicle as well.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:01 PM   #18
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Thanks, good to know.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:58 PM   #19
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My '17 Outback also has a compact spare recessed in the cargo area.
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:53 AM   #20
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Two points we were told by a seemingly knowledgeable Subaru rep when we gave the Accent a close look: 1) the temporary spare is the same circumference as the four standard tires to make sure the CVT continues to work correctly, but it's quite a bit thinner, allowing it to be stowed in a smaller space (much too small for a full-sized spare), and 2) despite the published tow rating, the Subaru optional factory hitch receiver is 1 1/4", which I believe means it's a Class II, so one would have to have a 3rd party install a 2" Class III receiver (which might raise questions about Subaru's warranty when towing) as well as a brake controller.
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