The 2023 Subaru Ascent comes with a powerful 2.4 Liter 4-cylinder engine that will produce 260 horsepower at 5600 RPMs and 277 lbs.-ft of torque at 2000 RPMs.
When you consider that it also has symmetrical all-wheel drive and some trim levels come with a 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity, it can be pretty tantalizing as a tow vehicle.
This probably has you wondering what size camper a Subaru Ascent can tow?
Teardrop trailers, A-frame campers, and popup campers are certainly well within the range of the top trim levels of the Subaru Ascent’s 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity. There are even a few small travel trailers like the Forest River Wolf Pup 16FQ and the Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 that are within range of what the Ascent can safely tow at highway speeds.
Though there as some trim levels that only have a 2,000-pound maximum towing capacity, which dramatically changes the trailers it can tow.
With so much potential, we thought it was time to pop the hood on the 2023 Subaru Ascent to get a better understanding of its towing capacity and the type of trailers it can safely tow.
Does The 2023 Subaru Ascent Come With A Towing Package?
Unfortunately, the Subaru Ascent doesn’t come with a towing package in any of the standard models.
However, it does have most of the mechanical components necessary to have an optional hitch and towing package installed.
The best hitch for the Subaru Ascent is the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver – Custom Fit – Class III.
Not only does it have a high weight rating capacity of 4,500 pounds, but it has a maximum tongue weight rating of up to 675-pounds.
This is more than enough to accommodate any of the popup campers, teardrop trailers or small travel trailers the Ascent is capable of towing.
As an added bonus, this type of hitch can also be used for a bumper mount bike rack.
This lets you bring your mountain bikes and other lightweight outdoor adventure gear with you on the times when you aren’t towing a trailer with your Subaru Ascent.
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Towing Package Installed On A Subaru Ascent?
The price to have a towing package installed on a Subaru Ascent will cost between $330 to $430 depending on the dealership markup or mechanic’s hourly rate.
This is a little less than the $450 to $800 you could expect to pay for a lot of other towing package installs, since the Ascent comes with a lot of the mechanical components to facilitate a hitch install in the standard model.
Subaru Ascent Towing Capacity By Trim Level
It’s important to note that the 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity rating is only for the highest trim levels of the Ascent.
If you are thinking about investing in a 2023 Subaru Ascent, you can use the following table to help you choose the best trim level to tow your camper or travel trailer.
|2022 Subaru Ascent Trim Level||Maximum Towing Capacity|
|Onyx Edition||5,000 lbs.|
Can A Subaru Ascent Pull A Camper?
The “Base” trim level of the Subaru Ascent, with only a 2,000-pound maximum towing capacity, can safely tow a lightweight popup camper.
One example would be the Forest River Rockwood Freedom 1640LTD which has a dry weight of right around 1,400 pounds.
A lot of teardrop campers are too heavy for the base trim level of the 2023 Subaru Ascent.
Though there are a few ultra-lightweight models like the T250LX teardrop trailer with a dry weight of right around 300-pounds.
When you step up to the higher trim levels of the Subaru Ascent, the maximum towing capacity steps up to 5,000 pounds.
This includes the Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring, which are capable of pulling most teardrop trailers, and popup campers.
It can even tow a handful of lightweight travel trailers like the Forest River Wolf Pup 16FQ and the Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7.
How Does Towing Affect Fuel Efficiency In The Subaru Ascent?
The weight of the trailer will decrease the MPG of a Subaru Ascent incrementally from the 21 MPG city and 27 MPG highway it normally gets.
A light trailer under 2,500 pounds will reduce the Ascent’s fuel efficiency by around 10 to 15%.
A medium-weight trailer between 2,500 and 5,000 pounds will reduce the MPG by 15 to 25%.
As you approach the the5,000-pound maximum towing capacity of the Subaru Ascent, you can lose as much as 25 to 35% fuel efficiency.
To give you an example, let’s say that you have a Subaru Ascent from the Touring trim level.
It has a 5,000-pound maximum towing rating and will get 27 miles to the gallon on the highway.
When you hitch up a Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 with a dry weight of 3,135, you can expect the fuel efficiency to drop around 20% to 21 MPG.
What Subaru Can Tow The Most Weight?
The Subaru Ascent is the top trim level with a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 and has the most towing power of any other vehicle in their line.
If you love Subaru, but not necessarily the Ascent, you can use the following table to help you choose the model that is best for you out of Subaru’s active model lineup.
|Subaru Model||Maximum Towing Capacity|
|2022 Subaru BRZ||2,000 lbs.|
|2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness||3,000 lbs.|
|2022 Subaru Legacy||3,000 lbs.|
|2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness||3,500 lbs.|
|2022 Subaru WRX||2,500 lbs.|
|2022 Subaru Ascent||5,000 lbs.|
Can the Subaru Ascent Really Tow 5000 Pounds?
You should only tow within 80% of the rated maximum towing capacity for any vehicle, including the Subaru Ascent.
This will leave you with at least 20% of the available power in reserve for doing things like merging into highway speed traffic or pulling the trailer up a steep incline.
For example, let’s say you have a Subaru Ascent with a Class III hitch installed and a maximum towing rating of up to 5,000 pounds.
This means that you can safely tow up to 4,000 pounds, which is a perfect fit for a small travel trailer like the Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 with a dry weight of 3,135.
Does All-Wheel Drive Help With Towing?
The kind of all-wheel-drive systems that make Subaru such popular vehicles also help them maintain better control when towing.
The added traction of all-wheel drive adds better traction. This will translate into better steering control when you are under load, as well as the ability to tow with greater confidence over loose surfaces, such as the gravel roads leading to a primate campsite.
The higher trim levels of the 2023 Subaru Ascent have a 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity, which makes them capable of towing most popup campers, a wide range of teardrop campers, and even a few lightweight travel trailers.
While it doesn’t come with a towing package and hitch installed in the standard model, you can easily get one installed for around $400.
At that point, you can safely tow a camper or trailer with a gross weight of up to 4,000 pounds, which is 80% of the maximum towing capacity.
This leaves you 20% of the power in reserve for acceleration and control.
If you like the looks and the all-wheel-drive capability of Subaru, but you aren’t a fan of the Ascent, in particular, you might want to look at the Subaru Outback Wilderness, the Subaru Legacy, or the Subaru Forester Wilderness.
Each has a maximum towing capacity of between 3,000 to 3,500 pounds.