The Ascent was introduced into Subaru’s lineup as a mid-size crossover SUV in 2019 and is the largest vehicle Subaru makes. Subaru vehicles are known for their reliability and for having the features consumers expect from today’s SUVs, including towing. But what is the towing capacity of a Subaru Ascent?
The Subaru Ascent has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds to 5,000 pounds depending on the trim level.
The Subaru Ascent base model can tow up to 2,000 lbs.
All other trim levels of the Subaru Ascent can tow up to 5,000 lbs.
There’s a bit more to know about Subaru Ascent towing capabilities which we’ll cover in today’s guide.
2023 Subaru Ascent Towing Capacity
As we covered earlier, the current Subaru Ascent can tow a maximum of 5,000 lbs.
The Ascent has been in production from 2019 through the present. We’ve listed out the maximum tow capacity by year below for reference.
Note that for each model year, there are many variables that affect the total towing capability of each vehicle year, so we recommend checking your specific Ascent year and trim level in the links below for an in-depth guide and to get the most accurate information for that year.
Here’s the maximum Subaru Ascent towing capacity by year:
2023 Subaru Ascent Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
2022 Subaru Ascent Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
2021 Subaru Ascent Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
2020 Subaru Ascent Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
2019 Subaru Ascent Tow Capacity: 5,000 pounds
You can also read our guide on what makes a vehicle towing capacity to learn all the aspects that go into it.
Here’s a video showing the Subaru Ascent being put to a real-world towing test pulling an Airstream trailer:
Subaru Ascent Braked Vs. Unbraked Towing Capacity
All vehicles have different towing capacities based on whether or not you’re towing a trailer that has trailer brakes installed.
Trailer brakes allow the trailer to stop faster than if only the vehicle is using its brakes, allowing the vehicle to tow more weight, so braked towing capacity will always be higher than unbraked towing capacity.
Subaru Ascent Braked Towing Capacity: 2,000 lbs – 5,000 lbs.
Subaru Ascent Unbraked Towing Capacity: 1,000 lbs.
Subaru Ascent Towing Capacity Factors
There are a few factors that affect the Subaru Ascent tow capacity.
Subaru’s trim levels vary, with all trim levels having access to the same engine size.
Traditionally, all model years and trim levels of the Subaru Ascent have had a max towing capacity of 5,000 pounds except the Base trim, which can pull 2,000 pounds at the most.
Subaru Ascent Engine Specs
All model years and trims of the Subaru Ascent have the same engine.
2.4 Liter Turbocharged Subaru BOXER 4-Cylinder Engine
The only Subaru Ascent engine offered is the 2.4L Turbocharged BOXER four-cylinder FA24 engine.
This engine produces 260 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft of torque.
Subaru Ascent Tow Package Info
Does The Subaru Ascent Have A Tow Package?
Subaru offers a factory-installed Ascent tow package option.
It is available on most trim levels and includes the following enhancements:
- Subaru Ascent factory Class III trailer hitch
- 4-pin and 7-pin harness and connector
- Ball Mount (Ball Sold Separately)
- Thule 2-Inch Hitch Adapter
Can You Install A Trailer Hitch On a Subaru Ascent?
If you plan on towing anything with your Subaru Ascent, you’ll need a tow hitch and wiring harness.
Depending on what you’re towing, you’re going to need a ball mount (aka a trailer ball hitch) so you can attach items for towing.
Make sure to get the right trailer ball size that matches your hitch and trailer.
Subaru Ascent Tow Hitch
Trailer hitches come in different hitch classes, which are rated for different vehicle sizes and weight limits.
The Subaru Ascent uses a Class 3 hitch.
Here’s a great option for a Class III Subaru Ascent trailer hitch:
- 2 in. Square Receiver Tube Opening
- Rated Up To 5,000 lbs. Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) And Up To 750 lbs. Tongue Weight (TW)
- All Hitches Are Designed For Customers With Trucks, Vans, And Sport Utility Vehicles
- Clean Appearance That Attaches To The Vehicle's Frame And/Or Bumper
- Removable Ball Mount, Pin, And Clip Sold Separately
Here’s a great ball mount option so you can hook up different types of trailers for towing with your Ascent:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. Rated to tow 3,500 pounds gross trailer weight and 350 pounds tongue weight, this ball hitch offers dependability for your towing setup (weight capacity may change if trailer ball is removed).Fit Type: Universal Fit
- VERSATILE USE. This trailer hitch ball mount comes with a 1-1/4-inch shank to fit virtually any industry-standard 1-1/4-inch receiver. The ball mount has a 3-1/4-inch drop, 2-inch diameter ball, 1/2-inch hitch pin hole and 7-1/4-inch overall length
- READY TO TOW. Hitching up your trailer is easy with this ready-to-use trailer hitch ball mount. It comes with a pre-attached tow ball for ready coupling and a trailer hitch pin to securely mount onto your hitch receiver
- CORROSION-RESISTANT. For long-lasting use, this ball hitch is protected with a durable black powder coat finish, and the trailer ball has a polished chrome plating. These finishes resist damage from rain, dirt, road salt and other corrosive threats
- EASY TO INSTALL. To install the trailer hitch ball mount on your vehicle, simply insert the shank into your vehicle's 1-1/4-inch hitch receiver. The rounded shank makes installation easy
Subaru Ascent Trailer Hitch Installation
If you’re considering having a tow hitch added to your Ascent, expect to pay between $100 and $200 to have a tow package professionally installed (excluding the cost of the tow hitch and wiring harness).
If you’re handy and looking to save money, you can install the trailer hitch and wiring harness yourself.
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and use proper safety precautions.
Here’s a great video walkthrough on a Subaru Ascent trailer hitch installation:
Hitch Receiver Vs Rear Step Bumper Towing
Some vehicles allow for bumper towing, which means you can mount a tow hitch ball directly on the bumper instead of installing a tow hitch to the vehicle’s frame.
Can I Bumper Tow With A Subaru Ascent?
The Subaru Ascent does not allow for bumper towing, so you’ll need to use a frame mounted hitch.
How Do I Know If My Subaru Ascent Has A Tow Package?
You can start by looking under the rear bumper of your Ascent to see if you notice a trailer hitch or trailer ball.
That will give you a good indication of if you have a tow hitch already installed on your Ascent.
Another way to research this is by checking the paperwork that came with your vehicle or taking it to a local dealer to see what’s installed.
Make sure to have your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) handy if you call the dealer so they can look up the exact specs and whether or not your vehicle has any towing packages or features installed on it.
Subaru Ascent Transmission Cooler: How To Check
If you’re not sure whether or not your Subaru Ascent has the transmission cooler installed, it’s a pretty simple process.
Start by checking the model number of your vehicle inside the passenger-side door jamb.
If it starts with “TR690S” or “TR690G”, then you’ve got a transmission cooler installed on your Subaru Ascent and it can pull 5,000 pounds.
We’ve gathered all data represented here from the official Subaru Ascent Owner’s Manuals on Subaru’s site and have checked all data thoroughly for accuracy.
Having said that, we still recommend you refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual yourself before towing with a Subaru Ascent.