Subaru Forester® Towing Capacity: How Much Can A Subaru Forester Tow?

There are many reasons to familiarize yourself with your Subaru Forester towing capacity. How many adventures are made all the better when bringing along a trailer full of toys or gear? Too many to count. Your Forester already provides years of adventurous fun, so why not enhance that — safely and within vehicle limits, of course. So make your next weekend camping trip near Saco, ME, go as smoothly as possible while accomplishing this. We'll take you through what your Forester can tow, along with some essential tips for hitting the road with a trailer hooked up.

Safely Making the Most of Your Subaru Forester® Towing Capacity

Aside from the iconic adventuring capabilities, you probably chose a Forester or any other Subaru vehicle for that matter because of the top-notch safety it offers. When you lease a Subaru Forester, you're getting an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. In fact, as of February 2021, the Subaru model range packed more of these safety awards than most other competing manufacturers.

But that will only account for so much; driver preparation and awareness will always be crucial factors. With new driving dynamics caused by towing, preparation is key. So here is our list of safe towing tips to consider before hitting the road with a trailer in tow.

Leave More Braking Room - The formula is simple. Adding more weight to your vehicle adds momentum. More momentum means your brakes will need more effort and time to slow the vehicle from any given speed. Naturally, whether it's an older model year or 2021 Subaru Forester towing capacity you're using to the fullest, this will take effect. To avoid a dangerous misjudgment of braking distance, leave more room between you and the vehicle ahead than you would normally give — especially when descending a hill or mountain.

Your Engine Can Help Slow You Down - Adding onto that last tip, the additional stress on the brakes can cause a drop in responsiveness. You might already know this, but your engine can also help slow the vehicle by shifting into a lower gear. Practice this "downshifting" in a safe and open space to get a feel for engine braking, and give your brakes a helping hand as you use your Subaru Forester pulling capacity.

Practice Reversing With a Trailer - One of the most common reasons for things going wrong when towing a trailer is trying to maneuver while in reverse. Like when you first learned to reverse a car, you'll need to understand how the trailer will move as you turn the wheel (i.e., in the opposite direction) by practicing in a safe, open, preferably private space. We're confident you'll make it second nature in no time.

Protect Your Digits - We aren't talking about keeping your phone number a secret. The trailering process can cause severe injuries to your fingers or toes. What happens if the hitch stand collapses and your feet are only protected by flip flops? Likewise, what if your exposed fingers get caught in the winch gear? Wear a padded set of work gloves and closed-toed shoes — they won't prevent injury entirely but will provide protection in the worst-case scenario.

Give Your Forester a Thorough Once-Over - Even if it's fresh off the lot from our new Subaru Forester for sale inventory, you'll want to inspect your vehicle to ensure that you have a smooth road trip experience. Check your tow hitch, brake lights, fluids, hoses, belts, and wiring before heading out to avoid any preventable issues. As well, make sure both the tires on your Forester and the trailer that it'll be pulling are both up to spec, with no damage present or debris lodged in the treads.

With all this practiced and kept in mind, and your vehicle inspected and ready to go, it's time to learn what the towing capacity of Subaru Forester models and model years comes in at.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is the Subaru Forester® good for towing?

Yes, the Subaru Forester is a great vehicle for towing lighter loads. Small campers, some trailers, and a variety of lightweight boats can all be pulled along by your Forester. Specifically, a new 2021 Subaru Forester will offer you up to 1,500 lbs of towing capacity when properly equipped.

Can a Subaru Forester tow 3,500 pounds?

No, a Subaru Forester can not tow 3,500 lbs. Specifically, a 2021 Forester comes with a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 lbs when properly equipped. That's perfect for a small trailer, lightweight boat, or similar loads. If being able to tow 3,500 lbs is a must-have ability for you, look at either the Subaru Outback or the Ascent. Certain Outback models can tow a maximum of 3,500 lbs when properly equipped, while the Ascent achieves a 5,000 lb max tow capacity when properly equipped.

How much will a Subaru Forester tow?

A 2021 Subaru Forester comes with a maximum tow capacity rated for 1,500 lbs when properly equipped. That's enough to tow some small pop-up campers, light trailers, and lightweight aluminum or fiberglass boats. There is a wide range of possibilities when it comes to what a Forester can tow.

Patriot Subaru Is Your Resource for Towing With a Subaru

Please remember, the tow rating for Subaru Forester® models is there to ensure safe usage — please do not push it. Failing to stay within these towing capacity ratings can cause mechanical failure, accidents, property damage, injuries, or even worse. Do your due diligence, and you'll enjoy all the fantastic adventure capabilities your Subaru Forester was designed with.

It's natural to have questions about the process, and we're to help answer them when you give us a call. From finding genuine OEM parts to having a tow hitch installed, we're your go-to dealership. We also have further guides on Subaru models and what they offer, like if you need to compare the Subaru Forester to Crosstrek models, you'll find all you need here. So stop by today for any servicing, car-buying, or further Subaru vehicle needs you have and experience the Patriot Subaru difference today.


Subaru Forester® Towing Capacity Chart


Subaru Model Max. Towing Capacity Horsepower Torque
2020-2021 Subaru Forester 2.5L 4 cylinder engine 1,500 pounds1 182 hp 176 lb-ft
2019 Subaru Forester 2.5L 4 cylinder engine 1,500 pounds1 182 hp 177 lb-ft
2018 Subaru Forester 2.0L 4 cylinder engine 1,500 pounds1 250 hp 258 lb-ft
2018 Subaru Forester 2.5L 4 cylinder engine 1,500 pounds1 170 hp 174 lb-ft
2017 Subaru Forester 2.0L 4 cylinder engine 1,500 pounds1 250 hp 258 lb-ft
2017 Subaru Forester 2.5L 4 cylinder engine 1,500 pounds1 170 hp 174 lb-ft
2016 Subaru Forester 2.0L 4 cylinder engine 1,500 pounds1 250 hp 258 lb-ft
2015 Subaru Forester 2.0L 4 cylinder engine 1,500 pounds1 250 hp 258 lb-ft
2014 Subaru Forester 2.0L 4 cylinder engine 1,500 pounds1 250 hp 258 lb-ft

Patriot Subaru - Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

1Maximum towing capacity varies by trim level. Trailer brakes may be needed. See your retailer for details.

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