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Subaru Outback to tow 1,700 lbs. - Walleye Message Central
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:39 AM
Willyboy123 Willyboy123 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 62
Default Subaru Outback to tow 1,700 lbs.

Starting to think about a new vehicle. Hoping for something that gets good MPG...but can also tow my boat. Boat, motor, trailer, gear is about 1700 - 1800 lbs. Looking for actual experiences from anyone using the Outback. Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2021, 07:15 AM
guidedfishing's Avatar
guidedfishing guidedfishing is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northwest, WI.
Posts: 320

My wife has a 2021 outback, with the 2.4L turbo. It is rated at 3500lbs. It is capable of towing my 2000lb boat but I would not do it for any great distance. It has plenty of power, and this thing has better traction & clearance at climbing over or out of a hole than any 4x4 pickup or jeep. My wife loves it. The mileage is reflected in how much of a beast this thing is. It avgs about 28-29 mpg on the highway. If I am careful I can coax 30 mpg out of it. No were near that if towing.

Truth be told if I am towing my boat it goes on the back of my 3/4 ton diesel, I have no fear of stopping or of any concerns for tongue weight. The Outback will do it, but I have a better option. A lighter boat or trailer it will certainly not have any problems with. I think the Onyx XT that we have is rated at 350lbs tongue weight 3500lb towing, the standard version is 270lb tongue and 2700 lb towing. We went with the 2.4 turbo so we had the towing option if needed.

Your curb weight is about 3900Lbs, so putting a 1700lb boat and trailer behind it definitely changes your breaking ability.

pay attention to tongue weight rating and you should be fine. You will have to drive slower and anticipate breaking.
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:18 AM
Snowking Snowking is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Germantown, WI, USA.
Posts: 2,124

Since you have not bought yet. I would stop at a recycle center and get your boat weighed with your normal gear and fuel. You can also weigh at some truck stops. Just to make sure you are at 1800 lbs. normally at recycle center weigh boat and truck. Pull off and take trailer off. Then they weigh your truck. Subtract the difference. Allot of times boat and trailer weigh more then you think. Once you add all your stuff into the boat.
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:21 PM
Willyboy123 Willyboy123 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 62

Thanks for the replies. Good info and advice.
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Old 08-02-2021, 01:34 PM
andy6092 andy6092 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 66

Be careful. If your Subaru has a CVT I would advise against towing. CVT'S Aren't designed to tow like your standard auto/manual transmission which have gears. CVT's are engineered mainly for fuel economy. The metal bands are similar to a chain and when stressed, stretch out, causing slippage. I would recommend doing some research on CVT's and how they perform when towing before going whole hog. We have a Subaru with a CVT and enjoy it so far. Not trying to be that guy, but I just want you to look at this at all angles.

Best of luck.
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Old 08-03-2021, 06:52 AM
bubba800 bubba800 is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Anoka Cty, Minnesota, USA.
Posts: 494

Go on youtube and look up any number of 'boat ramp fails' and watch what happens when the tow vehicle is inadequate. Towing is one issue, a bigger issue is stopping the load.
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Old 08-05-2021, 06:57 AM
DD73 DD73 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 131

I use a 2017 Outback to tow a Alumacraft Classic 165. Probably more weight than what you’re talking about with hull, motor, trailer, gear. Still well under 2700 lb rating.

No issues, towing over mostly flat areas. I am never driving as fast when towing. On highways I don’t go over 72-73 mph. Trailered it on half-dozen trips of 4+ hours one-way with no problems, and many many shorter trips of 30 min.

Does it tow as well as a full-size truck or SUV, nope. But it’s fine for the type of load you’re talking about.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:42 PM
terrapin terrapin is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 347

My wife towed my 16 foot tiller from Minnesota to N Idaho with her Subaru. We had no negative issues (other than backing up). She said she definitely noticed it back there in terms of passing and acceleration.

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