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Registered
2002 Forester S
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
Hope this post is in the right place!
I am hoping someone can help me with my question.
The newer Subaru Foresters supposedly have a towing capacity of 1500lbs (older models like my 02 were rated at 3000).
On one of these Subaru forums I thought I read somewhere that I should ignore the newer rating as that was just the dealer being safe???
-that the vehicle did not change as far as towing capacity, but the manufacturer wanted to be overly cautious
-that I could still put a hitch on a newer Forester and tow my 5x8 trailer fine...just ignore the manufacturers new recommendation
I am totally confused as to what I am doing.
It's time for me to buy or start looking for a newer model. I love my subie and it has been very good to me...despite having a hard time finding a good mechanic to work on it for me.
I am looking for another 4 cylinder that is good on gas, and I would even like another forester. The towing capacity has me questioning things though.
I still want to be able to pull my 5x8 trailer comfortably and safely.
I don't know that I feel comfortable just ignoring the new capacity rules....aren't they put in place for a reason?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for reading. :confused:
 

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Registered
2011 Forester X Premium AT
Joined
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154 Posts
I believe the cvt transmission was the reasoning behind the reduced towing rating for 2014+. 2011-2013 have the same engine as the 2014+, but have a 2400lb towing capacity with the 4 speed auto transmission..so the only real change was the cvt. My 2011 tows 1000-1500lbs safely without trailer brakes even at 5k-8k altitude and up/down mountain passes (albeit very slowly on the way up), so the FB2.5 engine isn't the limiting factor. You just have to make a decision about how tough you think the cvt transmission is.

Maybe figure out how much your 5x8 trailer actually weighs, whether or not you'll be towing up/down hills, how far and at what speeds, the condition of your brakes/suspension, etc, and then make a determination as to what you're comfortable towing with. You could also get a newer Outback which has a 2700lb towing capacity.

Note to all: I'm ignoring the legal aspect of the decision and just speaking to what the car is physically capable of.
 

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Registered
2017 Forester Touring CVT
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1,308 Posts
I need to tow my motorcycle on a fairly light 3 rail trailer sometimes. Like this Friday in fact.
But I refuse to put a hitch on my 17’. If it were leased Id do it, but I bought this car for the long haul.
So even though I need to tow, I wont because of the CVT.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Registered
2014 Forester
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10 Posts
The new tow rating has to do more with the new federal tow standards...(I'll try to find the info on this in my free time or you can do your own research) Basically as of (don't quote me 2014) vehicle manufactures were required to meet new federal standards. The forester can easily handle more than the 1500lbs but you are subject to liability if you are ever in an accident. A 5x8 trailer is a pretty small trailer. I'm not sure what you're looking to tow on it but the trailer itself probably has a 1500lb axel that you wouldn't want to over load. I personally tow on occasion a 5.5x10 solid side aluminum trailer with mulch, a lawnmower, helping move someone etc....never had an issue. I monitor the cvt temps with a bluetooth code reader and it has always been well within temp ranges.
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S
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492 Posts
The different ratings are based on towing speed. Road speeds in North America are generally higher than in the EU. More mass (trailer) is harder to stop from higher speeds. The lower road speeds in Europe allow Subaru to spec a slightly higher trailer weight without any physical change to the vehicle.
 

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SeasonedStalker
2017 XT Touring in CBS HT CVT
Joined
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334 Posts
In my experience with towing a 1750 lb trailer the limiting factor is thermal management of the CVT. An installation of a Hayden 679 auxiliary transmission cooler direct to the hard lines from the transmission & bypassing the stock warmer brought my CVT temperatures back down to well within the range I'm comfortable running (sub 200). Combined with fluid changes every 30k miles on differentials and CVT along with the responsible following distances associated with towing it's an awesome tow vehicle.
 

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Registered
2007 Forester Auto
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4 Posts
I second what you said. I tow a travel trailer weighing about1800# and the cvt is great. I don’t have a cooler (yet) but change fluids occassionally. I also have electric brakes.
 
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