2023 Subaru Ascent Towing Capacity

The versatile 2023 Subaru Ascent brings a winning combination of multi-passenger practicality, SUV capability, and trademark Subaru ruggedness to families on the go.

With room for up to 8, a 2,000-lb tow rating out of the box, and a spacious, flexible interior layout, the Ascent handles everyday adventures and road trips with ease. Plus, the standard symmetrical all-wheel drive gives added traction and handling confidence in all weather conditions.

But the Ascent flexes its muscles when you add the available tow package, boosting maximum towing capacity to a hefty 5,000 pounds! That puts it right on par with truck-based midsize SUVs. Suddenly this family hauler can tow boats, ATV trailers, campers, and more serious toys. Yet it retains a smooth, car-like ride and up to 26 mpg on the highway.

With three rows of seating, lots of infotainment features to keep passengers happy, and some of Subaru’s latest active safety tech, the Ascent is the total package for active clans craving space, capability, and substance from their SUV.

2023 Subaru Ascent Towing Capacity

2023 Subaru Ascent Towing Capacity

Keep reading as we take an in-depth look at exactly what the 2023 Ascent can tow.

How Much Can the 2023 Subaru Ascent Tow?

When outfitted with the optional towing package and trailer hitch receiver, the maximum towing capacity for all 2023 Ascent models is 5,000 pounds. Without the tow package, the capacity is reduced to just 2,000 pounds.

It’s important to verify your exact tow rating through the Ascent’s door jamb label or owner’s manual. Tow rating can vary slightly depending on specific model year, drivetrain configuration, and factory options.

2023 Subaru Ascent Payload Capacity

In addition to towing ability, payload capacity is important for hauling cargo and passengers. The 2023 Ascent has a maximum payload of 1,570 pounds. This can accommodate up to 8 occupants plus gear. Just be mindful not to exceed payload limits when towing near the Ascent’s max rating.

2023 Subaru Ascent Tow Package Contents

The Subaru Ascent towing package includes:

  • Trailer hitch receiver
  • Wiring harness
  • Engine oil cooler
  • Transmission fluid cooler

This equipment helps prevent overheating and gives the necessary electrical connections for trailer lighting, brakes, and charge lines. A load-leveling suspension system is not included but can be added to improve handling when towing heavy loads.

Towing Capacity By Engine and Drivetrain

All 2023 Ascent models use the same turbocharged 2.4L 4-cylinder Boxer engine, producing 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. This engine works alongside a high-torque Lineartronic CVT and standard all-wheel-drive system to give strong towing performance. The turbo engine provides more low-end power than a typical naturally aspirated engine.

Towing Capacity By Trim Level

When equipped with the tow package, the towing capacity is a maximum of 5,000 pounds regardless of trim level. The 2023 Subaru Ascent is available in Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited and Touring trims. Even base models can handle this max 5,000-pound tow rating when outfitted properly.

Ascent Towing Capacity vs Competitors

The Ascent stacks up nicely against its midsize SUV rivals, with a competitive max tow rating:

  • Subaru Ascent: 5,000 pounds
  • Toyota Highlander: 5,000 pounds
  • Honda Pilot: 5,000 pounds
  • Hyundai Palisade: 5,000 pounds
  • Ford Explorer: 5,300 pounds

The Ascent holds advantages in torque production from its turbo engine and grip capability from its standard all-wheel-drive system. This can lend more confidence when towing at or near max capacity.

2023 Subaru Ascent Towing Capacity Chart

Model Max Towing Capacity
2023 Subaru Ascent 5,000 lbs
2023 Subaru Outback 3,500 lbs
2023 Subaru Forester 3,000 lbs
2023 Subaru Crosstrek 1,500 lbs
2023 Subaru Solterra 1,500 lbs

FAQs on 2023 Subaru Ascent Towing Capacity:

  • What’s the standard towing capacity on the 2023 Subaru Ascent?

The standard towing capacity without the towing package is 2,000 pounds.

  • Does tongue weight count towards tow rating?

Yes. The Ascent’s 5,000 pound rating includes tongue/hitch weight, which should be 10-15% of the total trailer weight.

  • Can I flat tow the Ascent behind an RV?

No. The Ascent should not be flat towed as this can damage the AWD system. Use a tow dolly instead.

  • What size trailer brake controller does the Ascent use?

The Ascent is prewired for an aftermarket trailer brake controller. Recommended capacity is time-delayed, proportional type rated for 5,000 lbs.

  • How much can the Ascent tow if I only hook up the lights?

Even if just the trailer lighting is connected, the max tow rating remains 5,000 lbs when properly equipped. Always follow tow limits.

  • Does the Ascent require an external transmission oil cooler for towing?

No. The transmission fluid cooler is integrated into the Ascent’s available towing package from the factory.

  • Can I put a hitch on the Ascent without the tow package?

Yes, however, the maximum tow rating drops to just 1,500 lbs without the factory towing package installed.

  • Will towing damage my Ascent’s CVT transmission?

No. The Ascent CVT is designed to take on max tow loads when equipped properly. The trans fluid cooler prevents damage.

  • Can I tow a boat with my Ascent?

Yes. With a max 5,000 lb tow rating, the Ascent can tow average-sized boats. Always follow boat and trailer weight limits.

  • Does the Ascent need heavy duty engine oil for towing?

Subaru’s 0W-20 synthetic oil is sufficient even under max towing loads in Ascent when changed regularly.

Source: https://www.subaru.com/vehicles/ascent


When it comes to towing, the 2023 Subaru Ascent SUV pulls its weight…literally up to 5,000 pounds worth when properly equipped with the factory tow package! That’s enough capability to haul most medium-duty trailers or watercraft.

Just slide in the included hitch receiver and connect the wiring harness. Combined with its punchy turbo engine, all-wheel grip, and roomy interior that seats eight, the Ascent shapes up to be a well-rounded family adventure mobile.

Sure, a few hardcore truck-based rigs may out-tow the Ascent. But among midsized crossovers, the Ascent claims bragging rights with class-leading tow ratings and trail-ready confidence right off the Subaru showroom floor.

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