Subaru attracts customers with active lifestyles and they want a vehicle with a “go-anywhere” attitude which the Forester has in its DNA. But Subaru Corporation failed these adventurous customers by not improving the new fifth-generation Forester’s tow rating. If you want to tow anything larger than a small utility trailer with the newly-redesigned Forester SUV, you are out of luck.
The fifth-generation Forester does get a newly-upgraded 2.5-liter boxer engine with direct injection, higher compression, along with active valve control system (AVCS) on the exhaust side. The new engine produces 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, versus 170 hp and 174 lb-ft in the previous-generation Forester.
The 2019 Forester is off-road ready featuring a driver-selectable X-Mode with Hill Descent Control Active AWD front/rear clutch force, brakes and the Vehicle Dynamics Control system to optimize wheel control on slippery surfaces and steep inclines. The Sport, Limited and Touring models come standard with a dual-mode version of X-Mode that offers Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes for even more off-road capability. So why not a higher tow rating?
Forester still comes with 1500 lb tow rating
But Forester’s powertrain only allows up to 1,500-lb. towing capacity. The 2019 Forester does come standard with a Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) helping maintain vehicle stability while towing. But you can’t tow as much as the Outback and new Ascent family hauler.
Many owners are looking for a vehicle that will tow a small camper, boat or multi-purpose trailer. Forester can tow a small utility trailer, but for anything bigger, you'll need the Outback or Ascent. The Subaru Outback has a 2,700 lb. rating (3,000 lb. with optional 3.6-liter engine). The new Ascent will tow up to 5000 lbs. The small SUV competition even offers a higher tow rating. RAV4 Hybrid (1750 lb.), Mazda CX-5 (2,000 lb.), Ford Escape (1500-2000 lb.).
The new 2019 Subaru Forester still only offers a 1,500 lb. tow rating like the outgoing model. Subaru Corp failed those customers wanting to tow their small camper, boat or multi-purpose trailer.
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Photo credit: Subaru Corporation