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Subaru Crosstrek Vs Toyota 4Runner - High Altitude Towing Will Surprise You

How much will a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek tow? Check out TFL’s towing test against the bigger Toyota 4Runner. The results may surprise you.

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How much can you tow with the Subaru Crosstrek, and how well does it do at altitude? The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek will tow up to 1,500 lbs, which is less than the 2022 Subaru Outback’s 3,500 lbs and the 2022 Forester Wilderness’ 3,000 lbs. How does the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek with a 2.0-liter Boxer engine with 152 horsepower do against the bigger Toyota 4Runner with a 4.0-liter engine, 5,000 lb tow rating, and 270 horsepower? No contest, right?

TFL took a Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and a Subaru Crosstrek and ran them up I-70 to the top of Eisenhower Tunnel in Colorado for the “world’s toughest towing test” at altitude. Both vehicles pulled a 1,500-pound teardrop trailer built by Colorado Teardrops.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek features, specs, pricing, towing
photo credit: TFL Car

The Eisenhower Tunnel tops out at 11,158 feet in elevation, and the Crosstrek surprisingly reached the summit in about the same time as the Toyota 4Runner, which shocked the two TFL testers in the video below.

The Toyota 4Runner did well and took 7 minutes 59 seconds to reach the top of the Eisenhower Tunnel. The Subaru Crosstrek pulled the same mountain pass and took 8 minutes 39 seconds; just 40 seconds longer to reach the top.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek features, specs, pricing, towing
photo credit: TFL Car

The smaller Crosstrek reached 60 mph at 5200 - 6000 rpm and had minimal cabin noise compared with the louder 4Runner. The Crosstrek 2.0-liter four-cylinder reaches maximum power at 6,000 rpm.

If the team had tested the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport or Limited trim level with the larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine, they would have had even better results. It produces 182 horsepower, would have had more power and torque, and could easily beat the bigger Toyota 4Runner.

What is the price of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek?

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek comes in five trim levels for customers. The base trim is priced from $23,295, Premium ($24,345), all-new Sport ($27,545), and Limited ($29,045). Prices include destination and delivery fees ($1,050). The Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro’s price is $52,000. TFL had a Crosstrek Premium trim during this test at less than half the price ($24,345).

If you want a Subaru Crosstrek to tow more, you should wait for the next-generation 2023 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness coming in the spring of 2023. It will come with a 2.5-liter engine and will likely have an increased tow rating like the Forester Wilderness with a 3,000 lb tow rating. Check it out in the report below.

You Might Also Like: The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Launch Date And Upgrade Details

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: main image - TFL Car

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