Can a Subaru Crosstrek tow a pop up camper? (3 pros & cons)

In today’s article, we will discuss: Can a Subaru Crosstrek tow a pop up camper? We will discuss Subaru Crosstrek engine, stability and performance when towing. 

Can a Subaru Crosstrek tow a pop up camper?

Yes, a Subaru Crosstrek can tow a pop-up camper. The maximum towing capacity of a Crosstrek is 1500 lbs (680 kg), which is enough for a small pop-up camper, trailer, lightweight boat or bicycle trailer. 

We must mention, though, that the 2013-2016 Subaru Crosstrek hybrid models are not recommended for towing and do not specify a weight rating!

Subaru Crosstrek Towing Capacity

Type of camperMax Towing Capacity
Unbraked Trailer1000 lbs (453 kg)
Braked Trailer1500 lbs (680 kg)
Towing on a long uphill grade for over 5 miles (8km)750 lbs (340 kg)

The pros and cons of towing with a Subaru Crosstrek

The pros of towing with a Subaru Crosstrek are: 

  • General road behavior and ride comfort
  • Generous ground clearance
  • 682 kg or 1,500 lb towing capacity (453 kg or 1,000 lb for the 2020 plug-in hybrid model)
  • All-wheel drive as standard

The downsides of towing with a Subaru Crosstrek:

  • Lack of vigor in acceleration (base engine)
  • Noisy engine (basic engine)
  • Center console intrusive for the driver’s legs.
  • No seat comfort.

Towing with a Subaru Crosstrek: engine and performance

With its new, more powerful optional engine mated to a CVT, the new Subaru Crosstrek model will attract new buyers who previously looked to the competition.

This symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive crossover skillfully combines the features and handling of the Impreza hatchback with those of an SUV, including a more robust appearance, a cargo capacity of 1,565 L (588 L seats up) and generous ground clearance (220 mm or 8.7 in) allowing it to venture off the beaten track.

The Crosstrek can also tow a trailer up to 680 kg (1,500 lb) – a rare feature in this class.

Those looking for the slightly more impetuous side of a Subaru could not find their account with the 2 L engine. But this is no longer the case with the 2.5 L borrowed from the Forester which deploys a cavalry of 182 horsepower and produces 176 lb-ft of torque. Despite its more imposing cavalry, this engine announces a consumption (city/highway) of 8.7 L / 6.9 L per 100 km.

The base 2.0L 4-cylinder engine provides good fuel efficiency, especially when equipped with the CVT (continuously variable) transmission. Paired with this, it consumes 8.5 L / 5 L (city/highway) per 100 km while fuel consumption increases to 10.5 L / 8.1 with the manual transmission.

However, the 2.0L engine lacks the fierceness and vigour that performance enthusiasts are looking for. It produces a powerful 152 horsepower at 6000 rpm c which is more than enough for city driving. But we would like a little more generous torque to ensure a little faster acceleration, especially to integrate more easily on the motorway. The 2L develops 145 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.

On the mechanical side, the Crosstrek also received some front suspension upgrades. In addition, the calibration has been changed at the front and rear in order to optimize the handling and general road behaviour of the vehicle.

Subaru Crosstrek towing equipment and safety

The assistance of the 88 kW (118 hp) electric drive motor is felt and results in brighter acceleration than the model equipped with the 2.0L motor. But don’t expect stellar performance when towing. The range in 100% electric mode is only 27 km, which is a weakness compared to the competition.

If cargo space is one of your priorities, know that to make room for the components of the hybrid system, the vehicle’s cargo capacity is reduced to 1220 L (seats folded) and 447 L to (behind the 2nd row of seats).

Another weak point of the plug-in hybrid version for the 2020 model year is that it is only offered as a high-end Limited version ($ 44,533 plus tax), which is extremely equipped. She still enjoys discounts of $ 4,000 on purchase or lease (48 months) from the provincial government and $ 2,500 from the federal government.

Available in many versions, including a plug-in hybrid, the Crosstrek 2021 allows you to customize your vehicle according to your needs and preferences. The lineup includes the following versions: Convenience, Convenience with EyeSight, Touring, Touring with EyeSight, Outdoor, Sport, Sport with EyeSight and Limited. The price range is between $ 23,795 and $ 34,495.

The Crosstrek Outdoor is packed with an array of features and amenities, starting with the 2.5L engine and the X-MODE dual function that complements Subaru’s full-time all-wheel drive. The dual function system is characterized by its two settings, one for snow/dirt, the other for deep snow/mud. 

On other models equipped with the X-MODE function, the system is activated at the push of a button. It works in conjunction with all-wheel drive to assist the driver on climbs and descents.

Its safety equipment includes Subaru EyeSight Driver Assistance Technology, an advanced driver assistance system that acts as a second pair of eyes. It alerts the driver in the event of imminent danger and can even intervene to avoid danger. 

EyeSight uses two cameras, which continuously monitor the road ahead, as well as four driver assistance technologies: adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and acceleration management systems, and crash alert. sway and course deviation.

The Crosstrek Outdoor is also distinguished by several exclusive aesthetic elements, such as the exterior colour of plasma yellow pearl, available as an option exclusively on this model.

Final thoughts

Based on the same platform as the Impreza, the Crosstrek represented a new crossover from one of the world’s best-known all-wheel-drive automakers: Subaru.

Subaru has manufactured all-wheel-drive vehicles for over 40 years, but its experience in off-road vehicles was limited.

The Forester, Tribeca or Brat were perfect for short off-road trips. But when it comes to SUVs, its models aren’t afraid of some grassy paths, slippery surfaces or sand. The Crosstrek was built to improve handling on these surfaces.

From the outside, the black over-backs of the wheel arches and the plastic guards under the bumpers could make it look like an all-terrain vehicle. But the intention of the builder was to build a crossover and that is what was done. With its hatchback body, sculpted doors and side panels, and curved lines, it was like an Impreza with boots on. The 17-inch light-alloy rims featured a specific design for the Crosstrek.

Inside, the Crosstrek had a bucket seat in the front and a three-person bench in the back. A 6.2 “or 7.0” infotainment system was installed on the centre stack. For the instrument cluster, a two-dial layout with a TFT information display placed between the speedometer and tachometer was placed behind the three-spoke steering wheel. At the top of the dashboard, an additional screen has been installed to display some basic information.

For transmission, the Crosstrek was available with a 2.0-litre boxer engine mated to a 5-speed manual or CVT. The Crosstrek was available exclusively with an all-wheel drive system.

Do you have questions, comments or suggestions on towing with a Subaru Crosstrek? Let us know!

FAQ on Can a Subaru Crosstrek tow a pop up camper?

How much can a Subaru Crosstrek tow?

A Subaru Crosstrek can tow up to 1500 lbs (680 kg), which is enough for a small pop-up camper, trailer, lightweight boat or bicycle trailer. 

Which Subaru has the best towing capacity?

Subaru Ascent has the best towing capacity. The car can pull up to 5000 pounds! Whether you’re towing a boat or a small camper, the Ascent has the goods to handle the task.

What SUVs can tow 5000 pounds?

The following SUVs can tow 5000 pounds and more:

  • Nissan Pathfinder (6000 lbs);
  • Chevrolet Tahoe (8600 lbs);
  • Dodge Durango (8700 lbs);
  • Ford Expedition (9300 lbs).


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