Subaru Forester Towing Capacity: Explore the Impressive Hauling Power

Sarah Khan
Sarah Khan
7 min read

Review by: Sarah Khan
Towing Tips

The 2024 Subaru Forester compact SUV is a true powerhouse when it comes to towing capabilities, outshining many of its competitors. With its robust engineering and cutting-edge towing technologies, the Forester empowers adventurers to bring along their favorite recreational toys on their next outdoor excursion. This comprehensive guide delves deep into the Forester's towing capacities, influential factors, advanced features, and practical tips for safe and efficient towing.

Maximum Towing Capacity: A Closer Look

The Forester's towing capacity varies across its trim levels, catering to diverse hauling needs. Here's a breakdown of the maximum towing capacities:

Trim LevelMaximum Towing Capacity
Base1,500 lbs
Premium1,500 lbs
Sport1,500 lbs
Limited1,500 lbs
Touring1,500 lbs
Wilderness3,000 lbs

To unlock these maximum capacities, the Forester must be equipped with the manufacturer's towing package, which includes a Class II hitch receiver and wiring harness. Additionally, trailer brakes may be required, especially for heavier loads, to ensure optimal control and safety.

Factors Influencing Towing Capacity

Several key factors contribute to the Forester's towing prowess, each playing a crucial role in determining its overall towing capabilities.

  • Engine Power: All Forester trims are powered by a robust 2.5L 4-cylinder BOXER engine that delivers 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. This potent powerplant provides ample muscle to confidently tow within the stated capacities, ensuring a smooth and responsive driving experience.

  • Transmission: The Forester comes standard with a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that seamlessly adapts to varying towing demands. This advanced transmission offers multiple driving modes, including Intelligent, Sport, and manual shift paddles, allowing you to optimize performance and fuel efficiency while towing.

  • Proper Equipment: To achieve maximum towing capabilities, it is crucial to equip the Forester with the manufacturer's towing package. This comprehensive package includes a Class II hitch receiver and wiring harness, ensuring a secure and compatible connection with your trailer. Additionally, trailer brakes may be required, especially for heavier trailers, to enhance control and safety.

Advanced Towing Features and Technologies

The 2024 Subaru Forester is equipped with a suite of advanced towing features and technologies designed to enhance safety, control, and confidence while towing.

Trailer Stability AssistEmploys sophisticated sensors to detect and mitigate trailer sway caused by factors such as crosswinds or sudden maneuvers, helping stabilize the trailer and restore control.
Vehicle Dynamics ControlContinuously monitors steering and braking inputs, actively adjusting power distribution and braking force to maintain optimal control and stability, counteracting the additional weight and momentum of the trailer.
X-MODE with Hill Descent ControlOptimizes the vehicle's traction and braking control, providing enhanced grip on slippery surfaces and precise speed management when descending steep inclines, even with a trailer in tow.

Towing Versatility: What Can the Forester Handle?

With its impressive towing capacities, the 2024 Subaru Forester can handle a wide range of recreational equipment and trailers, making it the perfect companion for outdoor enthusiasts.

  • 1,500 lbs Capacity:

    • Small utility trailers

    • Pop-up campers

    • Small boats

    • Jet skis

    • Lightweight camping trailers

  • 3,000 lbs Capacity (Wilderness Trim):

    • Larger camping trailers

    • Small to medium-sized boats

    • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)

    • Snowmobiles

    • Larger utility trailers

Moreover, the Forester's generous 74.2 cu.ft. maximum cargo space, with the rear seats folded down, ensures ample room for all your camping gear, sports equipment, and other essentials, making it the ultimate adventure-ready SUV.

Comparison to Competitors

When it comes to towing capabilities in the compact SUV segment, the 2024 Subaru Forester stands out from the crowd, particularly with the Wilderness trim's impressive 3,000 lbs rating.

CompetitorMaximum Towing Capacity
Honda CR-V1,500 lbs
Toyota RAV41,500-3,500 lbs
Ford Bronco SportUp to 2,200 lbs
Jeep CherokeeUp to 4,500 lbs

While the Jeep Cherokee offers a higher towing capacity, the Forester Wilderness provides a compelling balance of towing power and compact SUV versatility, making it an ideal choice for those who need to tow larger camping trailers or boats without the need for a larger, thirstier mid-size SUV.

Properly Equipping for Towing

To maximize the Forester's towing capabilities and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it is essential to properly equip your vehicle for the task at hand.

  • Order the Appropriate Trim Level: Start by selecting the Forester trim level that aligns with your desired towing capacity rating – either the 1,500 lbs capacity for the Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, or Touring trims, or the 3,000 lbs capacity for the Wilderness trim.

  • Add the Towing Package: Next, opt for the manufacturer's towing package, which includes a Class II hitch receiver and wiring harness. This package ensures a secure and compatible connection with your trailer, as well as proper electrical integration for trailer lighting and braking systems.

  • Use a Weight-Distributing Hitch: For trailers with a tongue weight exceeding 1,000 lbs, it is recommended to use a weight-distributing hitch. This specialized hitch distributes the trailer's tongue weight evenly across the Forester's axles, improving stability and handling while towing.

  • Install Trailer Brakes: If your trailer exceeds 1,000 lbs in weight, it is crucial to install trailer brakes. These brakes work in tandem with the Forester's braking system, providing additional stopping power and control, especially in emergency situations or when descending steep grades.

  • Never Exceed Stated Towing Capacity: Adhering to the Forester's stated towing capacity is paramount for safe and reliable operation. Overloading the vehicle can compromise its handling, braking, and overall performance, potentially leading to dangerous situations.

  • Proper Loading and Weight Distribution: Ensure that the trailer's load is properly distributed and secured. Proper weight distribution not only enhances stability and control but also optimizes the Forester's handling characteristics, making for a more enjoyable and confident towing experience.

Towing Safety: Best Practices

While the 2024 Subaru Forester is engineered to excel at towing, it is essential to prioritize safety and follow best practices to ensure a smooth and secure journey.

  • Pre-Trip Inspections: Conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection, checking the trailer's lights, tires, hitch connection, and overall condition to ensure everything is in proper working order.

  • Allow for Longer Stopping Distances: When towing a trailer, allow for longer stopping distances. The added weight and momentum of the trailer can significantly increase the distance required to bring the vehicle to a complete stop, especially in emergency situations.

  • Avoid Sudden Maneuvers and Drive at Moderate Speeds: Sudden maneuvers, such as abrupt lane changes or sharp turns, can destabilize the trailer and compromise control. Always drive at moderate speeds and make gradual, deliberate maneuvers to maintain stability and control.

  • Use Lower Gears/Transmission Modes: When climbing steep grades or descending inclines, engage lower gears or transmission modes. This practice helps maintain better control, reduces strain on the engine and brakes, and enhances overall stability.

  • Take Frequent Breaks: Towing can be mentally and physically demanding, especially on long journeys. To avoid fatigue and maintain alertness, take frequent breaks to stretch, hydrate, and rest.

  • Consider a Towing Course: For those new to towing or seeking to enhance their skills, consider enrolling in a towing course. These courses provide valuable insights, techniques, and hands-on experience to help you become a confident and proficient tower.


The 2024 Subaru Forester's impressive towing capabilities, coupled with its advanced towing technologies and robust engineering, make it a standout choice for adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its class-leading towing capacity in the Wilderness trim, the Forester empowers you to bring along your favorite recreational toys, from camping trailers to boats and ATVs, without compromising on the versatility and efficiency of a compact SUV. By understanding the factors influencing towing capacity, equipping your vehicle properly, and following safe towing practices, you can embark on your next adventure with confidence and peace of mind.


What is the maximum towing capacity of the 2024 Subaru Forester?

The maximum towing capacity of the 2024 Subaru Forester is 3,000 lbs for the Wilderness trim. For other trims, the towing capacity is limited to 1,500 lbs.

How does the Subaru Forester's towing capacity compare to competitors?

The Forester Wilderness trim's 3,000 lbs towing capacity is competitive in the compact SUV segment, providing a good balance of towing power and compact versatility.

What engine powers the 2024 Subaru Forester?

The 2024 Subaru Forester is powered by a 2.5L 4-cylinder BOXER engine that delivers 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque.

What is the fuel economy of the 2024 Subaru Forester?

The EPA rates the 2024 Subaru Forester at 29 mpg combined, which is near the top of its class for fuel efficiency.

What advanced towing features does the 2024 Subaru Forester offer?

The 2024 Forester offers features like Trailer Stability Assist, Vehicle Dynamics Control, and X-MODE with Hill Descent Control to enhance towing safety and control.

What is the cargo capacity of the 2024 Subaru Forester?

The 2024 Subaru Forester offers 762L of cargo space with the seats up and 1,957L with the rear seats folded down.

What safety ratings did the 2024 Subaru Forester receive?

The 2024 Subaru Forester received the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating and a Five Star rating from the NHTSA.

What driver assistance features are available on the 2024 Subaru Forester?

The 2024 Forester comes standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which includes features like Automatic Emergency Steering, Pre-Collision Braking, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

How does the 2024 Subaru Forester perform off-road?

The 2024 Forester, especially the Wilderness trim, is capable off-road with features like increased ground clearance, all-terrain tires, and X-MODE for enhanced traction control.

What is the starting price of the 2024 Subaru Forester?

The 2024 Subaru Forester has a starting price of $31,995 for the base trim.

Sarah Khan
Sarah Khan

Sarah isn't your average gearhead. With a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Automotive Technology, she dived straight into the world of car repair. After 15 years of turning wrenches at dealerships and independent shops, Sarah joined MICDOT to share her expertise and passion for making cars run like new. Her in-depth knowledge and knack for explaining complex issues in simple terms make her a valuable asset to our team.

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