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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone-

I recently ordered a base model Ascent before a full lineup of specs/comparisons were posted.

Yesterday, after reading a couple of new reviews after the press event in Oregon over the weekend, it became clear that the base model only has a 2,000 lb tow capacity vs. the next trim level and above having a 5,000 lb.

I cannot find any information about any mechanical differences in engine, trans, suspension or brakes that would justify the difference. I dont see anything about a trans cooler either...

Lastly, when I called my salesman yesterday he said 'oh, there is no way that is true' only later to be told it was true, and he admitted that he didnt know that it was less than 5,000 lbs.

So, does anyone have any idea why this is the case? I dont tow frequently, but by the time I hook up a trailer and add some weight, I'll be over 2,000 lbs quickly.

Thanks for any help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the additional information...I had been scouring all over the place to find it, and wasnt able to.

Looking forward to receiving our new Ascent, hopefully we can figure something out with regard to the tow capacity!
 

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It's not that you can't pull 5000lbs, it can, but your tranny will overheat fast. It's surprising that a $50 tranny cooler can boost the towing capacity by 100%+, isn't it? This was the reason why I said in other threads that the duty cycle (@ max towing capacity) of the Ascent is very low, only limited to pulling 5000lbs across the neighborhood w/ flat terrain - that's it.

Generally, don't try to pull sh*ts w/ the Ascent, maybe a small Uhaul trailer.
 

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So, at 5,000 pounds rating, does that mean I can tow a small car, perhaps an STI, that weight 3,400 pounds on a dolly or a bed?
 

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So, at 5,000 pounds rating, does that mean I can tow a small car, perhaps an STI, that weight 3,400 pounds on a dolly or a bed?
Someone asked that a couple weeks ago elsewhere. The general opinion is no. There's very very few trailers that would be lightweight enough.

The lightest all aluminum trailers I could find are over 1,400 pounds.

So, if you emptied the car, including fuel most likely, you'd be at the vehicle limit, once you include hitch, cables, safety chains, etc.

You'd also have to be very careful on how you balanced the thing. The STI is decently balanced front to back, but parking it a bit off in either direction puts too much or too little on the tongue. Dead center would put maximum on the tongue.

http://www.aluminumtrailer.com/Media/Default/PDF/Brochures/ATC_Open Car Hauler Brochure.pdf

And of course, as you likely already know, you absolutely cannot leave two wheels on the ground when towing that car. Replacing the viscous coupling isn't fun - and you'll definitely destroy it (or something worse). I will say they're very pretty to look at though.

 

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Thanks guys! Was just wondering because of the 5,000 rating. I do also have a F150 Eco for all heavy towing needs but was just wondering. The Ascent would be for light towing like a small trailer to haul junks or camping gears, bikes etc and will surely be under 5,000 pounds. Thanks for the input.
 

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I’ve seen a few videos of the Ascent towing a 4300 lbs trailer. It looked almost effortless. Meaning the Ascent can probably pull 6500 without an issue. Subaru is just being conservative.
 

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Not my thoughts...all the specs call for a MAXIMUM of 5000lbs......from my experience that’s means what it says...be safe and honor the weight restrictions....never ever more and better less....
 

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I’ve seen a few videos of the Ascent towing a 4300 lbs trailer. It looked almost effortless. Meaning the Ascent can probably pull 6500 without an issue. Subaru is just being conservative.
Actually the 4300lb airstream looked like it had the Ascent rear suspension squatting a considerable amount. It also was probably at the 500lb max tongue weight. Rookie tow folks make that kind of assumption all the time. They don’t realize that a 5000lb RV almost always has far more tongue weight than 500lbs. Not to mention two passengers not 4+ luggage dog etc.
 

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I don't see that. Also, FYI, the Airstream is rear heavy. Tongue weight is 400ish.

On the replacement model (4500 pounds), tongue weight is 420 pounds.



I’ve seen a few videos of the Ascent towing a 4300 lbs trailer. It looked almost effortless. Meaning the Ascent can probably pull 6500 without an issue. Subaru is just being conservative.
Actually the 4300lb airstream looked like it had the Ascent rear suspension squatting a considerable amount. It also was probably at the 500lb max tongue weight. Rookie tow folks make that kind of assumption all the time. They don’t realize that a 5000lb RV almost always has far more tongue weight than 500lbs. Not to mention two passengers not 4+ luggage dog etc.
 

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I’ve seen a few videos of the Ascent towing a 4300 lbs trailer. It looked almost effortless. Meaning the Ascent can probably pull 6500 without an issue. Subaru is just being conservative.
Actually the 4300lb airstream looked like it had the Ascent rear suspension squatting a considerable amount. It also was probably at the 500lb max tongue weight. Rookie tow folks make that kind of assumption all the time. They don’t realize that a 5000lb RV almost always has far more tongue weight than 500lbs. Not to mention two passengers not 4+ luggage dog etc.
I get what your saying. Friend of mine has a 2016 Toyota 4Runner. He tows a 3500 lb trailer and it looks so strained and over weight for the vehicle. Also gets about 9 mpg. But the Ascent seemed to handle the trailer weight much more civilized. And do not see the rear end squatting as you posted. If anything it lost **** good for that trailer size and tongue weight. 100 times better than my friends 4Runner.
 

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Add CVT transmission cooler?

Has anyone tried to add (or have the dealer add) the CVT transmission cooler to the base model? I dislike tinted windows and want the base model but the tow rating is giving me pause.
 

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Has anyone tried to add (or have the dealer add) the CVT transmission cooler to the base model? I dislike tinted windows and want the base model but the tow rating is giving me pause.
AFAIK, it comes as a whole assembly, which you can see from the part numbers in the owner's manual. There's a bunch more that goes into it than just the transmission related changes, such as the wiring harnesses for 4 pin power, 7 pin power and brake controller. I am not aware of whether those are installed on the base model or not.
 

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If you really want to tow another car and stay below the GCW of the Ascent just get a tow dolly. Like Robert said, make sure if it's a Subaru that you don't flat tow it without disconnecting the rear driveshaft unless you want to get intimate with the extension housing of the transmission.
If you do disconnect the rear driveshaft and tow with a tow dolly just get ready for a lot of odd looks and people warning you not to do it.
 

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This from Subaru confirming the reason for the low tow rating:

"Thank you for contacting Subaru of America, Inc. We appreciate you taking time out of your day to contact us.

The Ascent Base model is rated for up to 2,000 Lbs. max towing capacity with a tongue weight of 200 lbs.

Models with the higher-rated towing have an air-cooled external transmission fluid cooler installed at the factory.

At the current time, this cooler is not available as an optional accessory for the Ascent Base model. "
 

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This from Subaru confirming the reason for the low tow rating:

"Thank you for contacting Subaru of America, Inc. We appreciate you taking time out of your day to contact us.

The Ascent Base model is rated for up to 2,000 Lbs. max towing capacity with a tongue weight of 200 lbs.

Models with the higher-rated towing have an air-cooled external transmission fluid cooler installed at the factory.

At the current time, this cooler is not available as an optional accessory for the Ascent Base model. "
Thanks, I signed up for this forum to find exactly this information. I was hoping it would be a simple modification to enable the higher tow rating on the base model. Guess not! Oh well good to know!
 
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