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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up a new Limited on Friday with final negotiated deal to include a dealer installed hitch. Out of town on business trip, wife went and got it installed today. Picked up the vehicle with the Curt monstrosity installed rather than the Subaru hitch.

Just venting here....sitting in hotel room really pissed with no one to yell at....and maybe I can be helpful so someone knows the what the Curt hitch looks like if they don’t want the Subaru.

How can the Subaru dealer think this is acceptable when the Subaru is well thought out?

Requesting full removal, including snaked in frame bolts, restoration like new with cut heat shield and spare tire shield replaced, and finally Subaru hitch installed.

I should be calmer by tomorrow.
 

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Well, it's not hidden like the OEM hitch but it looks no worse and actually much better than hitches found on millions of other cars. In fact, if there were no hidden hitch on the Ascent I would be very happy with this one since it's actually integrated very nicely.

Before you condemn this hitch and have it removed, keep in mind that when you actually need to use the OEM hitch, you need to remove the bumper cover which then exposes the hidden hitch. The OEM hitch is far worse looking than this aftermarket hitch when in use. People with the OEM hitch, including me, have been trying to find ways of covering it up when in use because it looks so awful. Overall, this aftermarket hitch may appeal to those who hate the looks of the OEM hitch when in use. I certainly would have considered it if it were available when I purchased my Ascent.

Take a look at the OEM hitch without the cover on and you'll see it looks worse than this.

 

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Well, it's not hidden like the OEM hitch but it looks no worse and actually much better than hitches found on millions of other cars. In fact, if there were no hidden hitch on the Ascent I would be very happy with this one since it's actually integrated very nicely.

Before you condemn this hitch and have it removed, keep in mind that when you actually need to use the OEM hitch, you need to remove the bumper cover which then exposes the hidden hitch. The OEM hitch is far worse looking than this aftermarket hitch when in use. People with the OEM hitch, including me, have been trying to find ways of covering it up when in use because it looks so awful. Overall, this aftermarket hitch may appeal to those who hate the looks of the OEM hitch when in use. I certainly would have considered it if it were available when I purchased my Ascent.

Take a look at the OEM hitch without the cover on and you'll see it looks worse than this.

That's not the point at all. He negotiated and paid for a subaru hitch. You know, the one that is part of the bumper and can be hidden when not in use. I mean if you're worried about how the uncovered hitch looks when in use your trailer better be pristine.
I would be livid if they cut on parts of my car to make an aftermarket hitch install work when I paid for a genuine subaru hitch.
Incredible.
 
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Yea I'd absolutely rage. One of the reasons we ended up ordering was to get it from the factory exactly as we wanted, the hitch being the major factor. Definitely realize that's not always an option and in those cases it should have been handled correctly. I'd love to hear the rationalization for why this was done. :dunno:
 

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Yeah I looked at this again and look at how much it's going to reduce your exit angle! It's what almost 4 inches lower and sticks rearward further. Ugg I feel for you.
 

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Functionally inferior...

Well, it's not hidden like the OEM hitch but it looks no worse and actually much better than hitches found on millions of other cars. In fact, if there were no hidden hitch on the Ascent I would be very happy with this one since it's actually integrated very nicely.

Before you condemn this hitch and have it removed, keep in mind that when you actually need to use the OEM hitch, you need to remove the bumper cover which then exposes the hidden hitch.

Functionality:
It is functionally inferior to the factory hitch. Absolutely every third party hitch to date (that may change in the future) is functionally inferior to the OEM hitch.

Besides being structurally different and loading in different places via different attachment points, it also does not come with 4 and 7 pin trailer power harnesses, trailer brake harness pigtail, or integration into the Reverse Automatic Braking System.

Looks preferences aside, I'd be quite unhappy if I got a vastly inferior product if I'd paid for the genuine thing. Looks don't tow a trailer or allow you to back up without RAB going crazy. :tango_face_wink:

Appearance:
As for looks, I think it looks disgusting, and MUCH prefer the OEM hitch - especially since the rather cheap bumper hitch covers come with the guides to cut a spare to "hide" all but the receiver. But, LOOKS are a personal thing. Nothing wrong with you preferring the looks of the aftermarket hitch.
 

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Yeah I looked at this again and look at how much it's going to reduce your exit angle! It's what almost 4 inches lower and sticks rearward further. Ugg I feel for you.
It will also make it more difficult to pull out the spare tire.
 

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Picked up a new Limited on Friday with final negotiated deal to include a dealer installed hitch. Out of town on business trip, wife went and got it installed today. Picked up the vehicle with the Curt monstrosity installed rather than the Subaru hitch.

Just venting here....sitting in hotel room really pissed with no one to yell at....and maybe I can be helpful so someone knows the what the Curt hitch looks like if they don’t want the Subaru.

How can the Subaru dealer think this is acceptable when the Subaru is well thought out?

Requesting full removal, including snaked in frame bolts, restoration like new with cut heat shield and spare tire shield replaced, and finally Subaru hitch installed.

I should be calmer by tomorrow.
Just curious - what did it say on the we-owe?

You know, the written and signed document that says what the dealer owes and what the customer owes? We ALWAYS specify whether someone wants an OEM hitch or aftermarket hitch on the paperwork.
 

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I am guessing the "we owe" did not say "genuine Subaru hitch." What price did he pay for the Curt hitch? Perhaps the OP did not want to pay full price for the OEM hitch and the dealer made the compromise.

Have to agree with the OP though, he should have received the OEM hitch if that is what he ordered. It should be easy enough for the dealer to exchange the hitches, but I imagine it will cost more than he originally paid.

That's all just a guess though, since we have no paperwork or solid $ figures to go by, yet.
 

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That's not the point at all. He negotiated and paid for a subaru hitch. You know, the one that is part of the bumper and can be hidden when not in use. I mean if you're worried about how the uncovered hitch looks when in use your trailer better be pristine.
I would be livid if they cut on parts of my car to make an aftermarket hitch install work when I paid for a genuine subaru hitch.
Incredible.
He stated that he paid to have a dealer-installed hitch, which does not necessarily mean a dealer-installed Subaru OEM hitch. However, it certainly sounds like that was his intent. It would be interesting to see the fine print on the contract and how much the dealer charged for the Curt hitch, which I assume was less than the OEM hitch. This may be nothing more than a misunderstanding with no sinister intent on the part of the dealership, so I believe it's premature to light the torches and grab the pitchforks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the responses. The hitch was negotiated in free of charge and did not have an amount on the we owe, just signed an initialed by sales manager without designation of Genuine or aftermarket. My mistake I guess.

It was a discussion point with salesman that is what I wanted. Good future learning. To be honest did not think there was another option.

Wife went in to the dealership today for her information about the car appointment ( there is a name from Subaru for it but I don’t remember). Was met by salesman and GM and offered apology and agreed to replace with Subaru and restore per my requests. Since I have self installed hitches on my last 2 vehicles was aware of all the mods required. Below was my email request that has been agreed to in writing.

“My expectation is that this one will be removed, all hardware removed (including the mounting bolts and brackets that had to be snaked internal to the frame, they need to be kept and shown to prove they were not left in the frame), the exhaust heat panels beneath the car that were modified to fit this receiver replaced with new, the spare tire shield reinstalled, frame holes that were enlarged to be fully primed and painted to prevent corrosion, frame plugs reinstalled with a remedy for the holes that were enlarged, and finally the genuine Subaru hitch installed.”

Explanation was Curt has higher tongue weight rating and that is what the usually do. Shows lack of knowledge about the Ascent. Was not even the dealer, sent to someone else for aftermarket install.
 

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I'm glad to hear they are taking care of it.

As for the Ascent OEM hitch, it's a vastly new thing for dealers, so, it's not uncommon that they may not be aware of the differences since they haven't dealt with a Subaru hitch before.
 

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Explanation was Curt has higher tongue weight rating and that is what the usually do. Shows lack of knowledge about the Ascent. Was not even the dealer, sent to someone else for aftermarket install.
As for the Ascent OEM hitch, it's a vastly new thing for dealers, so, it's not uncommon that they may not be aware of the differences since they haven't dealt with a Subaru hitch before.
Sorrry, Robert, but this is one time where Cleo is right.

It doesn't matter what the tongue weight rating of the HITCH is, what matters is the tongue weight rating of the VEHICLE.

Maximum towing / tongue weight for the Forester or Crosstrek is 1,500 / 150 pounds.
Maximum towing / tongue weight for the Outback is 2,700 / 200 pounds.
Maximum towing / tongue weight for the base Ascent is 2,000 / 200 pounds.
Maximum towing / tongue weight for all other Ascent is 5,000 / 500 pounds.

It doesn't matter if you put a Class III aftermarket hitch on the Forester where the hitch is rated with a 500 pound tongue weight - the car cannot handle the capacity of the hitch. Dealers know full well what the capacity of our cars are. Since it wasn't specified on the paperwork, I'd say the new car manager just tried to save a couple hundred of front end gross profit. MSRP on the Subaru hitch itself is $382, add in 1.5 hours labor for another $180 (or more, depending upon the shop labor rate - and keep in mind that if this dealership is like ours, the service department charges the new car department for this stuff, so while the money stays at the dealership, it's whose account that GETS the money that counts), and you're looking at $560 - $600. Versus $349 - $399 for having a vendor install an aftermarket one.

We've run into this with the Outback in the past. If we can put in the aftermarket hitch instead of the Subaru hitch, we'll do it. (Especially since the Outback is nearly 2 hours of labor rate.) But we specify with the customer whether we're doing the OEM or aftermarket hitch up front.
 

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I think you responded to the wrong person...

LOL, Carl, you replied to the wrong person. It was someone else that pointed out the tongue weight claim. I never responded to that in this thread, and elsewhere where it was brought up, I clearly mentioned that both (a) the vehicle's max rating and (b) that load being PROPERLY applied to the vehicle was what mattered - and not the tongue weight of any hitch. It's ALWAYS the lowest of each factor. :tango_face_wink:

As a matter of fact, I am thoroughly against the use of any of these aftermarket hitches that need to be drilled into the frame or get bolted to the bumper nuts, especially when the OEM one has sub frame supports that get mounted inside the subframe and bolted to existing attachment points specifically designed for the hitch.

So, I agree entirely.

My point was that I've run into a few dealers who have limited to no knowledge on the factory hitch (and even remote start options, applying door molding, how the edge guards get installed and so on). I've made private videos and "short form" instructions that I've had to send them, accompanied with links to the relevant full instructions on STIS. So, I am not surprised that another dealer was not aware of the relevant points.

Sorrry, Robert, but this is one time where Cleo is right.

It doesn't matter what the tongue weight rating of the HITCH is, what matters is the tongue weight rating of the VEHICLE.

Maximum towing / tongue weight for the Forester or Crosstrek is 1,500 / 150 pounds.
Maximum towing / tongue weight for the Outback is 2,700 / 200 pounds.
Maximum towing / tongue weight for the base Ascent is 2,000 / 200 pounds.
Maximum towing / tongue weight for all other Ascent is 5,000 / 500 pounds.

It doesn't matter if you put a Class III aftermarket hitch on the Forester where the hitch is rated with a 500 pound tongue weight - the car cannot handle the capacity of the hitch. Dealers know full well what the capacity of our cars are. Since it wasn't specified on the paperwork, I'd say the new car manager just tried to save a couple hundred of front end gross profit. MSRP on the Subaru hitch itself is $382, add in 1.5 hours labor for another $180 (or more, depending upon the shop labor rate - and keep in mind that if this dealership is like ours, the service department charges the new car department for this stuff, so while the money stays at the dealership, it's whose account that GETS the money that counts), and you're looking at $560 - $600. Versus $349 - $399 for having a vendor install an aftermarket one.

We've run into this with the Outback in the past. If we can put in the aftermarket hitch instead of the Subaru hitch, we'll do it. (Especially since the Outback is nearly 2 hours of labor rate.) But we specify with the customer whether we're doing the OEM or aftermarket hitch up front.
 

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In an agreement, anything that is important to one or both parties needs to be detailed in writing. I just signed a contract for a roof replacement. The original contract presented, even after all the verbal detail agreed to was missing most of that detail. I had it all written up to reflect the mutually agreed upon specifications. In my case, I do not think they were trying something funny, but lacked the contract skill set and awareness. This practice minimizes potential future problems. I am happy to see Carl Abram's post stating he always details this out. It is good to know the dealer will in fact rectify the install to bring ti back up to what was expected. Good detailing for bringing it back to its original state.
 

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I feel many of you overreacted. There is nothing at all wrong with the Curt hitch. Curt is an excellent company with an impeccable reputation, they make some of the best hitches in the industry and have been in business for as long as I can remember. They are designed and made in the US and come with a lifetime warranty. I've used their hitches in the past on several of my cars for very heavy duty hauling. They work superbly and have never given me any problems. Further, they are perfectly safe when used as rated. They're all tested for safety and specifications in accordance with SAE standards. They are not inferior. Curt is not the kind of company that would ever sell a poor or improperly rated hitch. You can purchase a Curt hitch that will work just as well or perhaps better than the OEM hitch. I've seen a lot of aftermarket hitches rated better than OEM hitches. So let's be factual and fair about this.

As far as looks go, the Curt simply looks like any ordinary trailer hitch out there and they did a great job integrating it into the Ascent. If this were the only hitch available, I'm certain most of you would be very happy with it. Calling it a "monstrosity" or "disgusting" is grossly unfair and untrue, it simply looks like an ordinary trailer hitch. I've had ones such as this on almost all of my vehicles and I never thought they looked disgusting or were a monstrosity. What I think looks really bad is the way the OEM hitch looks when in use. It looks like a body panel fell off of the car and has exposed the inner chassis. And I'm not alone on this based upon how many people here are scrambling to modify the removable panel to cover it up. So again, let's be fair here. No trailer hitch is going to look great.

As to this specific case, if the customer did not tell the dealer that he specifically wanted the OEM hitch, then he's partially at fault. He himself has stated this and that he negotiated the hitch for free and did not spec the OEM hitch. There is no justification here to demonize the dealer. A dealer gets the OEM hitch at wholesale cost but may have to pay near retail for the Curt hitch, so the difference in price is not all that much. The OEM hitch is plug and play whereas the Curt hitch would probably require more labor to install. So I don't think the dealer was trying to rip him off by saving a lot of money. Furthermore, when the OP's wife asked the dealer about it, they apologized for the misunderstanding, agreed to replace it with the OEM hitch, and do everything else the OP asked. Yet many of you were instantly enraged at the dealer and assumed the worse before he even had a chance to respond. How is that fair?
 

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I do agree that Curt makes a fine product and they have been an industry player for many years. But based on previous description, it sounds like there was a lot of modification required under the vehicle to get it fastened properly to do the intended job. That's not something I'd personally be comfortable with since again, from the description, the amount of cutting away was significant and that brings the potential of degradation of the vehicle over time as someone noted.

On the other point since "looks" is a subjective thing regardless...for some of us, these aftermarket hitch receiver systems that hang down like that really are "hideous looking" and that's a perfectly fair thing to say since it's purely a personal opinion. Some folks don't mind the look; others hate it. It's good to have choices and I'm glad that the selling dealer is making amends with the buy to insure they have what they expected.
 
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