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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I "might" be picking up a new Ascent Touring today, but we're still in negotiations. I asked to have the tow hitch + install included in my offer. One dealer said it will be $1100 extra, another dealer said its nearly $1000 more.

Question: If I don't get the hitch + install today, what have the dealer charged you for the parts/install?

Trying to plan ahead.
 

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Its about an hour labor. Should be at most $200. Your high dealer quotes are because they sell Dealer Services ie $800 oil changes and probably average $400 hr labor time in the shop.

Tell them to leave your hitch in the trunk and talk to your local small body shops. All the shops near me would welcome such an easy money maker. Its a simple job but does involve pulling the plastic bumper off then reinstalling it. Its easier to
install than the Outback or Legacy hitch which I’ve done both.
 

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Wow that’s over twice what my dealer charged. It cost me $444.80 installed from the dealer. There are plenty of dealers that will sell the hitch on the internet at a reasonable price. And plentry of folks that can install it at a decent price.
 

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By the way the Legacy and Outback got the same Dealer BS hitch prices. Took me about 1.5hrs to install them using a typical handy dads tool kit and my garage floor. Those two cars are identical and they were slightly more complicated than the Ascent hitch regarding install.
 

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600 just had mine installed today.. 649 wth tax
 

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As far as I understand, installing a hitch on the Ascent is a little more involved than, say, on the Crosstrek. I imagine that's at least partly the cause for how much they're asking, as it seems to require taking apart the rear bumper (not just the bumper cover, but the beam as well). I can't imagine it's just an hour of labor. I wouldn't want them doing it in an hour, I'd want them to take the time to do a thorough job getting everything installed and reassembled correctly (including touch-up paint). All that said, I still think it's a bit expensive as a dealer install, but mine was part of my purchase deal, so it was more palatable.
 

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I recently purchased a base Ascent Premium and had the hitch dealer installed for $652. The dealer installed hitch price, when included with the vehicle price, varying among the dealers I got quotes from. The low was $559 and the high was $702. The MSRP for the hitch (part #L101SXC002 ) is $499 and the invoice is $374. The dealer I went with had the best OTD price for the vehicle including the hitch.

I installed the hitch and wring on my 2015 Outback without any problems, but decided that I wanted to have the hitch for the Ascent dealer installed, if it was not port installed (already on the vehicle).

The job looks similar to the Outback and not overly difficult as long as you are careful removing and reinstalling the bumper cover (a second person is helpful) and you have a torque wrench and other tools. The wiring looks easier with the service connectors in the Ascent. The job took the Subaru tech (which I partially observed from a distance) right around 1.5 hours. All things considered, I am glad that I had he hitch installed by the dealer.
 

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Ive installed tow hitches on my last two outbacks without a "hitch" (haha). I was told it was a little more involved on the ascent and elected to have the dealer do it. I paid in the $500 range for the hitch and to have it installed. The pricing they are giving you is ridiculous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for everyone's response/feedback so far. We ended up walking away from the dealer whom I was negotiating with. He wanted to charge me $1000 more than what other dealers were quoting me because they are the only dealer in the area that has the make, model, options that we want minus the tow hitch. He wouldn't throw in the tow hitch in our deal because he said its expensive and it will cost me an additional $700. Which would make his price $1700 more than what I'm currently working on with another dealer.

When we agreed on a price without the tow hitch, he happened to pocket dial me and I heard him and the sales team high fiving each other and I could hear one guy saying "just tack on some other options and you can get him for an additional $1600" followed by laughter.

Left a real bad taste and feeling so I told him, its a no go. Currently working with another dealer who can get me everything I want with the tow hitch already installed from the factory. Car is currently in transit and won't be available for another 2 weeks. My only concern now is that this dealer doesn't have very many rave reviews about them on yelp.

On another side note, a different dealer whom I reached out to gave me a really competitive price, but couldn't throw in the tow hitch in the deal. He responded with these exact words "Sorry I cannot throw in a trailer hitch. The Subaru one is expensive. I would go aftermarket. A rack store near us installs them and I think they are 350. The Subaru one has a cover on the bumper that is a retarded design. Hard to put on and take off. Takes me several tries and the clips fall on the ground." Appreciate his honesty, but I'm sure there's a more professional approach to communicate this!
 
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I would not go with an aftermarket hitch for the Ascent. The Subaru hitch is designed for the vehicle and replaces the rear bumper with safety specs. I did go with an aftermarket hitch for my Outback because I wanted a 2" receiver and the hitch design and installation were the same as the 1 1/4" Subaru hitch. However, I would not do the same for the Ascent.
 

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Agreed.

I would not go with an aftermarket hitch for the Ascent. The Subaru hitch is designed for the vehicle and replaces the rear bumper with safety specs. I did go with an aftermarket hitch for my Outback because I wanted a 2" receiver and the hitch design and installation were the same as the 1 1/4" Subaru hitch. However, I would not do the same for the Ascent.
I fully concur. Not just was the Subaru hitch designed with maintaining vehicle safety in mind, but it is the ONLY hitch that comes with the sub frame supports that go INSIDE the subframe to attach the hitch to. That aids in properly loading the weight on the subframe and strengthens the subframe.

EVERY aftermarket hitch I've checked out for the Ascent to date (this may change) simply bolt onto the outside of the vehicle to the bumper nuts.

If you have a Base model, or only plan on dropping some bikes on a bike rack, sure, maybe consider an aftermarket option. Otherwise, I wouldn't.

Check out Page 2, Box B and C, to see the sub-frame reinforcements/attachments
https://subaru.oemdtc.com/AccessoryInstallationGuide/L101SXC002.pdf

Check out page 8 to see how those pieces get bolted to the rear sub frame. The factory hitch is not bolted to the sheet metal and bumper nuts like the aftermarket ones are.
 

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I installed the hitch and it's a very well made kit and didn't mind spending the extra $100 or so over the aftermarket options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm definitely going OEM... Just was surprised to hear the dealer recommend an aftermarket option.
 

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I paid $499 for hitch and install from our local dealer in Tulsa on our Touring. I agree with Robert, for me the OEM is the only way I’d go, as we will be towing a small camper and boat. I’m $85 in on a proportional brake controller and am very happy. I am glad I went OEM, as you never know when you’ll need the additional strength of the hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well.. its official. I put a deposit on a Touring with the tow hitch already installed from the factory. Another week and a half until I can take possession, and the car payments begin :/
 

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Am planning to get the OEM hitch (expecting to get a Costco coupon for 50% off an accessory after purchase, up to $200). I'm plenty comfortable doing the install myself (have done 2 other vehicles, including 2011 Outback). Does anyone know for certain if doing this voids the 3/36 warranty or possibility to buy extended warranty later (within 3/36 window)? I expect as long as you don't make claims related to the hitch itself, you should expect no issues, but YMMV!?



Thanks!
 
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