Subaru Crosstrek Towing Capacity (2013-2021)

The Subaru Crosstrek is a pretty popular compact SUV and it does have the ability to haul small amounts of weight behind it, but you need to look at the charts in order to know what to expect, regarding maximum towing capacity.

The capacity numbers for the Crosstrek's was pretty straightforward and really didn't differ from 2013-2021, which made the research easy to compile. I did notice listed capacities online that were not specific though and thought clarification was in order, so here it is...

Overview of the Data For the Crosstrek:

Engine Choices: The engine choices for the Subaru Crosstrek did not directly impact the overall ratings or capacities. The statistics were basically the same, across the board.

Towing Capacity: The basic breakdown for the Crosstrek's weight ratings were based on whether the trailer you would be pulling had an independent braking system, what the temperature is (hot outside) and how steep the grades you plan on going up are.

The towing capacity for the Subaru Crosstrek's made from 2013-2021 ranged from 750 lbs. to 1,500 lbs. 

The 750 pound capacity was for the most extreme conditions you might encounter on the road and reduces the maximum possible capacity substantially.

If you are not driving in extreme heat or plan on driving up steep grades, then the capacity for a trailer without an independent braking system was listed at 1,000 lbs. and 1,500 lbs. for a trailer that had a braking system installed.

Note: The 2013-2016 Hybrid models are not recommended for towing and do not specify a weight rating, so any ratings or specs I have listed in this article for the Crosstrek does not apply to these model years.

2021-2013 Models:

The maximum trailer weight ratings for all of the model years that the Crosstrek was made was basically the same for all models.

The towing capacity ranged from 750 lbs. to 1,500 lbs. and was more dependent on the trailer setup (with or without braking system) and how aggressive the driving conditions were.

Crosstrek Image

As you can see from the chart below, Subaru lays out all of the information I talked about and it's actually crazy to think that the maximum capacity is basically cut in half if driving in extreme conditions.

It is also important to keep in mind that the reduced 750 pound rating was due to traveling on any 5+ mile inclines AND when temps are above 104 degrees Fahrenheit combined.

Use caution when either one of these conditions exist (on their own) because it does put more strain on the engine, making engine and transmission temperatures rise more quickly, so reducing your trailer weight from the maximum would be a conservative thing to take into account.

Subaru Crosstrek Towing Chart

Hybrid Models:

I did notice that there was hope for the Hybrid models as well, for certain model years, that is.

From 2021-2019 the Hybrid Crosstrek's had a towing capacity range of 750-1,000 pounds, according to the charts I found and is just slightly different from the other models we looked at.

Crosstrek Image

Notice how the tow specs are identical for braked and unbraked trailers, set at 1,000 pounds for both scenarios. The 750 pound rating is still the same for extreme outside temperatures and when traveling up long grades.

Crosstrek Hybrid Chart

2021-2019 Crosstrek Hybrid Chart

2013-2016 Hybrid Models: Subaru also had another Hybrid model made from 2013-2016 and was not available for 2017 or 2018 and is when the new 2019 version replaced these versions.

These Hybrid models did not have any towing capacity attached to them and instead of seeing a chart, I saw this notice...

Hybrid Tow Warning

Hybrid Tow Warning

GVWR, GCWR and GAWR Metrics:

You will need to locate and make a record of different weight listings for your Crosstrek and the most useful ones are the GVWR, the GCWR and the GAWR figures.

The GVWR and GAWR numbers are located on your certification label that can be found on the vehicle's center pillar (door jamb) if you open the driver's side door of the vehicle.

It will look similar to the image below, which was taken from a 2017 model and if you look closely towards the top of the sticker (left side), you will see the GVWR listed, followed by the GAWR numbers for the front and rear axles. Please look at your own sticker, as the ratings may differ from year to year.

There was no GCWR listed anywhere in the manual but if you take the GVWR and add the trailer weight capacity to that, then it will essentially give you the GCWR for the Crosstreks.

Crosstrek Certification Label

Certification Label Example (Do not use specs listed in image)

Base, Premium, Sport, Limited and Hybrid Models:

I wanted to see if there were any differences in the towing specs, when it came to the different models, more specifically between the base model, Premium, Sport and Limited models. Hybrid specs are thrown in, but I already know those specs and have them listed in this article already.

I did not see a difference in any of the specs for a specific model, in fact, they all had the same 750-1,500 lb. towing capacity range and shared the same charts. Here is an image I found for the 2021 models from Subaru's website that verifies this...

Crosstrek Models And Specs

Trailer Brakes:

I was able to find a reference to trailer brakes in the manuals and it states that if you are pulling a trailer weighing over 1,000 pounds, then the trailer must have it's own brake system installed, separate from your vehicle's brake system.

Crosstrek Trailer Brake Requirements

Now you do want to keep in mind that this is Subaru's trailer weight recommendation for this specific model and your local county, city or state laws may have a different spec altogether. When in doubt, always go the safer route and adhere to the lower weight specs, when it comes to trailer brakes.

Resources That Might Interest You:

I was able to find all of the Crosstrek's tow charts via the owners manuals, which is all available online through Subaru's website. I did not find all of them on Subaru's official website, only the newer years but instead used a third party website that had the manuals I needed.

2021 Owner's Manual
2020 Owner's Manual
2019 Owner's Manual
2018 Owner's Manual
2017 Owner's Manual
2016 Owner's Manual
2016 XV Owner's Manual
2016 XV Hybrid Owner's Manual
2015 XV Owner's Manual
2014 XV Owner's Manual
2013 XV Owner's Manual

Last updated on May 5th, 2021 at 03:55 am

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