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Subaru Outback for towing?

Would like to hear from anyone who owns the 6 cylinder Subaru Outback. We want to replace our Honda Odyssey which we use to tow a 1000-1900# popup camper and are wondering if this Subaru would do the job without too much strain on the vehicle. The 6 cyl Outback rarely seems to be available as a pre-owned vehicle. Any other words of wisdom, pro or con, about this vehicle?

You are correct that not many 6 cylinder Outbacks are available on the used car market.

Not many people seem to opt for the six when buying a new Outback, most Subaru owners tend to keep their vehicles for a long time, and–in general–you will probably have to look long & hard to find a used 6-cylinder Outback. However, it is worth persevering, as the difference in acceleration in comparison to the 4 cylinder model is…dramatic. A friend of mine has a late-model 6 cylinder BMW 3-series, and even he has to admit that my Outback has slightly better acceleration than his car does.

And, the mpg “penalty” is only ~1 mpg as compared to the 4 cylinder. Additionally, the six uses a timing chain instead of a timing belt, has no problems with head gaskets, has larger brakes than the 4 cylinder model, and utilizes a “conventional” 5-speed automatic trans, rather than the CVT that is used on the 4 cylinder models.

But, regarding the topic of trailer towing, here is what I gleaned from my Outback Owner’s Manual:

If your trailer does not have its own brakes, your recommended towing limit is 1,000 lbs.
If your trailer has its own brakes, your recommended towing limit is 3,000 lbs.

Personally, I would Double up on the rating and get something like a heavier SUV . A tow rating of 4500 to 5 k would give you a much greater margin of safety and reliability. IMHO, anything designated less then that is not doing justice to the one ton trailer and loads you may carry inside the car. With a limit of 3 k, it’s too marginal for me.

I agree with @dagosa here. A vehicle that weighs only 3423 lbs should not be towing 3K even with trailer brakes. Manufacturers routinely overstate their towing capacities by as much as 50%. Pulling and towing are two completely different animals.

Its crazy how the manus,grudingly dole out a little performance,you usually pay out the wazoo for a marginally better engine with similar mpg,sounds to me like a win,win-Go for it!-Kevin