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Towing and Tow Vehicle => General Q & A => Topic started by: rewster79 on July 06, 2016, 03:59:51 PM

Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: rewster79 on July 06, 2016, 03:59:51 PM
Hello!

I previously posted here asking for advice on possibly towing a QS 8.1 with my existing Honda CRV.  After some good insight on that thread (thanks all!) and some further research on the web, we ultimately decided that we want to step it up a bit in terms of a TV since the lease is up on the CRV in early 2017 anyway, and will be a good opportunity to shop for the "right" TV for us.  I received a lot of mixed-advice on the CRV (some said it would be fine or that they already tow a QS with a CRV, while others said "No way!").  Bottom line:  We'd rather play it on the safe side, and want a very clear "thumbs up" that we have a good TV / camper match.

Next priority after towing safely with our family of 3 on-board, is that we find the right economical balance of a TV that will primarily be a daily commuter with a toddler.  So ideally we want good safety ratings + good fuel economy + basic towing capability (I know, I know -- we want our cake and to eat it too  :) ).  My search for this tricky trifecta led me to looking at the Subaru Outback.  AWD, excellent safety ratings, great fuel economy, and has a listed towing capacity of 2700 lbs / 200 lb tongue weight for the baseline model.  

Question for you fine experienced folks is this:  What would be a good LL match for one of these Subaru Outbacks (if any)?  Anything larger than a QS 6.0 is on the table (wifey wasn't keen on that one, but open to the rest), so what I'm looking for is a good balance of space with a good buffer zone between the trailer and the 2700 lb capacity.  On the conservative side, how high in the LL models would you go with an Outback?  Are there any Outback owners here, and if so what are you pulling?

Last question -- I'm also open for other options comparable to the stats of the Outback if you have any suggestions.  For example, one other option we were looking at was the Ford Escape Titanium SE (listed as 3500 lb capacity) but there were some safety-rating concerns with the Escape (it scored "Poor" on a specific frontal-collision category).  I should mention also that top-end budget is $30K-ish.

Thanks in advance for any insight!
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: pinstriper on July 06, 2016, 04:39:20 PM
Economics and safety and tow rating ? Get a 5-7 year old F150 for $20 grand. $10k buys a lot of gas. Problem solved.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: admin on July 06, 2016, 04:58:47 PM
I would consider a Honda Pilot. We own a 2014 year Pilot and love it. We can tow our 10.0 and more if we ever needed to all with a decent MPG. We average around 20 while towing on the highway which is great as far as I'm concerned. All of this is done with a 6cyl engine and all wheel drive. If memory serves the towing capacity is 4500 pounds and all Pilots come with the towing package standard. I wish I could recall exactly what we paid but again if memory serves you can get a Pilot with everything except Nav or an entertainment package for around 30k.

Its worth a look for sure.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: sandyu on July 06, 2016, 05:27:26 PM
I second the Pilot option. I have a Honda Odessey and it pulls my 10.0 like a dream. However, I didn't know about the standard tow package. In the past that was always an option. Is the standard tow package something they just started?

The Honda Ridge line was just re-released. It has a fwd model that's pulls 3500 lb and a awd model that pulls 5000lbs. Both would be great choices. I know for fact they come standard with a tow package. I've been tempted to get one, but I don't really need it.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: rewster79 on July 06, 2016, 05:28:59 PM
[quote timestamp="1467835127" source="/post/22809/thread" author="@admin"]I would consider a Honda Pilot. We own a 2014 year Pilot and love it. We can tow our 10.0 and more if we ever needed to all with a decent MPG. We average around 20 while towing on the highway which is great as far as I'm concerned. All of this is done with a 6cyl engine and all wheel drive. If memory serves the towing capacity is 4500 pounds and all Pilots come with the towing package standard. I wish I could recall exactly what we paid but again if memory serves you can get a Pilot with everything except Nav or an entertainment package for around 30k.

Its worth a look for sure.[/quote]The Pilot is definitely worth a consider it seems.  From quick research, looks like the 2016 models are at 3500 pound capacity for the 2WD, and go to 5000 for the AWD.  The trick here is I would have to buy new, since apparently all model years previous to 2016 scored "Poor" on the same "front overlap" safety test I mentioned the Escape as failing.  The 2016 model scored the top rating across the board.  (Anything less than an "Acceptable" safety rating in any category is a veto by my wife).  http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/honda/pilot-4-door-suv/2016


The good thing is though that the new models start MSRP slightly over $30K, which puts it in the running.  Apparently (according to Honda's site) the hitch package is additional but only a $340 option for the package, so no biggie.

Nice recommend Sean, thanks!
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: rewster79 on July 06, 2016, 05:38:37 PM
Quote from: @kybrowns" source="/post/22811/thread" timestamp="1467836846

The Honda Ridge line was just re-released. It has a fwd model that's pulls 3500 lb and a awd model that pulls 5000lbs. Both would be great choices. I know for fact they come standard with a tow package. I've been tempted to get one, but I don't really need it.


I LOVE the new Ridgeline.  Only thing I'm curious about there is just how much room is in that rear section.  Hauling around a toddler / car seat.  But, I can't imagine it's much smaller than the CRV -- just need to see it in person.  Only other downside on the Ridgeline is it takes a decent dip in fuel economy compared to the Outback.  Could go Used to compensate for extra fuel cost -- not opposed to that, but with the gap in production the newest Used are 2014.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: charliem on July 06, 2016, 08:56:13 PM
[font size="3"]If you can go the Pilot or Ridgeline you've got it made. As a 2010 Pilot owner I can attest to its capability. I towed an RPOD 172 for more than a year including the Rockies and still own the Pilot. It was great at low altitude and acceptable climbing the Rockies. You should be able to handle any QS including the 14. You could even handle the CL11FK or a CL13 if you can find a used one. Also (please guys, don't throw me out) the smaller RPODS. That said, be sure you go with the AWD (4WD) version. It adds a transmission cooler and larger alternator. Higher towing rating and AWD. Something about towing with front wheel drive violates my physics background.  ;)   The only added parts I needed were the 7 pin Bargman connector and its harness. Why they don't include that as standard is still a deep Japanese mystery. Good luck on your search. 
[/font]
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: pinstriper on July 06, 2016, 09:54:13 PM
TANSTATMTV
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: daplumbr on July 07, 2016, 09:59:47 AM
Above suggestions are great. I'll toss in the mix the 6 cyl Highlander and 6 cyl Outback. Either could comfortably tow a QS and both have excellent safety ratings. I've owned both and can vouch for reliability, effciency and ergonomics too. Nice low mileage used would be in your price range. If you go with an Outback for towing, get a late model 6 cyl with the 5 speed auto trans. That means '12-'14. If you go with a Highlander for towing, get a 6 cyl AWD version (but not the hybrid). 

With any of the relatively light vehicles mentioned so far, watch out for overloading it with passengers, cargo, and trailer tongue weight. 
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: admin on July 07, 2016, 10:27:40 AM
I can understand the concern for the safety rating, but I would also point out that the overlap test is a new test that nearly every make and model prior to its introduction has failed (or at least done very poorly at). Now that the test has been around for a couple years the auto manufacturers have gotten back up to speed and designed their models to address the concerns. This shouldn't immediately deter you from a slightly older model. I understand if it does but I just wanted to throw that out there.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: sandyu on July 07, 2016, 02:41:45 PM
Quote from: @rewster79" source="/post/22815/thread" timestamp="1467837517
[quote source="/post/22811/thread" timestamp="1467836846" author="@kybrowns"]The Honda Ridge line was just re-released. It has a fwd model that's pulls 3500 lb and a awd model that pulls 5000lbs. Both would be great choices. I know for fact they come standard with a tow package. I've been tempted to get one, but I don't really need it.
I LOVE the new Ridgeline.  Only thing I'm curious about there is just how much room is in that rear section.  Hauling around a toddler / car seat.  But, I can't imagine it's much smaller than the CRV -- just need to see it in person.  Only other downside on the Ridgeline is it takes a decent dip in fuel economy compared to the Outback.  Could go Used to compensate for extra fuel cost -- not opposed to that, but with the gap in production the newest Used are 2014.[/quote]

Just to let you know the rear seat has plenty of room. The roomiest of all mid-size trucks.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: subaruwx on July 07, 2016, 10:44:16 PM
I tow my QS10 with a Subaru Outback. The 2.5i engine has enough power, but if you're towing a lot I might suggest the 3.5. I chose the outback because I needed a car that would get good mileage for the 95% of the time when I'm not towing. It's a good bit smaller than a Pilot, but has plenty of room for most of what I do. The AWD implementation on Subarus is unbeatable.  If you are in a geography with snow, it's tough to beat a Subaru.

My only suggestion might be to get trailer brakes if you tow with an Outback.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: sandyu on July 07, 2016, 11:09:16 PM
I will second nothing beats a Subaru in snow.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: rewster79 on July 08, 2016, 12:59:10 AM
Quote from: @subaruwx" timestamp="1467942256" source="/post/22859/thread
I tow my QS10 with a Subaru Outback. The 2.5i engine has enough power, but if you're towing a lot I might suggest the 3.5. I chose the outback because I needed a car that would get good mileage for the 95% of the time when I'm not towing. It's a good bit smaller than a Pilot, but has plenty of room for most of what I do. The AWD implementation on Subarus is unbeatable.  If you are in a geography with snow, it's tough to beat a Subaru.

My only suggestion might be to get trailer brakes if you tow with an Outback.


Nice -- exactly what I was shooting for.... a nice balance between being primarily a daily commuter for my wife, yet able to tow a small camper a handful of times each year.  That's really what had me leaning towards the Outback in the first place.

I do dig the Pilot, and still am looking closely at that as an option.  But with the Outback leaning more towards what we really need the car for most of the time + a $5K lower entry-level price, I'm partial so far towards the combo of the Outback with a modest set-up.  Just makes sense for a smaller family, and I can get the Outback + a decent used QS for the price of the Pilot alone.  

Concerning snow driving --- I live in Central Florida so no worries there.   :D   Not much in the way of hills to climb either, LOL.  But still, great to know the Subaru is ready to handle some wet roads at least (we get plenty of that).
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: daplumbr on July 08, 2016, 09:39:31 AM
Our daily driver is a '13 Outback with the 3.6R engine. On longer trips the 6 cyl engine is really nice. Effortless acceleration and very quiet. We also owned a 4 cyl Outback ('11) for a short time and that engine/transmission is ok, but I wouldn't want to tow long distances with it. The real world gas mileage difference between the 2 engines is not very much. We are averaging over 24 mpg with the 6 cyl. 
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: firefighteremt on July 17, 2016, 02:43:25 PM
Just my quick little 2 cents worth on safety ratings.  Every single vehicle extrication class I have been to in the fire service all have a subject on vehicle safety ratings.  Little do most people know that these safety tests are performed at a breakneck speed of 30 mph.  The reasoning behind such a slow speed test is that there is not a vehicle on the market that can pass the test at a normal travel speed of 60mph.  Vehicles are just not made like they used to be.  They all have lightweight materials that just aren't meant to withstand a high impact crash.  They perform the test at 30 mph so that they can have some makes that do well.   With all that being said, in my opinion if a vehicle cannot pass this slow of a test then you do not want to imagine how it would hold up in a normal travel speed test.  Just my little knowledge on the subject and thought I would share.  Good luck in your search
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: jammydee on July 30, 2016, 08:40:03 AM
I have a 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT and just purchased a QS 10.0 with all the bells and whistles. I'm picking it up next saturday and will let you know how awesome/big a mistake it is to tow a 10.0 with the Outback. Everyone I talked to at dealerships seems to think I won't have any real issues but did recommend electric trailer brakes, which I decided to get.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: diversteve on July 30, 2016, 12:22:30 PM

This is the link to the towing guide for your year model.
It certainly looks capable with a towing capacity listed at 2700 lbs.
we own a 2011 Outback 3.6 and find it to be an excellent vehicle.
We tow our 2014 14DBS with a 5.7L Tundra. Spend most of our trips in the mountains.
There is a lot of good information in the towing guide that will help with towing.
Be safe and have fun.

http://www.trailerlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DigitalTLTowGuide2011.pdf
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: whoofit on August 02, 2016, 07:15:17 PM
We just upgraded wifey from a 2014 Escape to a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. It does double duty as a commuter and near range TV. 4500lb tow capacity and doesn't snivel at the 16db fully watered. Aside from this it rock crawls like a Banshee...loads of fun.
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: jammydee on August 14, 2016, 10:25:38 AM
Towed our 2017 10.0 home from the dealer no problem. It's hardly noticeable behind the 2011 outback even with the 2.5 4-cylinder and the CVT. An added plus is for visibility we just had to put a stick on convex blind spot mirror on the driver's side. We opted for the electric brakes and the dealer installed and calibrated the brake controller for us to the lower right of the steering wheel.

All in all I'm very pleased and can't wait for Labor Day weekend to take it out, camping in my driveway just isn't the same!
Title: Shopping for a TV / Good LL match for Subaru Outback?
Post by: idlerockfarm on December 29, 2016, 01:45:44 AM
I have a 2007 Outback and a 6.0. I know the newer CVT is nice  (had a loaner for the passenger airbag recall work), but loaded with my 100lb dog and me the engine feels a bit sluggish on hills sometimes. Few hills, you said, but 3 people plus stuff would be more than I'd want to do for driving country roads. My car IS older though.

My next vehicle, I hope, will be the pilot or the a F150 or Chevy or GMC pickup (I have no truck brand loyalty and really just want to be able to afford a new Tacoma or Tundra).

Good luck with your decision. Let me emphasize that daily driving is a concern, but also consider the vehicle you may need for a future trailer upgrade if that might be necessary. Easier to plan for that now.

And, if you haven't towed before, you WILL want more capacity than you use. It isn't paranoia that we all lean towards those kinds of recommendations.