Car make and model: A 2015 model year Subaru Outback 3.6R (six cylinders)
Tow capacity: 3000 pounds (Note: newer Outbacks have less tow capacity).
My Alto’s weight: varies between 2500 and 2600 pounds
Towing mileage: 14-16 mpg. In headwinds and long grades, went down to 11-12 mpg. But rpm never went above 3500, never felt like I was pushing it hard.
Non-towing mileage: 23-27 mpg
Highest speed on freeways: 65 mph mostly, occasionally up to 70 when the speed limit is 80 (e.g. West Texas)
The biggest challenge towing so far: Death Valley. You can read about it on my website.
What generally goes in the Subaru: patio mats, chair, footstool, small grill, inflatable kayak, generator, folding bike, tools and toolbox, and other small things that I don’t need on a regular basis.
Roof box (Thule, Yakima type): No. Don’t need it so far
Hitch: I use the Torklift EcoHitch for the Outback
Weight distribution bars: Yes. I never drive without them
Wireless brake controller: Yes, from Safari Condo
Mirror extensions: Yes, from Amazon. The Outback is much narrower than the Alto, so they help me see the 200 feet behind that most states require for vehicles towing anything.
Rearview camera: Yes, from Safari Condo
Dashcam: Yes, from Amazon
The tow vehicle question is personal to each Alto owner. Here are some questions to think about as you weigh your choices.
- Where will you be camping (Rocky Mountains or the flat coastline of the East Coast)?
- What model Alto you will have (they each weigh differently)?
- What options are you getting (each adds to the trailer weight)?
- How long you will travel (weekend trips vs. 6 month sojourns, that may require more stuff and more room.
I cannot say what tow vehicle will work for you. I suggest joining the Altoiste group on Facebook and then searching through that group for Subaru and tow vehicle discussions (there is a lot of information there).
Nothing in this page is to be construed as recommending the Outback for anyone else’s towing needs. I am quite happy with my setup and it does well given where I’ve been (you can look at the Where’s Annie links on the menu at the top of the website to see where I have and have not been so far).