Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by Will Sabel
Having a hard time choosing a suitable hitch for your Subaru Forester? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Everyone finds it difficult to pick the perfect tool to carry their cargo carriers, trailers, boats, and other heavy items.
Thankfully, Subaru Foresters come with 2″ hitch receivers to simplify things for users. A high-quality hitch will offer maximum safety, strength, decent weight capacity, and increased durability. However, getting the best hitch for Subaru Forester isn’t that easy.
You have to give special attention to the frame design, construction, installation time, cost, and many other aspects while buying a hitch. I know it’s a big hassle to find the perfect one. That’s why I have narrowed down 3 top-tier hitches for your Subaru Forester.
Let’s dive into the details and pick the right one for you.
What to Look for in A Subaru Forester Hitch
First things first, you need to know what makes a hitch safe, long-lasting, and compatible with Subaru Foresters. It’s always a good idea to make a well-informed purchase. Otherwise, you might end up with the wrong item. So, the first thing you should look for in a Subaru Forester hitch is the weight capacity.
As you might know, hitch classes are specified by their maximum carrying capacity. You need to pick a class 2 or class 3 hitch for your Subaru Forester.
A class 2 hitch can carry 2000 lbs to 3500 lbs, and class 3 hitches support 3500 lbs to 8000 lbs max. Besides the hitch class, you should also check whether it accepts 1-1/4″ and 2″ hitch receivers or not.
That’s because Subaru Foresters come with 1-1/4″ and 2″ receivers only. If you pick from this list, you don’t have to worry about the size or capacity. I only added Subaru Forester compatible hitches here.
Judging the construction and finish type is also a must. Without a strong frame, the hitch won’t be able to carry heavy trailers. So, try to pick one with a steel or iron frame for the highest strength and better support.
Check the finish type as it will protect the hitch from environmental changes, rust, and chipping. Besides, a good coating gives extra protection and a decent look. Luckily, all my picks are steel-made with a black powder coating.
Lastly, find out how complicated the installation process is and how much time it takes. For first-timers, it might take up to 30 minutes. Avoid hitches that are difficult to mount on the vehicle.
Besides, make sure the package is shipped with all the required hardware for installation. Otherwise, you have to pay extra for those tools, which is not good.
3 Best Hitches for Subaru Forester
Let’s get straight into our top picks. We reviewed the best brands in the market and picked the most reliable hitches for our list. So check out our top 3 picks and choose one that fits your needs.
1. CURT 13409 Class-3 Trailer Hitch
If you have any previous experience buying hitches, you know the brand CURT has a reputation for making high-quality towing accessories. The CURT 13409 trailer hitch is no different, and it’s specifically designed to fit your Subaru Forester.
What I like about CURT hitches is the industry-leading frame quality. This hitch is made of carbon steel, providing the highest strength for safe transportation.
Plus, the black powder coating gives it a high-end look and protection against weather changes. With top-notch construction, it will serve you for decades. The class-3 hitch supports up to 3,500 lbs of gross carrying weight and 525 lbs of tongue weight.
As it has a 2″ receiver tube, the hitch will easily fit any 2019-2022 Subaru Forester model. Hence, there’s no need for drilling or welding. Installation is also super-easy as the package comes with all the necessary tools.
Thanks to the open back receiver, the hitch can be cleaned without much effort. And you don’t have to worry about using water or liquid cleaners as the round-tube main body is well protected from rust.
The best part is that the hitch weighs only 34.4 lbs! So, you won’t need any extra hands to mount or dismount it. Besides, carrying it in the backseat of your car will also be hassle-free. To make your journey safe, the hitch has been tested in real-world conditions.
Moreover, it meets the SAE J684 safety standards. Hauling the heavy trailers will no more be a trouble with this incredible product. Overall, it’s a premium-quality hitch with tons of features and benefits for easy hauling.
- Features a strong carbon steel frame with durable powder coating
- Supports 3,500 pounds of carrying and 525 pounds of tongue weight
- Offers a custom fit for 2019 to 2022 Subaru Foresters
- Package includes all required hardware for easy installation
- Meets the SAE J684 safety standards
- The fit isn’t the best for some older models
2. Draw-Tite Hitch for Subaru Forester
To fulfill heavy-duty towing needs, we picked the Draw-Tite 75650 Hitch for Subaru Forester this time. With its robust build quality and superior carrying capacity, this hitch is perfect for cargo carriers, medium-sized trailers, and bike carriers.
Thanks to the 2″ receiver tube opening, you can easily mount the hitch on any Subaru Forester manufactured between 2009 and 2013. No drilling or trimming of the bumper is required to fit the hitch with specific models. You can attach it to your vehicle frame or bumper.
Although the installation is straightforward, it’s a time-consuming process. While the previous CURT model needs only 30 minutes for installation, this one takes about 45-60 minutes. Moreover, it doesn’t come with the necessary bolts and brackets like our previous pick.
For maximum safety and strength, the hitch is made of high-grade metal. That was further welded to add strength to the frame. It has a nice powder-coated finish to prevent wear and tear, block oxidation, and rust. This enhanced strength makes the hitch suitable for heavy-duty uses in all weather conditions.
Lastly, the weight rating of this hitch is 4,000 lbs gross weight and 600 lbs tongue weight. It supports a wide range of towing accessories, but you need to purchase them separately.
- Computer-assisted specific design fits 2009-2013 Subaru Foresters
- Can be mounted directly without any drilling on the bumper
- Made of top-grade metal with a powder finish for maximum durability
- Offers 4,000 pounds of carrying weight
- This all-welded hitch is suitable for heavy-duty uses
- A bit pricey
3. CURT 12038 Class-2 Trailer Hitch
Looking for a lightweight, compact, and affordable class-2 hitch? Then the 12038 Class-2 Trailer Hitch by CURT will be an ideal choice for your Subaru Forester.
Since it’s a class 2 hitch, this isn’t as good as the previous CURT model for heavy weights. However, the construction is sturdy enough to support up to 3,500 lbs. So, it can carry lighter items like small trailers, lightweight boats, popup campers, etc.
The standard 1-1/4″ receiver hitch fits the latest Subaru Forester models without any modifications. Each trailer hitch tested with real vehicles to ensure maximum safety during the hauling process. CURT 12038 hitches also accept stabilizer brackets that prevent wobbling on bumpy roads.
Let’s talk about the frame quality now. This model also has a carbon steel frame that’s welded manually and robotically to ensure it won’t bend under pressure. The double coat finish includes a liquid-A finish and black powder coating to prevent rust and give the hitch a high-gloss look.
Moreover, the coating protects it from moisture, chipping, and scratches. With this coating, the hitch will maintain a like-new look for years. Last but not least, this 5-pound product is easy to carry, assemble, and install without any expert mechanic.
- Gross weight capacity is rated at 3,500 pounds
- Attaches with Subaru Fosters with 1-1/4″ hitch receivers
- Carbon steel frame provides high strength and safety
- Dual coat finish of liquid-A and black powder safeguards against rust
- Compact, lightweight, easy to carry
- Package doesn’t include some necessary installation hardware
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of hitch do I need for Subaru Forester?
Subaru Fosters have lower weight capacity compared to other SUVs. The 2019-2022 models have a maximum weight capacity of 1,500 lbs. Hence, they need hitches with low-class ratings.
Typically, class 2 and class 4 are used for Subaru Fosters. Also, this model has 1-1/4″ or 2″ receivers. So, it should have a receiver tube of a similar size.
How much is a tow hitch for a Subaru Forester?
The price often depends on the brand, features, and included accessories. In general, the price range varies from $100 to $200. Some basic hitches might come at lower prices.
If you take the vehicle to a mechanic for installation, the cost might vary from $350 to $400.
Which Subaru models have a trailer hitch?
Among all the Subaru models, only the Subaru Forester and Subaru Crosstrek support trailer hitch. These two models have a weight capacity of 1,500 pounds max. With a hitch, they can carry small trailers, campers, RVs, etc.
As we have reached the end, I will give you my final verdict now. Although all our picks provide excellent service, the best position goes to the CURT 13409 Class-3 Hitch. The hitch has the strongest frame made of carbon steel.
Thanks to the durable coat of black powder, it lasts for a long time without any environmental damage. It easily attaches with a 2″ hitch receiver of 2019-2022 Subaru Forester models. The installation is super-easy with the provided hardware.
Lastly, this hitch meets the SAE J684 safety standards as well. With all these useful qualities, the CURT 13409 is definitely the best hitch for Subaru Forester.