Subaru Outback or GMC Terrain or Acadia?

I have a 2015 [email protected] CS-S Max which has had very little use due to hubby’s health issues.  He passed over the summer and I’m debating over what to get for a new tow vehicle trading in my 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 double cab, which is WAY more than I need and is also an Ark to Park.  I’m a former Subaru owner and am leaning in that direction but am concerned about what others think about mileage, overheating, things that might need to be added to the vehicle, etc.  Also would appreciate input on the GMC SUV models and what their pos/neg views are.  I am not planning on doing anything until spring and depending on whether I go back to work (currently retired) or not will also affect how much traveling I will do.  Sorry this is so long.  Thanks in advance.


  • jgram2jgram2 Posts: 1,333Member
    @Tweedrvr You’ve not been overlong at all. We’re so sorry for your loss.

    You might check out the Subaru Ascent. It’s a 3 row SUV, but you can remove the last 2 rows for more cargo area and has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs.i know we’re looking at it for our next tv. There’re a couple of Ascent owners on the forum who might pop up with real life info.
    John, Judi, Guinness & OD in PDX
    [email protected]@t 2015 S Max Outback, ‘06 V8 4Runner 

  • TravelinRosiTaTravelinRosiTa Posts: 6Member
    We were long time Subaru fans and towed a 2016 CS-S to Oregon and Florida with an Subaru Outback 4 cylinder.  It was minimally acceptable.  Slow on hills and overheated a couple of times.  We ultimately decided to trade it in on a larger tow vehicle.  I became concerned about the CVT (transmission) on the Subaru not being the best for towing.  I would not opt for an Outback.  The Ascent does advertise up to 5000 pound towing capacity, so it might be a better option.  We ended up with a Jeep GC and then promptly decided since we could tow more to get a [email protected] 400!  Sorry for your loss and I hope you find enjoyment in your CS-S, we loved ours.
    Tracy & Sherra
    Dallas, TX
    '19 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite/Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

  • VikingsVikings Posts: 120Member
    We tow a '16 CS-S with a 16' GMC Terrain...the no-longer-produced V6 model.  No problems, no over heating, but it does need to shift down on steep grades and RPM can get up there a ways.  Size is great...not ark like!  Mileage with trlr about 14-16 mpg, and without maybe 20.

    Current Terrain is a bit smaller and has several 4 cyl engines to choose from.  The most powerful is turbocharged, and can tow up to 3500 lbs I recall.  (Don't think a diesel is available.) 

    For comparison we did have a turbocharged 2007 SAAB and towed a popup tent trailer with it, almost as heavy as a [email protected], and the turbo 4 cyl had plenty of power.  Only issue was too much tongue weight thus rear of SAAB seemed to sit too low...ride designed to be plush, not for towing. 

    In my opinion a naturally aspirated 4 cyl will be struggling some of time, while a turbocharged 4 cyl might be fine all of the time.  If anyone is towing with new version of Terrain I'd like to hear what they have to report.  I presume Chevy has a version also.  

    Good luck.
    Kim & Mary Kay,  2016 CS-S,  Spokane, WA

    Map of Provinces I Visited

  • GibWGibW Posts: 78Member
    Agree with TravelinRosiTa... Subaru Outback 4 cylinder can certainly tow a [email protected] but it’s really working at its upper limits. We towed for a season with our Outback but felt that it was straining too much plus way too close to its 200 lbs tongue weight limit. We upgraded our TV to a Kia Sorento V-6 AWD and have been very happy. 
    2017 [email protected] Max-S, silver & silver, towed by a Titanium Silver 2018 Kia Sorento AWD V-6, Twin Cities MN
  • rkj__rkj__ Posts: 593Member
    Anybody who thought that post was long, clearly has not seen my Ramblings thread!

    Anyway, I'm not a fan of small displacement (2.5L and under) engines for towing, even a [email protected] 320.  Once loaded down for a trip, you get very close to the Outback's tow rating.  Thus, of the lot you've mentioned, I'd suggest the Acadia with the 3.6L V6. 

    As for other small to midsize crossovers, Jeep seems to have very good tow ratings on their Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models. 
    2016 [email protected] 320 CS-S - 2018 GMC Sierra - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  • stevenmottastevenmotta Posts: 7Member
    I have a 2017 Subaru Outback with the 3.6L 6 cylinder boxer engine and I don't have any trouble climbing hills when fully loaded. IMHO, if you plan on staying with your current [email protected], then the Outback 3.6r, would suffice. I haven't had any issues with overheating, but to my knowledge, those posts were from individuals with the 4 cylinder Outback and not with the 6 cylinder. Very sorry for your loss. 
    Good luck on choosing your next TV. 
    2018 [email protected] 320s | TV: 2017 Subaru Outback 3.6r Touring
  • CarlimmenCarlimmen Posts: 6Member
    The base Subaru Ascent tows 2000lb. The Premium and higher models are rated for 5000lbs. Ascents have a 2.0 Lt.Turbo engine. It pulls my 320S with no problems. 
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,997Member
    We’ve had Outbacks and love Subaru’s. We  have an Ascent Limited now, too. Haven’t towed yet as winter is in the works here. Yes, you want one of the upper three models, not the base model for 5000# tow capacity. We ordered the tow package so it’s all prewired and has built in anti-sway control. I did buy a 10” drop hitch to get the correct tow height (it came with a 2”). It has one tall bumper! Our Highlander uses a 2” drop hitch. I’m looking forward to towing in the spring! I do love how Subaru’s handle and ride! 
    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S silver and cherry red, [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), TV 2015 Toyota Highlander aka Big Red
  • larrygonlarrygon Posts: 247Member
    Like stevenmotta, I tow using a 3.6l Outback without any issues. (Ask Verna and Cindy! They scolded me one time for speeding with my [email protected]!)

    The videos on the Ascent are impressive when you see the anti-sway control in action.

    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." Albert Einstein
    2015 [email protected] [email protected] S White with Grey trim | TV 2014 3.6L Outback | Flagstaff AZ.
  • db_cooperdb_cooper Posts: 508Member
    We towed our 320this summer with a 3.6 Outback pre CVT, and transmission temps were not good without a tranny cooler.  It was a one off thing for us, but I highly recommend a cooler if It will be your primary TV.  We used a OBDI Bluetooth  thingy to monitor temps.  Even on flat ground temps were borderline,  and 5th gear was not an option. 
    2015 Max S Outback | 2010 Xterra

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