subaru outback hitch

Best Hitch for a Subaru Outback 2023

CURT 13390 Class III Receiver Hitch

The installation of the Curt 13390 Class III Receiver Hitch doesn’t take long at all; in fact, dependent on your level of expertise, it can range from a 45-minute install to about an hour and a half.Expert Reviewer: Paul Bronson

Quick Summary:
The Curt 13390 Class III is a great option for anyone looking for the best hitch for a Subaru Outback. It can haul a lot of overall weight with a tow rating of up to 6,000 lbs; it has an excellent, weather resistant construction, and has a quality aesthetic design. If you find that you’re in need of an excellent hitch that will cater to your outdoor hitching needs, look no further than the Curt 13390 Class III Receiver Hitch.

Selecting the Best Hitch for a Subaru Outback

When it’s time to hit the road and enjoy the great outdoors, some people like to bring extras that don’t necessarily fit well inside the car. When these are the types of trips that you’ll be taking, a dedicated car or truck hitch is an amazing device that has lots of built-in versatility.

Most hitches attach to the underside of your car and have a connection that is a two by two-inch receiver that you plug a hitch adapter into. While this is a very common type of hitch that you can use to pull a bike rack, a boat, or even a small RV or camper, there are other types that work to pull different sized loads.

I am something of an outdoorsman, and I drive a Subaru Outback that’s perfect for outside adventures, so when I want to ride my bike in a new area, it’s nice to be able to tow my bike on a dedicated rack. Also, I love to hunt from time to time, so a hitch to connect a cargo rack to is always very useful. Recently, I did some research, and I found that the Curt 13390 Class III Receiver Hitch functioned excellently when I needed to hitch something directly to my Subaru Outback.


The installation of the Curt 13390 Class III Receiver Hitch doesn’t take long at all; in fact, dependent on your level of expertise, it can range from a 45-minute install to about an hour and a half. It’s important to note that you’ll be removing your exhaust and heat shield during installation, so if you think that’s a bit too much for your level of expertise, you can always have an expert complete the install.

You’ll need:

  • Drill with a 17/32 inch bit – You’ll need these for drilling out additional attachment points.
  • A ratcheting socket wrench – You can use a socket driver, but that won’t provide the right amount of tightness.
  • A Ratchet Extension – This will provide a bit more range on your ratcheting.
  • A 19-millimeter Socket – For tightening the carriage bolts.
  • A 10-millimeter Socket – For tightening the flange bolts.
  • A torque wrench – You’ll need this to torque all hardware to the values providing in the instruction manual.
  • Aviation shears – You’ll need to cut your heat plate for installation.
  • Die Grinder – You’ll need this to enlarge a hole in the frame in order to insert a carriage bolt.
  • Paint Pen – This is for marking the heat plate.
  • Exhaust Removal Tool – This makes removing the exhaust easy.

I particularly liked the fact that this receiver requires no additional welding, and while it may seem complicated to attach by yourself, it mostly takes some drilling, a little threading, and clipping. I noticed that once the connection is complete, this hitch will stay very stably connected to your vehicle, you’ll just have to make sure that it’s torque at the right level.

Type of Receiver

The Curt 13390 Class III Receiver Hitch features a two by two-inch receiver. Many products like bike racks, but Class III is usually where these types of hitches start being able to tow boats as well. In addition to these towables, you can even tow a popup camper with a two by two-inch receiver.


The Curt 13390 Class III Receiver Hitch can haul a maximum weight of 8,000 pounds, which is perfect for bringing a pop-up camper, a bike rack, or a boat with you on your adventures. As a matter of fact, I find that this is also the perfect weight for Motorsports; you can easily tow a four wheeler or pair of motorcycles if you have the right hitch connections.


Curt has an iconic legacy when it comes to crafting quality hitches; in fact, this particular series of hitches has one of the strongest, most reliable reputations on the market today. To start, each component is tightly welded and tested for reliability under rigorous and everyday conditions. Not only does Curt test performance in real-world conditions, but they also utilize multiple computer simulations for each hitch.

Additionally, each of the Curt 13390 Class III receiver hitches is mechanically de-scaled and co-cured in an undercoating of liquid Bonderite. In addition to this, a durable black powder coat finish is added to the receiver hitch so that it’s not vulnerable to the rigors of the elements.

Other Key Features

One of the best features, at least in my opinion, is the fact that Curt backs this product with a limited lifetime warranty. It’s always great when a manufacturer stands by their product, and the company providing a lifetime warranty, even a limited one, is an indication that the product has great build quality.

Secondly, the round tube design of this particular hitch looks very stylish. I know that you’re not on the road to win fashion contests, but having a stylish-looking hitch is a very nice thing. Since this product is a great custom option for a Subaru Outback, I feel like it really fits the Outback’s main aesthetic, especially when outfitting models after the 2006 production year. Additionally, the powder coated steel construction is great for multiple trips. This product doesn’t scratch easily; any scratches to the powder coat opens up the entire hitch to rust and corrosion.

Finally, the hitch is also designed with an open-back receiver. This is particularly useful because these low-hanging devices can pick up a lot of road grime that can be hard to clean out. The open-backed construction will let you clean that area out from time to time.


As with just about anything else that you buy, there are a few considerations if you’re thinking about purchasing the Curt 13390 Class III Receiver Hitch. The primary concern about this product is that it’s a bit low-slung. Overall, you lose about an inch of departure angle clearance with this particular receiver hitch. This isn’t a whole lot, but it could possibly cause issues on ramps and over rough terrain.

Finally, this receiver hitch doesn’t work as well for 2015 models of the outback and later. For those models, Curt recommends the 13206 version of the hitch.

Aside from that, I would consider this to be the Best Hitch for a Subaru Outback.

Top Selling Towing Accessories