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Moving across country and need to tow a manual 5 speed transmission, 2003 Jetta with a 2014 Subaru Outback. Already got the hitch for the Outback. Can I flat tow this Jetta? What parts are recommended for the tow?

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No you cannot safely tow the Jetta as you'll exceed the towing capacity of your Outback. The Outback can tow (depending on the options) between 2,700-3000lbs. The weight of the Jetta by itself is between 2,892-3292lbs. When calculating the towed weight, you need to include any other thing which you may be putting into your Outback, such as people or things. You'll also need to include the weight of the tow dolly or any fixture you're using to attach the Jetta to your Outback. With all of this in mind, you'll be exceeding the tow capacity by quite a bit.

  • Good catch. I completely spaced looking at the tow vehicle capacity. – CharlieRB May 23 '17 at 17:22
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    If the Jetta is at the low end of the weight range, you might be able to make it legal by emptying the fuel tank, finding alternate transportation for the spare tire, and similar weight savings. At the high end? Not a chance. – Mark May 23 '17 at 22:13
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Yes, you can flat tow a VW Jetta. You will have to purchase all the hardware to install a tow bar on the front of your VW. This includes the base plate that mounts to the car, a rigid "A-frame" tow bar (pictures are reference only), and all the appropriate wiring for brake lights and turn signals.

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It is also recommended to disconnect and remove the driveshafts for long distance towing. Not sure that is practical for your car.

Since the VW Jetta is front wheel drive, I would recommend comparing the cost of purchasing all the equipment to flat tow vs. renting a tow dolly.

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A tow dolly will allow you to tow the vehicle without a great amount of prep work and expense.

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    Even though I missed the fact the tow vehicle isn't capable of towing this Jetta, I am leaving this question up for the information related to equipment needed for flat towing. – CharlieRB May 23 '17 at 18:34

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