How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2016 Subaru Impreza

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To add a trailer hitch to a 2016 Subaru Impreza, you will need some basic tools, a Draw-Tite 24960 custom trailer hitch and about 40 minutes to complete the installation. Follow these basic steps to begin hauling bike racks, cargo carriers and other hitch-mounted accessories with your Subaru Impreza today.

About the Draw-Tite 24960

The Draw-Tite 24960 is a class 1, bolt-on trailer hitch designed for the 2016 Subaru Impreza. The hitch has a max trailer weight of 2,000 lb. and a max tongue weight of 200 lb. No welding is required for the installation.

Tools needed:

  • Safety glasses 
  • Exhaust pliers 
  • Locking stability strap 
  • Air saw 
  • ¼ in. ratchet 
  • 10mm socket 
  • 11/16 socket 
  • Torque wrench 
  • 5 in. socket extension 
  • Flathead screwdriver 
  • Needle nose vice grip
  • Tin snips

2016 Subaru Impreza hitch installation steps

1. Secure the exhaust

Use the stability strap to secure the exhaust to a sturdy engine component under the body, such as a crossmember.

2. Lower the exhaust

Use the exhaust pliers to remove the isolator rods from the rubber exhaust hangers. There are two hangers above the exhaust muffler and another near the center of the undercarriage. You may need to lubricate the hangers with soapy water to remove the rods.

3. Remove the heat shield

Use the 10mm socket to remove the heat shield from the frame on the driver side. Keep the four bolts holding it in place, as you will be reinstalling the heat shield.

4. Trim the heat shield

Use the tin snips to trim the heat shield so the hitch can attach to the frame. Cutaway the square labeled “M” and the entire section above it to expose the frame attachment holes.

5. Reinstall heat shield

Use the 10mm socket to reinstall the heat shield. You will only be using three of the four 10mm bolts that were originally in place.

6. Remove the rubber plugs

Wedge the rubber plugs out of the frame attachment holes and access holes using the flathead screwdriver on both sides of the vehicle. Leave the rearmost plugs in place.

7. Enlarge the access holes

Use the air saw to cut a notch out of each access hole. Start by cutting two incisions into one side of the access hole, forming a tab. Use the needle nose vice grip to bend the tab back, creating a rectangular space large enough for the ¼-inch spacer blocks.

8. Feed the hardware into the frame

Attach the ¼-inch spacer blocks and 11/16-inch carriage bolts to the fish wire coil. Feed the wire through the access hole and out of the second attachment hole. Pull the wire until the carriage bolt drops through the frame hole. Repeat this step for the other attachment hole and access hole, then repeat on the other side of the vehicle.

9. Attach the spacer blocks

Position the ?-inch spacer blocks over the forwardmost hitch bracket attachment holes on both sides of the top of the hitch. Tape them in place so the holes line up.

10. Position the hitch

With a second pair of hands, lift the hitch into position. Feed the wires through the hitch attachment holes and remove them after the bolts are exposed. Secure the conical washers and hex nuts to the carriage bolts by hand to loosely secure the hitch.

11. Torque the hex nuts

Using the torque wrench, torque each hex nut to 50 ft. lb. The wrench should make a clicking sound after reaching the correct amount of torque.

12. Raise the exhaust

Place the isolator rods back into the rubber exhaust hangers to raise the exhaust. You may need to lubricate the hangers and rods again. This can be done by hand or with the exhaust pliers.

Once installed, the hitch should measure:

  • 6 in. from the pin hole to the end of the bumper 
  • 4 in. from the receiver to the end of the bumper 
  • 9 in from the top of the receiver to the ground

You should now have your Draw-Tite 24960 trailer hitch installed on your 2016 Subaru Impreza. Whatever vehicle you drive, we have a trailer hitch for you. Don’t have the time to install yourself? Schedule a professional installation at uhaul.com and we’ll do the work. If U-Haul doesn’t have a hitch for your vehicle, nobody does!