Originally Posted by lymphomaniac
That's a good point, though I guess the same kind of risk (denting/scratching) remains regardless of method used, and I'm sure there are ways to mitigate the contact-point scratching and rubbing.
The 2.0i manual does not advise using a trailer assembly for towing (except for the Crosstrek). That would've been a preferred option for me as well.
If you use a trailer hitch for mounting a bike rack, then you're not really "towing", right?
I don't carry bikes with my Impreza, but I do have a receiver hitch on my wife's Honda Odyssey, and we use a Thule hitch-mounted bike rack on her car with great success. There's no way the bikes can come in contact with the car.
In fact, we went with the version of the rack that swings out to the side so that you can open her hatch with the bikes installed on the rack, which is a GREAT feature.