How could someone definitively say their vehicle could or could not tow something based solely on frontal area? Not enough information unless the only criteria is the owner's manual. Going only on the manufacturer's limit for area, you are ignoring speed, weight and the general design of the tow vehicle to a certain degree. For instance my 2 door Jeep Wrangler can only tow 2,500 lbs, but the 4 door can tow 3,500 lbs. Just the wheelbase makes the difference as the 4 door is actually heavier. A heavier trailer is harder to stop and more unstable in emergency maneuvers which seem like more important issues than frontal area. A shorter, wider and higher trailer is inherently less stable than a longer lower one with a lower center of gravity. More frontal area also probably means more side area and less stability in crosswinds.
It's hard to say definitely yes or no as it's more a matter of degree or comparative weight and size to the tow vehicle. These days the speeds on the highway are very high too.
For me, I'd love to have my Wrangler to run around in after dropping off the trailer at a site, but my Cummins is so much more capable and safe to tow with. The Cummins always gets picked because of it's power and stability. And since it can easily tow a much bigger trailer than I want, I never consider the factory limit to be a factor. Unfortunately, the 2,500 lb Jeep limit, and it's obvious short wheelbase instability, mean I can't travel with the kind of trailer I want to spend a lot of time in. So, the conversation seems to be about lighter tow vehicles that are approaching their limits with the desired trailer. At that level the brakes
, stability system, weight distribution, total cargo, total miles, type of highway and horsepower should also factor in.