In this article, we will answer the following questions: Can a Prius tow a teardrop trailer? Can a Prius tow a Uhaul trailer? Can you really tow with an electric car? We discuss the best electric and hybrid cars when it comes to towing.
Can a Prius tow a teardrop trailer?
As you will see in the table below, certain models of Toyota Prius can successfully tow an unbraked/braked caravan. Although the towing limit is 725 kg, this is still an impressive transport capacity!
Toyota Prius Towing Capacity
|Unbraked Towing Capacity||Braked Towing Capacity|
|Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Active 5d CVT Auto||725kg||–|
|Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Business Ed Plus (15-inch alloy) 5d CVT||725kg||–|
|Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Business Edition 5d CVT Auto||725kg||–|
|Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Business Edition Plus 5d CVT Auto||725kg||–|
|Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Excel (15-inch alloy) 5d CVT||725kg||–|
|Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Excel 5d CVT Auto||725kg||–|
|Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Active 5dr CVT||725 kg||#N/A|
|Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Active 5dr CVT [Nav]||725 kg||#N/A|
|Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Business Ed Plus 5dr CVT [15-inch alloy]||725 kg||#N/A|
|Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Business Edition 5dr CVT||725 kg||#N/A|
|Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Business Edition 5dr CVT [Nav]||725 kg||#N/A|
|Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Business Edition Plus 5dr CVT||725 kg||#N/A|
|Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Excel 5dr CVT||725 kg||#N/A|
|Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Excel 5dr CVT [15-inch alloy]||725 kg||#N/A|
Can a Prius tow a Uhaul trailer?
With the evolution of technology, electric cars have an impressive transport capacity. However, you will have to delve into the specifications of many of these models and you will discover that very few can be hooked to a caravan or a trailer.
There are a number of reasons why this type of vehicle cannot tow and it is that the battery packs are quite heavy, much more than even a combustion one. If we add the trailer of a caravan, the components can be overloaded and require a very substantial effort.
Another factor to take into account is the regenerative braking system since by reducing speed, the electric motor of an electric or hybrid vehicle acts as a generator, dumping energy that would otherwise have been lost to the battery.
Can hybrids and electric cars really tow a caravan?
The improvement of the power and autonomy of electric cars is in continuous and accelerated improvement, but even so, they have not approved vehicles for towing trailers with a single exception: the Tesla Model X that became the first electric car capable of carrying a trailer.
Reasons why an electric car should not tow a trailer
The lack of homologation is the main reason why you cannot currently use an electric trailer, and it is easy to understand the decision of the manufacturers regarding this possibility.
Weight: The weight of an electric car is increased compared to that of a combustion car as it houses a heavy battery that gives it the desired autonomy. Since the trailer brings extra weight, it is a complicated or impossible combination, considering the weight that the electric ones already have.
Brakes: Regenerative brakes are more efficient and are the ones that mount the most plug-ins. However, they are only calibrated for the braking force required by the car and it is not possible to change their setting to accommodate extra loads such as those involved in incorporating a trailer.
Autonomy: The autonomy foreseen in an electric would be seriously affected – reduced – by the use of a trailer. The most common is that a trailer is used for a long trip in which extra belongings or suitcases are transported, but electric cars do not offer long autonomies to face many kilometres without having to charge.
If the driver of an electric car also has to reckon with the expense of towing an extra load, he would have to stop on his route much more often in order to recharge the battery. This does not seem like a practical or comfortable scenario.
The Tesla Model X in its 85 kWh Performance version is approved for towing and certifies up to 2,230 kilos of cargo. As for hybrids, the offer is somewhat greater, since in this case, the combination of powers does allow to achieve the necessary force to take on extra load without difficulties.
Other hybrids/electric cars that are good for towing:
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
- Volvo XC90 T8
- Volvo XC60 T8
- Audi Q7 e-Tron
- BMW X5 40e
- Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Hybrid
- Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid
Among the smaller hybrids, there are also some that are approved for towing, but not more than 1,600 kg:
- Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
- VW Golf GTE
Toyota Prius and Toyota C-HR are also homologated for towing, but their limits are even smaller. The Prius allows a light towing of less than 725 kilograms. The experts in caravans and trailers coincide in recommending for the moment the use of hybrids for towing, as they offer the best performance without limitations in this type of car.
One last important detail: your ecological car must circulate with car insurance appropriate to its needs so that you can drive calmly and protected even if you do not have a trailer.
Electric cars that have an impressing towing capacity
More and more all-electric models are arriving from dealerships offering towing capability.
Tesla is the manufacturer that leads to the selection of vehicles that can tow. The Tesla Model X can tow up to 2,270 kilograms.
The Audi e-Tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC follow Tesla’s SUV and can tow a vehicle weighing up to 1,800 kg.
The fourth place is occupied by the Hyundai Ioniq 5 that can pull up to 1,600 kg.
These models are closely followed by the Polestar 2, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Mercedes-Benz EQA. In addition, the following will also be able to tow a caravan: Opel Vivaro-e Life, the Citroën e-SpaceTourer, the Peugeot e-Traveler, the Volkswagen ID.4 and the Skoda Enyaq IV.
Hybrid cars that have an impressing towing capacity
Hybrid cars that have towing capabilities are Toyota Prius, Toyota CH-R, Toyota Corolla, Honda CR-V Hybrid, Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Niro, Toyota RAV4, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, the Hyundai Tucson and the Lexus RX 450h.
The bottom line
Teardrop trailers are small and lightweight. Although the Toyota Prius was not made for towing big weight, its 725 kg towing capacity is more than enough for a teardrop trailer.
Have you towed with your Prius before? We’d love it if you decided to share your experience with our other readers!
FAQ on Can a Prius tow a teardrop trailer?
Can you tow a small trailer with a Prius?
Yes, you can tow a small trailer with a Prius. The 2015 and onwards Toyota Prius models have a towing capacity of 725 kilograms/ 1,598 lbs, which makes it capable of towing a lightweight caravan or small camper.
Can you put a trailer hitch on a Toyota Prius?
You can put a trailer hitch on a Toyota Prius, but if you haven’t a clue about installing a hitch, it is best to ask help from a Toyota authorised mechanic.
How do you put a Prius in neutral when towing?
When towing, you can shift a Prius in neutral by hitting the power button twice without your foot on the brake then put your foot on the brake to put it in neutral.
Can a hybrid car pull a trailer?
Some hybrid cars are perfectly capable of pulling a trailer or caravan. Hybrid cars that have towing capabilities are Toyota Prius, Toyota CH-R, Toyota Corolla, Honda CR-V Hybrid, Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Niro, Toyota RAV4, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, the Hyundai Tucson and the Lexus RX 450h.