Can you tow with a Prius? (hybrid cars for towing)

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: Can you tow with a Prius? We will discuss whether towing with a Prius is a good idea, and how towing looks for electric cars. 

Can you tow with a Prius?

Yes, you can tow with a Prius. The fourth generation of the Toyota Prius is the first in 19 years that the world’s best-selling hybrid has been in operation to be able to equip a trailer hitch. Sold as an accessory at dealerships and can tow up to 750 kilos of weight (1598 lbs). 

This trailer hitch is found as an original accessory in the dealerships of the Japanese firm for a price of $475 without taking into account the price of the assembly. To this must be added $238 for the 7-pin electrical connection, a figure that rises to $277 in the case of needing the 13-pin connection.

Thanks to this new rear hitch, not only can it be towed from a caravan that weighs a maximum of 750 kilos, but it can also be fitted with functional supports for transporting bicycles, for example, an accessory that the Japanese firm also offers for this new Toyota Prius for $359 and that allows transporting two bicycles. There is also another folding that costs $556.

To say that this hitch can be disassembled and stored in a cover when not in use so that its support is not visible and best of all, it does not affect the refined aerodynamics of this efficient vehicle that continues to surprise us. 

Toyota Prius Towing Capacity


Car Model
Unbraked Towing CapacityBraked Towing Capacity
Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Active 5d CVT Auto725kg /1598 lbs
Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Business Ed Plus (15-inch alloy) 5d CVT725kg
Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Business Edition 5d CVT Auto725kg
Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Business Edition Plus 5d CVT Auto725kg
Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Excel (15-inch alloy) 5d CVT725kg
Toyota Prius Hatchback (2015 onwards) 1.8 VVTi Excel 5d CVT Auto725kg
Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Active 5dr CVT725 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 CVT725 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 CVT725 kg#N/A
Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Excel 5dr CVT725 kg#N/A
Toyota PRIUS HATCHBACK 1.8 VVTi Excel 5dr CVT [15-inch alloy]725 kg#N/A

If you think about towing a car, surely, the Toyota Prius is one of the latest models that come to mind. Toyota’s hybrid model has qualities such as comfort, space or almost nothing … and is one of the pioneers of the hybrid segment. But, among its strengths is not the trailer of other vehicles, which, in addition, weigh more than it. Or so we thought.

Towing with a Prius: Pure hybrid power

Because the Toyota Prius barely has a 1.8 engine and an electrical system with which it provides a total of 122 HP of power and 120 Nm of maximum torque. They are good features, but at first glance, on paper, they do not impress too much. But he had more than enough strength to tow this car.

And it is that, when talking about cars specialized in towing, robust, imposing cars come to mind, 4×4 with huge wheels and very high torque. But no, this is a normal Prius, which weighs 1,650 kilograms and is towing a vehicle larger than it, which weighs more and is larger.

We can now add one more function to the Toyota Prius. Apart from being very comfortable, extremely quiet and practical in town and having an almost immediate response to the pedal, we now also know that we can tow another vehicle if the situation requires it.

If you have a Toyota Prius in the garage, you only have to worry about knowing how to properly hook the trailer, know the speed limits you must attend to and know that driving changes a lot with such a large weight load. What is clear is that you can tow a car with a Toyota Prius. 

The basics of towing with a hybrid/electric car

Can you now tow a trailer with an electrified car? 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.

This system is tuned specifically for the car’s curb weight, so there is a risk of the system being overloaded with the additional kinetic energy created by a heavy trailer, particularly on steep descents. Of course, many electric vehicles allow you to disable regenerative braking, but while this could save the engine, it would put enormous pressure on the friction braking system.

It is also important to take into account the issue of autonomy and that if you combine a heavy load with inefficient aerodynamics, it is likely to increase, notably, the consumption of electricity.

Electric cars that have to tow capacity

More and more all-electric models are arriving from dealerships offering towing capability. Tesla is the manufacturer that leads 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, they will also be able to tow the Opel Vivaro-e Life, the Citroën e-SpaceTourer, the Peugeot e-Traveler, the Volkswagen ID.4 and the Skoda Enyaq IV.

These are the hybrid cars that can tow a trailer

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. 

FAQ on Can you tow with a Prius?

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. 

References