Toyota Hybrid towing: your questions answered

As part of Toyota’s desire to engineer greater driving appeal into its cars, most current generation Toyota Hybrid models have the capacity to tow trailers and caravans. This might lead owners to wonder how much their car is able to tow.

The regulations surrounding towing can be quite complicated to understand. So while this post is not designed to explain all the rules on this subject, we hope it clears some confusion by supplying straightforward answers to important, frequently asked questions.

Within this post we have also supplied relevant links to official government pages, related associations, and Toyota resources.

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1) Which Toyota Hybrid models can tow?

The latest generation Yaris, Corolla, C-HR, RAV4 and Prius.

Moving upwards in towing ability, the latest Yaris has a towing capacity of 450kg. The Prius and C-HR share a recommended towing capacity of 725kg for both a braked or unbraked trailer. You can read more about this in our special feature on towing with a Prius. Meanwhile, all Corolla models – Hatchback, Touring Sports and Saloon – have an unbraked capacity of 450kg and a braked towing capacity of 750kg.

All RAV4 models have a legal towing capacity of 750kg for unbraked trailers. But with regard to braked trailers (where the trailer has its own braking system), the front-wheel drive RAV4 has a recommended towing capacity of 800kg and the all-wheel drive RAV4 has a 1,650kg capacity. Straddling the two is the new RAV4 Plug-in, which has a braked trailer maximum set at a 1,500kg.

For more information on how legal towing capacities are calculated, please see question four.

2) Can I tow with a Toyota Camry?

The current generation Camry has not been homologated to tow in the United Kingdom.

Some hybrid Camry models in other markets have been specially configured to tow light loads but these models are not available in the UK. Their cooling systems are different and the components cannot be retro-fitted to UK-spec cars.

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3) What am I allowed to tow?

It depends on when you passed your driving test, the weight of your car and what you are towing.

You can get the latest rules and restrictions on the government services and information website.

4) What is my car legally allowed to tow?

The figure authorities use to enforce the maximum towing capacity of a vehicle can be found on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate.

Not all vehicles have been homologated to tow, but those that have will display either three or four sets of figures on the VIN plate. Reading from top to bottom, these will be the gross vehicle weight (the maximum mass of the vehicle including occupants, fuel and load), the gross vehicle train weight (the combined maximum mass of the vehicle and trailer) and the maximum loads across the front and rear axles respectively.

In order to create a recommended maximum towing capacity, vehicle manufacturers usually deduct the gross vehicle weight from the gross vehicle train weight.

For more advice on your specific Toyota model, please follow this link to the My Toyota site where you download a copy of the owner’s manual for your car.

See more: Towing the line with the new Toyota Prius
Further information: National Trailer & Towing Association
Further information: AA guidance on towing

 

142 comments

  1. What a pity that sport cars such as the GT86 aren’t homologated for towing. Many thousands of people in UK alone need to tow sailing dinghies – it’s not all about heavy loads/caravans.

    1. Hi Tony,
      Thank you for your post. We will feed your comments back to our product team for future product reviews. Many thanks.

      1. Hi Bob,

        Thanks for contacting us.

        In regards to your query, the Yaris hybrid doesn’t have a towing capacity.

        Hope this helps!

      2. I have a RAV4 Hybrid with a towbar for fitting a bike rack. My wife would like to buy a new Yaris Hybrid, but I see the brochure shows “no towing capacity”. I understand there may well be problems towing a Caravan, but would it be possible to actually fit a towbar to carry a bike rack? Otherwise I’m afraid it’s a deal breaker.

  2. Toyota quitting the diesel engine line for passenger cars is really bad! In future there is no option from Toyota on passenger car that can tow more than just empty trailer. Customers that need towing capability will leave Toyota even they don’t want to. Where to find a car that can tow a boat, mobile home, horse trailer etc. At the moment there is some models on Toyota that can tow like Avensis ( diesel ) and Land Cruiser ( diesel ). But in future if diesel line for passenger cars ends there is only Land Cruiser and hilux that can tow.

  3. Hi William,
    Thanks for your feedback and post. We will pass all this information to our team. Many thanks!

    1. Hi
      Agree with William.
      In the market for a new tow car for our caravan. At present got the 2010 Rav4 2.2D XTR AWD. Excellent at towing and economical as well but at 6yrs old looking to change. What a shock only got the choice of petrol or hybrid in AWD – no diesel it’s now only FWD. Not got a deep enough pocket to fuel the petrol and the hybrid has a very low noseweight. Really disappointed as been impressed with Toyota over these last 6 years. Honda now do the CRV with a 1.6D and 9 speed auto with emissions of 139. Noseweight of 100kg and economical. Looks like we will be changing manufacturer. Come on Toyota get your act together. You’ll lose many customers.

      1. Hi Peter,
        We’re sorry to hear you think this. We pass on all of the feedback we receive on the blog and we’ll certainly pass this on. Many thanks!

      2. Hi, we also have a Rav4 AWD 2010 and are looking to upgrade to a new Rav4, we were also dismayed and disappointed that Rav4 are no longer suitable to tow a 4 berth modern caravan with.
        We have been the owners of 2 Rav4 tow cars and very happy with our choices too.
        Now looking elsewhere, but wish we were not as we love the Rav4, just not the uncertainty of towing using an hybrid and with such low capacities.
        Bad move Toyota

      3. Hi John,
        The 2016 RAV4 is available in three engine specifications. The 2 litre diesel FWD has a braked towing capacity of 1,600kg (unbraked 750kg), the 2 litre petrol AWD has a braked towing capacity of 1,500kg (unbraked 750kg) and the hybrid engine has a braked towing capacity of 1,650kg (unbraked 750kg). Hope this helps!

  4. Hello, this Toyota official blog is very assertive about Prius 4 being able to tow braked or unbraked trailer below 725kg. But other sites in France or Belgium specific 725 (unbaked trailer only). I am considering to tow a 500kg braked trailer with Prius 4. Is that OK from reliability point of view and legal point of view ? Thank you !

  5. Hi Benjamin,
    We would suggest contacting your local dealer. They will be able to give you the best advise regarding this query, are you based in the UK? Many thanks.

  6. Looking at the new Rav 4 hybrid, the press write ups are not that encouraging. And there seems to be a lot of questions on the ability to tow caravans and trailers without issue. Honda is now looking like the better option to be honest. Pity really I do like the rav

      1. Hi. Yes have test driven the RAV4 hybrid. Very nice to drive. Impressed but couldn’t come to any agreement with the local dealer regarding price, even though on CarWow they were offering a discount. Disappointed with their attitude. Have now purchased the Honda CRV. Top spec diesel auto much much cheaper than RAV price. Enjoyed having the RAV but obviously dealer not bothered with old customers. The ‘we can sell all we get’ attitude disappointing. Thanks for your follow up. Peter

      2. Hi Peter,
        We’re sorry to hear that you didn’t end up purchasing a RAV4. Did you mention the dealer to our customer relations team? You’re welcome, we like to hear what went wrong or what went well.

      3. No, not contacted customer relations team. Dealership always been good, but new sales manager means new approach to selling cars. Not my ‘cup of tea’.

      4. Hi Peter,
        We would recommend talking to our customer relations team about this! They will be able to help.

      5. Hi again. Do you have the number for the customer relations team? I’ll give them a ring so others don’t get caught out.

      6. No I am at the early stages of looking/buying. Not teally come to a descion yet. The fealership where fine. The sales persons was very good not pushy at all. We have bought from them brfore. Its probably better if I try a test drive first.

  7. Have a UK 66 plate Auris Hybrid Touring and very happy with the car. I know it is not homologated to tow but would like to fit a tow bar solely to be able to fit a cycle carrier that holds 4 cycles. Is this possible?

      1. I am considering buying an Auris Hybrid Touring and understand the advice about towing. Like others, I want a towbar to fit a bike carrier. I understand that Toyota wants to sell its own but I already own two racks, one for 2 and one for 4 bikes. Are you suggesting I must change to Toyota racks or can I continue to use my bike carriers? What would be the total weight allowed on the ball of the bar?
        Thanks

      2. Hi Jeroen,
        Thanks for getting in touch. We can not comment on third party bike carriers as they have not been safety tested by us. We’d advise going on the Toyota website, download the brochure and check the third party part against our specification. It should be on page 52 of the Auris touring brochure. Hope this helps.

      3. Thank you for your quick reply. Unfortunately it does not answer my question. I am not asking for advice on the suitability or safety of my bike carriers but I am looking for your guidance on towbars. Can I fit a suitable towbar on a Hybrid Auris Tourer and if so, what is the maximum weight on the ball? Is a suitable towbar the same as the one for the regular, non-hybrid Tourer?

      4. Hi Jeroen,
        Sorry about that. For hybrid we only offer a Bike carrier support bracket with a non-towing ball mount (PW962-02005). For non hybrids we have a fixed towing hitch (PZ408-E5560-00), detachable towing hitch (PW960-02000) which is 450KG towing capacity however, we’d advise you to check his bike carriers weight capacity just in case.
        Many thanks.

      5. Hi Joeren.i looked into this and eventually found the answer is 50kg. Aim a dealer for a pdf of the hybrid bike carrier support bracket fitting instructions.

      6. Thank you Duncan. Your reply is the clearest yet. Unfortunately I have decided to purchase a different car now as the the lack of clear, unequivocal information on towbars left me unsure on this issue. A towbar (again NOT for towing but to carry a bike rack that is non-Toyota) is important to me and unfortunately the Toyota dealer, who is regularly referred to for advice, does not have the information either. They just say that any guarantee on the car is invalidated by fitting a towbar. Something I understand from your document to be untrue and that I could indeed have had a towbar fitted and be able to carry bikes + rack up to a total weight of 50kg. If only I had known that when having to make the final decision on which car to buy….

    1. I hope so too as I am picking mine up. I know they have a clip-in 2 bike system, I have a need also for a 4 bike rack for the family.

  8. What is the future for diesel pickup trucks. We know it’s curtains for passenger cars… But for those like me who needs the best balance of family car efficiency and good towing capacity. Do you buy a new euro6 adblue hilux/cruiser now or hold out til technology catches up with high torque and towing requirements?? How long will it take companies like toyota to build what the environment (and politicians) are demanding? Right now it feels like the go getters are being penalised because the industry isn’t pulling it’s socks up!

  9. I bought Toyota Estima Japanese import it’s a 2008 and just today have been informed it is illegal to tow with it…it being 2.4 petrol electric…..should be able to tow most things…….

    Regards
    Unhappy

  10. Hi Malcolm,
    We’re very sorry to hear this. Cars that we sell in the UK are homologated to tow, for example Prius, RAV4 Hybrid and C-HR Hybrid can all tow. Unfortunately, as this is the law we’re unable to advise anything else.

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