Towing the line with the new Toyota Prius

For the first time in its history, the Toyota Prius has been developed with the ability to tow a trailer. This is further evidence of Toyota’s desire to inject greater performance, driving appeal and day-to-day usability into its hybrid hero.

Prius towing 01

In order to sample this new-found towing ability, we decided to equip a Prius with a towing hitch and wiring kit from the official Toyota accessories line and head off into the beautiful Lake District – closely followed, of course, by our temporary ‘running partner’.

Prius towing 06

The beauty of Toyota’s detachable towing hitch is its discretion. When not in use, the towing arm can be stowed in the boot in its cloth bag, while the hardware connections are mostly concealed from view behind the lower edge of the bumper. Fitting follows a simple red/green guide, where the green indicators are only ever displayed when the towing hitch is fixed safely and securely in place.

A similar red/green guide is also used on some trailers to ensure they are correctly coupled to the car.

Prius towing 14

Although the new Prius has a relatively modest 725kg towing capacity compared with more traditional load-luggers, it is still possible to tow anything from small leisure trailers to pod-style caravans.

Sitting towards the upper end of the Prius’s towing limits with a normal running order mass of 650kg, the 2016 specification T@B 320 RS model pictured in this post was supplied by the very helpful staff at Adventure Leisure Vehicles in Cumbria.

Prius towing 11

Offering a funky, retro-inspired design, the T@B 320 RS has a versatile and high-quality interior that manages to pack living and sleeping accommodation, a well-equipped kitchen and ample storage into a teardop shape that is the same length as that of a Toyota Aygo.

Prius towing 08

Thanks to their distinctive, aerodynamic designs, the combination of Prius and T@B cuts a dash when passing in near-silence through picturesque Lake District villages. And as the caravan is narrower than the Prius it feels wieldy enough to snake confidently through the winding roads surrounding Ullswater, unconcerned about the width of oncoming vehicles.

Prius towing 09

Our destination for the static photoshoot is the multi-award-winning The Quiet Site a few miles north-west of Ullswater.

Located in the heart of the Lake District National Park, the all-weather site has become a favourite with campers, glampers, caravanners and nature-lovers alike. Like the Prius, the site has become well-known for its environmental credentials and sustainable policies, even being referred to by some as “probably the greenest park in Britain”.

Prius towing 16

Situated in a secluded position within the fells, many of the pitches sit on staggered terraces that afford unobstructed views over Ullswater and the snow-capped mountains punctuating the skyline. It’s a perfect base from which to explore the Lakes or simply soak up the peaceful atmosphere.

Prius towing 04

And what’s more, with the Prius’s ability to slink silently away on electric power – even with the caravan attached – there needn’t be any fear of rousing your fellow campers with the percussive clatter of a cold engine early in the morning.

Specification and cost of accessories fitted to the Toyota Prius pictured:

Detachable towing hitch with 13-pin wiring£600
Black alloy wheel insert£350
Chrome pack (three features)£350

Learn more: What are the legal rules about towing?



  1. Hi Eileen,
    Thank you for your comment. Having looked into the owner’s manual for the Prius 2011, we’ve found that the vehicle is not designed for towing and we don’t recommend the installation of a tow hitch on this vehicle. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We can confirm that the Prius Plus has zero towing capacity.

  2. Hi, I am interested in buying a corolla touring sports hybrid, but need to be able to fit a towbar bike rack which holds 4 bikes. I already have the bike rack. Can you tell me this would be possible for the touring sports hybrid, or other models?

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Thanks for your interest. It’s a great car! We can’t say with 100% certainty whether your bike rack will fit. Corolla Touring Sports Hybrid can have a tow bar fitted though and bike rack manufacturers do naturally try and make sure they fit as many different cars as possible.

      The best thing to do is take a look at a few of our vehicles up close and speak with the dealer about this. Would you like us to put you in touch?


  3. Where can I find a PDF or online users manual for the 2016-18 Prius? I am Interested in purchasing to tow a caravan but want to see what manual says about towing. Also, just out of curiosity, my cousin in Seattle, USA has a 2017 Prius C and her manual expressly forbids towing anything and her dealership told her that towing would damage her transmission. Why the difference between the US and UK Prius?

    1. Hi Lynn,
      Thanks for getting in touch with us.
      We are only able to comment on UK specification vehicles, so we would recommend contacting the Toyota distributor in your region for further help with your query.
      However, due to the extra weight of the trailer, it can be assumed that the fuel economy will be lower when towing a trailer than in normal use.

    1. Hi Richard,
      Thanks for your comment.
      The 4th Generation FWD Prius is the only Prius that is able to tow, and this has a towing capacity of 725kg.
      This means that you will be unable to tow your folding caravan, no matter which generation of Prius you own.

  4. hello,

    I have 2019 prius plus, there is a detachable hook on the car from Toyota but it’s written on the hook “not for towing” can I put on it the Thule box 70 kg ?

    best regards

    1. Hi Hayder,
      Thank you for your question.
      We would recommend contacting your Toyota Centre to see what options are available to you.

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