Towing capacity for a small hatchback

I am moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to Massachusetts in December. The cost of truck rental + car tow or shipment is prohibitive so I am hoping to tow a 4 X 6 or 5 x 8 cargo trailer with my 2012 Mazda 2 instead (manual transmission). I’m getting conflicting reports on whether the Mazda 2 can handle the tow. The dealer says the car has no towing capacity, but U-Haul and other sites say that it is indeed possible. Thoughts? Concerns?

Don’t do it, your Mazda 2 is tiny, not suited to tow much of anything across country. Its brakes couldn’t handle any significant trailer. I’d sell/donate/trash as much as possible, ship the rest. You might be surprised at what you don’t really need.

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It is possible but not a wise thing to do.

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I’ve done it, (1995 Nissan Sentra) but I wouldn’t recommend it. 5’X8’ trailers are HEAVY loaded! U-Haul will rent you a trailer if your vehicle can at least tow the EMPTY trailer, and then say, “how you load it is your prerogative.” Well, if 90% of your tow rating is used up by the thing, empty, you really can’t use it for anything, and still be “legal”; you have to decide if you’re willing to play “fast and loose” with tow ratings.

Don’t you know anyone who owns a pickup?

No way can this vehicle tow anything larger then a motorcycle. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

I would believe the people who make the car before the people who profit off the sales of hitches and trailer rentals. Just my 2 cents worth.

Yeah you have to go by what the manual says not what U haul says. I’ve gotta think 500 pounds would be about max anyway so no way you can pull a 5X8 heavy U haul. A van with a car carrier is in your future or simply box everything up into one of those container haulers and drive there.

Rent a U-haul truck and tow the Mazda. :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone! I knew towing was a bad idea but was hoping something different would be the case. Renting a truck and towing the car is literally thousands of dollars more so I wanted a more cost-effective option. Will explore other options!

Anyone want to buy a Mazda 2 :smile:

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Concur w/above, while there’s a good chance you’d make it, the wear and tear on your poor M2 will cost you more to repair than what you’d pay by accomplishing the same objective another way. Options to cost out are

  • Drive your M2 to Boston, fly back to SF, then drive a rental truck to Boston w/your stuff. A pickup truck would probably hold your stuff right? One of those wouldn’t cost much to rent one-way for even a week.

  • Ask/post around, see if there’s anybody wanting to go to Boston who’d be willing to drive a rental truck along w/you driving your M2.

  • Likewise, maybe there’s somebody driving to Boston anyway with a truck who has some spare room and is looking to make a haul by making a haul … lol …

  • Hire a moving company to ship your stuff to Boston. This is the one I’d go with myself, might cost a little more, but overall much simpler. Moving companies won’t ship just your stuff alone on one of those big trucks. They’ll combine it with stuff other people are needing moved to the Boston area. So expect a little delay before you’ll be able to pick up your stuff in Boston. The more delay you are willing to accept, the less $$$ it will cost probably. If you can’t get it shipped exactly where you want, then rent a truck in Boston to haul it the rest of the way.

Good luck on your moving adventure Karalee! :slight_smile:

If you have books you want to move, you can often get a good rate sending them by freight. I think there may be a book rate. As someone else suggested, some.moving companies will accept partial loads. When they have a.truckload going to the same area, they depart. The disadvantage is that you have to be flexible on your moving schedule. The advantage is a cost break.

I have 40 years experience driving tractor trailer, sometimes with 2 1/2 times the legal load. I would not consider even thinking about attempting this. What I used todo was crazy, this would be just plain stupid.

Per page 4-12 of your owner’s manual

“Trailer Towing
The Mazda2 is not designed for towing.
Never tow a trailer with your Mazda2.”

Good decision. There are other things in addition to safety aspect you have avoided. You could be stopped and ticketed for operating an unsafe vehicle depending upon state laws. Your insurance coverage would need to be check, especially operating a vehicle over the tow rating. And lastly, you have avoided rendering a small compact much less reliable for you or the next owner. With an inexperienced “tower” it was an accident begging to happen.

Trailer Towing

The Mazda2 is not designed for towing.
Never tow a trailer with your Mazda2.

And Mazda approve the Mazda 2 for towing 1100 lbs without brakes/2000 lbs with brakes in Europe.
And, yes we have mountains over here too.
I have done “worse” than that. Used my -68 Morris Minor pick-up with trailer (no brakes on trailer) in -95 to move the neighbours from Copenhagen, DK to south of Bordeaux in france, app. 1200 miles one way with all of it’s mighty power of 58 hp. Weighed in on the scale at the ferry betw. Dk and Germany at just above 4100 lbs, legal limit 3800 lbs combined. And i have done worse both before and since, albeit over way shorter, local distances.
Would I do it again?
No problem.
KNOWING what you are doing, is what counts.
I have driven more miles with trailer than I care to remember, worn out engines, broken gearboxes, ruined differentials as I’m using my vehicles hard, but I have never worn a clutch out. My present clutch assembly has done more than 300k miles and still doing fine.
Would I tow with an automatic transmission or cvt? No way in (a certain place).

Agree with the others about not towing with that tiny car.
Agree with the others about not towing if you never have. ( maybe you have towed in the past with other vehicles. Camp trailers , boats and water craft, etc, are all possible in someone’s experience. )
And even if you have towing experience, towing with that marginal to non-existant capacity will , far too soon, SLAM you in the face with its horrendous capability to . . . STOP !!!

    • even IF you can stand the snail’s pace acceleration . . . ( and possible burned out clutch )
    • even if you can bring yourself to drive a SLOW enough top speed .
      by the time you are UNpleasantly surprised by the IN-ability to STOP

I suspect it’s more of a liability issue in the U.S. Personally, if someone was driving a grossly overloaded trailer and they were to hit me, I’d sue the bejezus out of them for negligence.

Even if you take the European tow limits which actually seem reasonable, a U Haul brand 5x8, especially covered, will be well over that limit I believe. Those things are not light, and of course everyone follows the 45 mph speed limit.

My current trailer is app. 4x7, empty 275,lbs, payload 875 lbs. It’s a sturdy trailer, axle is approved to 1650 lbs. You can get trailers here with higher payload on the same grossweight.
Denmark, ordinary roads: 44 mph, motorway: 50 mph
Germany: ordinary roads: 50 mph, motorway 56 mph.
Belgium and France: ordinary speedlimits and 68 mph with one axle trailer and 81 mph with a 2 axle trailer on motorways. both with brakes.
80 mph with a trailer is in my view INSANE, and I don’t care what kind of trailer it might be.

Yeah my 4x8 is about 250# but I beefed the frame up and put heavier springs, axle, hubs, and wheels/tires on so it could carry 2000#. That was only for short 10 mile trips though with sand and rock. Otherwise can’t believe I’m ever over 1000#.