Why can't I tow with my Prius V?

toyota
prius

#1

I would like to tow something in the order of a trailer that you see behind motorcycles, but my Prius owners manual says no towing. If they are saying that because they think the gas engine it too small, I may overrule them. If it is a battery issue will never tow with it.


#2

The owner’s manual is the final word. If it says not to tow, you shouldn’t try to attach more meaning to it than that.


#3

Not a regular transmission, they probably don’t want to strain it.


#4

I think its the body structure as much as the engine and transmission system. My 2012 Acura TL said no towing either and it had a V6, AT, and a fairly substantial car. Our RDX has the same engine and transmission as the TL and towing is allowed. The only difference is the body structure.


#5

If this is a new vehicle having a hitch on it might be an excuse for the warranty to be voided.


#6

If you can’t fit the cargo in the hatch, get a roof carrier.


#7

Regenerative braking might be a problem here.


#8

Lots of good points here.
Tow at your own risk. And it’s a big one.


#9

Interesting on our RDX, the roof rack is something like a $700 option. They caution though to not exceed a 65 pound weight limit on the roof. I guess its good for some skis and a couple bikes but thats about it. Can’t say for the Prius, but it might be hard to attach a roof rack, and I’d check the weight and height limit first.


#10

As mountainbike stated, there are lots of possible reasons why Toyota specifies “no towing” with this vehicle. As texases stated, the transmission might be the weak spot, or as auto-owner stated, the regenerative braking might be the problem, or as Bing mentioned, the car’s unitized body/chassis might not be robust enough for towing.

Does it really matter exactly what the reason for Toyota’s prohibition on towing with this vehicle might be? If the folks who designed and built the vehicle say that it is not designed for towing, the OP needs to heed that advice–or realize that ignoring the mfr’s advice will likely put his wallet in peril.


#11

Well it certainly has enough power to tow a fair amount ,but there may be no practical way to attach a hitch to this car ,there is always the temptation to add just a little more ,to the vehicle you are using and say ,"wow ,I got by with it " - respect the car and use something else to tow with ,U Haul has good rates on pickups and vans during the weekends.


#12

Well it certainly has enough power to tow a fair amount ,but there may be no practical way to attach a hitch to this car ,there is always the temptation to add just a little more ,to the vehicle you are using and say ,"wow ,I got by with it " - respect the car and use something else to tow with ,U Haul has good rates on pickups and vans during the weekends.


#13

A related story: I was cleaning out my house before I put it up for sale, in Northern NH. I called a junk service to take away some junk, including an old trailer made from the back of a pickup truck. Had been sitting in the yard for a decade. No license, no air in the tires.

They left with their small flat bed truck with one guy sitting on the back of the truck holding onto the hitch of the trailer, with the help of a rope! And that was via a private steep gravel road.


#14

"Egads " ,what some people thinking about ?.


#15

My son is contemplating buying a Prius and also wants to tow a small trailer. I advised strongly against it. He now realizes that he should have a tow vehicle as well as an economy high mileage vehicle.


#16

You can modify your Prius to tow but you better have deep pockets. The repair bill would be astronomical. Listen to the owner’s manual.


#17

If I were asked to attach a hitch to this car I’d politely decline. You may not even be able to find anybody that will mount the hitch. Too much liability.


#18

Regenerative braking isn’t the problem…because Hybrid SUV’s like the Highlander have towing rates of up to 3500lbs (class-II).

Reese and Drawtite have been selling Custom hitches for the Prius for years. So there is no problem installing a hitch to the Prius…

https://www.etrailer.com/vm/Toyota/Prius/hitch


#19

Interesting. But I’d still decline.
My wild guess us that the powertrain isn’t designed to tow, and excess heat would kill it early. Just a guess.


#20

A lot of people use hitches just for Bike racks. It’s far better then putting the bike on the roof.