can a 2006 Prius pull a small trailer?

Asked by singing1rl Feb 04, 2015 at 05:45 PM about the 2006 Toyota Prius

Question type: General

We are interested in pulling a Cricket trailer on a road trip.  Can a Prius handle a weight of
1460 (unloaded)?  If so, how expensive is it to install a standard 2 " ball hitch?

Thank you!

23 Answers


Toyota recommends that the Prius not be used as a towing vehicle. There are of course some people that install hitches and pull very light trailers (under 1,000 lbs) with them, but it is not recommended. I would NOT do it.

9 people found this helpful.

Here's your biggest problem. The Toyota Prius has a very small 1.5 litre engine and does not rev that high. It does this to save fuel and uses the electric motor for torque. Pulling the trailer is going to be like going up a sustained hill causing the battery to eventually run down. When that happens, you're going to be running on the 82 foot pounds of torque and 76 horsepower motor. Depending upon the weight of your rig, it may cause your car to crawl. Also, if it were to ruin the transmission, Toyota won't know who you are, assuming you are under warranty. And , even if you have an extended warranty, it will be voided. We actually took our car without towing over the Eisenhower Tunnel in the Rocky Mountains over 11,000 feet. The car worked fine for a while, until we got 3/4 of the way up the mountain. The hill climbing depleted the battery to zero. There was nothing showing on the meter for electric power and the engine was struggling. We stopped and let the battery charge . It worked better, but, honestly, these cars are not ready for sustained hill climbing. It's great for shorter climbing, just not really long climbs. This is where the battery just wears down and has no way to replenish itself. We finally made it to the top going 20 to 25 miles per hour, I wasn't sure the car was going to make it, but, we did! Everything is fine now once we passed the summit and since. BUT, I DON'T THINK THAT WE WILL EVER DO THAT AGAIN!

16 people found this helpful.

OK, that's a very nice trailer, the Cricket, I was jus perusing their website, and their main page showing

1 people found this helpful.

You're going to ruin your Prius. My Subaru Outback easily pulls my teardrop trailer as pictured here, but, your Prius is not going to fare well and will not be heavy enough to balance out the excessive weight you intend to pull. It's going to be a safety hazard towing.

4 people found this helpful.

I disagree with these people. It can do it. You might overheat the transmission as any underpowered car would if going to fast with heavy loads but it can do it. I think the better rule of thumb is to treat the car as you would any car, but remember it's under powered like a geo metro. With that in mind, a geo can tow and climb hills but don't expect to pass a Ferrari while doing it.

11 people found this helpful.

Peachy23 - you can disagree as much as you like, but, it explicitly says in the owners manual that this car cannot tow anything. And, if the car itself has to be towed, it has to be off the ground.

1 people found this helpful.

Markw1952, Just because you can read an owners manual does not make you informed! Absolutely you can pull a trailer, the car will not know the difference between 500lbs of passengers in the car and 1000 pound trailer! The one doing the towing will need to brake far in advance, leave extra extra room between you and the cars in front of you! The regenerative braking in the car is the limiting factor, not the transmission. Toyota says don't tow, because if they say you can then they are on the hook for repairs. Be smart and tow away!

16 people found this helpful.

Frontal area of the trailer causes drag in addition to the trailer weight but go ahead and prove us all wrong by towing with your Prius,

1 people found this helpful.

I towed with my 2003 Prius all the time. Rented a 9 ft trailer at U Haul and loaded it with 1,000 lbs. Never had an issue. The car went 260,00 miles before a person took off the front end. Got a 2011 and hooking up a trailer this week, Total weight 2900

39 people found this helpful.

Just because you can, DOESN'T mean you should.....

2 people found this helpful.

Everything you all just said, added with the other websites I have seen, and my own piece of knowledge about the prius.. we can tow approximately 1500 lbs effectively top out at 55mph.. on VERY FLAT land you could handle 1750 maybe even 2k. There's apparently an issue to be looked out for in the way of the battery running down when going up hill. I've actually had that issue NOT towing. It sucks going over the cascades in a prius honestly. But I did find a solution to that issue. I added a large auxiliary battery. Problem Solved. This prevent's the car from running out of torque on the hills. And has raised my mpg a little too! Another thing I was gonna swear wouldn't work but tried as a joke was gumout total system cleanse and fuel booster... it was like 3 bucks at walmart... that fucking shit raised me from 44 mpg average to 62 mpg... HOLY SHIT. it lasted about 8k miles of driving before it started to gunk up and reduce again.. I should mention my air intake melted last year, so I removed the melted channel... never got around to fixing it... mostly cause I noticed an immediate increase in mpg.. I was running at 39 mpg for the longest time. I'm only rated at 38 in the 2008. So all of these numbers make me smile. Thanks for the lessons homies... Now I gotta go get a hitch installed. I'm moving to nebraska from oregon and I have faith I will make it easily and for cheap. ALSOOOOO... LINKY : ^ I would explain what FLATTEST route .com is, and why... but I think that much is obvious. ENJOY!

12 people found this helpful.

You can NOT safely tow with a Prius. Read the manual! It will overheat the flux capacitor.

8 people found this helpful.

You really, really can tow with a prius. It works great. I have done it with two prii. I hauled wood and logs, probably up to 2000 lbs or so all over the Portland area, out to the Oregon Coast, up mountains in the winters, etc. I had a 2005 Prius and now have a 2012 Prius V. I tow all the time with it. It weighs 3600 lbs for goodness sake. It can handle some weight behind it without flipping. Certainly up to 1500 or 2000 pounds. Take it slow on acceleration, brake way, way in advance and maybe consider adding a transmission cooler if you live in the southern half of the US. In addition, putting on a 2" hitch, which torklift and ecohitch both have and fit great, lets you use cargo *trays*, which just sit on the hitch (no wheels) and let you haul things like sofas, and dressers and sand and soil from the garden store. I have one that I call the "tray bien." Manufacturers got freaked out in the early 90's because people pushed their towing to the sky. They halved their tow recommendations, or said stuff like "just don't tow at all." Yes, yes, the Toyota transmission is different. Be *careful* and start *slow*, and don't be a typical n00b. Use the brain in your head and your car can haul stuff just fine. The location of the 12-volt battery in the rear makes adding a "T1 connector" trailer lighting system about as simple as it could be. You just pop up the back and slip it in. Get a 2" hitch from torklift or ecohitch. Watch their install videos. 40 minutes if you *don't* know what you're doing (me). 12 minutes if you do. Get a T1 wiring connector harness from someone and watch the video on putting it in. Again, probably 12 minutes if you're a mechanic. About 40 minutes if you're not. Voila! You are a tow person.

13 people found this helpful.

I like eggs

10 people found this helpful.

Prius can tow no problem. The others here that claim you cannot are not even able to bring up a true reason why it is not capable mechanically, they just keep referring to the manual and going up a mountain. 2 things that are not situationally accurate. The manual is very picky about it because of legal reasons. Can't claim it can tow and have an idiot destroy the car. If it is a long mountain, clearly doing it would be idiotic as no small low horsepower car can pull a lot of weight straight uphill. As for normal driving conditions, the Prius transaxle (NOT Transmission!) Is a very strong and stable design. It will handle 1500lbs of towing no sweat and the frame can handle it no problem. As for vehicle power, half the power is the electric side so you cannot tow if your traction pack is weak and cannot do ev mode for at least a quarter mile at slow speeds. If you have an uphill that is over 1/2 a mile then avoid towing that route as you will drain the pack and the gas only mode isn't capable of doing the average towing by itself. Other than that, it should be perfectly fine.

6 people found this helpful.

towing a small trailer shouldn't hurt the Prius, I use my Prius in my business among other things and I have beat the car to heck averaging as much as 2000 miles a week with it loaded down with stuff. Here in Florida, most Prius' on the road have a hitch for light trailers and for hauling stuff like dirt bikes and jet skis.( but mostly for electric carts for the old and handicapped) I would say as long at the trailer is not living it's life attached to the Prius you could use it for light hauling. (by the way, My Prius is just shy of 400k miles and it runs perfectly.)

13 people found this helpful.

2007 toyota prius works perfec for trailer use 2 time california to north carolina. 1050lbs trailer works exellent..

4 people found this helpful.

I agree with the people who say the Prius will tow. I disagree with the weights they are stating- probably best to try and keep weight under 1000 pounds if at all possible, because if the strain to pull and also stopping and stability issues. Plus, the hitches they sell for Priuses usually are either rated for a max of 1000 or 1500 pounds. This question was asked years ago, but I'd say no for the Cricket camper. First, it's 1500 pounds before camping gear is put in it. Also, it's taller than a Prius, so even with decent aerodynamics (Cricket was designed by a former NASA engineer), that's going to be a lot of weight and catch a lot of drag when driving

2 people found this helpful.

Can a 2011 hybrid prius carry two ebikes combined weight 120 lbs?

1 people found this helpful.

To much brain science for me, let have a 2012 and tow a 1600 jet ski weighs 980 lbs.182000 miles no problem.

1 people found this helpful.

It is not that big of a deal people I've had my Prius for about a year now and I work by welding trailers for a living. Having a hitch on this was the best idea. I get crazy good gas while I'm towing a bunch. But just be reasonable with what you tow. Don't think u can go crazy crazy but I've towed a golf cart. I've towed huge couches you know. But 1450lbs might be much. Maybe just maybe if you put all of the wait to the back you might be able to get away with counter weighting it to we're it basically floats on your hitch Cause if you can get 400lbs off towards counterweight on the back then you can break even on the max towing capacity

2 people found this helpful.

we have pulled our 900lb little guy all over north america with a ford focus and toyota corolla, both manual transmission cars. No issues whatsoever. I wouldn't use an auto, especially in the mountains. USA auto makers are refusing to rate small cars for towing, but the same cars in other countries might be rated for 1000, 1500 or 2K towing weights. A bunch of BS. MPG declines to the 30 mpg range, and the best cruising speed is 60-65. Just don't use auto transmissions, especially CVT transmissions (rubber band transmissions).

1 people found this helpful.

I tow with my 05 All the time, Long distances once a month! Hasn’t let me down yet!

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