Now in its fourth generation, the best-selling full hybrid car in the world is becoming a bit more interesting for outdoorsy people that like to go camping. That’s because the 2016 Toyota Prius now has a maximum towing capacity of 1,598 pounds (725 kilograms) which means it can pull a light caravan or a braked/unbraked trailer.
You’ll be able to do that by paying extra for the towing hitches and wiring systems available through the model’s official range of compatible accessories. It should be a breeze to attach a towing hitch to the Prius as the practical accessory is fitted with clear green and red indicators showing when a secure connection is achieved. When you’re not using the towing arm, you can just unclip it from the car and store it in a bespoke bag sitting in the trunk. It’s worth mentioning the necessary connecting hardware is concealed behind the rear bumper’s lower lip, so the design of the rear end remains the same.
While its predecessors weren’t able to tow a trailer or a light caravan, the new one can thanks to an improved heat management of the hybrid system’s electric motor-generator and differential.
Aside from being more practical than before, the latest Prius is also the safest ever, earning a five-star rating in the latest Euro NCAP crash tests which are stricter than they were a few years ago.
Gallery: Toyota Prius now capable of towing trailer
New Toyota Prius is first to provide trailer towing capacity
Proving that it isn’t just the big innovations in technology and performance that matter, Toyota has engineered the new Prius to be able to tow a trailer, for the first time in its 19-year history. The fact the world’s best-selling hybrid car can now sport a tow hook and pull a trailer or light caravan adds another dimension to its practicality and extends its appeal to a wider range of customers.
Prius’s new-found ability is thanks to heat management measures that have been introduced in the hybrid system’s main electric motor-generator and the differential. As a result, the car has a maximum towing capacity of 725kg for both braked and unbraked trailers.
Customers can equip their Prius with towing hitches and wiring systems from Toyota’s official range of accessories. These are designed to be simple and easy to operate, with clear red and green indicators to shown when a secure connection has been made. When the towing arm isn’t in use, it can be unclipped and stored in a dedicated bag in the boot of the car. Most of the connecting hardware is concealed behind the lower lip of the rear bumper, so the clean lines of the rear of the car are preserved.