How Much Can a Toyota Highlander Tow?

The Toyota Highlander is a massive SUV that is ideal for families. It is developed to seat a number of people and has a strong motor. Present day households have a lot likely on with every thing from camping to home improvement to garden mowing providers and school tasks. It has a lot of individuals pondering how much a Toyota Highlander can tow. Does the Highlander have enough towing energy to meet up with the needs of a occupied contemporary household?

General Overview of The Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is a three-row SUV that can comfortably seat seven folks. In particular configurations, this SUV can even seat 8 if required. The Toyota Highlander features five foundation designs and two common engine configurations. There are two major engine configurations, a V6 gasoline engine, and a 2.five L hybrid motor.  All of the foundation models are able of towing possibly 3,five hundred lbs. or 5,000 lbs., depending on which engine you choose. In order to utilize the towing electrical power of your Toyota Highlander, you will want to obtain the towing deal as effectively.

In addition to the twin engine configurations, there are presently eleven different types of Highlander to pick from. These versions assortment from the most simple bundle up to completely loaded Constrained, Bronze, and Platinum models. Every design characteristics numerous trim packages, optional updates, protection functions, comfort features, audio enhancements, and far more.

In spite of the massive variety of potential offers and alternatives to pick from, picking a towing bundle is easy. There are only two possibilities for towing that will rely on what motor you choose in your specific product.

2021 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD
2021 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD | Image Credit: Kevauto, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0

What are the Different Towing Capacities for the Toyota Highlander

There are only two towing capacities for the Toyota Highlander. Every model will possibly be in a position to tow a greatest of three,500 lbs. or five,000 lbs. These hybrid engines are smaller sized than the gasoline engines and offer significantly less towing energy. The hybrid engines are only 2.5 L compared to three.5 L in the gasoline selection. That produces considerably less horsepower and significantly less towing electrical power.

The 2.five-Liter L4HV ECVT engine functions a 186 HP combustion engine and only places out a blended total of 243 HP. The two.5-Liter L4HV ECVT has 175 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 RPM. The 3.5 L V6 8AT gasoline engine features 295 HP and 263 lb.-ft. of torque at 4700 RPM.

Each engines also characteristic all-wheel push (AWD) and front-wheel push (FWD) possibilities. Some folks prefer AWD over FWD, but the choice does not have an effect on the towing capacity. You can get AWD or FWD in the two hybrid and gasoline, and possibly determination does not influence the whole towing torque put out by each and every motor.

Engines and Towing Capacities of Common Highlander Models

Model Engine Towing Capacity
Hybrid LE 2.5-Liter L4HV ECVT 3,500 lbs.
Hybrid XLE 2.5-Liter L4HV ECVT 3,500 lbs.
Highlander L/LE 3.5L V6 8AT 5,000 lbs.
Highlander XLE 3.5L V6 8AT 5,000 lbs.

Towing Capacity of the Toyota Highlander Compared

How does the towing potential of the Toyota Highlander compare to other equally sized SUVs? Very favorably. The Toyota Highlander represents the sector normal when it will come to towing capacities. The very good information about the Toyota Highlander is that the V6 motor able of towing the 5,000 lbs. is now the regular foundation product. That indicates you do not have to pay out extra to improve from a 4-cylinder to get the towing power you wish. That is not the scenario with every producer. Some makers still offer a smaller foundation motor that is not capable of towing.

Here is how the Toyota Highlander stacks up in opposition to similar designs of SUV on the market nowadays.

Make and Model Towing Capacity
Toyota Highlander 3,500/5,000 lbs.
Ford Explorer 5,600 lbs.
Chevy Tahoe 7,500 lbs.
Toyota 4Runner 5,000 lbs.
Toyota RAV4 1,500/3,500 lbs.
Kia Telluride 5,000 lbs.
Hyundai Palisade 5,000 lbs.
Honda Pilot 3,500/5,000 lbs.
Honda CRV 1,500 lbs.

The Toyota Highlander is only crushed by the Ford Explorer (five,600 lbs.) and the Chevy Tahoe (7,five hundred lbs.). Or else, the Toyota Highlander matches or exceeds all other similar designs on the market place in conditions of towing capacity.

Advantage of Towing with a Toyota Highlander

The positive aspects of towing with a Highlander revolve about the simple fact that you do not want to acquire an additional vehicle or give up your family car in order to tow some thing. Some folks have SUVs that are incapable of towing, that means they have to have yet another automobile committed to hauling. With the Toyota Highlander, you can do each in 1 one automobile. The other edge is that the three.5L V6 8AT engine arrives normal, so you do not have to shell out to improve from a smaller sized engine like you would with other companies. The tow bundle also functions Trailer-Sway Handle engineering included as a normal option that increases the security of your automobile while towing.

Downsides of Towing with a Toyota Highlander

It is not a truck. That is actually the primary draw back to towing with a Highlander. Vehicles, even small vehicles like the Tacoma, are significantly greater suited to hauling than a Highlander. Vans can haul significantly much more excess weight, and they can be simpler to hook up than SUVs like the Highlander. Whilst the five,000lbs towing limit is very good in its class, the Highlander is greatly outperformed by the large greater part of modern day vans.

Gas vs. Hybrid Engine

What about picking between a fuel engine and a hybrid motor? The gasoline engines have much more power than the hybrid engines. They feature a lot more torque and more horsepower across the board. This translates straight to far more towing power. The gasoline engines in the Toyota Highlander attribute 30% far more towing capability than the hybrid engines.

Nevertheless, the hybrid engines have far better fuel mileage. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid can anticipate to get 35 MPG on typical when compared to just 23 MPG for the gasoline designs. The distinction in all round MPGs garners 200 more miles for each tank for the hybrids than the gasoline models. That is a sizable big difference that can save you a great deal of cash at the pump in excess of the life span of the car.

But people savings occur at a price. The hybrid Highlanders are a lot more expensive to purchase up front than the gasoline types. And they come with significantly less towing.

The decision among gas and hybrid engines for the Toyota Highlander will arrive down to no matter whether you benefit towing ability or miles for each gallon much more. If you need to tow a lot more than 3,000 lbs. on a regular basis or tow items regularly, you will very likely want to get the gasoline engine. If you really don't tow quite typically and are just looking for some flexibility for your household and are nervous about gasoline costs, you can securely opt for the hybrid product.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which Toyota Highlander Models Can Tow 5,000 lbs.?

Any Highlander that functions the three.5L V6 8AT motor can tow up to a greatest of 5,000 lbs. As of late, that includes every gasoline-driven Highlander. The 3.5L V6 8AT is now a common foundation function. That implies every single Highlander must be ready to tow five,000 lbs. if it has the 3.5L V6 8AT engine and the needed tow deal. That towing capability extends from the most basic L product all the way up to the most pricey Platinum Version. The trim ranges modify, and the interior characteristics modify, but the Toyota Highlander characteristics the very same V6 gasoline motor through. You do not have to research which design is able of towing 5,000 lbs. As long as it is fuel, it can haul the optimum volume. You only have to decide on what degree trim you want to obtain.

The only Highlanders that cannot tow five,000lbs are the hybrid models. The 2.five-Liter L4HV ECVT hybrid motor is only capable of hauling three,500 lbs. All of the Highlander hybrid types feature the 2.5-Liter L4HV ECVT and are therefore capped at 3,five hundred lbs. of towing potential.

Do I Absolutely Need the Tow Package to Tow with My Toyota Highlander?

Yes. A Toyota Highlander without a towing bundle will not have the essential additions and upgrades needed to tow everything. The tow deal involves anti-sway technology, bulked-up frame strength, and the hitch itself. Without the towing deal, you will have nowhere to hook your trailer, and the underside of the SUV will not have the necessary alterations necessary for protected and effective towing.

The motor may well be powerful enough to haul and tow without having a tow bundle, but the tow package is what allows you actually to hook factors up to your Highlander. Even though the added fees can be irritating, the tow deal is definitely needed.

2020 Toyota Highlander LE AWD
2020 Toyota Highlander LE AWD | Image Credit: Kevauto, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0

Can a Toyota Highlander Pull a Trailer?

Indeed. A Toyota Highlander with a towing package deal can very easily pull a trailer. Most vacant utility trailers weigh in between five hundred and 1,000 lbs., leaving you 4,000 lbs. of capacity to load into the trailer. That is a lot more than enough for most people. The Toyota Highlander can even pull little campers and RVs as well. The towing deal for the Toyota Highlander consists of a standard hitch, so any trailer that can hook up to a fundamental trailer hitch will perform with the Toyota Highlander.

What If I Need to Tow More Than 5,000 lbs. Consistently?

You will most likely require to get a truck. five,000 lbs. is a decent quantity of towing that ought to serve most men and women just fine. If you locate yourself needing to tow more than 5,000 lbs. on a steady foundation, you will most likely need to have to get a truck. Trucks have a lot more sturdy engines and towing deals that make them perfect for towing loads better than 5,000 lbs.

If you do not want to get a truck, you can search into a Ford Explorer, which has a optimum towing capacity of five,600 lbs., or the Chevrolet Tahoe, which has an remarkable 7,five hundred lbs. towing capacity.


In contrast to some other producers, Toyota makes finding out the towing potential of their Highlander really straightforward. You can possibly tow 3,five hundred lbs. with the hybrid engine or five,000 lbs. with the V6 gasoline engine. The two engines are standard throughout the board. The choice basically will come down to what kind of trim and which engine you want. The towing capacity of the Highlander is not the industry’s ideal, but it is common and will very easily get the occupation done for most families.



Showcased Impression Credit history: Matthew Lancaster, Unsplash