Are Hybrid Cars Good for Towing?


Many car owners have asked the question of whether hybrid cars are any good for towing. 

There are mixed views on this subject, with some saying that hybrids can’t tow at all and others claiming they work just as well as conventional vehicles. 

I am a car enthusiast, and I have been researching hybrid cars for quite some time now. 

So, when I saw people debating on this question, I was happy to write this post. 

Are Hybrid Cars Good for Towing?

Hybrid vehicle engines operate similar to ordinary vehicle engines, meaning most models can tow some amount of weight. Some of the hybrids have sufficient power output to tow mid-size travel trailers. However, their electric capacity is limited, which means there are additional considerations before you tow with a hybrid car.

Hybrid cars can be used to tow as long as their electric capacity and petrol engine output are sufficient. 

You cannot expect a hybrid car with a 1.8-litre petrol engine to pull an RV up a steep hill. 

But the same hybrid car with its electric motor will certainly do it with ease if you consider the recommendations below.

Electric Capacity

Hybrid cars are very efficient in terms of saving fuel. 

The concept behind them is that while driving usually, they use their petrol engine and generate electricity. 

This power is then used to run the vehicle’s electrical appliances and charge the car’s battery. 

The car can also use the electricity to drive at low speeds, like when driving in the city or up to 50km/h for a short while.

Electric Range

Hybrid cars aren’t suitable for long-distance driving because their batteries are small and cannot hold much energy. 

So, if you want to drive from London to Edinburgh, you will have to stop at least once and recharge the car’s batteries. 

So it’s best if you don’t tow a heavy trailer while driving long distances on your hybrid car.

Power Output

A hybrid car’s power output is sufficient to tow small travel trailers, campers, and small boats. 

But if the trailer has an empty weight of 500kg or more, it will be pushing the limits of your hybrid vehicle’s petrol engine. 

You will then have to consider whether you want to drive with that load regularly.

Do not expect a hybrid car to tow a 9-ton RV trailer. 

If you do, you will be disappointed, and your car might even break down. 

A 7-seat family SUV can pull such a load, but not an ordinary sedan or compact car.

Capacity of the Engine Mount

Not all cars have the same engine mount, and this might be another problem. 

If you tow a light trailer with your hybrid car, everything will be fine. 

But if you attach something that weighs more than 300kg to the vehicle’s bumper, it can cause severe damage. 

The engine mount might even break when trying to haul heavy loads like this.

So make sure you read the instruction manual and follow all recommendations to avoid these problems.

Capacity of the Transmission

This is a problem that is yet to be solved by car producers. 

The electric motor of a hybrid car doesn’t cause problems under usual driving conditions. 

But when the vehicle starts towing something, this changes. 

The electric motor can cause severe damage if you drive heavily loaded with it for extended periods. 

This means you have to tow your travel trailer for shorter periods.

Aerodynamics

Hybrid cars are not designed with aerodynamics in mind. 

Their shape causes them to consume more fuel than petrol-only vehicles. 

So if you want to reduce your fuel consumption and save money, don’t tow a trailer with a hybrid car because this will only increase the amount of petrol you need to buy.

Expensive

Hybrid cars are more expensive than ordinary petrol cars because of their unique power system and high fuel efficiency. 

If you are towing a trailer with your hybrid car, the added weight will reduce your car’s fuel efficiency. 

So it would probably be cheaper to rent an RV if you want to go for a holiday with your family.

What Kind of Hybrid Cars Can Tow?

The best type of vehicle for towing is compact SUVs with high power output. 

Such vehicles have enough electric capacity to pull small trailers for short periods. 

This makes them perfect for camping, towing a small boat, or even a campervan. 

So if you are looking for a hybrid car that can tow, check out these three models.

You don’t have to buy an SUV to tow with your hybrid car. 

A sedan might be smaller and not as powerful, but it will still deliver sufficient power for your trailer. 

The main disadvantage of a sedan is that it has less room in the trunk and storage space in general. 

It’s important to know whether you need all this extra space before buying a hybrid car because if you don’t use it daily, there will be no point in buying such a vehicle.

The third option is a minivan. 

There are hybrid minivans on the market, but they are costly, and buying one is not an option for most of us.

So it’s best to think about your options before you buy a hybrid car because you might be limited in terms of towing capacity.

What Kind of Hybrid Cars Cannot Tow?

There are certain types of hybrid cars that are more likely to have problems with towing. 

These are ordinary sedans, hatchbacks, and compact cars. 

Some are hybrids only in name because their power output is not high enough for your trailer. 

The main reason these vehicles can’t pull heavy loads is the absence of a powerful electric motor.

Some small hybrids can tow up to 300kg, but anything more than this will be too much for them.

If you want to buy a hybrid car that can tow heavy loads, make sure you check the vehicle’s power output before buying it. 

If possible, ask other owners about their experiences with towing and what kind of trailers they towed successfully. 

This way, you will avoid unpleasant surprises after buying your hybrid vehicle.

Pros of Hybrids for Towing

Reliable

Hybrid cars are usually very reliable.

This means they don’t need too much maintenance, and they will continue to work for years after you buy them. 

This also applies if you tow a trailer with your hybrid car. 

You don’t need to worry about the electric motor failing or burning out due to added weight because even a tiny load won’t harm your vehicle.

Fuel Efficiency

Some hybrids are more efficient in terms of fuel consumption when they are used for towing heavy loads. 

This depends on many factors, like the type of hybrid power system, how much weight it can tow, and where you primarily drive your car. 

If you need a hybrid vehicle that can tow trailers or boats, make sure the vehicle is efficient in fuel consumption when it tows heavy loads.

Acceleration and Speed

Hybrid vehicles, especially the ones with a petrol engine and electric motor, work together to provide good acceleration when needed. 

This makes them perfect for driving on highways or when you need to pass another car quickly.

Operating Costs

The cost of operating a hybrid vehicle can be lower than the cost of operating a petrol-only one, especially if you drive a lot. 

In addition to low fuel consumption, hybrids also require less maintenance, and their insurance is usually cheaper than petrol cars.

Cons of Hybrids for Towing

Storage Space

Hybrids tend to have less storage space than petrol-only models. 

The engine and electric motor take up a lot of space in the engine compartment, so there is no room for extra storage space.

If you plan to buy a hybrid car that can tow trailers or boats, check how much storage space it has and whether you will have enough space for your equipment.

Price

The price of hybrid vehicles is higher than petrol cars, even though they are cheaper to operate. 

In addition to the higher initial price, hybrids also require a bigger battery pack, increasing their weight and making them more likely to break down.

Limited towing capacity

Most hybrid vehicles on the market, especially standard sedans and compact cars, can’t tow heavy or oversized loads. 

If you want to buy a hybrid car that can tow trailers bigger than 300kg, make sure it has sufficient power output before buying it.

Maintenance and Repair

Hybrids are complex vehicles, and they tend to break down more often than petrol-only cars. 

If you want to buy a hybrid car that can tow trailers, check how much it costs to repair and maintain the vehicle before buying it.

Hybrid cars are suitable for towing because they produce lower emissions. 

However, the batteries in these hybrids tend not to last as long and can be expensive. 

If you’re considering a tow hitch system on your car, you should know what type of vehicle will work with this before buying one.

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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