Hyundais are reliable, economical, and affordable. So, they make for excellent vehicles for city driving. Plus, some models are fun to drive, like the Veloster. It makes perfect sense to consider one of these for flat towing. Why not? They’re light, so the towing weight wouldn’t be a lot. But, you can’t do it with all of them. So, this article tells you everything you need to know about flat towing Hyundai models.
Which Hyundai models can you flat tow?
Hyundai USA states that you can flat tow any two-wheel-drive Hyundai that comes with a manual transmission, with all four wheels on the ground. The manufacturer also says that no vehicle that comes with an automatic or CVT transmission can be flat towed. Nor can you pull a Hyundai with four-wheel-drive behind an RV.
But cars with a manual transmission are getting increasingly hard to find. So, the list gets narrower as years pass by. Fortunately, Hyundai does offer some vehicles that fit these characteristics. We’ll go through them in this article.
Flat towing is a common practice for RV owners. Motorhomes can be great on the open road, but navigating can be a hassle once you get to the narrower urban roads. So, many people prefer to tow a smaller vehicle behind, that they can drive into town, for shopping or other needs.
The term comes from how the RV pulls the vehicle. The towed car has all its wheels on the ground and rolls with the motorhome’s speed. Depending on the model, you might need to enforce certain limits or clearances.
Since motorhomes have plenty of power, they can flat tow a lot of different vehicles. But, most likely, all of them will exceed the weight mandated for braking assistance. So, chances are you need to install additional braking.
Be sure to check out local regulations and laws regarding this topic. This way, you can avoid undesired fines and issues. So, now that we’ve discussed a bit about flat towing let’s see which Hyundai vehicles you can flat tow.
These are some Hyundai vehicles you can flat tow.
According to the manufacturer, you can flat tow Hyundai vehicles that are two-wheel-drive and come with a manual transmission. Fortunately, the Korean automaker still produces several models that come with this configuration and are available in the US. Let’s check them out.
The Hyundai Veloster is a two-door hatchback that went through a major redesign in 2018. With more aggressive styling and more engine choices, this agile car is ideal for those urban dwellers looking for a lively, fun ride on the weekends.
It comes with four engine options, all inline-four cylinder configurations. These are the 2.0L Nu, 1.4L Kappa, 1.6L Gamma, and 2.0L Theta.
The most powerful engine is the 2.0L Theta, which puts out 271 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. This configuration launches the Veloster from zero to sixty in a respectable 6.1 seconds, with the manual transmission.
It tops out at an electronically-regulated 155 mph. Interestingly, the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) is faster, with a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds.
Prices for the Hyundai Veloster start at about $19,000 and top out at $28,500. But, if you want a bit more performance from your flat tow vehicle, then you should check out the next model.
Hyundai Veloster N
This is the sportier version of the Veloster. You find the top-performing engine, but you can also find it with a six-speed manual, which means you not only have a fun car to drive, you can also flat tow it.
With improved aesthetics and sportier suspension, the Veloster N is the top-of-the-line model for those looking for a fun car to drive that you can still take around town.
But sporty hatchbacks aren’t the only vehicles you can consider for flat towing. Let’s talk about the Hyundai Accent.
One of Hyundai’s most popular models, the Accent, still comes with a manual transmission, which makes it ideal for flat towing. Already in its fifth generation, this car is reliable, economical, and easy to drive.
It might not be the most luxurious compact out there, and it doesn’t have to be. Hyundai built this car with one thing in mind: practicality. And the numbers show. While the Veloster sold less than 8,000 units in 2020, Hyundai managed to sell 16,000 Accents in a very tough year.
What makes this car so popular? It does what you ask it to do. No frills. It comes with one engine choice: the 1.6L GDi Inline-four cylinder gasoline engine that puts out 130 horsepower.
This powerplant combined with the manual transmission can give you up to 38 miles per gallon on the highway and a very respectable 28 mpg on city driving. There are two main body types: you can buy one as a sedan or a hatchback.
The price for one of these goes along the lines of frugality. Starting at just over $15,000, the most expensive Accent will set you back $19,500.
So, it makes perfect sense to get one of these. You won’t feel you’re wasting an expensive car while towing it behind your RV. It doesn’t use too much fuel and, thanks to its size, it’s straightforward to use in the city.
If you want something that’s just a bit bigger, then you can consider the following model.
The Hyundai Elantra is larger than the Accent. Plus, it comes with more engine options. You can find the 2.0L Nu Inline-four engine with a manual transmission. This configuration gives you 147 horsepower.
But, for those looking for more performance that won’t damage your wallet, you can consider the Elantra Sport. It comes with different headlights and taillights, following a narrower, more aerodynamic design.
The ride improves with wider, 18-inch allow wheels, upgraded suspension, and a thicker front stabilizer. Plus, the engine sound improves with dual chrome-tipped exhausts.
Additionally, you can expect to find more power thanks to the turbocharged 1.6L direct-injected inline-four engine that puts out 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for a car that weighs 3,000 pounds.
The Elantra starts at a reasonable $19,650 and can climb up to $25,450 for the top-of-the-line version. The Sport sits right in the middle.
So, there are plenty of models that you can flat tow. It’s easy, right? Well, not quite. That’s where the challenge comes in. First, we’ll explain what flat towing is, and then, we’ll get into the main issues that you might find with Hyundai.
What is flat towing?
When you’re driving your RV through the open road, it’s a beauty. But, once you go into town, parking motorhomes can be difficult. So, the idea is to tow a smaller vehicle behind, which you can use to drive about town.
Another term that you might find is dinghy towing. This originates because the towed vehicle resembles a dinghy or a raft. So, if you’re googling, you can use the term dinghy vehicles to find a specialized answer.
If you don’t plan to drive around in challenging terrain, the best option might be a cheap car. We’ll discuss this in more detail further down in the article. This way, shopping and even going for a bite to eat is easier. But, flat towing isn’t just about hitching a car behind the RV. You need specific tools.
The first thing that you’re going to need is a hitch on your motor home. Now, it’s just any hitch, but one that can handle heavy loads, such as a car. There are plenty out there in the market, and if your towed vehicle is small, you should be okay with 5,000 pounds.
Then you’re going to need a tow bar. These devices are designed to distribute the load evenly and prevent sagging and swaying.
Sagging and swaying can occur when the load isn’t distributed evenly. So, uneven forces begin to act upon the towed vehicle, causing it to react erratically.
Most states coincide in one rule. If the load you’re towing exceeds 1,500 pounds, then you need braking assistance. So, you’re going to need wiring to power those brakes. This electrical connection feeds off the motorhome and powers a supplemental braking system that helps slow down the towed vehicle without causing additional strain on the RV’s brakes.
Finally, you need to install a base plate. This is what connects your towed vehicle to the hitch. And here’s where the challenge arises. We’ll discuss it in the following sections.
Flat towing a Hyundai can be a challenge, but not because of the car.
If you google flat towing and Hyundai, you might not come up with a lot of answers. And, that presents a problem, mainly because there aren’t a lot of parts out there.
In the previous section, we mentioned that the base plate is an essential part of flat towing. And it needs to match the size of your towed vehicle. So, since Hyundai cars aren’t that popular for flat towing, finding these base plates can be tricky.
Some manufacturers have produced them, but with a caveat. They’re willing to provide the baseplates but usually require a liability waiver that states that the manufacturer will not be responsible for any damages that might occur while flat towing.
But, one could say that we’ll see more options in the future. Hyundai is one of the few manufacturers that still process several vehicles with a manual transmission. So, perhaps, the demand will increase in the coming years.
With this being said, while some Hyundai models can be flattened, finding the tools to do so is difficult. Are there any other solutions? Let’s find out in the following section.
How can I tow other Hyundai vehicles?
Let’s say, for example, you have a larger vehicle, such as a compact or midsize SUV. It’s an automatic, and it comes with four-wheel-drive. So, flat towing is out of the question.
Well, how about using a flat trailer? With this solution, not only do you have less risk of damaging your car, but you can tow heavier vehicles. In fact, Hyundai USA recommends this for the Hyundai Palisade and Venue, which are their newest SUVs.
And, it makes perfect sense. Your RV already has plenty of power, and most flat trailers won’t exceed the pulling capacity.
If flat towing is your thing, then you can look to other brands for cheap alternatives to use. The following section details some of them.
These are some affordable options for dinghy vehicles.
If for any reason, Hyundai isn’t a brand that calls your name, others still produce cheap cars with manual transmissions. We’ve listed only a few, but there are certainly others out there.
This diminutive hatchback comes with a manual transmission as an option. This is the one to go for since automatics cannot be flat towed. Other precautions include not exceeding 70 mph.
There are series of steps to follow before setting off, but it’s an easy process. Plus, thanks to its tiny engine, this car can give plenty of miles per gallon, and parking is a breeze.
The bubbly Italian hatchback comes with a manual transmission, and, like the Spark, only this one should be flat towed. It can give you more than 30 mpg in the city, and there are few steps to follow when flat towing. Plus, it’s a great-looking car.
The Ford Fiesta still comes with a manual transmission as an option. Choose this, and you have an excellent flat tow option.
This vehicle is an excellent city dweller, but it doesn’t give the fuel economy of the two previous options. In turn, you can have more room for passengers and more cargo space for that quick supermarket run.
You could flat tow an automatic, but it requires a particular set of instructions that you can find on the owners’ manual. Do not exceed 70 mph.
Small but feisty, this Japanese hatchback is an excellent choice for flat towing. Always opt for the manual, and do not exceed 65 mph.
The Fit comes with an excellent reputation as Honda has made reliable cars for years. But be prepared to pay a premium for such a small car.
Nissan has dropped off the radar in the US due to several business decisions. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t options out there. The Versa is a cheap, reliable sedan that can be flat towed.
There are some procedures to follow, such as starting the engine after 500 miles for proper lubrication.
Other brands provide vehicles you can flat tow, such as Kia and Toyota. Always be sure to check the owner’s manual for any reference and warning.
Hyundai is a popular brand for small, economical cars that can whiz about town. So, they make for an excellent option for flat towing.
This article aimed to answer which Hyundai vehicles you can flat tow. And, the answer is plenty. Fortunately, the Korean manufacturer still produces several cars with a manual transmission. This is a must for safe flat towing.
But, not only that. These vehicles are also great for that quick run. So, next time you’re taking your RV across the country, you can consider one of these. And, if the brand just doesn’t cut it for you, we’ve listed others that might.
In the end, flat towing isn’t ideal for all vehicles. And, as more manufacturers ditch the manual transmission and opt for automatics and CVTs, the options are less and less. So, you can consider using a flat trailer.
This option is more accessible since your vehicle will be safe, and the trailer comes with all the tools needed to handle the load. Hopefully, this article has given some tips to make your next trip more entertaining.