Toyota Rav4 Towing Capacity (How Much Can Each Year Tow?) Updated October 2022


Having a car that can drive plenty of miles without needing to refuel is a huge advantage. Having a compact and comfortable SUV That easily takes you from A-Z in most driving conditions is also a beneficial advantage in a car.

But you can’t beat having a great car that can take the additional payload and a good towing range for that extra needed haulage or those exciting weekend adventures.

Toyota Rav4 Towing Capacity (How Much Can It Tow?)

Toyota now offers five generations of the compact SUV Rav4 which all offer various towing power depending on the year, whether it’s a hybrid (for some model years), and if it has a towing package or not.

The newer model years of the Toyota Rav4 offer an additional towing package to maximize the towing capacity for your convenience.

All of the Rav4s (including the entry level Toyota Rav4) can tow between 1,500lbs and 3,500lbs depending on the Toyota model year and whether it is equipped with a towing package or not.

Let’s take a closer look at the exact towing capacity for each Rav4 model year. They are:

Rav4 Model YearRav4 Towing Capacity
1996 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
1997 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
1998 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
1999 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2000 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2001 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2002 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2003 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2004 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2005 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2006 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2007 Toyota Rav42,000lbs of towing capacity
2008 Toyota Rav42,000lbs of towing capacity
2009 Toyota Rav42,000lbs of towing capacity
2010 Toyota Rav42,000lbs of towing capacity
2011 Toyota Rav42,000lbs of towing capacity
2012 Toyota Rav42,000lbs of towing capacity
2013 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2014 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2015 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2016 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Models1,750lbs of towing capacity
2017 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2017 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Models1,750lbs of towing capacity
2018 Toyota Rav41,500lbs of towing capacity
2018 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Models1,750lbs of towing capacity
2019 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs of towing capacity
2019 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs of towing capacity
2020 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs of towing capacity
2020 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs of towing capacity
2021 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs of towing capacity
2021 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs of towing capacity
2022 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs of towing capacity
2022 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs of towing capacity
2023 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs of towing capacity
2023 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs of towing capacity

The Rav4 is great for handling most terrains and conditions and although it is a smaller SUV it boasts some exciting features that you might not see on other compact SUVs. Having the ability to tow a decent amount of haulage is a huge advantage for vehicles whether it be for work, moving furniture, helping friends to move, or taking extra luggage on a trip.

Check out the information below to find out more about the Toyota Rav4 and its towing capacities.

How Much Can a Toyota Rav4 Tow?

From the first generation until now, The Toyota Rav4 can tow a minimum of at least 1500lbs in each of their trim levels and models and a maximum of 3500lbs with the right trim level and towing package.

The towing package in the Rav4 is less of a package and more of a whole model of a car.

The Toyota Rav4 Adventure and the Toyota Rav4 TRD Off-Road trim levels offer the ability to handle a maximum of up to 3500lbs in towing capacity whereas the basic trim levels such as the LE, XLE, and Limited Rav4 models will only have a maximum towing capacity of up to 1500lbs.

1500lbs is still reasonably decent as far as towing capacities go though and we’ll show you below what you can tow with 1500lbs!

Toyota also offers the Rav4 in Hybrid and plug-in versions which also have a different towing capacity to the norm. The Hybrid can tow up to approximately 1750 while the plug-in can tow up to 1295lbs (587kg) which is still impressive compared with other mini-SUVs on the American car market today.

What can I tow With a Rav4?

With its superior towing capacity, you can be sure that your Rav4 will easily handle minor tasks needing small trailers. Although 1,500lbs isn’t much and means you can’t tow heavy loads it will still meet many of your towing needs.

Being able to help friends move or getting your dirt bike to the track in one piece, and taking the kids for vacation will be easy with a towing capacity of 1,500lbs while the 3,500lb towing capacity (on Rav4s with the towing package) will allow you to tow much much more.

Here are some of the larger-scale objects that you can tow with a 1500lbs tow range:

  • Jet ski or two, we recommend checking their weight first
  • Up to two dirt bikes, again check their weight
  • A snowmobile
  • A Small camper like the Meerkat or the TigerMoth
  • An ATV
  • A cargo trailer

Here are some of the items you can tow with up to a 2000lbs towing capacity:

Here is what you can tow with the impressive towing capacity of a maximum of 3500lbs:

  • A popup trailer like the Happier Camper HC1 or the Casita Independence 17 which sleeps four!
  • A heavy-duty utility trailer
  • A fiberglass fishing boat or a mid-size fishing boat – check out this blog from Go Downsize for fishing boat examples under 3500lbs
  • A small camper trailer, including aluminum, fiberglass, and other teardrop campers

Models and Years of the Rav4 and Their Towing Capacity

Because there are numerous configurations of the Rav4 it can be impossible to know which towing capacity you already have.

For those in the market for a Toyota Rav4 and a larger towing capacity is important to you, you’ll want to read this before you purchase your new or used car.

Here are the generations of the Rav4, from its earlier release in America in 1996 to the present day Rav4, currently in its 5th generation, and what each of their towing capacities is:

First Generation Toyota Rav4 1996 – 2001

2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 120 horsepower with standard front-wheel drive (FWD) and optional all-wheel drive (AWD).

  • The towing capacity is up to 1500lbs (680kg)

Second Generation Toyota Rav4 2002 – 2006

Slightly bigger than the original mini-SUV Rav4, the second generation boasts a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower and the addition of a sports package.

  • The maximum payload capacity is up to 1069lbs (484kg)
  • The towing capacity is up to 1500lbs (686kg)

Third Generation Toyota Rav4 2007 – 2012

Still available in its 4-cylinder trim, Toyota now introduces a V6 engine with 268 horsepower which is the best compact SUV in its class compared with all other competitors.

The addition of a sports model is introduced among numerous other safety and technology features to suit buyers across all demographics.

  • The maximum payload capacity is up to 1071lbs (485kg)
  • The towing capacity is up to 2000lbs (907kg)

Fourth Generation Toyota Rav4 2013 – 2018

Back to the original 4-cylinder, the Toyota Rav4 is yet again a more fuel-efficient vehicle which also makes it a more affordable vehicle in gas and maintenance.

A hybrid model is also introduced in the fourth generation Rav4 with the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor or two depending on the model chosen. AWD Rav4 Hybrids come with two electric motors, one is specifically for delivering power to the rear tires.

An Adventure trim level is also introduced in the fourth generation of the Rav4 and is deemed a great vehicle for limited off-road capabilities.

  • The maximum payload capacity is up to 1050lbs (476kg)
  • The towing capacity is up to 1500lbs (686kg)
  • The towing capacity of the Rav4 Hybrid model is up to 1750lbs (793kg)

Fifth Generation Toyota Rav4 2019 – Present

Still a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, now the Rav4 has a powerful 206 horsepower to keep up with its competitors.

The fuel economy and efficiency are superior and the AWD system has been enhanced for extraordinary road control and handling, especially in snowy, wet, and muddy conditions.

As well as the new Adventure, TRD Off-Road, and Limited trims, the fifth generation Rav4 also introduces another new configuration, the plug-in Rav4 Prime with an impressive 302 horsepower from its 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and combined electric motor.

  • The payload capacity is up to 1240lbs (562kg)
  • The towing capacity is up to 1500lbs (686kg)
  • The towing package that comes standard with higher-level Rav4 trims allow the maximum towing capacity of up to 3500lbs (1587kg)

What is the Rav4 Towing Package?

The Toyota Rav4 Adventure and the Toyota Rav4 TRD Off-Road trims are designed to handle a higher towing capacity. Their maximum 3500lbs towing range is incredibly handy for such a small SUV. The payload capacity of these reliable vehicles is also up to 1090lbs so the car can handle the towing and the payload of over 4000lbs.

The towing abilities come with additional features such as:

  • Active cornering assist
  • Alternative drivetrain modes such as rock, mud, sand, and snow
  • Over 8 inches of ground clearance
  • Power-assisted disc brakes

And plenty more!

Conclusion

The Toyota Rav4 has a decent and above-average towing allowance compared to other small SUVs on the market today. If you are buying a new Rav4 and intend to tow with it regularly then it is a good idea to go ahead and get the towing package so your reliable vehicle can tow 3,500lbs instead of the standard 1,500lbs.

Towing capacity might not be important to some but it’s important to learn what your vehicle’s capacity is before towing anything to prevent ruining the drivetrain or the engine. Towing more than your car’s capacity is dangerous for the car and can result in costly damages.

Matthew Robbs

I have been working on cars since I was a kid and I love taking a vehicle that isn't working and bringing it back to life. I have owned quite a few cars over the years and looking for information about different vehicles is still hard online so that is why I started this website.

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