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How Much Can A Toyota Highlander Tow?

For the past decade, the Toyota Highlander has been one of the most popular mid-sized SUVs in America. As a family SUV, the Highlander is designed to handle a lot of passengers and cargo. However, can it tow? Moreover, how much weight can it tow? We've done the research for your reading pleasure.

The model year 2022 Highlander has two engine options, and each one has a different towing capacity. The gasoline models have a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs, while the hybrid models are rated for 3,500 lbs.

If you would like to know more about Toyota Highlander's towing capacity and other capabilities, then you came to the right place. Do read on, and we will help to give you a better appreciation of this mid-sized family crossover SUV.

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Toyota Highlander on a street in spring scenery. The Highlander is one of the most popular Toyota SUV vehicles in America - How Much Can A Toyota Highlander Tow

How Much Weight Can A 2022 Toyota Highlander Tow?

Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight your vehicle can safely tow when pulling a trailer.  There are two types of towing capacity ratings, and these are as follows:

  • Braked Towing Capacity - This refers to the maximum weight that a vehicle can pull when the towed trailer has its own braking system. Most of the time, vehicle brochures and specification sheets list use this rating as the towing capacity.
  • Unbraked Towing Capacity - As its name implies, this rating is the maximum weight that a vehicle can pull when the towed trailer does not have its own braking system. This rating is usually lower than the braked towing capacity.

The 2022 Toyota Highlander's 3.5-liter gasoline engine models have a braked towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. If the trailer has no braking system, then the towing capacity is only 1,000 lbs.

On the other hand, the hybrid Highlander models have a lower braked towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. However, the unbraked towing capacity is also 1,000 lbs.

The Highlander can reach these towing capacities with the appropriate towing equipment.

Both hybrid and gas models of the 2022 Highlander meet the standards of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2807. This international standard evaluates vehicles based on the performance requirements for determining:

  • Tow Vehicle Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) - total maximum total weight of the loaded truck pulling the trailer and the loaded trailer itself.
  • Trailer Weight Rating (TWR) - the maximum weight of a loaded trailer allowed for a specific tow vehicle and type of hitch.

Older model years of the Highlander have different braked towing capacities depending on their engine and towing package. However, the unbraked towing capacity has remained the same at 1,000 lbs, regardless of the model year, engine, and towing package.

First Generation (2001 - 2007)

  • 2AZ-FE 2.4L (4-cylinder):  1,500 lbs without towing package and 3,000 lbs with towing package
  • 1MZ-FE 3.0L (V6): 2,000 lbs without towing package and 3,500 lbs with towing package
  • 3MZ-FE 3.3L (V6): 2,000 lbs without towing package and 3,500 lbs with towing package
  • Hybrid (2006 & 2007): 2,000 lbs without towing package and 3,500 lbs with towing package

Second Generation (2008 - 2013)

  • 1AR-FE 2.7L (4-cylinder): 1,500 lbs without towing package and 3,500 lbs with towing package
  • 2GR-FE 3.5L (V6): 2,000 lbs without towing package and 5,000 lbs with towing package
  • A25A-FXS 2.5L L4 Hybrid: 3,500 lbs with no mention of towing package usage

Third Generation (2014 - 2019)

  • 1AR-FE 2.7L (4-cylinder): 1,500 lbs without towing package and 3,500 lbs with towing package
  • 2GR-FE 3.5L (V6): 2,000 lbs without towing package and 5,000 lbs with towing package
  • A25A-FXS 2.5L L4 Hybrid: 3,500 lbs with no mention of towing package usage
  • 2GR-FKS 3.5L (V6): 5,000 lbs with no mention of towing package usage

White Toyota Highlander Sport Utility Vehicle speeding

Fourth Generation (2020 - Present)

  • A25A-FXS 2.5L L4 Hybrid: 3,500 lbs with no mention of towing package usage
  • 2GR-FKS 3.5L (V6): 5,000 lbs with no mention of towing package usage

Do Highlanders Come With Tow Package?

As mentioned previously, the towing capacities of some earlier generations of the Toyota Highlander depended on the usage or non-usage of a towing package. 

Toyota USA did not specify any towing package for the 2022 Highlander's tow ratings. However, they do offer towing accessories as optional add-ons. These add-ons include:

  • Ball mount
  • Tow hitch receiver with wiring harness
  • Trailer ball

iron hitch for a caravan on the rear bumper of the car.

Furthermore, in the absence of Toyota's current towing package information, we can get an idea from the 2018 Highlander's towing package. This towing package includes:

  • Heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler
  • Supplemental transmission oil cooler
  • 200-watt fan coupling
  • 150-amp alternator

What Kind Of Engine Does A Toyota Highlander Have?

In order to reach the maximum towing capacities that Toyota stated, the 2022 Highlander's two engine options need to be potent enough.

  • The gas option is a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 Double Overhead Cam (DOHC) gasoline engine. It produces 295 hp at 6,600 rpm and 263 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. This engine is mated to Toyota's Direct Shift 8-speed Electronically-Controlled Automatic Transmission (ECT).
  • The hybrid option is a combination of a 2.5-liter 16-valve I4 DOHC gasoline engine and two electric motors.  When they operate together, they put out 243 hp at 6,000 rpm and 175 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Hybrid variants use Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT).

Both engine options can have front-wheel-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations.

What Can You Pull With A Toyota Highlander?

With the proper towing equipment the Toyota Highlander can tow several types of trailers, campers, cars, and even boats!

Toyota Highlander on a street in spring scenery. The Highlander is one of the most popular Toyota SUV vehicles in America.

To illustrate, the list below shows the dry weight range of some common types of campers.

  • Teardrop trailer - 500 to 2,000 lbs
  • Pop-up trailer - 600 to 4,000 lbs
  • Classic travel trailer - 2,200 to 7,800 lbs

Both the gasoline and hybrid Highlander models can flat-tow a manual transmission car. For example, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE 6-speed M/T model has a curb weight of 3,060 lbs  

Finally, a small fishing boat has an average dry weight of 1,700 lbs. A boat trailer that can handle the fishing boat will weigh an additional 1,000 lbs. Altogether, the gross trailer weight (GTW) comes to 2,700 lbs. This is well below both the hybrid and gas Highlander's tow rating.

How Much Weight Can A Toyota Highlander Carry?

Aside from towing a camper or a boat, you might be wondering if the Toyota Highlander can also carry your family or friends along your trip. Worry not, as the 2022 Highlander has seats for 7 to 8 people, depending on the trim level.  These models also have a respectable range of payload capacities.

Below are a few Highlander variants and their respective payload capacities. 

  • L grade, FWD - 1,685 lbs 
  • XLE grade, AWD - 1,565 lbs
  • Hybrid Platinum grade, AWD - 1,405 lbs

For safe towing, always keep in mind that your trailer should exert 9 to 15% of its gross weight on your tow hitch.  This is referred to as the trailer tongue weight.

Is The Toyota Highlander A Safe Car?

The 2022 Highlander achieved the highest possible overall safety rating from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Moreover, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) chose the Toyota Highlander as a Top Safety Pick+ Awardee for 2022.

For towing safety, the Highlander uses Toyota's Trailer Sway Control (TSC) feature. The TSC feature maintains vehicle control when the trailer starts swaying due to strong winds or load shifting.

When the TSC detects a swaying trailer, it automatically manages the individual torque and brake pressure on the Highlander's wheels. These actions will help the driver regain control.

Is The Toyota Highlander Fuel-Efficient?

The 2022 Toyota Highlander has combined (city/highway) fuel economy ratings from 36 miles per gallon (mpg) to 23 mpg, depending on the variant.

  • V6 FWD - 24 mpg combined (21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway)
  • V6 AWD -  23 mpg combined (20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway)
  • Hybrid FWD - 36 mpg combined (36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway)
  • Hybrid AWD - 35 mpg combined (35 mpg for both city and highway)

The Highlander hybrid models are more fuel-efficient than the much-smaller 2022 2.5-liter gasoline Toyota Camry (32 mpg combined). In turn, the Highlander V6 variant trumps the fuel economy ratings of other midsize SUV competitors.

  • Kia Telluride - FWD 23 mpg combined, AWD 21 mpg combined
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee - 2WD 22 mpg combined, 4WD 21 mpg combined
  • Chevrolet Traverse - FWD 21 mpg combined, AWD 20 mpg combined
  • Honda Pilot - FWD 23 mpg combined, AWD 22 mpg combined
  • Hyundai Palisade - FWD 22 mpg combined, AWD 21 mpg combined
  • Kia Telluride - FWD 23 mpg combined, AWD 21 mpg combined

How Far Can A Toyota Highlander Go On A Full Tank?

Gas full meter

The V6 Highlander models have 17.9-gallon fuel tanks. The hybrid variants, in turn, have 17.1-gallon fuel tanks.  Using these tank sizes and their fuel efficiency ratings, we can get variants' driving range for one full tank.

  • Hybrid FWD - 615.6 miles 
  • Hybrid AWD - 598.5 miles 
  • V6 FWD - 429.6 miles
  • V6 AWD - 411.7 miles

Of course, these driving ranges will decrease significantly if you use your Highlander for towing.  

How Much Should I Pay For A 2022 Toyota Highlander?

Below are the starting prices of Toyota Highlander variants, taken from the Toyota USA website on 04 May 2022.

  1. L grade V6 FWD  - $35,855
  2. L grade V6 AWD - $37,455
  3. LE grade V6 FWD - $38,055
  4. LE grade V6 AWD - $39,655
  5. Hybrid LE grade FWD - $39,555
  6. Hybrid LE grade AWD - $41,155
  7. XLE grade V6 FWD - $41,055
  8. XLE grade V6 AWD - $42,655
  9. Hybrid XLE grade FWD - $42,555
  10. Hybrid XLE grade AWD - $44,155
  11. XSE grade V6 FWD - $42,650
  12. XSE grade V6 AWD - $44,600
  13. Hybrid Bronze Edition FWD - $44,580
  14. Hybrid Bronze Edition AWD - $46,180
  15. Limited V6 FWD - $45,010
  16. Limited V6 AWD - $46,960
  17. Hybrid Limited FWD - $46,510
  18. Hybrid Limited AWD - $48,460
  19. Platinum V6 FWD - $48,010
  20. Platinum V6 AWD - $49,960
  21. Hybrid Platinum FWD - $49,510
  22. Hybrid Platinum AWD - $51,460

Wrapping Up

With the proper towing equipment, the V6 gasoline Highlander can tow a maximum of 5,000 lbs. Under the same conditions, the hybrid Highlander can pull 3,500 lbs.  

Thank you very much for reading. We hope that we were able to help you understand more about the Toyota Highlander.

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