The Toyota Prius is a popular hybrid car known for its fuel efficiency and environmentally-friendly design.
Many Prius owners use their vehicles for commuting and running errands, but some may also want to use their Prius for towing small trailers or carrying bikes and other recreational equipment.
If you are considering putting a hitch on your Prius, you may be wondering if it is possible and what options are available.
In this article, we will discuss the feasibility of adding a hitch to a Prius and the different types of hitches that can be used.
Can You Put A Hitch On A Prius?
You can put a hitch on a Prius, although the car’s towing capacity is lower than other vehicles.
Class 1 trailer hitches, which are typically 1.25 or 2 inches in size, will fit onto the back of a Prius.
However, you need to check that your Prius can handle the extra weight of a hitch and any cargo before you start towing anything.
What are the different types of hitches available for use with a Prius?
The Prius comes with three different types of hitches: the standard hitch, the tow prep package hitch, and the trailer tow hitch.
The standard hitch
The standard hitch is designed for use with a bike rack or other similar accessories.
It has a maximum capacity of 200 pounds and can be used with either the front or rear of the Prius.
The tow prep package hitch
The tow prep package hitch is designed for towing a small trailer, such as a pop-up camper or boat trailer.
It has a maximum capacity of 1,500 pounds and can only be used with the rear of the Prius.
The trailer tow hitch
The trailer tow hitch is the strongest hitch available for the Prius and is designed for towing a large trailer, such as a travel trailer or a fifth-wheel trailer.
It has a maximum capacity of 3,500 pounds and can only be used with the rear of the Prius.
How Do You Put A Hitch On Your Prius?
Installing a hitch on your Prius is relatively simple and straightforward. The steps are as follows,
Select the Appropriate Hitch
The first step in installing a hitch on your Prius is to select the appropriate hitch for your vehicle.
There are a few different types of hitches available, so it is important to choose one that is compatible with your car.
Prepare the Vehicle
Once you have selected the appropriate hitch, you will need to prepare the vehicle for installation.
This includes disconnecting the battery, removing the rear bumper, and disconnecting the taillights.
These steps may vary slightly depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Install the Hitch
After preparing the vehicle, you can begin to install the hitch.
This process will vary depending on the type of hitch you are installing but generally includes attaching the hitch to the frame of the vehicle and bolting it in place.
Reconnect the Bumper and Taillights
After installing the hitch, you will need to reconnect the bumper and taillights.
This process will vary depending on your vehicle but generally includes reattaching the bumper and reconnecting the wiring for the taillights.
Test the Hitch
Once you have finished installing the hitch, it is important to test it to ensure it is secure and properly functioning.
To do this, you can simply attach a trailer or other load to the hitch and drive around for a short distance.
What are some tips for towing with a Prius?
There are some best tips to keep in mind when towing with a Prius.
Use a Wider Base
When towing with a Prius, it is important to use a wider base.
This means that you should use a trailer that is wider than the vehicle itself.
This will help to distribute the weight of the trailer more evenly and will make it easier to control.
Use a Lower Gear
When towing with a Prius, it is also important to use lower gear.
This will help to increase the amount of torque that is available, which will make it easier to control the vehicle.
Use a Weight-Distributing Hitch
When towing with a Prius, it is also important to use a weight-distributing hitch.
This type of hitch helps to distribute the weight of the trailer more evenly, which makes it easier to control.
Follow the Speed Limit
When towing with a Prius, it is also important to follow the speed limit.
This will help to prevent the vehicle from becoming overloaded and will make it easier to control.
What Are Some Of The Potential Benefits Associated With Putting A Hitch On The Prius?
There are a lot of benefits associated with doing so, including
Improved Fuel Efficiency
One of the primary benefits of putting a hitch on a Prius is that it can improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
A hitch can help to reduce drag on the vehicle, which can in turn help to improve gas mileage.
In fact, some studies have shown that adding a hitch to a Prius can improve fuel economy by up to 5%.
Increased Towing Capacity
Another benefit of putting a hitch on a Prius is that it can increase the vehicle’s towing capacity.
If you frequently tow trailers or other heavy loads, a hitch can be a great way to increase your Prius’s towing capacity.
Better Vehicle Stability
A third benefit of putting a hitch on a Prius is that it can help to improve the vehicle’s stability.
A properly installed hitch can help to distribute the weight of a trailer or load more evenly, which can make the vehicle easier to control.
Greater Protection from Rear-End Collisions
A fourth benefit of putting a hitch on a Prius is if you are involved in a rear-end collision while towing something behind your Prius, the hitch can help to absorb some of the impacts and protect the vehicle from serious damage.
Enhanced Resale Value
Finally, putting a hitch on a Prius can also enhance the vehicle’s resale value.
If you ever decide to sell your Prius, potential buyers will see that it has a hitch and know that it is capable of towing trailers or other loads.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Putting A Hitch On Your Prius?
Some of the main drawbacks of putting a hitch on your Prius include
Lower Fuel Economy
One of the primary drawbacks of putting a hitch on your Prius is that it will lower your fuel economy.
A hitch adds weight to the vehicle, which increases drag and causes the engine to work harder.
This can lead to a decrease in fuel economy of up to 5%.
Another drawback of putting a hitch on your Prius is that it can reduce the vehicle’s handling.
The extra weight of the hitch can affect the suspension and steering, making the Prius less responsive and more difficult to control.
Increased Wear and Tear
Putting a hitch on your Prius can also cause increased wear and tear on the vehicle.
The extra weight of the hitch puts additional stress on the engine, transmission, and suspension, which can lead to premature component failure.
Difficult to Remove
If you ever decide that you no longer want a hitch on your Prius, it can be difficult to remove.
The hitch is typically bolted or welded onto the frame of the vehicle, which can require special tools and knowledge to remove.
FAQs on putting hitch on a Prius
Can I Put A Hitch On A Prius?
Yes, you can put a hitch on a Prius. However, you will need to purchase an aftermarket hitch.
Aftermarket hitches typically cost between $100 and $200, depending on the brand and the features that you choose.
How Do I Know If My Prius Has A Hitch?
If your Prius has a hitch, it will typically be located underneath the rear bumper.
If you are unsure whether or not your Prius has a hitch, you can consult your owner’s manual or contact your local Toyota dealer.
Can I Put A Hitch On My Prius Myself?
It is possible to install a hitch on your Prius yourself, but it is generally recommended that you have it installed by a professional.
This is because hitches must be properly secured in order to avoid damage to your vehicle or trailer.
So if you’re in the market for a new car and want something that can do it all, consider buying a Prius.
With a little bit of modification, your Prius can easily become the perfect vehicle for towing or hauling whatever you need.