Skip to Content

Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity (Complete Guide)

Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity (Complete Guide)

If you own a Toyota Highlander, you might be interested in knowing its towing capacity.  

The Highlander can pull a reasonable amount of load based on the model year and the equipment fitted on your car. 

The towing capacity of the Toyota Highlander is between 1,500 – 5,000 lbs. This implies you can tow your trailer or sailboat along with you wherever the journey takes you.

However, this depends on the Toyota Highlander model you have, as some can only tow up to 1500 lbs.

The Toyota Highlander boasts a 3.6L V6 engine that delivers 263 lb-ft of torque and 295 hp. Due to its powerful engine, the SUV can pull a lot of weight, which makes it perfect for towing. 

We have tested the towing capacity of the Toyota Highlander. In this article, we will discuss the vehicle’s towing capabilities to help you determine whether it is right for your needs. 

What Is the Towing Capacity of the Toyota Highlander?

With its elegant interior, striking external style, and innovative technological features, the Toyota Highlander stands out among a large number of mid-range SUVs.

It can accommodate up to eight adults, allowing the entire group to travel together. 

You’ll get the same strong engine regardless of which Highlander model you choose. The V6 3.6-liter engine is connected to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and delivers 295 hp.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the car; however, all-wheel drive is also available as an option.

Many Highlander purchasers are concerned about towing capability.

The towing capability of this SUV varies greatly depending on the model year, spanning from 1500 lbs. in the lower range to 5000 lbs. on the high end!

However, for most early version years, the capacity values range from 3,000 – 3,500 pounds, and for subsequent model years, the capacity rises to 5,000 pounds full capacity. 

If you want to get the most out of your Toyota Highlander, choose the XLE grade, which has a towing capacity of at least 5,000 lbs., allowing you to take all of your belongings with you.

Your towing capacity will be restricted to 3,500 lbs. if you pick the Hybrid XLE or the Hybrid LE.

Is the Towing Capacity of the Toyota Highlander Good?

For the most part, the Toyota Highlander’s towing capacity is adequate.

While those towing powers aren’t the greatest you’ll find, given that bigger SUVs such as the Ford Expedition may tow over 9,000 lbs., the 3,500-5,000 lbs. a Highlander can tow ought to be sufficient for most individuals.

Canoes, pop-up campers, kayaks, and motorcycle trailers are the most common cargo that SUV drivers pull. Most of those loads are less than the Toyota Highlander’s claimed towing capacity.

When towing a packed canoe or kayaking trailer, the maximum weight does not surpass 800 lbs. usually. 

A normal motorcycle trailer weighs up to 3,000 lbs, while a pop-up camper’s weight is up to 4,200 lbs.

Thus, the Toyota Highlander XLE will be able to handle these loads. 

Towing Package 

Not all model years offer a towing package, but some do, and if you have one fitted on your car, you will have a substantially higher general trailer load capacity. 

If you install these packages, you can anticipate a 3,000 lb. boost in all over capacity of the Toyota Highlander. 

2020 and 2021 Models 

The towing capacity of the 2021 and 2020 versions ranges from 1,000 to 5,000 pounds, with the lower 1,000-pound grade reserved for trailers without brakes. 

2017-2019 Models 

The exact capacity of the 2017 to 2019 versions ranges from 1,000 – 5,000 pounds, depending on the model code your automobile is outfitted with.

Only one model code has the 1,500 lbs. rating, but all other model codes can achieve the greater 5,000 lbs. rating. 

2014-2016 Models 

The towing capacity of the 2014-2016 models is 1,000 – 5,000 pounds, similar to the 2019-2017 variants, with small changes in the statistics for the bigger 6-cylinder engines. For these years, 4- and 6-cylinder engines are offered.

2009-2013 Models 

The 2009-2013 versions have the same tow capacity range of 1,000 – 5,000 pounds as later model years, and they also have the same two engine versions, but there are differing ratings for each engine based on factory installations. 

The weight capacity estimates for each of the two engine types completely depends on whether a tow package is mounted. 

The max trailer weight capacity was specified as somewhere between 1,500 – 3,500 lbs. for vehicles with a four-cylinder engine and 2,000 – 5,000 lbs. for vehicles with a 6-cylinder engine.

2008 Models 

When it comes to optimum trailer weight rating specifications, the 2008 vehicles are in a league of their own, with a towing capacity range of 1,000 to 5,000 pounds, as per the manual. 

The two differing capacity ratings are dependent on whether your car has a tow package fitted, as we’ve seen in various later model years, and if it accounts for the 3,000 lbs. difference, which is huge.

Summing Up The Towing Capacity of a Toyota Highlander

The Highlander not only has towing capabilities but also has a spacious interior for packing and traveling. This Toyota SUV is mostly about adaptability, with an optional third-row that can accommodate up to eight people. 

When the seats are folded, there is also plenty of cargo capacity and space. All in all, the Highlander is the ideal vehicle for road vacations and family excursions, thanks to its versatility.

It also has decent towing power, so you won’t have problems pulling a trailer, pop-up camper, or kayaks. The overall towing capacity for a Toyota Highlander is generally anywhere from 1,500 – 5,000 lbs.

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!