The Toyota RAV4 was introduced into Toyota’s lineup as a compact crossover SUV in 1995 and remains very popular today. Toyota vehicles are known for their reliability and for having the features consumers expect from today’s SUVs, including towing. But what is the towing capacity of a Toyota RAV4?
The Toyota RAV4 has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds to 3,500 pounds depending on the RAV4 type, if it is 2WD or AWD, and if it has a tow package installed.
The Toyota RAV4 with 2WD can tow 1,500 lbs.
The Toyota RAV4 with AWD and Dynamic Torque Vectoring can tow up to 3,500 lbs with a tow package installed. The only two trim levels this is available on are the Adventure and TRD Off-Road trims.
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid can tow 1,750 lbs across all trim levels.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime can tow 2,500 lbs across all trim levels.
There’s a bit more to know about Toyota RAV4 towing capabilities which we’ll cover in today’s guide.
Toyota RAV4 Towing Capacity By Year
As we covered earlier, the current Toyota RAV4 can tow a maximum of 3,500 lbs.
The RAV4 has been in production since 1995, and we’ve listed out the maximum tow capacity by year below for reference.
Note that for each model year, there are many variables that affect the total towing capability of each vehicle year, so we recommend checking your specific RAV4 model year below for an in-depth guide and to get the most accurate information.
Here’s the maximum Toyota RAV 4 towing capacity by year:
2023 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2022 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2021 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2020 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2019 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2018 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2017 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2016 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2015 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2014 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2013 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2012 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2011 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2010 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2009 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2008 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2007 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2006 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2005 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2004 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2003 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2002 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2001 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
2000 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
1999 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
1998 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
1997 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
1996 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
1995 Toyota RAV4 Tow Capacity: 1,500 pounds
You can also read our guide on what makes a vehicle towing capacity to learn all the aspects that go into it.
Here’s a video showing the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid in a towing test:
Toyota RAV4 Braked Vs. Unbraked Towing Capacity
All vehicles have different towing capacities based on whether or not you’re towing a trailer that has trailer brakes installed.
Trailer brakes allow the trailer to stop faster than if only the vehicle is using its brakes, allowing the vehicle to tow more weight, so braked towing capacity will always be higher than unbraked towing capacity.
Toyota RAV4 Braked Tow Capacity: 1,500 lbs – 3,500 lbs.
Toyota RAV4 Unbraked Tow Capacity: 1,000 lbs.
Toyota RAV4 Towing Capacity Factors
There are a few factors that affect the Toyota RAV4 tow capacity.
Toyota’s RAV4 trim levels vary, with most trim levels having access to the same engine size and a 2WD or AWD drivetrain.
The Adventure and TRD Off-Road are the only two trim levels that can pull 3,500 lbs.
2WD vs AWD
The RAV4 towing capability is affected by 2WD vs AWD mainly because the AWD unlocks the Dynamic Torque Vectoring option on the TRD Off-Road and Adventure trim levels, which increases the towing cap to 3,500 pounds.
Gas Vs Hybrid Vs Prime
Since there are technically three versions of the RAV4, the towing cap can vary quite a bit based on the model and what type of engine it has.
The gas RAV4 models can pull 1,500 to 3,500 pounds, the RAV4 Hybrid is capped at 1,750 pounds, and the RAV4 prime can pull 1,750 pounds.
Toyota RAV4 Engine Specs
All model years and trims of the Toyota RAV4 have the same engine.
2.5 Liter 4-Cylinder Engine
The Toyota RAV4 gas engine is a 2.5 Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder DOHC D-4S Injection engine with Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i).
This engine produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft of torque.
2.5 Liter 4-Cylinder Engine (RAV4 Hybrid)
The Toyota RAV4 hybrid engine is a 2.5 Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder engine.
This engine produces 219 combined net horsepower, 184 lb.-ft front torque, and 89 lb.-ft of rear torque.
2.5 Liter 4-Cylinder Engine (RAV4 Prime)
The Toyota RAV4 Prime engine is a 2.5 Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder hybrid engine.
This engine produces 302 combined net horsepower, 199 lb.-ft front torque, and 89 lb.-ft of rear torque.
Toyota RAV4 Tow Package Info
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CAP: How much can a Toyota RAV4 tow is up to 3,500 pounds.
Does The Toyota RAV4 Have A Tow Package?
Toyota offers a factory-installed RAV4 tow package option.
It is available on most trim levels and includes the following enhancements (each sold separately):
- Toyota RAV4 factory Class II trailer hitch
- 4-pin wiring harness and connector
- Trailer ball
Can You Install A Trailer Hitch On a Toyota RAV4?
If you plan on towing anything with your Toyota RAV4, you’ll need a tow hitch and wiring harness.
Depending on what you’re towing, you’re going to need a ball mount (aka a trailer ball hitch) so you can attach items for towing.
Make sure to get the right trailer ball size that matches your hitch and trailer.
Toyota RAV4 Tow Hitch
Trailer hitches come in different hitch classes, which are rated for different vehicle sizes and weight limits.
The Toyota RAV4 uses a Class 3 hitch.
Here’s a great option for a Class II Toyota RAV4 trailer hitch:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. With a strong, welded steel build, this class 2 hitch package is rated for 3,500 lbs. gross trailer weight and 350 lbs. tongue weight (limited to lowest-rated towing component)
- HIGHLY VERSATILE. Add useful, versatile towing options to your vehicle with this class 2 trailer hitch. It provides a standard 1-1/4-inch x 1-1/4-inch receiver hitch, allowing you to tow a small trailer or mount a cargo carrier or bike rack
- DUAL-COAT FINISH. For industry-leading rust, chip and UV resistance inside and out, this automotive tow hitch is submersed in a liquid A-coat and co-cured with a durable black powder coat finish
- EASY INSTALLATION. This class 2 hitch fits select model years of the Toyota RAV4
- TESTED FOR SAFETY. Each CURT class 2 trailer hitch design is thoroughly tested at our Detroit facility, using real vehicles in real-world conditions. Our hitches are tested to SAE J684 specs to give you confidence and safety on the road ahead
Here’s a great ball mount option so you can hook up different types of trailers for towing with your RAV4:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. Rated to tow 3,500 pounds gross trailer weight and 350 pounds tongue weight, this ball hitch offers dependability for your towing setup (weight capacity may change if trailer ball is removed).Fit Type: Universal Fit
- VERSATILE USE. This trailer hitch ball mount comes with a 1-1/4-inch shank to fit virtually any industry-standard 1-1/4-inch receiver. The ball mount has a 3-1/4-inch drop, 2-inch diameter ball, 1/2-inch hitch pin hole and 7-1/4-inch overall length
- READY TO TOW. Hitching up your trailer is easy with this ready-to-use trailer hitch ball mount. It comes with a pre-attached tow ball for ready coupling and a trailer hitch pin to securely mount onto your hitch receiver
- CORROSION-RESISTANT. For long-lasting use, this ball hitch is protected with a durable black powder coat finish, and the trailer ball has a polished chrome plating. These finishes resist damage from rain, dirt, road salt and other corrosive threats
- EASY TO INSTALL. To install the trailer hitch ball mount on your vehicle, simply insert the shank into your vehicle's 1-1/4-inch hitch receiver. The rounded shank makes installation easy
Toyota RAV4 Trailer Hitch Installation
If you’re considering having a tow hitch added to your RAV4, expect to pay between $100 and $200 to have a tow package professionally installed (excluding the cost of the tow hitch and wiring harness).
If you’re handy and looking to save money, you can install the trailer hitch and wiring harness yourself.
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and use proper safety precautions.
Here’s a great video walkthrough on a Toyota RAV4 trailer hitch installation:
Hitch Receiver Vs Rear Step Bumper Towing
Some vehicles allow for bumper towing, which means you can mount a tow hitch ball directly on the bumper instead of installing a tow hitch to the vehicle’s frame.
Can I Bumper Tow With A Toyota RAV4?
The Toyota RAV4 does not allow for bumper towing, so you’ll need to use a frame mounted hitch.
How Do I Know If My Toyota RAV4 Has A Tow Package?
You can start by looking under the rear bumper of your RAV4 to see if you notice a trailer hitch or trailer ball.
That will give you a good indication of if you have a tow hitch already installed on your RAV4.
Another way to research this is by checking the paperwork that came with your vehicle or taking it to a local dealer to see what’s installed.
Make sure to have your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) handy if you call the dealer so they can look up the exact specs and whether or not your vehicle has any towing packages or features installed on it.
We’ve gathered all data represented here from the official Toyota Rav4 Owner’s Manuals on Toyota’s site and have checked all data thoroughly for accuracy.
Having said that, we still recommend you refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual yourself before towing with your Toyota Rav4.