With a maximum towing capacity of 725 kg (1,598 lbs), the new-gen Prius has been engineered to tow a trailer or light caravan, for the first time in its 19-year history.
Its new ability has been made possible thanks to heat management measures introduced in its main electric motor-generator and differential. This, Toyota hopes, will endear the popular hybrid with its extended practicality to appeal to a wider range of customers.
Those interested in the new Prius’ towing capability will be able to equip the car with towing hitches and wiring systems from the automaker’s official range of accessories, which are said to be “simple and easy to operate, with clear red and green indicators to show when a secure connection has been made“. Most of the hardware is concealed behind the lower lip of the rear bumper and when the towing arm is not needed, it can be unclipped and stored in a special bag, in the boot.
Toyota’s announcement on the hybrid’s towing ability comes right after Euro NCAP and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have proved its safety, awarding it with 5 stars and Top Safety Pick Plus ratings, respectively. In the US, customers can buy the 2016 Prius from $24,200, while in the United Kingdom, it starts from £23,295 ($33,400).