Toyota Yaris: Towing Questions

kawligakawliga Member Posts: 1
edited September 2014 in Honda
I commute 90 miles one way to work and would like a small car that I can trust. I also need to tow a small trailer only a few miles each year. Total weight of less than 700 lbs. Do any of these sub-compacts allow any towing or is this impractical?


  • lucynethellucynethel Member Posts: 81
    Best of luck towing anything! My wife & I have a combined weight that exceeds the car's GVRW by 3 pounds!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    No towing allowed with the xA, and the Yaris has the same drivetrain, so I'd guess no-go on that one, too. Don't know about the Fit but it doesn't look good for towing on paper...or on pavement for that matter :P
  • byarisbyaris Member Posts: 2
    I just purchased a Yaris 3-door hatch. The manual says Toyota doesn't recommend towing with it in the U.S. The next page says, "Towing - Canada Only", and says you can tow up to 700 pounds with a Toyota-approved hitch. I'm thinking there's nothing different about the cars purchased in Canada vs. those in the U.S., and I believe that gravity and the physical laws are probably similar in both countries. ;-) So what's the difference? I emailed a Canadian dealer yesterday concerning availability of a hitch there. Hopefully I'll get a response.

    I won't even go into how it hard (or impossible) it is to get options and parts for my Yaris here in Vermont, when the Canadian border is only 50 miles away. Major manipulation by Toyota/Scion and probably Big Oil / Big Car to boot. And I thought this was a free country!

    I saw some online references to Yaris trailer wiring harnesses, and some about hitches for the sedan, but nothing yet on the hatch. But why would they mention it in my manual if it wasn't available?
  • wulybugrwulybugr Member Posts: 19
    Go to Google and search "honda fit accessories"
    found a couple websites offering trailer hitches for the fit. All have 1 and 1/4" receivers- price range about $125,
    and is a bolt on hitch. I think tow rating is 1000#
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    That IS interesting. I crawled under the xA and it doesn't look like it would be very easy to mount a hitch unless it bolts up way back there. There doesn't seem to be anything to support a hitch very well.

    I've loaded my xA on a steep hill with cargo (a lot) and then launched it uphill and it struggles. I'd venture to say that with 750 lbs or so behind an xA or Yaris, if you aren't on the straight and level, you're going to be buying clutches. I could SMELL my clutch last time. Not good--but in all fairness, fairly radical hill.
  • hillgrasshillgrass Member Posts: 3
    I own a '93 ford festiva with 60-70 hp with a manual 5 spd tranny. Your Yaris weighs a bit more but also has 106 hp. I went to Uhaul a couple years ago and asked them if they offered a hitch for a festiva. They looked at me like I had four heads and laughed. Then they looked it up on the computer and voila! there was a custom hitch for my car. Cost about $350. I popped it on, bought a small utility trailer (about 300 lbs empty, 4x8 bed, with or w/o stake body), loaded my 300+ lb honda helix scooter up, piled myself, my girlfriend, my dog, a few bags, and we did a round trip to New England from Baltimore. About 1,000 miles all told. Went up through Pennsylvania and some Upstate NY. Lots of hills. Had to wind it out now and then to keep the RPM's up. Just downshifted when necessary and kept an eye on the tach (you can choose a cheap tach guage from the auto parts store since I believe the Yaris 3-door doesn't come with one). I downshifted to 4th and even 3rd on occasion (keeping it at a minimum 55). These little cars are much tougher than you think. My manual also says no towing. Go to Uhaul and see what they offer. If nothing, just wait awhile. They will come out with a custom hitch. They want every car on the market to be able to tow their trailers so they can rent$ to you. Oh, yes, I once towed 1,200 lbs of stones plus the 300 lb trailer itself about 10 miles to my girlfriend's mother's house (though admittedly I took it pretty easy on that one!). Good luck.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    If you ever lived in Europe or Asia you'd see tiny vehicles towing all sorts of things. In America it just looks funny because of all the big vehicles we have.
  • wulybugrwulybugr Member Posts: 19
    There are hitches on the market now for the Fit. Try a google search. I found two sites but cannot remember them.
    Also try "Honda Fit accessories"
    My Fit is so low I would not want a hitch, even thoughit would be nice. A hitch would scrape on too many things
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,677
    note that your '93 Ford Festiva is made by Kia Motors for Ford. I am not surprised at your success towing with the Festiva. Kia makes a fine and tough rig, that they do! ;)

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • daysailerdaysailer Member Posts: 720
    Doesn't make it a good idea. If the vehicle manufacturer recommends AGAINST towing, I would be concerned about legal implications if involved in an accident while towing, regardless who was at fault.
  • hillgrasshillgrass Member Posts: 3
    Doesn't say "against". Just "not recommended." Have made multiple long distant trips in the past couple years. Great stability. Hitch has total eight mount bolts in two locations along the unibody. Has held up extremely well at all contact points. I think the question for a small car is stress on those points and driving characteristics. With this car, trailer tracks perfectly, no adverse effect on steering or lane changes. I'm a long-haul trucker and am actually rather surprised to be honest. Though you could be correct, I'm sure things are written in such a way that if something stupid does happen, the manufacturer is absolved.
  • daysailerdaysailer Member Posts: 720
    In my state, contributory negligence will effectively absolve other parties of responsibility. It could well be argued that ignoring the manufacturer's recommendations for use constitutes contributory negligence. And if there were no case for negligence or illegal acts of other parties, could the towing owner be held responsible?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Member Posts: 18,525
    I would also be concerned about warranty issues. If the dealer sees a hitch and can connect any troubles with towing they could refuse to repair it under the warranty.

    2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • shay29shay29 Member Posts: 2
    My owners manual for the Yaris gives towing information but only for Canada. Wouldn't think they make a different model for Canada only.

  • gearhead1gearhead1 Member Posts: 408
    ummmm........Don't tow with a Yaris, but it is okay to tow a Yaris.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    I don't know what the big deal is with towing for any car. They're designed for 5 passengers, so if you had 4, 200lb people in the Yaris (yes, not to comfortable) or you had one 150lb person towing a 500lb trailer, which would be harder on the car?
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Member Posts: 408
    so if you had 4, 200lb people in the Yaris (yes, not to comfortable) or you had one 150lb person towing a 500lb trailer, which would be harder on the car?

    The main difference would be where that wieght is located. The wieght when towing with a fit will be on the back bumper (toungue wieght)and I doubt Honda had in mind more than 200 lbs directed to the back bumper.

    If you hook up a trailor even some of the smallest trailors, the trailor itself will probably wiegh 2-300 lbs. Once you start loading it, the wieght adds up quite quickly.

    Although the engine would probably be okay, though struggling mightily on any sort of incline, my main concern would be damaging the transmission. There is no transmission cooler in the Fit.

    I've seen pics of a Fit towing an ATV. It probably works, but I can't help but think that guy is slowly ripping up his tranny. I think towing an ATV behind the Fit on any sort of incline would be strongly ill advised by Honda.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    Even though the weight of a trailer might be a total of 500lbs, there's not 500lbs pushing down on the rear bumper. Just like pulling a wagon with 100lbs is easier than carrying the 100lbs on your back. So then we're back to the towing weight being similar to the carrying capacity of the car. There would have to be someplace solid for attaching a hitch. But I doubt if the transmission would know the difference between pulling 500lbs and carrying 500lbs.
  • hillgrasshillgrass Member Posts: 3
    How the hitch is bolted to the car makes all the difference. Had an '89 F-150 with hitch attached directly to the bumper (as is intended when sold in auto parts stores) and slowly began to bend and twist and tear bumper from body of truck. If it's a customized hitch with multiple connection points, and the trailer is balanced and loaded properly in relation to car, the automobile takes almost no down force. Look at four 200lb people in a liftback (or midsize for that matter) and whole car sags. A properly laden trailer, however, set level with car, just glides along behind car. Same can be said for heavily laden panniers on a bicycle as a opposed to a one-wheel trailer behind. The former is cumbersome and the latter tracks effortlessly. The hitch and balance mean a great deal. And let's face it, after just recently testing a Yaris manual liftback, it's like a rocket/cadillac compared to my manual Festiva. See you at the RV park!
  • jnantzjnantz Member Posts: 10
    I purchased a 2007 Yaris Liftback Manual in November. I purchased it with the intent of towing it as a dingy behind my motorhome. I recently had the Toyota dealer install a Roadmaster front towing bracket behind the grill, and a Hidden Hitch 1.25 inch receiver behind the back bumper. the Hidden Hitch is rated at 200/2000 lbs. It will be used, however, for a bike rack. (I have the spoiler on the top edge of the hatch which gets in the way of a strap mounted bike rack.) For dingy taillights I am using magnetic lights. I will be getting a Brake Buddy when the finances recover next month. Then I should be ready for the coming RV season. We are planning a trip to the Rocky Mtns this summer. I have not hooked up the Yaris tail lights for trailer towing, but may wish to in the future.
  • 41magmag4141magmag41 Member Posts: 6
    I too wondered why you can tow 700 lbs in canada with a yaris sedan but not in the US. None of the dealers I've talked with could give me an answer. I even emailed Toyota and couldn't get a square answer. When in doubt I wouldn't tow with the car until it's out of warranty then you're on your own.
  • tsellgrtsellgr Member Posts: 1
    How is the Yaris as a dinghy tow working out? After looking over the models suitable for dinghy towing we are liking the Yaris.

    Tell me more about the difficulties of tail light hookups and brake hookups on the Yaris.
  • howardshowards Member Posts: 1
    I am interested in purchasing a Yaris to use as a 4 wheel on the ground dingy with my RV. I was told the Yaris could only be towed with a dolly which I do not want to do.
    I would appreciate any experience anyone has had with towing a Yaris and help with what hitch to use. I would prefer to use a hidden hitch like blue ox. However they do not make one for the Yaris.
  • frenchriver1frenchriver1 Member Posts: 4
    I know I have seen Scion Bs on the road with hitches. Anyone have any experience as to tow capacity?
  • phxwilsonsphxwilsons Member Posts: 1
    If the Yaris has a manual transmission, it can be towed with all 4 wheels on the ground. We just bought a 2009 2 door hatchback manual trans. with the intention of dingy towing. Both the service manual and dealer service manager says this is fine to do.

    I bought a Stowmaster Falcon II hitch and they make a hidden hookup plate for bith the 2 & 4 door Yaris.

    Ken - Surprise AZ
  • dakedake Member Posts: 131
    Also, the thing to remember is while the door sticker says it's a 5 passenger car, the Yaris is technically limited to no more than 845 lbs (including cargo) - which means 5 169 lb passengers, not 200 pounders.

    I don't know where auto makers get their weight numbers, but pretty much any car on the road is over-loaded when full.
  • erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    Thought I'd add my 2 cents worth on towing with the Echo/Yaris/Scion. I just added a Draw-Tite hitch to my 01 Echo. I tow a small teardrop trailer... about 700 lbs and 70 lbs tongue weight. Works great. Echo handles the teardrop with ease. No issues with braking. Have to hold the gears a bit longer. Also tow with a Subaru automatic which has more torque, but isn't as much fun to drive. Wouldn't want to load the trailer or car with too much weight. Main thing is to keep the tongue weight lighter by loading gear towards the back of the trailer.
  • babzmbabzm Member Posts: 1
    Please tell me more about towing with your Echo.
    I am interested in the teardrop trailer too. Do you have any protection on your tranny - like a cooler? What type of gas mileage do you get? Do you pull long distance, for long days --- like across the country and on an extended vacation? What about wear on the tires?

    do you have an automatic or manual tranny? I have automatic.

    and then about your trailer - where did you get it? do you have any photos?

  • tidalwave4455tidalwave4455 Member Posts: 1
    I want to wire up a 5 to 4 conductor converter trailer harness for my
    2008 Liftback.
    But I have no idea what the wire color codes are for a Toyota?
    They certainly are not standard SAE color coded (as usually American
    cars are)!
    I need the wire color codes for the rear:
    Brake/Right Turn/Left Turn/Park-Tail/and Ground.
  • ataristyleataristyle Member Posts: 2
    Test drove a Yaris 5 Speed yesterday and I really like it. I'm kicking around the idea of getting one, but am not certain it will tow what I need it to. I need to tow a 950lb Boat + 250?lb Trailer + 30 gallons Fuel in boat & Whatever gear is in boat. About 1300llbs. Boat launch is down the block from me so going far is not an issue. What is, however, is the hill I have to climb when I take the boat ouf of the water. I do have a running start for about a 1/2 block then climb for about 1/8 block that is steep. I can get a runnig start and think stick would be good for this since you can leave it in gear.

    Trailer does not have brakes on it. Reading what the UK has for towing on this car 2,000lbs is max braked or 850 unbraked. Of course in the US they say its not recommened. I'm sure the car will pull it, but if I have to stop to the side on the road (narrow for only 1 1/2 car to fit going by) for someone to pass in the other direction, I'm afraid that if I stall out the trailer is going to drag me down and possible accident. Thus a braking trailer would be ideal. Of course I could try this when I get the car and see how it handles. If I get the 'Oh Sh*t' feeling then trailer would need to be braked. That or I scrap the whole idea of getting a yaris to rack miles on and keep my S10 4.3 for a winter vehicle and carpool in my Wife's Scion TC. Oh yea, she refuses to install a hitch on her vehicle! :D
  • 1of6kids1of6kids Member Posts: 1
    I am currently living in Colorado and will be moving to Oregon. I have priced renting a Uhaul truck/trailer for my yaris vs. buying a used trailer and adding a hitch. The price is nearly the same, but I like the idea of for my money having a trailer which I can later use for storage. My question is will the yaris make it out to Oregon towing a not too heavy 5x10 box trailer?
  • dsprague1dsprague1 Member Posts: 1
    How did that work out towing through the Rockies?
  • sewardsfollysewardsfolly Member Posts: 3
    Hello Echo 2001,
    I have one too and just bought a trailer hitch with the hopes of towing a small dingy/sailboat. I was surprised to read at the toyota site that they recommend not to tow with this vehicle.

    I was glad to read about someone else towing. Any more thoughts or advice on towing with an Echo 2001?
  • sewardsfollysewardsfolly Member Posts: 3
    a more specific question: how did you wire your trailer hook up system. I see online a prefab set up that supposedly plugs in somewhere. Did you find and use such a system or jury rig your own system?

    Any suggestions are well appreciated.
This discussion has been closed.