Which hybrid and electric cars can tow?

Reader discovered too late that his new hybrid car isn't able to have a tow bar fitted. He asks which hybrid and electric cars can tow...

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Claire Evans
01 July 2019

tow bar

I recently bought a diesel-electric DS 5 Hybrid and didn’t realise that I wouldn’t be able to fit a tow bar to it. Having since been in touch with several tow bar fitters and manufacturers, I now know that many hybrid cars shouldn’t tow caravans.

I wanted to fit a tow bar so that I could mount my Thule cycle carrier to it, but in the DS 5 Hybrid’s case, the AdBlue tank uses one or more of the tow bar fixing points.

To add insult to injury, I have been informed that the rear spoiler on my DS 5 is too weak to hold a bike rack and the roof can’t take the weight of our two e-bikes, so I can’t carry them that way, either.

Our only option appears to be to switch back to a petrol or diesel car. Alternatively, can you suggest any hybrids that can tow?

Jim Steele

What Car? says…

Some hybrids and electric cars are deemed unsuitable for towing by their manufacturer, because they’re already relatively heavy, due to their battery packs, and the extra weight of a trailer would put too much strain on their components and electric range. And even those that are allowed to tow often have a lower limit than their conventionally powered equivalents.

Best cars for towing 2018

However, you still have a number of choices. Regular hybrids that are suitable for towing include the new Toyota RAV4, which can tow an unbraked trailer weighing up to 1650kg, as well as the Toyota C-HR and Prius (725kg). Suitable plug-in hybrids include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (1500kg), Volvo XC90 T8 and XC60 T8 (2100kg) and Audi Q7 e-tron (2800kg). 

Our pick is the XC90 T8; it’s our 2019 Plug-in Hybrid of the Year and won the hybrid category at the 2018 Tow Car Awards.

Read our full guide to the best hybrid and electric cars for towing

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