If you’re in the market for a Toyota RAV4 and want an SUV that can tow, you’ll want to check out the information below.
While the RAV4 is considered a good choice for towing, not all RAV4s have the same towing capacity.
So again, check out the information below to make sure you choose the suitable model.
Table of Contents
Check also our Complete review of the Toyota RAV4 here.
Toyota RAV4 First Generation (1995-2000)
The first generation of the Toyota RAV4 was created from 1995 to 2000.
The towing capacity for the first generation ranges from 2,646 lbs. to 3,307lbs. depending on the engine choice.
First Generation Toyota RAV4 3-D Auto & Manual Engine Towing Capacity
From 1994 to 2000, Toyota offered the RAV4 with a 2.0 4WD engine and auto or manual transmission.
This option has a towing capacity of 2,645 lbs.
First Generation Toyota RAV4 5-D Auto & Manual Engine Towing Capacity
The other engine option for the first generation RAV4 is the 2.0 4WD 5.D engine with automatic or manual transmission.
This first-generation option has a larger towing capacity at 3,307lbs.
Toyota RAV4 Second Generation (2001-2005)
With the release of the second generation of the Toyota RAV4, 2001-2005 has more engine options and towing capacities of 2,204lbs. to 3,307lbs.
The second generation RAV4s were also the first to have a 2WD and other engine options, including a 1.8 to 2.4L 4-cylinder engine and a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine.
Second Generation Toyota RAV4 1.8L 3-D and 5-E Manual Towing Capacity
Toyota RAV4 was released with a 1.8L engine and manual transmission for the second generation. Drivers could choose between a 3-D or 5-D transmission.
With either option, the towing capacity of these two is a maximum of 2,204lbs.
Second Generation Toyota RAV4s with 3,307lb Towing Capacity
When drivers opt to beef up the engine to a 2.0L engine for the second generation, they can beef up the towing capacity to 3,307lbs.
Second-generation options that boost up to 3,307lbs. of towing capacity include:
- Toyota RAV4 2.0 D4D 4WD 3-D Manual
- Toyota RAV4 2.0 D4D 4WD 5-D Manual
- Toyota RAV4 2.0 4WD 3-D Auto & Manual
- Toyota RAV4 2.0 4WD 5-D Auto & Manual
- Toyota RAV4 2.4 FWD 5-D Auto & Manual
- Toyota RAV4 2.4 4WD 5-D Auto & Manual
Third Generation (2005-2012) Toyota RAV4 Towing Capabilities
For the third generation of the Toyota RAV4, from 2006 to 2012, the car manufacturer started to take notice of enthusiasts’ desire to use the SUV to tow.
With this in mind, they beefed up the towing capacity of the third generation to haul anywhere from 3,307lbs to 4,409lbs.
The third generation RAV4s towing capacity increased due to an underpinning system built into the platform and electronic power steering.
Third Generation Towing Capacity Broken into Two Groups
The third generation of Toyota RAV4s is broken into two groups; those created from 2005 to 2008 and those created from 2005 to 2012.
The first two models created in the third generation were the 2.0 VVT-i 4WD auto & manual and the 2.2 D4D 4WD auto & manual.
The first option has a towing capacity of 3,307lbs. The second is a beefy 4,409lbs.
Third Generation Toyota RAV4s with a 3,500lb. Towing Capacity
Third generation Toyota RAV4s with a 3,500lb. towing capacity includes 2005 to 2012 models with the 2.4 FWD LWB automatic engine and those with a 3.5 V6 FWD LWB automatic engine.
Third Generation Toyota RAV4s with a 4,409lb. Towing Capacity
There are several Toyota RAV4s with a towing capacity of 4,409lbs, including those created from 2008 to 2012 with a 2.0 VVT-i FWD l+ll manual engine and the 4WD option of this engine with the option of automatic and manual transmissions.
The Toyota RAV4 2.2 D4D l FWD manual option created from 2008 to 2009 also has a towing capacity of 4,409lbs.
The 2011 and 2012 Toyota RAV4s with 2.2 D4D with FWD or 4WD have the above towing capacity.
Third Generation Toyota RAV4 2.2 D4D 4WD ll has a 3,968lb. Towing Capacity
The Toyota RAV4 2.2 D4D 4WD ll with an automatic transmission has a towing capacity of 3,968lbs.
Toyota RAV4 Fourth Generation (2013-2018)
The fourth generation of the Toyota RAV4, released from 2013 to 2018, underwent some significant changes. First, Toyota eliminated the side-opening rear door and replaced it with a liftgate door.
The car manufacturer also eliminated the V6 engine options for this generation.
All SUVs in Toyota’s fourth generation of the RAV4 have a towing capacity of 3,307lbs. to 4,409lbs.
Fourth Generation Toyota RAV4 2.0 with Multidrive S Can Haul 3,307lbs.
The only fourth-generation RAV4 with a 3,307lb. towing capacity is those with a 2.0 engine and multidrive S.
Fourth Generation Toyota RAV4s with a 3,500lb. Towing Capacity
Two fourth-generation Toyota RAV4s are capable of towing up to 3,500lbs.
Those engine options include:
- Toyota RAV4 2.5 ECT-i FWD +l Auto
- Toyota RAV4 2.5 ECT-i 4WD +l auto
Fourth Generation Toyota RAV4s with a 3,527lb. Towing Capacity
Two fourth-generation Toyota RAV4s can tow up to 3,527lbs. Including the:
- Toyota RAV4 2.0 D4D FWD +l Manual
- Toyota RAV4 2.0 D4D 4WD
Fourth Generation Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Can Haul Up to 3,638lbs
Toyota’s RAV4 fourth generation hybrid version can haul up to 3,638lbs. The 4WD and FWD versions of the hybrid have the same towing capabilities.
The hybrid version was only available from 2015 to 2018.
2013 to 2015 Toyota RAV4 with a 2.2 D4D Engine Hauls up to 3,968 lbs.
The fourth generation of the Toyota RAV4 with a 2.2 D4D 4WD engine with an automatic transmission can haul an impressive 3,968lbs.
Unfortunately, this RAV4 option was only available on the market from 2013 to 2015.
Two Fourth Generation Toyota RAV4s Can Haul 4,409lbs.
Two Toyota RAV4s can haul up to 4,409 lbs.
First, the RAV4 with a 2.2 D4D 4WD engine and automatic transmission was offered from 2013 to 2015.
The Toyota RAV4 2.0 Valvematic 4WD +l Manual was also released in 2013 but remained available until 2018.
Toyota RAV4 Fifth Generation (2018-2022)
The fifth generation of Toyota RAV4s offers the most engine options of any other generation but also offers lower towing capacities than other versions.
Fifth Generation Toyota RAV4s Capable of Towing 1,763lbs.
Engine options in the fifth generation that can haul up to 1,763 lbs. include:
- LE FWD Direct Shift Auto
- XLE FWD Direct Shift Auto
- XLE Premium FWD Direct Shift Auto
- Limited FWD Direct Shift Auto
This is also one of the reasons some people avoid the RAV4 models.
Fifth Generation Toyota RAV4 Hybrids with a 3,307lb. Towing Capacity
The fifth generation of hybrid Toyota RAV4s can haul up to 3,307lbs. include those with the following engine options:
- LE 4WD Hybrid ECVT Auto
- XLE 4WD Hybrid ECVT Auto
- XLE Premium 4WD Hybrid ECVT Auto
- Hybrid SE 4WD ECVT Auto
- Hybrid XSE 4WD ECVT Auto
- Limited 4WD Hybrid ECVT Auto
For the late models, we see excellent fuel economy across the hybrid RAV4 lineup.
Fifth Generation Toyota RAV4s with 3,638lb. Towing Capacities
Several Toyota RAV4s from the fifth generation can tow up to 3,638lbs. include those with the following engine options:
- LE 4WD Direct Shift Auto
- XLE 4WD Direct Shift Auto
- XLE Premium 4WD Direct Shift Auto
- Adventure 4WD Direct Shift Auto
- TRD-Offroad 4WD Direct Shift Auto
- Limited 4WD Direct Shift Auto
How big a boat can Toyota RAV4s tow?
With capacities ranging from about 1,700lbs. to 3,599lbs., boat owners can expect to be able to haul a small fishing boat or little pleasure boat with ease.
The Toyota RAV4 can haul any boat that doesn’t exceed its towing capacity.
How big a camper can Toyota RAV4s tow?
The Toyota RAV4 doesn’t have the towing capacity of a full-sized truck. But, it can haul a small camper, such as a pop-up camper.
Does the RAV4 models come with a hitch as standard?
Toyota does not sell the RAV4 with a hitch installed as part of a standard package. Instead, RAV4 owners will have to purchase a hitch and have it installed to be able to tow.
The good news is it’s relatively easy to install a hitch on a Toyota RAV4.
But, it’s going to cost. If you go to a dealership to install the hitch, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,700.
If you can install the hitch yourself, you can save money by paying for the part and its needed components. Some hitches are relatively inexpensive, and others are costly.
The significant variance in cost is associated with the different styles and materials used to make the part.