What's the smallest/lightest car class where trailer towing capability is common, at least for very small trailers?

I'm aware that many cars are physically capable of towing, but what would stay within manufacturers specs?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Mar 25, 2019 at 16:56
  • Welcome to the site - while I appreciate that you've removed the pricing elements from the question it's still essentially a massively broad shopping list question so not really suitable for the main site. However if you want to pop into Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Chat there's usually some users kicking around who can help with suggestions. Mar 25, 2019 at 17:13
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    I edited the question in a major way. If you disagree, revert. I tried to make it a non-shopping question so that general answers that are valid for a long duration of time are applicable.
    – juhist
    Mar 25, 2019 at 17:44

4 Answers 4


This may be a shopping question and thus likely to be closed, but many of the "supermini" class of cars (B-segment / subcompact) are actually capable of towing a lightweight trailer. Although I'm not in North America, I had a 2011 Toyota Yaris that had brakeless towing capability of 550 kg, far more than 500 lb. In some markets, the Toyota Yaris is called Vitz. I understand it at least have been sold in United States, but I'm not sure if it's available currently and I'm not sure if the towing hook is available for this car in this market.

I have actually towed a trailer on Yaris. The trailer was larger than the car itself! The people I rented the trailer from were surprised that such a small car could tow a trailer.

So, the answer is that look for cars in the supermini class. I'm pretty sure you'll find that many have trailer towing capability if the trailer is lightweight enough. I wouldn't consider a car smaller than this.

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    Something for the OP to remember here is, the towing capacity of the car also includes the trailer itself. While 500lbs may seem like a decent towing weight, once you throw the weight of the trailer in the mix, it doesn't leave a lot left for actual cargo. Also, pulling the trailer is only half the battle ... getting it stopped after it's rolling is the other bit. Stopping a larger trailer is going to be really tough, especially if you're going down hill. You'd find a large trailer will man-handle a small car with ease. Mar 25, 2019 at 17:01
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 That's a valid point, but given that my 1700kg RAV4 handles 750kg without brakes (44% of its weight), I think 550kg will be handled by a 1150kg car (48% of its weight). Many brakeless trailers are 200-300 kg, which leaves plenty of room for e.g. furniture. Of course I'm not suggesting for people to overload their trailers, so care should be taken with cars that have low trailer weight.
    – juhist
    Mar 25, 2019 at 17:39
  • Things to think about are engine power and braking power. What does the car's manual say?
    – Spivonious
    Mar 25, 2019 at 17:40
  • Towing capacity quite often includes cargo capacity as part of the equation, meaning, not only the cargo in the trailer, but the cargo in the vehicle itself, including occupants. Mar 25, 2019 at 17:44

Virtually every European designed car is "rated" for towing in the sense that the manufacturer specifies it. Even something as small as baseline model Fiat 500 (with a 0.9 litre engine and kerb weight 500kg) is rated for 400kg (880lb) unbraked, 800kg (1760lb) braked.


Welcome to the site. I fear your question is essentially either shopping advice, in which case it may not be appropriate for the site, or a trick question as the lightest towing vehicle class isn't actually a car at all but a motorcycle. This link contains more details with regard to UK legislation but it's a safe bet that UK legislation will apply across most of Europe.

Without knowing what you intend to tow, it's a fairly impossible question to answer. If you want to tow a small box trailer, a small low powered car will suffice, if you want to tow a horse box with two horses in, you ideally want something like a Range Rover or Jeep.


Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab Short Bed is the smallest vehicle with which you can SAFELY tow things.

You can tow a children's mini-bike with anything. To tow another car , this truck, or similar Dodge, Ford is the smallest possible vehicle

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    Hi Steve, do you have any kind of references to back up this assertion? A Silverado is a fairly large pickup truck, it's perfectly safe to tow trailers with most medium-sized cars...
    – Nick C
    Mar 26, 2019 at 9:35

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