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You’ll Be Glad to Know I Found the Prius Towing People

As it turns out, you don’t have to trade utility for fuel efficiency. The mighty Prius can give you both!

byCaleb Jacobs|
Toyota News photo
Alex Burnside / Patrick DiFrancisco, edited by author


If you're new here, there's something you should know about me: I love trucks. I've owned old trucks, new trucks, red trucks and... actually, I've never owned a blue truck before. But I just bought a blue 2006 Toyota Prius! As my coworkers will tell you, I'm way too excited about it, and given my background, you can imagine how stoked I am to report that I've found my people amongst the Prius owners' community.

These people put their tiny, mighty hybrids to work. Whether it's towing boats, ATVs, dirt bikes, or U-Haul trailers, they're all about doing what they can with what they have. Any self-respecting pickup truck owner should be able to respect that too, don't you think?

Stephen Lopez

What first caught my eye was this black 2016 Prius pulling a slick Husqvarna two-stroke bike. The setup is owned by Stephen Lopez, who posted these shots to the Modified Prius group on Facebook. He swapped over from a 4Runner that was only getting 12 miles per gallon, and now he's netting between 38 and 42 mpg with his Prius while towing the 800- to 900-pound load. That's great, if you ask me.

Others chimed in below with photos of their Prii (that's the correct lingo for "more than one Prius," I'm told). Alex Burnside has been using his 2022 Prius Prime to lug around a Grumman canoe with a 20-horse Tohatsu outboard motor on the back. The combo apparently handles great on Michigan roads, and Burnside tells me he's working on refining his new setup even more by adjusting the tongue weight.

"I was surprised by how passionate Prius people are about not just gas mileage, that’s a given, but just how much utility they actually have," Burnside told me over DM. "People underestimate a car’s ability to do work, like pulling a trailer, and often buy vehicles that aren’t very sensible for day-to-day travel so that they can tow very light loads or utilize a truck bed just a few times a year when an economical and far less expensive car with a cheap utility trailer would suffice in most cases."

Coming from the diesel truck world, I can confirm.

Patrick DiFrancisco

I get even more tickled when I see a lifted Prius like Patrick DiFrancisco's here. It's a 2011 model with the 1.5-inch Prius Offroad kit, 205/65/R15 General Altimax RT45 tires, and stiffer rear coils. This one is worked harder than most others I've seen as DiFrancisco uses it to pull his ATV, dirt bike, and gear—as much as 2,300 pounds some weekends. It's a regular thing, too, and he apparently gets 28 mpg when loaded to the gills.

With all the responses I got, I could go on and on about people and their humble 'Yotas. Even those without a trailer and a receiver hitch get the most out of their econoboxes by shoving stuff in the surprisingly spacious trunk. I almost fit in mine with the back seats folded flat, and I'm a big fella at 6'5" and 290 pounds. It's so much roomier than I expected.

Devin Mathis

In talking with these folks, I learned a lot about the cars and their owners. Most people bought a Prius for the same reason I did: they wanted affordable, reliable, and economical transportation. They aren't winning any races, and if you're regularly towing more than 2,000 pounds or so, it's probably better to buy a bigger car. But don't write off these dorky little machines just because the rest of the internet tells you to.

"I used to hate on the Prius as someone who loves to drive fast, loves watching motorsports, and drooling over high-performance vehicles, but I tell you what, I’m a mechanic myself and tend to lean toward more sensible things that aren’t overpriced and the Prius is my car," Burnside raved. "This is my third one and I expect it to last 250,000+ miles like the last two did."

As for me, I can’t wait to see what I can get done with my blue beauty. That 76-hp four-banger has to be good for something.

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