How Much Can a Toyota Sienna Tow

LOS ANGELES, CA. NOVEMBER 20: LA Auto Show at the L.A. Convention Center on November 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA

A Toyota Sienna can tow a maximum capacity of 3500 pounds. The 2.5 L engine’s power allows the car to have a high capability to tow heavy loads without complications. Electric power transmission helps the vehicle to stay on the roads for many hours without a breakdown. The car is suitable for pulling trailers, campers, small boats, and other medium-sized loads. 

The minivan has high performance, credited to a hybrid horsepower of 245, sixteen valves, and a powerful D-4S injection. The Toyota Sienna payload capacity is outstanding. It has an incredible cargo volume and seating allowance.  Eight passengers can comfortably sit in this spacious car with horsepower similar to that of a large SUV.

Features that You Must Check to Ensure Your Vehicle is Safe for Towing

Tow Rating

The manufacturer’s manual guide provides information about the rate a Toyota Sienna can tow. The towing rate depends on the model and the availability of the towing package. Toyota sienna models that do not have a tow package have a lower towing rate of 2000 lbs. 

However, the ones with a tow prep package have a towing rate of 3500 lbs. A good example is the 2021 Toyota sienna which tows 3500 lbs.

Trailer Brakes

The Toyota manual guide indicates that the weight limit for the unbraked trailer is 1000lbs. A trailer that surpasses 1000 lbs must have trailer brakes to keep it on the road. Also, if you’re towing heavy loads, your vehicle will require a trailer brake controller to manage the connected braking inputs for the trailer.

It is vital to check your Toyota Sienna models for the weight limit on an unbraked trailer.  The analysis will help you know the maximum towing capacity of your car without trailer brakes. If the weight limit is not compatible with your model, ensure that your car and the trailer have strong braking inputs.

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Tongue Weight

Tongue weight is the total weight that is exerted downwards by the trailer tongue. Toyota company recommends that the overall tongue weight be 10 or 11% of the trailer weight. The balancing of these percentages ensures that the vehicle is stable on the road. This percentage of tongue weight also helps to avoid trailer sway. 

There are weight scales that help determine the tongue weight of the load. To calculate the tongue weight, put your vehicle on a weighing scale. Don’t allow the trailer’s wheels to touch the weighing scale. Subtract the weight of the empty vehicle from the weight of the vehicle towing a trailer. The difference between them is the tongue weight.

Alternatively, tongue weight can be balanced by adjusting heavy loads on the front and back to stabilize the vehicle. Ensure you don’t surpass the recommended capacity rate of 3500 lbs.

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Trailer Sway

Trailer sway occurs when a trailer starts to swing side to side, losing balance and eventually flipping the towing car.  It is caused by excessive loads, improper loading, crosswinds, and excessive speed. When a trailer sway happens, other road users are at risk since the vehicle can cause a serious accident. 

Trailer sway should be prevented by not exceeding 3500 lbs, which is the maximum rate a Toyota Sienna can tow. 60 % of a load of your cargo should be on the front of the trailer box. The cargo should only be loaded from the inside of the trailer, and the speed should not exceed 55 miles per hour.

Weight distribution also helps to balance the trailer and provide safe towing. In case you notice any signs of trailer sway, it’s recommended that you don’t exceed a speed of 10 miles per hour.

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Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the overall total weight of a Toyota Sienna.  The rating is calculated by including tongue weight and the passengers on board. The maximum total weight for this vehicle should not exceed 5,995 lbs.

GVWR is vital for safety measures since it prevents excess towing on your vehicle.  The rating also helps to keep your vehicle in good shape by making it road-friendly. Note that the GVWR doesn’t change after the vehicle is released from the manufacturer, regardless of modifications. 


Payload entails the maximum weight added to the cargo on top of its empty weight and the passengers. The model of the vehicle determines the payload limit. Every model of Toyota sienna has some specific ratings.

The manual guide indicates that the payload for the Toyota sienna 2020 is 1,380 lbs. Note that any vehicle customization affects these ratings. Determining the payload capacity is very important since an unbalanced weight can cause a breakdown in your vehicle. Wrong rates also endanger the lives of your passengers or family when you’re traveling for a vacation.

Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)

Gross Combined Weight Rating is the total weight of the Sienna and the trailer. The GCWR is the total weight of the vehicle, passengers, and the total weight of the trailer. A vehicle exceeding the recommended GCWR can’t be controlled effectively and can cause an accident. 

The GCWR of the Sienna must never exceed 1588kg. You can use a  scale to determine the GCWR of your vehicle. Equally, the limit for a two-wheel-drive model is 8,900 lbs, while the limit for an all-wheel-drive Sienna model is 8,990 lbs.

FAQS About the Towing Ability of a Toyota Sienna

Is Sienna good for towing?

The Toyota Sienna is good for towing, especially for a family vacation. It has an efficient and upgraded powertrain. Apart from having an incredible towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, Sienna has a hybrid engine of 2.5l and two electric motors, giving it the power to pull trailers.

You can tow for a long distance due to its favorable fuel efficiency. With one gallon, you can travel for 40 miles.  Regardless of the speed, the 2.0 safety package alerts the driver when the vehicle is drifting on the wrong side of the road. 

It’s a weathered car since it is all-wheel drive. The vehicle shifts power to the rear wheels when the system detects any slippage.  So you don’t have to worry about the rain or snow. You can be assured that the car will get to the destination safely.

How much does it cost to install a hitch on a Toyota Sienna?

The hitch installations depend on where the car is serviced. The installation would cost you around $ 150 to $250. The cost is not inclusive of the hitch and its accessories. The quality of the hitch matters, and it is recommendable to go for a trusted brand.

You may also install the hitch yourself since it is not a complicated procedure. No welding or drilling is needed—just a fixing tool and spanner to tighten the nuts. However, if you’re not good at following the manual guide, it is important to seek a professional installer.

Which Hitch Can You Put On A Toyota Sienna?

There are many suitable hitches that vary depending on the model. Class three hitches are the most preferred since they have a higher towing rate than class two hitches.  These hitches can handle a tongue weight of 350 lbs to 500 lbs. 

A good example of these hitches is Curt’s trailer hitches. These hitches are tested by SAE and built to custom fit the Toyota Sienna perfectly.

The two-inch hitch has the capability of towing 3500 lbs without having an issue with trailer sway. They are compatible with the 5000 lbs total weight distribution of the vehicle.  However, the hitch cannot surpass 400 lbs for tongue weight.

Does The Toyota Sienna Come With A Tow Package?

New models of Toyota Sienna come with a towing package. The package entails a large radiator transmission oil, cooler, and fan. These prep items are very crucial in hauling heavyweights. 

The prep packages relieve the pressure inserted on the engine by the vehicle for towing large cargo.  With the towing package,  you only need to install hitches to start towing.

What about scraping with the hitch over bumps?

When a hitch is not installed properly, there is a probability that it will scrap the ground, especially on bumps. It may also affect the trailer on the back, making it difficult for you to transition from different road bumps.

If you’re having a problem with scrapping, you can install a 5-4″ hitch drop. It helps to raise the trailer. Additionally, a two-inch lift block between the leafy spring and axle can help to stabilize the whole trailer and avoid the hitch from scrapping the bumps. 

Does a Toyota Sienna have air suspension?

The Toyota Sienna has high-quality air suspension with modern airbags. The air suspension is designed to facilitate a smooth ride, especially when towing heavy loads. It has both raising and lowering criteria for stabilizing the trailer.

It has 36 adjustable damping levels, and the height adjustability can reach up to 200 mm. Air suspension is easy to install and does not require you to modify the shock absorbers.

How helpful is the AWD on the Toyota Sienna for towing

The all-wheel-drive feature is very important in helping your vehicle maneuver through harsh road conditions. AWD helps the vehicle to have the power to pull the trailer without any problems. With AWD, the Toyota Sienna can flawlessly go through 6-inch snow without getting stuck.

With a maximum capacity of 3500 lbs, the Sienna can overcome any slippery surface with just a little throttle. AWD powers the rear wheel automatically through an electric motor. It’s a good aspect since the minivan can’t be stuck on a rainy day.