9 Best Small Cars for Towing (With Pictures)

Wherever you are in the world, small cars are a common sight because of their practicality and affordability.

It may not look like it, but modern-day small cars are more than capable of towing significant loads.

In this article, we’ll cover the small cars with the best towing capabilities, as well as other important features and functions. 

# 1: Toyota Yaris (Unbraked: 500 lbs, Braked: 2,315 lbs)

The Yaris is an appealing subcompact sedan that was produced from 2007 to 2020.

It is best known for its simple yet attractive interior, abundance of standard features, and fantastic fuel economy.

According to the EPA, owners of this model can achieve a whopping 35 MPG for combined city and highway driving.

The Toyota Yaris, when properly equipped with the necessary towing equipment, has a towing capacity of 2,315 pounds.

Its segment-topping towing capacity is thanks to a modest but reliable 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (106 horsepower), as well as a competent suspension system. 

This is the only engine option for all 3 trims (L, LE, and XLE) and is quite frankly the only one you need if you plan to get a small car with competent towing capability. 

Related: 9 Best Midsize Cars for Towing (With Pictures)

# 2: Honda Fit (Unbraked: 992 lbs, Braked: 2,200 lbs)

The Fit is a spacious small car that began as a 2007 model year and ended its run as a 2020 model year (similar to the previously discussed Yaris).

Its best feature is its rear-seat configurability that allows for exceptional cargo capacity.

There are 4 trim levels to choose from: LX, Sport, EX, and EX-L.

All trims are powered by a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (130 horsepower) that delivers power to the front wheels.

The Honda Fit, when properly equipped with the necessary towing equipment, has a towing capacity of 2,200 pounds.

This is more than enough to bring along a small utility trailer, a jet ski, or even a motorcycle trailer. 

Related: 9 Subcompact Cars With the Most Trunk Space (With Pictures)

# 3: Hyundai Accent (Unbraked: 959 lbs, Braked: 2,200 lbs)

The Accent is one of the most popular subcompact sedans around the world.

Dating back to 1995, this car is comfortable to ride in, spacious, and possesses a rattle-free build quality.

All 3 trim levels (SE, SEL, and Limited) are fitted with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that provides an output of 120 horsepower.

The Hyundai Accent, when properly equipped with the necessary towing equipment, has a towing capacity of 2,200 pounds.

On top of a great towing capacity (for a small car), the EPA also claims that this vehicle provides great fuel economy, with tests indicating that owners can achieve 36 MPG for combined city and highway driving. 

# 4: Chevrolet Sonic (Unbraked: 1,100 lbs, Braked: 1,800 lbs)

The Sonic is an underrated small car that comes as either a sedan or hatchback.

It was produced for the American market from 2012 to 2020.

For its class, it has a spacious cabin, an up-to-date touchscreen infotainment system (with smartphone integration), and a competent engine.

The Chevrolet Sonic, when properly equipped with the necessary towing equipment, has a towing capacity of 1,800 pounds.

This figure allows owners of this sedan to tow small trailers or pop-up campers.

This is thanks to a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that provides 138 horsepower, which is found in all 3 trim levels (LS, LT, and Premier). 

# 5: Kia Rio (Unbraked: 992 lbs, Braked: 1,763 lbs)

The Rio is your typical daily driver that gets your from point A to point B with no problem whatsoever.

It has had such a good run since 2001 that it is still being produced (and offered) for the American market to this day despite a shift in car-buyer preference to SUVs and larger sedans.

The Kia Rio, when properly equipped with the necessary towing equipment, has a towing capacity of 1,763 pounds.

There are 2 trims available: LX and S. Both are powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine (120 horsepower) mated to a CVT that delivers power to the front wheels. 

# 6: Mini Cooper (Unbraked: 1,000 lbs, Braked: 1,565 lbs)

The Mini Cooper is a legendary sedan known for its exterior design, peppy engine options, and variety of body colors and designs.

If you are looking for an eye-catching car that has made owners happy over the past couple of decades, then this is what you should get.

However, towing capacity is not as good as the others we have discussed so far.  

The 1.5-liter turbocharged Mini Cooper, when properly equipped with the necessary towing equipment, has a towing capacity of 1,565 pounds.

However, we believe that these towing capacity numbers are conservative estimates and can go higher if variants with bigger engines are chosen.

For reference, the John Cooper Works Hardtop variant has a powerful 2-liter engine that puts out 228 horsepower, along with a sport-tuned suspension. This should be capable of towing heavier equipment and trailers. 

Related: 12 Best Sports Cars For Towing (With Pictures)

# 7: Chevrolet Spark (Unbraked: 1,000 lbs, Braked: NA)

The Chevrolet Spark is affordable, practical, and filled with high-tech safety and driver assistance features (standard and optional).

It began as a 2013 model year and ended its run in 2022.

There are 4 trims available: LS, 1LT, Activ, and 2 LT.

Each trim is powered by a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that has an output of 98 horsepower. 

The Chevrolet Spark, when properly equipped with the necessary towing equipment, can only reportedly handle up to 1,000 pounds (unbraked).

Unfortunately, there is no official data online regarding the braked towing capacity of this model. 

It may be helpful to know that having a braked trailer system can significantly boost maximum towing. 

# 8: Nissan Versa (Unbraked: 862 lbs, Braked: NA)

The Versa is a well-built subcompact sedan.

It was introduced as a 2007 model year and is still going strong into 2024.

The more recent iterations provide owners with lots of features for the money, generous cargo capacity, and impressive fuel efficiency.

According to the EPA, owners of this car can achieve around 35 MPG for combined city and highway driving. 

The Nissan Versa, when properly equipped with the necessary towing equipment, can only reportedly handle up to 862 pounds (unbraked).

Unfortunately, there is no official data online regarding the braked towing capacity of this model. 

It may be helpful to know that having a braked trailer system can significantly boost maximum towing. 

# 9: Mitsubishi Mirage (Unbraked: 600 lbs, Braked: NA)

The Mitsubishi Mirage is as compact as subcompact sedans can get.

Introduced in 1990, the Mirage has been consistent in providing owners with impressive mileage and a long warranty coverage at the least possible cost.

There are 4 trims: ES, LE, SE, and Black Edition.

Every version comes with a small 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine that outputs 76 horsepower only. 

The Mitsubishi Mirage, when properly equipped with the necessary towing equipment, can only reportedly handle up to 600 pounds (unbraked).

Unfortunately, there is no official data online regarding the braked towing capacity of this model. 

It may be helpful to know that having a braked trailer system can significantly boost maximum towing. 

Related: 10 Popular Cars Without Transmission Problems (With Pictures)

Author:

  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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