Driver's Guide

10 Small Cars that Can Tow 3500 LBS

Howdy, Driver? Cheap small cars that can tow are not rare in today’s automobile market. There is a thousand, if not a million, of cars that can exceptionally tow despite their smallness. However, you would not hear much of such cars because the media focuses more on supercars.

small cars that can tow

You do not have to spend to get the best vehicles for towing. Just like the expensive towing vehicles, light towing vehicles could deliver the simple but hefty tasks you throw at them.

This compilation features the most economical towing vehicles, specifically small cars, that make towing seamless. The list is endless, but here are the best 10 small vehicles that tow incredibly well.

Best Small Cars that Can Tow

In this section, you will discover the most economical towing cars. Below are the best small cars that can tow:

  1. Mercedes Benz E200

Executive Towing

What is the smallest car that can tow a trailer

The Benz E200 is an executive class of light towing vehicle. It is thoughtfully built by Mercedes not just to make your traveling comfortable, but to tow along. The E200 wagon can tow almost anything you throw at it seamlessly.

E200 is an all-wheel-drive wagon with amazing strength. It is a turbocharged 3L engine with 6 cylinders and boasts of 577 horsepower that makes it easy to drag heavy items across the road.

The e200 further features standard rear air suspension, which welcomes a payload of up to 1,653 lbs. (750 kg). Its towing capacity is 4,630 lbs. (2,100 kg); enough to hijack other vehicles. The starting price of the Mercedes Benz E200 is $15,513. It is indeed the most economical towing vehicle you should buy.

  1. Kia Soul LX

Towing Soul

Which small SUV has best towing capacity?

An affordable subcompact crossover that tows almost everything on earth. The Kia Soul LX is a completely redesigned vehicle; it is designed to be robust, flexible, and affordable. The Soul LX soars in the line of the exceptional small cars that can tow out there.

It features the variable automatic and manual transmission. The automatic transmission variant is no fun to use, but finely tuned and responsive. It is an 18-inch wheel vehicle powered by a 2L engine and 4 Cyl. engine powering up to 147 hp, 132 lb-ft.

The Kia Soul LX tows up to 1,200 lbs. (550 kg) unbraked and up to 2,400 lbs. (1100 kg) braked. If your budget for a towing machine is low, the Soul LX should be an option. The starting price of the Kia Soul LX is $17,490.

  1. Toyota Matrix

Tow with Comfort

Best small car for towing

The Toyota Matrix is a compact hatchback discontinued in 2013. Sincerely, the world misses the most economical towing vehicle in a Matrix. It may not the best small car that can tow, but it is a powerful machine for any hauling task. Be careful when buying, it is one of Toyota’s recalled vehicles.

Built with 114.0 cu.ft. EPA interior volume, the Matrix, provides enormous space. A 4-speed automatic transmission vehicle with 5-seater support. Its engine comes in variants; a 1.8L inline 4-cyl engine and a larger 2.4L engine (Matrix S).

The 2013 Toyota Matrix has a towing capacity of up to 1,500 lbs. (680 kg) and ground clearance of 5.3 inches. Overall, the Matrix makes towing fun and it is in the league of cheap cars that can tow. The starting price of the Toyota Matrix is $7,036.

  1. VW Golf 2.0 TDI

Mini Touring Giant

small cars that can tow

A 5-door compact car and a line of light towing vehicles. If you have to tow something substantial with a small towing car, it has to be the Golf 2.0 TDI. Other than elegance, the Golf 2.0 TDI is defined by its richness in towing power.

It is built with a 2.0L engine powering up to 150 hp and torque of 320 Nm (236 lb.). It has a max loading of up to 75 kg supported by its 17” alloy wheel type. You can relieve your towing extension with the Golf 2.0 TDI’s 350l luggage capacity. It features a wheelbase of 2,578 mm, keeping it off ground level to make towing with a small car remarkable.

The Volkswagen Golf TDI GT edition has up to 1,477 lbs. (670 kg) unbraked and 3,527 lbs. (1,600 kg) braked. It has a max loading weight of 41g kg and weighs 1,870kg. The average starting price is $15,000.

  1. Saab 9-5 Wagon

Old, but Tows Good

most economical towing vehicle

The Saab 9-5 is a class of executive light towing vehicles. It would be undermining to classify the Saab 9-5 as a line of small cars, but it is not a gigantic towing machine either. The production of Saab 9-5 ended in 2012, and it is such a miss for the towing world.

Saab 9-5 wagon has a 2.8L I-4 engine coupled with a 5-speed manual w/OD transmission. It powers up to 300 hp @ 5,500 and 295 torque @ 1,850; enough to tow anything along. It is a front-wheel-drive vehicle sporting a 16” wheelbase designed with aluminum.

The Saab 9-5 Wagon has a towing limit of 3,500 lbs. (1587 kg). The average starting price of the Saab 9-5 is $15,000.

  1. Subaru Outback Wagon

Towing Beauty

Which small SUV has best towing capacity?

The 2015 Subaru Outback is a car for every towing adventure. It features modernity, coupled with thoughtful technology. For the Subaru Outback, anything is towable and you can comfortably transport materials over 3,000 lbs.

The vehicle is a 6-spd manual transmission vehicle designed for power. It provides a spacious interior, enough to feel homely while towing from one locale to another.

The Subaru Outback is built with a 2.5L engine for optimal performance. It powers up to 175 hp @ 5,800 rpm (130 kW) and 174 lb-ft torque @ 4,000 rpm (236 N-m).

The towing capacity of the Subaru Outback engine is 3,500 lbs. (1587 kg). Furthermore, you can comfortably bulldoze bad roads with no fears of breakdown. The average starting price of the Subaru Outback is $25,000.

  1. Dodge Dakota

A Towing Truck

Can a small car tow a trailer

The Dakota is a mid-size pickup truck discontinued in 2011. The reason is the decline in demand for pickup trucks in the automobile market. However, the market fails to see the explorable strength in the Dodge Dakota.

Towing with the Dakota is like towing in a million-dollar vehicle. It provides all the needed power to perform any hauling task seamlessly. It will make a good car for your expedition.

Dakota comes in two major variants; the standard 3.7L Magnum V6 engine and 4.7L V8 engines. It powers up to 210-250 horsepower @ 4,400 rpm and torque of 235-345 @ 3,200 rpm.

The payload capacity of the 2001 Dakota model is 1,275 lbs, and it supports a towing capacity of 6,500 lbs. The average cost of the Dodge Dakota is anything between $10,000 and $15,000. Although out of the market, it remains one of the most economical towing vehicles to buy.

  1. Toyota Corolla SE

Modern and Agile

most economical towing vehicle

Toyota is notable for manufacturing exceptional cars, and the Corolla is one such exceptional cars. It is a line of 4-door and 5-seat compact cars with great towing ability.

Corolla is built with confidence, power, and aggression to defeat moderate movement setbacks. It can thread smoothly on almost any surface with authority. Moreover, the Corolla is one of the fuel-efficient Toyota cars.

It does not have ample trunk storage, which means the towing extension plays a storage role. It is not much powered, but its max 125 hp @ 6,000 rpm and max 128 lb-ft torque produce optimal responsiveness in performance.

Despite being in the league of small cars, the Corolla features a 2.0L engine and 4-Cyl 6-speed manual transmission that aid distinctive towing. It boasts of 2,600 mm wheelbase and can withstand up to 1,500 lbs. The average starting price of the Toyota Corolla is $9,600.

  1. Hyundai Elantra

Stylish Towing

What are the best small cars for towing caravans

Hyundai Elantra is a stylish compact car and a class of light towing vehicles to buy. Its sight does not present a rugged look, but its performance speaks agility. The Elantra is like any rugged car you would find out there that can trespass terrains with ease. However, though it looks weak on sight, its ability should not be underestimated.

The Elantra powers up to 149.92 bhp @ 6,200 rpm and 192.2 N-m torque @ 4,000 rpm. It is studded with inline 4 cylinders and offers 5-seat support. Only a few small cars that can tow would stand head-to-head with the Hyundai Elantra. It hauls up to 1,102 lbs. (500 kg) unbraked and 2,866 lbs. (1,300 kg) braked capacity. The average starting price of the Hyundai Elantra is $20,000.

  1. Volvo C30

Heavyweight Towing

Can a small car tow a trailer

Volvo C30 is a compact light towing hatchback for any towing occasion within 2,000 lbs. The vehicle is a unique small car that tows items twice its size effortlessly. It is not a big car, but would easily stand its ground against several big cars in terms of towing ability.

The Volvo C30 features an FWD drivetrain with 6-spd manual w/OD transmission. It is powered by inline 4 and straight 5 engines well refined for enhanced performance. Its 227 hp boosts its strength @ 5,000 rpm, and it supports up to 4 seaters comfortably. C30 has a maximum load towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. capable of hauling heavy-duty tasks with ease. The average starting price of the Volvo C30 is $12,432.

Note: The car prices in this article are the average prices of the towing vehicles. Depending on the model years, you may purchase a brand new for an even lower or higher price. The used small cars that can tow cost cheaper than in this article.


If there is a need for towing daily, weekly, or monthly, you do not have to budget in millions. As in this compilation, you could acquire a perfect towing car at a cheap rate. If you intend to save more money, consider buying a used model for a low as $5,000 and tow wherever you wish.

Elegance should not be the only factor determining whether you will buy a car or not. Save cost today and buy the most economical towing vehicle for the task.

Latest posts by Bernard Juchli (see all)

Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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