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Hyundai Sonata Towing Capacity: Can It Tow a Trailer, Boat, or Jet Ski?

The Hyundai Sonata is a well-known midsize sedan popular for its fuel efficiency and smooth ride. However, this car’s towing performance is still a mystery to most users. In this article, we’ll figure out the exact towing figures of this car and find out what you can tow with its towing capacity.

Hyundai Sonata manufactured from 2014 onwards officially aren’t rated for towing. However, owners have had no problem towing trailers up to 1,000 lbs braked with these vehicles.

2009 – 2013 Sonata have an official unbraked towing capacity of 500 pounds and 1,000 pounds braked.

2004 – 2008 Sonata with all have an official unbraked towing capacity of 1,000 pounds. The 2.4L engines have a braked towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, whereas the 3.3L can tow up to 2,000 pounds braked.

Below we discuss, in detail, what you can do with this towing capacity. We have unidentified the weighing limits of several types of trailers and matched them against this towing capacity. We have also analyzed the competition for this car. Let’s get started.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Hyundai Sonata Last?

Maximum Towing Capacity By Year

The following table highlights the towing capacities of several variants of the American-made Hyundai Sonata. We took all the data we acquired from owners manuals of the Sonata that’s sold in the United States. If unofficial information is used, we’ll also notify you of this.

Since its introduction, the towing capacity has changed here and there, so it’s essential to get the numbers right.

As you can see in the table below, the earlier generations of the Sonata have a higher towing capacity than the newer generation ones. The years that are indicated with an asterisk (2014 – present) officially aren’t rated for towing. Doing so will void your warranty.

However, we did find that owners have had no problem towing up to 1,000 pounds with these vehicles. In some instances, we even saw Hyundai dealers stating that the 2020 Sonata can tow up to 1,000 pounds, indicating that the car should be capable of this.

Finally, towing with a hybrid model is never recommended because hybrids can experience a lot of stress from this, which will result in drivetrain failure much faster.

YearEngineUnbraked Towing Capacity (lbs)Braked Towing Capacity (lbs)
2022*Gas only5001,000
Don’t towDon’t tow
2021*Gas only5001,000
HybridDon’t towDon’t tow
2020*Gas only5001,000
HybridDon’t towDon’t tow
2019*Gas only5001,000
HybridDon’t towDon’t tow
2018*Gas only5001,000
HybridDon’t towDon’t tow
2017*Gas only5001,000
HybridDon’t towDon’t tow
2016*Gas only5001,000
HybridDon’t towDon’t tow
2015*All5001,000
2014*All5001,000
2013All5001,000
2012All5001,000
2011All5001,000
2013All5001,000
2012All5001,000
2011All5001,000
2010All5001,000
2009All5001,000
20082.41,0001,500
3.31,0002,000
20072.41,0001,500
3.31,0002,000
20062.41,0001,500
3.31,0002,000
20052.41,0001,500
3.31,0002,000
20042.41,0001,500
3.31,0002,000

Can It Tow a Trailer, Boat, or Jet Ski?

Not all trailers have the same weight and size. Therefore, we have done extensive research to identify the weight limits of different trailers. We have then matched these weight limits against the towing capacity of the Hyundai Sonata.

All Hyundai Sonata generations can tow small and medium-sized trailers with a maximum weight limit of 1,000 pounds, whereas some older generations can tow double that. You can tow trailers such as canoe/kayak, jet ski, teardrop, small open utility, and motorcycle trailers.

This car can also tow large-sized trailers only when they aren’t loaded with any payload. Keep in mind that this car is not primarily designed for towing. Therefore, it’s inadvisable to tow a trailer with this car unless in the case of an emergency.

Trailer TypeAverage Empty Weight (lbs.)Total Loaded Weight (lbs.)
Canoe / Kayak Trailer200400
Jet Ski Trailer3001,800
Motorcycle Trailer5002,400
Teardrop Trailer1,7002,400
Small Open Utility Trailer7002,500
A-Frame Camper1,7002,900
Small Enclosed Utility Trailer1,0003,200
Fishing Boat Trailer6003,300
Pop Up Camper2,3003,400
Small Travel Trailer2,8003,600
Tow Dolly6004,000
Large Enclosed Utility Trailer2,7007,100
Small Horse Trailer2,9007,200
Large Travel Trailer6,7008,300
Car Trailer1,9009,000
Large Flatbed Trailer3,00010,400
Large Boat Trailer2,20013,600
Dump Trailer4,50016,900
Toy Hauler7,60017,900
Large Livestock Trailer7,30018,700
5th Wheel Camper12,700 18,700
Gooseneck Flatbed Trailer7,200 23,200
  • Kayak: All Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow a kayak trailer. On average, an empty kayak trailer will weigh 200 pounds. A loaded kayak trailer will weigh an average of 400 pounds with a maximum of 800 pounds which is well within the range of the Hyundai Sonata.
  • Jet Ski Trailer: All Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow an empty jet ski trailer. On average, an empty jet ski trailer will weigh 300 pounds. A loaded jet ski trailer will weigh an average of 1,800 pounds with a maximum of 3,000 pounds, outside of the range of the Hyundai Sonata.
  • Motorcycle Trailer: All Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow an empty motorcycle trailer. On average, an empty motorcycle trailer will weigh 500 pounds. A loaded motorcycle trailer will weigh an average of 2,400 pounds with a maximum of 3,500, outside of the range of the Hyundai Sonata.
  • Teardrop Trailer: Some Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow an empty teardrop trailer. On average, an empty teardrop trailer will weigh 1,700 pounds. A loaded teardrop trailer will weigh an average of 2,400 pounds, outside of the range of the  Hyundai Sonata. Some teardrop trailers will weigh a maximum of 6,000 pounds which is also outside of the limits of the  Hyundai Sonata.
  • Small Open Utility Trailer: All Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow an empty small open utility trailer. On average, an empty small open utility trailer will weigh 700 pounds. A loaded small open utility trailer will weigh an average of 2,500 pounds with a maximum of 3,000 pounds, outside of the range of the Hyundai Sonata.
  • A-Frame Camper: Some Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow an empty a-frame camper. On average, an empty a-frame camper weighs 1,700 pounds. A loaded a-frame camper will weigh an average of 2,900 pounds with a maximum of 3,600 pounds, outside of the range of the Hyundai Sonata.
  • Small Enclosed Utility Trailer: All Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow an empty small enclosed utility trailer. On average, an empty small enclosed utility trailer weighs 1,000 pounds. A loaded small enclosed utility trailer will weigh an average of 3,200 pounds with a maximum of 7,000 pounds, outside of the range of the Hyundai Sonata.
  • Fishing Boat Trailer: All Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow an empty fishing boat trailer. On average, an empty fishing boat trailer weighs 600 pounds. A loaded fishing boat trailer will weigh an average of 3,300 pounds with a maximum of 6,000 pounds, outside of the range of the Hyundai Sonata.
  • Pop-Up Camper: No Hyundai Sonata model will be able to tow a pop-up camper. On average, an empty pop-up camper weighs 2,300 pounds. A loaded pop-up camper will weigh an average of 3,400 pounds with a maximum of 4,000 pounds, outside of the range of the Hyundai Sonata.
  • Small Travel Trailer: No Hyundai Sonata model will be able to tow a small travel trailer. On average, an empty small travel trailer weighs 2,800 pounds. A loaded small travel trailer will weigh an average of 3,600 pounds with a maximum of 4,500 pounds, outside of the range of the  Hyundai Sonata.
  • Tow Dolly: All Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow an empty tow dolly. On average, an empty tow dolly weighs 600 pounds. A loaded tow dolly will weigh an average of 4,000 pounds with a maximum of 5,000 pounds, outside of the range of the Hyundai Sonata.
  • Large Enclosed Utility Trailer: No Hyundai Sonata model will be able to tow a large enclosed utility trailer. On average, an empty large enclosed utility trailer weighs 2,700 pounds. A loaded large enclosed utility trailer weighs an average of 7,100 pounds with a maximum of 10,000 pounds, outside of the range of the  Hyundai Sonata.
  • Small Horse Trailer: No Hyundai Sonata model will be able to tow a small horse trailer. On average, an empty small horse trailer weighs 2,900 pounds. A loaded small horse trailer weighs an average of 7,200 pounds with a maximum of 8,000 pounds, outside of the range of the  Hyundai Sonata.
  • Car Trailer: Some Hyundai Sonata models will be able to tow an empty car trailer. On average, an empty car trailer weighs 1,900 pounds. A loaded car trailer weighs an average of 9,000 pounds with a maximum of 15,000 pounds, outside of the range of the Hyundai Sonata.

Also read: What Transmissions Does A Hyundai Sonata Have?

Can You Install A Hitch On A Hyundai Sonata?

From the factory, Hyundai Sonata’s do not come with a trailer hitch. However, you can install an aftermarket class 1 hitch on your Accord. Class 1 hitches are rated for a maximum towing weight of 2,000 pounds and a maximum tongue weight of 200 pounds.

Therefore, they can carry more than what’s advised for the Hyundai Sonata. Expect to pay around $150 – $200 for a class 1 hitch.

How Well Can It Tow Compared to its Competitors?

The following table defines the towing capacities of several cars in the same category as the Hyundai Sonata. Some cars, such as the 2021 Kia K5 and 2020 Toyota Camry, have lower or equal towing capacities, while others, such as the 2020 Volkswagen Passat and 2021 Honda civic, have a higher towing capacity than the Hyundai Sonata. Thus, there is a lot of room for improvement for Hyundai to increase the towing capacity of this car.

Year / Make / ModelMax. Towing Capacity (lbs.)
2021 Kia K51,984
2020 Volkswagen Passat4,409
2021 Honda  Accord1,000
2021 Honda Civic2,645
2020 Toyota Camry881

Also read: How Well Does A Hyundai Sonata Drive In The Snow? (Answered)