2016 Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity, Payload and Curb Weight

If you have a 2016 Toyota Highlander and need to know your towing capacity, you have come to the right place.

Here you will find all the GCWRs, max trailer towing weights, payload capacity and GVWR suggested by Toyota. The information is collected from the 2016 Toyota Highlander Brochure and 2016 Toyota Highlander Owners Manual and 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owners Manual.

The 2016 Toyota Highlander has a max trailer towing capacity of 5,000 lbs (with the Towing Package) for all variations and 3,500 lbs for hybrid. Without a towing package the max towing is 2,000 lbs. Any weight over 1,000 lbs requires a separate trailer braking system.

Toyota says that the tongue weight for any towing should be no more than 11% of the trailer weight and as low as 9%. So this should be taken into account when setting up your trailer.

2016 toyota highlander towing capacity featured image

2016 Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity

The 2016 Toyota Highlander can tow up to 5,000 lbs when properly equipped. The vehicle either has a GCWR of 10,840/10,950 lbs for the 2WD or 11,000 lbs for the AWD vehicles.

The hybrid vehicles are slightly different and can only tow 3,500 lbs.

Drive/TrimTowing CapacityGCWR
LE – 4 Cylinder1,500 lbs6,010 lbs
w/Towing Package
5,000 lbs10,840 lbs or 10,950 lbs
w/o Towing Package
2,000 lbs6,660/6,720/6,760 lbs
w/Towing Package
5,000 lbs9,840/9,900/9,940 lbs
w/o Towing Package
2,000 lbs6,820/6,880/6,920 lbs
Hybrid AWD3,500 lbs8,700/8,740/8,780 lbs
2016 Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity Chart

Though the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 lbs (or 3,500 lbs hybrid) it can only tow that much with a trailer that is equipped with it’s own set of brakes. Any trailer weight being towed over 1,000 lbs also requires this feature on both the gas and hybrid cars.

2016 Toyota Highlander Tongue Weight

Tongue weight refers to the weight exerted on a trailer hitch/ball mount. Generally speaking the tongue weight should usually be between 10-15% of the total trailer weight.

However, Toyota specifies that for the Highlander this should be between 9-11% of the total weight. This means for a Highlander carrying the max capacity, the tongue weight should be between 450 and 550 lbs.

Towing Features

There is a towing package available in the 2016 Highlander which is an option available on all gas trims, except the LE with the 4-cylinder (Source). This package includes:

  • heavy duty radiator
  • heavy duty alternator
  • heavy duty supplemental oil cooler

This towing package is what allows the Highlander to tow up to 5,000 lbs. Without this package, the 2016 Highlander can only tow 2,000 lbs.


There are 6 trims in the 2016 Highlander, both gas and hybrid versions. These are:

  • LE
  • LE Plus
  • XLE
  • SE
  • Limited
  • Hybrid Limited

Each of these vehicles has various features available such as interior and exterior design. When it comes to towing there is no impact on the max towing capacity, but the extra features do make an impact on the payload capacity, or the maximum weight that can be carried.

This impact is due to the varying weights of the vehicle.

Payload Capacity

The best way to check the payload capacity is to find the GVWR listed on the certification sticker inside the driver’s side door. But they are mentioned in the e-brochure or owners manual which are shown below.

The total maximum payload capacity in all of the 2016 Highlander is between 1,409 lbs and 1,602 lbs.

TrimPayload Capacity
Curb Weight
LE – 4 Cyl1,5315,6654,134
LE Plus/LE
Hybrid Limited1,4096,2704,861
2016 Toyota Highlander Payload Capacity

2016 Highlander Engine Specs

2.7 L Gas Engine

The engine in the LE trim is the 2.7 L 4-cylinder Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC). It supplies 185 hp @ 5,800 rpm and 184 lb.-ft @ 4,200 rpm.

3.5 L Gas Engine

The engine in the gas vehicle is the 3.5 L V6 Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC). It supplies 270 hp @ 6,200 rpm and 248 lb.-ft @ 4,700 rpm.

3.5 L Hybrid V6

The engine in the Hybrid Highlander is a 3.5 L Double Overhead Cam (DOHC). It supplies net 280 hp.

Additional Resources


Toyota states that the 2016 Toyota Highlander has a max towing capacity of 5,000 lbs and 3,500 lbs for the hybrid version.

Though this guide provides good guidance on how much you can tow with your 2016 Highlander, you should always calculate your own towing capacity.

Not sure how? Read: How is Towing Capacity Calculated? Here you will find a helpful calculator as well.

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