December 8, 2021
| On 2 months ago

Best SUV for Towing: Top Picks

People ask a lot of modern crossovers and SUVS. Theses utility vehicles need to transport passengers, haul gear, and tow trailers; sometimes all at once.

So, what is best the SUV for the task, specifically tasks that involve an external trailer being towed behind the vehicle? It really depends on how it is being used. Not everyone is going to need a 10,000 lbs. tow rating to transport two people with a small paddle board trailer. Others though may have a family of five and a 38-foot travel trailer they hope to vacation in, and need maximum trailering capacity. 

To help sift through the dozens of options currently on the market, we have highlighted a few standout SUVs in several different categories. These are vehicles with high tow ratings for their class and/or factory installed towing packages. 

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Towing Mirrors

And please note, when deciding on what SUV is right for towing, maximum trailering capacity is a weight listed when the vehicle is unloaded. Carry multiple passengers with a cargo area full of gear, and that weight will need to be subtracted form the trailering capacity. So it’s always best to have a vehicle with a tow rating higher than what is absolutely needed. Especially if trailering will be a common occurrence. 

Jeep Renegade

At the small end of the spectrum is the Jeep Renegade. It is one of the only subcompact crossovers that is rated to tow 2,000 lbs., a good amount for a little SUV.  Although the Ford EcoSport is also rated to 2,000 lbs, the all-wheel drive Renegade comes with a more powerful 180 hp engine, which should help when hauling a maximum load. Plus, we find it the move appealing vehicle to the eye and more spacious inside. 

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Nissan Pathfinder

The midsize three-row crossover has become the modern family hauler of choice; a true jack-of-all-trades vehicle. Most SUVs in this class are rated to tow 5,000 lbs, but the Nissan Pathfinder trumps them with an official tow rating of 6,000 lbs. when equipped with all-wheel drive (front-wheel drive models can only tow 3,500 lbs.). If the Pathfinder isn’t premium enough, there is its luxurious corporate sibling, the Infiniti QX60, that offers the same capabilities. 

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Dodge Durango

If more towing power is needed around the same size as the Nissan Pathfinder, there is the Dodge Durango. Based on a more rugged rear-wheel drive-based platform, the Durango is capable of towing upwards of 7,400 lbs when the 5.7-liter V8 engine is selected. That rating drops to 7,200 lbs. for all-wheel drive models. But the best part is that the 475 hp SRT with its 6.4-liter V8 can be equipped to tow an impressive 8,700 lbs. 

SEE ALSO: Best SUV for Snow: 10 Great Choices

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Jeep Wagoneer

The Jeep Wagoneer is all-new this year and gives Stellantis a competitor in the full-size, body-on-frame SUV category. As these are properly truck-based, SUVs like the Wagoneer can tow a serious amount of weight; 10,000 lbs. when properly equipped. It makes it one of the highest rated SUVs on sale currently and out pulls the Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe. With its five-digit tow rating, the Wagoneer can tow all but the absolute largest of travel trailers. 

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Land Rover Defender 90

But towing isn’t just reserved for regular SUVs, some of the more posh options out there can handle some serious work in their own-right. Take the off-road Land Rover Defender 90. This two-door SUV can tow upwards of 7,716 lbs. when properly equipped. The four-door Defender 110 can also tow this same amount, as can the Discovery. But there is something about the small two-door Defender 90 towing a large trailer that puts a smile on our faces.

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Lincoln Navigator

The big Lincoln Navigator is one of the most comfortable premium SUVs on the market, offering a lot of space for passengers in coddled luxury. It can also pull a lot of weight with official ratings of 8,700 lbs. for rear-wheel drive models and 8,300 lbs for 4X4. No lightweight itself, the Navigator’s heft is actually an advantage when towing a large trailer as it shouldn’t be as susceptible to a trailer trying to pul it off course. 

SEE ALSO: Buyer’s Guide: The Best SUV Tires

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Porsche Macan

The Porsche Macan may surprise many for being on this list. After all, it’s a small performance SUV, not a work truck. But, the Porsche actually has one of the highest tow ratings for any compact luxury SUV. Rated to tow 4,400 lbs., the Macan trumps the next highest rated vehicle, the equally surprising Range Rover Evoque. And any Macan is capable of towing that much weight, including the 434 hp GTS. 

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Audi SQ7 / SQ8 / RS Q8

But for a serious combination of power and towing, look towards Audi’s large performance-special SUVs. The SQ7 and SQ8 throw down 500 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque while being capable of towing 7,700 lbs. If a little more grunt is desired, the RS Q8 should do the trick as it can still tow that same amount while upping power to 591 hp. Laugh as you pass people on the highway while towing a large pontoon boat.  

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Towing doesn’t need to require burning copious amounts of fossil fuels. It’s possible to tow quietly and cleanly. A few years ago, the thought of moderate towing with an electric vehicle seemed ridiculous, but as technology continues to improve, modern electric SUVs are being equipped to handle more serious towing duties. The upcoming BMW iX xDrive50 is reported to have a tow rating around 5,500 lbs. It may not sound like much, but it’s a good amount for an electric SUV and beats many of its rivals. 

SEE ALSO: Top 5 Best Electric SUVs Coming in 2021

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Rivian R1S

For the ultimate in electric SUV towing, there is the Rivian R1S. Slated to start arriving in customer’s hands early in 2022, the R1S is much like the R1T pickup truck, just with a three-row SUV body instead. Rivian claims the vehicle will be able to hit 0 to 60 mph in just 3 seconds, or tow up to 7,700 lbs. That’s a fair amount for an electric vehicle and it will be interesting to see how much range is affected when towing in excess of 7,000 lbs. It’s also interesting to note that the upcoming Hummer EV pickup truck is also rated to tow 7,700 lbs., but there’s no official word on how much its SUV twin can tow. 

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