Best SUVs for Towing for 2024

When it comes to vehicles with heavy hauling capabilities, pickup trucks usually come to mind. However, there are many SUVs that, when properly equipped, can tow nearly as much or more than compact pickup trucks. That means if you need a vehicle for going off road and towing a boat or camper, but don’t require a pickup truck for day-to-day payload hauling, an SUV with a four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive system may suit your needs.

Full-size SUVs with a body-on-frame chassis, like the Chevrolet Suburban and its GMC Yukon XL stablemate, will offer the highest tow weight ratings. These large SUVs offer more than just a third-row of seating. They can be equipped with a max trailering package that includes a larger radiator, a tow hitch, and a trailer brake controller. Most large three-row SUVs, including the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, and the Toyota Sequoia, offer similar upgrades to better manage trailer weight.

It’s important to note that for a vehicle to achieve max towing capability, you will likely need to opt for some form of heavy-duty trailer tow package installed by the factory or dealership at the time of purchase. These tow packages include not only a trailer hitch, trailer sway control, and other safety features, but also wiring and special equipment that help ensure your vehicle can handle the added stress of towing. This can include powertrain enhancements like transmission coolers and a higher capacity alternator, plus cameras to improve visibility when hooking a trailer up, such as Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist.


While large SUVs tow the maximum weight, smaller SUVs can deliver surprising towing and hauling capabilities and offer superior fuel efficiency. Automotive technology has created twin-turbo V6 and gasoline V8 engines with horsepower and fuel economy figures previously reserved for large turbo-diesel engines.

Best Towing Features

While cars and minivans can be equipped with a tow hitch, and may technically have trailer weight ratings and towing ability, only trucks and SUVs are likely to have the most helpful towing features and technology. Some key features to look for when buying a vehicle for towing include:

  • Electronic Trailer-Sway Control: Similar to stability control for cars, trailer-sway control can sense when a trailer is sliding sideways (maybe during a sudden evasive maneuver) and counter it by adjusting the brake and throttle of the tow vehicle

  • Four- and Seven-Pin Trailer Connector: You need to hook up taillights and brake lights to your trailer, which use either a four- or seven-pin wiring harness; having both connectors on a tow vehicle means you’re covered for every trailer type

  • Integrated Trailer Brake Controller: Coordinates the tow vehicle’s brake system with the trailer’s brake system, and lets drivers adjust them to ensure the two systems work together for balanced braking between both vehicles

  • Tow/Haul Mode: This changes the programming for a tow vehicle’s automatic transmission settings, altering when upshifts and downshifts occur to reduce strain on the engine, transmission and brake system

  • Trailer Hitch Camera: Hooking up a trailer is pretty straightforward when you can see both the trailer and the hitch; some new models offer advanced guidance systems that make aligning the hitch and trailer very easy

Calculating Your GVWR When Towing

Once you’ve confirmed your towing needs consider which vehicle categories can serve them and browse the rankings below. In addition to each vehicle’s maximum towing capacity we’ve included (when available) the maximum payload, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the curb weight for all models.

With these figures you can calculate how much total weight you can add to your vehicle, which is essentially the difference between its curb weight and GVWR. You should never exceed the GVWR, which includes the curb weight plus the weight of all passengers, cargo, and the tongue weight of your trailer. Tongue weight is approximately 10 percent of the trailer’s total weight, and it must also not push a vehicle's total weight past its GVWR.

Best Small SUVs for Towing

Max Towing Capacity

  • Jeep Cherokee: 4,000 lbs

  • Toyota RAV4: 3,500 lbs

  • Subaru Outback: 3,500 lbs

  • Ford Escape: 3,500 lbs

  • Mazda CX-50: 3,500 lbs

Best Midsize SUVs for Towing

Max Towing Capacity

  • Dodge Durango: 8,700 lbs

  • Ineos Grenadier: 7,716 lbs

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee L: 7,200 lbs

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee WK: 7,200 lbs

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee: 6,200 lbs

Best Large SUVs for Towing

Max Towing Capacity

  • Ford Expedition: 9,300 lbs

  • Ford Expedition MAX: 9,000 lbs

  • Nissan Armada: 8,500 lbs

  • Chevrolet Tahoe: 8,400 lbs

  • GMC Yukon: 8,400 lbs

For the complete list of the Best Cars for Towing across all segments, check out our complete list of the Best Towing Vehicles.

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