SUVs have become one of the most popular vehicles on the road. They are spacious, pleasant to ride in, and include the latest innovations and safety features — which make them a great option for families. And with their powerful engines and many times, truck-based chassis, SUVs are also exceptional for towing.
Say you’re loading up a trailer with motorcycles or UTVs, hauling a boat, or packing the RV trailer for a weekend outing. With the right SUV, you can tow all your gear with ease.
To help you find the right vehicle, we’ve scoured the long list of possibilities and picked the best SUVs for towing. Furthermore, you’ll find the top SUVs for towing sorted by class: midsize SUV, full-size SUV, and luxury SUV.
Best Midsize SUVs for Towing
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit (Towing Capacity: 7,200 Pounds)
If you’re looking for a do-everything SUV for all your activities, look no further than the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The appointed kingpin — the Grand Cherokee Summit — can tow up to 7,200 pounds. On top of that, you’ll find a spacious, upscale cabin and a user-friendly infotainment system with available Amazon Fire TV built-in.
A base 2023 Grand Cherokee Laredo, with the standard 3.6L Pentastar V6 and a max tow capacity of 6,200 pounds, runs around $43,530 MSRP. Moving up the ladder, the decked-out Summit has a starting price tag of $64,204. Selecting the available 5.7L V8 gives the Grand Cherokee a max towing capacity of 7,200 pounds.
The new 2023 Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid delivers 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Though not quite as burly as its normally aspirated brothers, it can still tow a respectable 6,000 pounds.
2023 Dodge Durango SRT 392 (Towing Capacity: 8,700 Pounds)
The 2023 Dodge Durango lineup features a few models to choose from, but if you’re looking for the best option for towing, we recommend going with the SRT 392. This premium package has a powerful 6.4L HEMI V8, which produces 475 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque, and a maximum towing capacity of 8,700 pounds.
Of course, if you’ve got money to burn, you can always opt for the 2023 Durango SRT Hellcat if you’d like your HEMI V8 to come supercharged. The Hellcat has a max tow rating of 8,700 pounds, but thanks to the addition of forced induction, it makes a staggering 710 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque.
Best-in-class towing doesn’t come cheap. The Durango has an MSRP starting at $70,295 for the SRT 392 and, at minimum, an extra 15-large for the SRT Hellcat. However, you get some additional upgrades for the price, like performance brakes, a limited-slip differential, all-wheel drive, and an adaptive suspension.
If you spend slightly less, you could opt for other less powerful models within the Durango lineup. Keep in mind these all come standard with rear-wheel drive. Expect a $2,000 upcharge for AWD. The mid-tier Durango R/T, set up with the 5.7L HEMI V8 and Tow N Go package, has a towing capacity of 7,400 pounds. The other models configured with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine can tow up to 6,200 pounds.
Best Full-Size SUVs for Towing
2023 Chevrolet Suburban (Towing Capacity: 8,300 Pounds)
While you’ll receive slightly less pulling power with the Chevrolet Suburban than the Tahoe, it still ranks as one of the best SUVs for towing. The spacious interior is hard to beat if you have a large family or a lot of gear. Equip the Suburban with the front bench seat, and you’ll have room for nine people inside. If you prefer cargo space, you get 144.7 cubic feet of room with the rear seats folded down.
To get the max towing capacity of 8,300 pounds, you’ll have to opt for the 2WD 5.3L V8, which churns out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, and add on the Max Trailering Package. If you don’t mind a slightly reduced max towing capacity, you can opt for 4WD or a 3.0L Turbo Diesel for your Suburban build. Just be sure to add on the Max Trailering Package, which includes an integrated trailer brake controller and changes the axle ratio.
With six trim packages to choose from, starting at $58,695 for the LS to $80,345 for the High Country, you can deck out the 2023 Suburban to fit your towing and budget needs.
2023 Chevrolet Tahoe (Towing Capacity: 8,400 Pounds)
With the Chevy Tahoe, you get a stylish SUV with plenty of power to haul all of your gear. Three engines are available to drive two wheels or four. The standard fitment includes a 5.3L V8 engine that produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Or bump up to a 6.2L V8 that pumps out 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The 3.0L Duramax diesel option delivers 277 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, and can pull 8,200 to 8,400 pounds.
To get the enormous 8,400-pound maximum towing capacity, you’ll have to include the Max Trailering Package with the 2WD 5.3L gas engine or Duramax diesel model. The standard towing capacity of the 2023 Tahoe can still pull up 7,600 to 7,900 pounds without the Max Trailering Package.
Chevy’s Max Trailering Package includes features such as a trailer brake controller, Advanced Trailering System in-truck towing app, hitch guidance with hitch view, and an extra capacity cooling system. The driver can use the Advanced Trailering System app to configure additional towing specifics like customized trailer profiles, pre-departure checklists, and trailer tire pressure and temperature monitoring. More available high-tech features to make driving with a trailer less stressful include Trailer Sway Control, Trailer Theft Alert, and Hill Start Assist.
2023 GMC Yukon (Towing Capacity: 8,400 Pounds)
Chevrolet’s sister brand, GMC, brings the Yukon to the party, and this full-size SUV is a great option if you want a capable trailering vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice any creature comforts. We’re talking about options like exclusive interior designs and 13 camera views that include High Definition Surround Vision. Many drivers comment that the Yukon delivers such a comfortable, smooth ride that they forget they’re driving one of the best SUVs for towing.
To get the max tow rating of 8,400 pounds, choose a rear-wheel-drive model with the standard 5.3L V8 engine, good for 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. You’ll need to add the Max Trailering Package to reach its full potential.
Suppose you don’t mind a slightly reduced tow capacity. In that case, the Yukon AT4 and Denali models can master 8,200 pounds when set up with the Max Trailering Package. The AT4 has all-wheel drive and a 5.3L V8. The Denali has rear-wheel drive and a more powerful 420 horsepower 6.8L V8.
2023 Nissan Armada (Towing Capacity: 8,500 Pounds)
Nissan’s best foot forward for towing is the body-on-frame Armada. It’s equipped with a 5.6L V8 engine that cranks up 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. That stash of power accounts for its max towing capacity of 8,500 pounds.
If you want the most towing power, you’ll have to go with the rear-wheel-drive option. And once you’ve decked out your Armada build with all the towing features, you also get some nice add-ons like auto-leveling suspension, a trailer brake controller, and trailer sway control monitoring — which can help if you are towing in crosswinds or other less-than-ideal conditions.
Starting at $49,900, the Armada delivers on Nissan’s claim of premium styling and rugged capability, a great combination when you’re seeking the best SUV for towing.
2023 Ford Expedition (Towing Capacity: 9,300 Pounds)
In terms of full-size SUV tow capacity, the 2023 Ford Expedition ranks as one of the best in class, boasting a maximum trailering capacity of 9,300 pounds. Its twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine pulls out all the stops for 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Plus, with seating for up to eight people and their cargo, the Expedition is more than up to the task.
If you want this SUV’s maximum towing capacity, you’ll need to tack on the optional Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package, which runs about $800. This package adds a digital rearview camera, integrated trailer brake controller, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, reverse brake assist, and an electronic limited-slip differential. Otherwise, the max trailer weight sits at 6,600 pounds without the tow package.
2023 Toyota Sequoia (Towing Capacity: 9,520 Pounds)
Until 2021, the best SUV for towing in the Toyota lineup was the Land Cruiser. Since 2022, it had to abdicate the throne to the Sequoia. The all-new Sequoia sits on a modern body-on-frame chassis with a fully boxed frame shared by the Tundra. This SUV is no slacker and has a max trailer hauling capacity of 9,520 pounds.
Bringing all that force to bear is an i-FORCE MAX 3.4L twin-turbo V6 hybrid drivetrain that’s good for 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of twist. Basically, the i-FORCE MAX sandwiches a 48-horsepower electric motor between a 3.4L twin-turbo V6 and a traditional 10-speed automatic transmission. Our review of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia gets into more details and insights.
Interestingly, the Toyota Sequoia SR5 grade has the largest max towing capacity. The Limited and Platinum grades have a maximum hauling capacity of 9,300 pounds. With seven seats and a luxurious interior, Toyota’s new towing king more than makes up for the loss of the Land Cruiser.
Best Luxury SUVs for Towing
2023 Audi Q7/SQ7 (Towing Capacity: 7,700 Pounds)
You might not immediately think of the Q7 when looking at the best SUVs for towing, but the all-wheel-drive German luxury family hauler can tow up to 7,700 pounds. Of course, upgrading to the 3.0L V6, rated at 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, is necessary to get the job done. Don’t forget to select the towing package when optioning your Q7 to get the tow hitch receiver and connector pin.
The SQ7 sports a 4.0L eight-cylinder mill that churns out 500 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of twist for those who prefer European excellence at breakneck speeds. However, that extra power still amounts to only 7,700 pounds of trailering capacity.
Inside the Q7 and SQ7, you get space for seven passengers and plenty of room to haul gear. What’s more, you can expect Audi’s signature Euro luxury with sport touches and just enough modern tech to be helpful without being overwhelming. When all is said and done, you’ll proudly own one of the best luxury midsize SUVs for towing.
2023 Audi Q8/SQ8/RS Q8 (Towing Capacity: 7,700 Pounds)
Audi’s family-friendly Q8 effectively blends SUV capabilities with sedan characteristics. A turbocharged V6 supplies a healthy dose of power, rated at 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The engine pairs up with an eight-speed automatic and the legendary quattro all-wheel drive. The Q8 can tow up to 7,700 pounds when properly equipped with the tow package.
In typical Audi fashion, the plush cabin features premium materials and a leading-edge infotainment system. Passengers can sit back and enjoy four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and customizable ambient interior lighting.
500 horsepower and a sport-tuned suspension system define the 2023 Audi SQ8. Its luxury appointments and daily driveability match the standard Q8 model — only at an elevated level. The racier RS Q8 checks in with a soaring twin-turbo V8 cranking out 591 horsepower and a prestigious 590 pound-feet of torque. Either way, a properly equipped SQ8 and RS Q8 share the same 7,700-pound max hauling capacity.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 (Towing Capacity: 7,700 Pounds)
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 can tow a hefty 7,700 pounds. Credit goes to the twin-turbo inline-6, which musters 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Definitely add the Class IV trailer hitch to deck out the GLS 450 with a wiring harness for your brake lights and trailer brakes. The nine-speed automatic transmission connects to an all-wheel-drive system for a smooth drive.
There’s seating for up to seven in this luxury SUV, and it comes standard with trailer stability assist. This feature offers some additional peace of mind while towing. True to Mercedes-Benz form, the cabin of the GLS 450 is upscale and lavish, replete with plenty of perks that come standard for you and your passengers.
2023 Land Rover Range Rover P530 (Towing Capacity: 8,200 Pounds)
The 2023 Land Rover Range Rover isn’t just a top-end luxury vehicle but a brilliant contender as one of the best SUVs for towing. The P530 model has a 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8 that can trailer up to 8,200 pounds. An exuberant 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque propel the Land Rover’s renowned all-wheel-drive system across almost any terrain imaginable.
Thanks to Range Rover’s premium-level trim packages and an extensive list of expensive upgrades, the posh cabin serves as a majestic and tranquil cocoon from the rigors of everyday life. If you want to tow in a fashionable style in a whip with serious off-road cred, the latest generation Range Rover will not disappoint.
2023 Cadillac Escalade (Towing Capacity: 8,200 Pounds)
For drivers who want their cake and eat it too, the 2023 Cadillac Escalade epitomizes American automotive opulence. Look beyond the massive grille, and you’ll find a 6.2L V8 engine and 10-speed transmission that combine for 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Frankly, it’s the same powerplant found under the hood of the Yukon Denali. Opt for the rear-wheel-drive model with the Heavy-Duty Trailering Package, and your Escalade can haul up to 8,200 pounds in style.
Thanks to the elegant interior and refined ride, the Escalade feels like a true Cadillac. Without question, the styling is distinct and dramatic. Inside, you can play with some fun tech, like the three interactive OLED displays that combine for a total of 38 inches in front of the driver. Your passengers will be happy too. What’s not to like about buttery-soft leather seats that offer massage, heating, and cooling, an available AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker audio system, and Magnetic Ride Control and Air Ride Adaptive suspension that soaks up the bumps?
New for 2023 is the Escalade-V and its 682-horsepower supercharged 6.2L V8. Torque from the supercharged behemoth peaks at 653 pound-feet to reach its trailering capacity of 7,000 pounds. Aside from its hearty towing prowess, the Escalape-V will snap from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds. Learn more about its capabilities by reading our review of the Escalade-V.
2023 Infiniti QX80 (Towing Capacity: 8,500 Pounds)
Few SUVs surpass this body-on-frame Infiniti if you want a taste of luxury but still need an SUV capable of towing. For 2023, the redesigned Infinity QX80 looks gargantuan, but the revamped interior is more opulent than ever. Tucked in the engine bay sits a tried-and-true 5.6L V8 producing 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. This award-winning engine pairs perfectly with the seven-speed automatic transmission for a velvety smooth ride and an abundance of towing power.
To reach the QX80’s maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds, you’ll need the rear-wheel-drive setup and the Class IV trailer hitch. Inside, you get seating for up to eight passengers and a generous amount of room in the back for cargo. Plus, if it’s luxury or the latest tech you’re after, you can easily build out the QX80 to be a sophisticated, top-dollar ride.
2023 Lincoln Navigator (Towing Capacity: 8,700 Pounds)
Lincoln outdid itself with their body-on-frame SUV. The 2023 Navigator gets a twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 that puts out 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The nicely appointed cabin features a first-class interior, a user-friendly infotainment system, and plush seating. There’s even an option to add on a rear-seat entertainment system, which is ideal for long trips on the road with family.
With the addition of the Heavy-Duty Trailer Towing package, the 2WD standard Navigator’s towing capacity gets elevated from 6,200 to 8,700 pounds. If you opt for the AWD option, your limit with the towing package slips to 8,300 pounds. Included in the Heavy-Duty Trailer Towing package, you get some nice add-ons that increase safety, like trailer sway control, a heavy-duty radiator, a trailer brake controller, and backup camera assist.
2023 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (Towing Capacity: 10,000 Pounds)
The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer soar high into the premier SUV realm. But don’t let the six-figure price tag and reborn nameplate dissuade you from taking a serious look at Jeep’s luxury SUV. A silky-smooth V8 with heaps of torque and a buttery-velvet ride might convince you that this is the one for you and the family.
Getting down to business, the Wagoneer comes standard with a 5.7L V8 coupled with a mild hybrid setup. The belt/generator has 12 kW of power and 130 pound-feet of launch torque. The total system power adds up to a hefty 392 horsepower and 404 pound-feet of torque. Check the box for the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow package to attain the Wagoneer’s unparalleled trailering capacity of 10,000 pounds.
The Grand Wagoneer is every bit as much a Jeep as its smaller brother. Underneath the hood is a 6.4L V8 capable of pumping out 471 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. The modified Ram chassis and factory tow package give the Grand Wagoneer a super-size hauling capacity of 9,850 pounds.
How to Choose the Best SUV for Towing
You might have noticed that our list didn’t include crossovers and only a few midsize SUVs. In general, crossovers and most small to midsize SUVs aren’t built on truck chassis and won’t offer the same tow ratings as full-size SUVs. At the end of the day, the best SUV for you will greatly depend on your specific towing needs, including how much and how frequently you tow.
Finding the best SUV for towing is still possible, no matter what class you’re looking in. You just have to know what to look for. Here are some guidelines to help you find the SUV that works best for you.
1. Tow Capacity
Towing capacity refers to the maximum weight that a vehicle can tow. The manufacturer sets this limit, and this should be the first thing you consider before making a purchase. Max towing capacities are based on how much weight you can safely tow behind your SUV. Always refer to the manufacturer for your vehicle’s tow rating.
2. Curb Weight
Curb weight refers to the weight of a vehicle when the fuel tank is full, without any cargo or passengers. Because fuel efficiency has become important, you’ll find that lighter SUVs are still capable of towing trailers these days. While this might be a good option for some, other people feel they have more control when trailering if they drive a heavier tow vehicle.
A vehicle’s wheelbase refers to the distance from the front axle to the rear axle. The wheelbase is crucial for stability and control. The longer your wheelbase is, the less chance you have for the towed object to weigh down your vehicle and lift the front axle.
4. Drive System
Another consideration to keep in mind is whether you want four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or rear-wheel drive. You’ll notice in all of our options for the best SUVs for towing we specified when one offered better overall towing capacity.
Most of the time, you’ll want rear-wheel drive to achieve the highest tow rating. This configuration directs all the power to the axle that bears the most weight. You can tow with 4WD or all-wheel-drive systems, though they typically have a lower total tow capacity. It’s not as optimal to tow with a front-wheel-drive vehicle.
Of course, opinions abound about what transmission should be in the best SUV for towing. With newer SUV models, you likely won’t have the option to go with a manual transmission, as most modern SUVs are equipped with automatic transmissions.
The Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco are the exceptions that still offer a manual transmission option, on a few trim levels at least. Alternatively, you might be able to find older models in a manual.
The bottom line is that you’ll want whatever transmission — automatic or manual — that you’re most comfortable with. The more confidence you have, the easier towing becomes.
6. Chassis Design
SUVs and trucks most times offer body-on-frame construction that is capable of towing heavy loads. Crossovers utilize a unibody design instead, which is similar to cars and not optimal for towing. The extra strength that the chassis provides in most SUVs and trucks, on the other hand, is designed for heavy tow duties.
7. Tow Package
You need more than just a ball hitch to tow effectively. If the manufacturer offers an optional tow package for the SUV you are considering, it’s normally well worth the investment. Most times, the package offers a better suspension, a bigger radiator, and better brakes, plus a transmission that sends more power to the drive wheels. These components work together to create a more powerful vehicle that can handle heavy loads. In fact, without a tow package, you won’t get the same tow rating capacity as what we’ve listed for most of the vehicles.
Get One of the Best SUVs for Towing and Get Out on Your Next Adventure
There’s so much information about the best SUVs for towing. You’ll have to research and determine what you need before purchasing. Whether you opt for a midsize, full-size, or luxury SUV, it’s essential that you take the steps necessary to ensure you remain safe on the road. But once you’ve done your homework, imagine all the places you can tow with your new SUV.