Those who use their sport utility vehicles for towing know the differences vary between SUV brands. For drivers who own boats, trailers, or use their SUV for work and need to haul a work trailer, the towing capacity can be the most important element of the vehicle. Here, in no particular order, is a list of best SUVs for towing by the automaker.
The Ford Expedition provides the greatest towing capacity available of the 2019 non-diesel SUVs at 9,300 pounds. The Ford Expedition is a towing beast. The maximum towing capacity is reached on the XLT rear-wheel drive with the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package. This model and option provides 375 horsepower from a 3.5-liter V6 10-speed automatic with Selectshift and Pro Trailer Backup Assist system which helps guide the SUV in reverse.
Honorable Mention: Explorer
The Ford Explorer offers a standard Trailer Sway Control and offers a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds with the Class III Trailer Tow Package. The Class III Trailer Tow Package comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, engine cooler, four and seven-pin trailer connections along with a frame-mounted hitch.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers an optional 5.7-liter V8 producing 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. This, along with the Trailer Tow Group IV option package which features a Class IV trailer hitch, heavy-duty engine cooling, and load-leveling suspension provides the Jeep Grand Cherokee with a maximum towing capacity of 7,200 pounds.
Honorable Mention: Jeep Wrangler
The 4-door 4×4 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S provides a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds provided by a 286 horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine.
The SRT trim Dodge Durango comes with a 475 horsepower, 6.4 liter V8 with upgraded suspension and Brembo brakes affording a maximum towing capacity of 8,700 pounds.
The Chevrolet Tahoe comes standard with a 355 horsepower V8 engine providing a maximum towing capacity of 8,600 pounds.
The GMC Yukon with the SLE trim provides a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds. The SLE trim provides rear-wheel drive, 5.3 liter V8 with 355 horsepower.
The Honda Pilot with the standard 280 horsepower 3.5 liter 24 valve V6 has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when coupled with the All-Wheel Drive option.
Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser offers a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds on a standard package. The Land Cruiser comes standard with an integrated tow hitch, and four-pin and seven-pin wiring connectors.
Honorable Mention: Highlander
The Toyota Highlander hybrid version offers a maximum 5,000 pounds towing capacity with the SE and Limited trims packages. The SE offers 295 horsepower from a 3.5-liter V6, 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Subaru Ascent provides a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds with the 260 horsepower 2.4 liter V4 which comes standard with All Wheel Drive and X-MODE Hill Descent Control which allows you to maintain a safe speed.
Honorable Mention: Outback
The Subaru Outback offers a maximum towing capacity of 2,700 pounds available on all trim models. The base-level Subaru Outback comes with a 175 horsepower 2.5 liter V4, trailer hitch, and trailer hitch cap.
The X7 features a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds with a standard turbocharged six-cylinder engine producing 335 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard on the BMW X7.
The Mercedes-Benz GLS maximum towing capacity is 7,500 pounds. This towing capacity is available on all models with the purchase of the optional trailer hitch.
The Infiniti QX80 boasts a whopping 8,500 towing capacity. The maximum towing capacity is reached with the standard V8 400 horsepower engine and the optional Luxe rear-wheel-drive trim.
The Nissan Armada comes with a standard V8 with 390 horsepower and a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds similar to the Infiniti QX80 which would be its luxury model family comparable.
The Cadillac Escalade offers a maximum towing capacity of 8,300 pounds with a 6.2-liter V8 engine featuring 420 horsepower. The Escalade reaches maximum towing capacity when paired with the optional rear-wheel drive.
The Audi Q7 provides a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds. To obtain the maximum towing capacity, one needs to purchase the upgraded engine, the turbocharged 3.0 liter V6 and the Towing Package which provides the tow hitch and brake controller prewiring. The Audi Q7 edges out the Q8 which boasts similar towing capacity but at a cost of approximately $10,00 more.
Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery offers a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 pounds on a standard supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. The Discovery also features Advanced Tow Assist which makes all the steering inputs once you pick the direction of the trailer.
The Lincoln Navigator comes standard with a 450 horsepower, twin-turbo, 10-speed automatic, 3.5-liter V6 engine. The Select 4X2 trim affords a maximum towing capacity of 8,700 pounds.
The Mitsubishi Outlander provides a practical maximum of 3,500 towing capacity available on the GT model which offers 224 horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine.
Overall, if maximum towing capacity is your priority, the Ford Expedition XLT provides the greatest towing power but there are great options available at the mid and large level SUV size for each automaker at a variety of different price points.