What is the Best SUV to Buy for Heavy Towing

January 27, 2012

As a general rule, pickup trucks are usually the best vehicles when it comes to heavy towing. However, there are many SUVs on the market that are just as capable as a pickup of towing a trailer or other load. And when it comes to towing for a long drive, many drivers might opt to employ an SUV over a traditional pickup simply for the comfort and luxury the former provides. Unfortunately, many newer SUV models are much more similar to cars than trucks, so finding an SUV that’s up to the task of heavy towing can be difficult. 

Basic Requirements for Heavy Towing 

The maximum weight that a vehicle can tow is determined by a number of design factors. Most notably, the amount of power output by its engine and the toughness of its chassis, transmission, suspension and braking system all play a part in how much mass a given vehicle can tow. As a rule, the bigger these parts are, the more weight the vehicle can tow. Additionally, all other things held equal, a heavier vehicle will be able to control a heavier towed weight better than a lighter vehicle. Generally speaking, American-made vehicles are usually more capable of towing heavy loads simply because they’re usually bigger than those made in other countries. 

Engine Power Consideration 

As with body size, a bigger and more powerful engine will generally be better at heavy towing than a less powerful one. This is because a powerful engine won’t have to work as hard as a less powerful one to tow the same load. However, a high-power engine will probably be less fuel efficient when it comes to daily commutes. For this reason, engine power should be taken into greater consideration when buying an SUV. The power of your SUV’s engine should be matched with how much heavy towing it’s going to be doing, as opposed to how much city driving it’ll be doing. 

The Best SUVs for Heavy Towing 

As stated above, many SUVs from American manufacturers are great for heavy towing simply because of their large size and bulk. The Cadillac Escalade, the Chevrolet Tahoe, and the Chevrolet Suburban are three great SUVs from General Motors that are perfectly capable of towing heavy loads. The Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator and the Aspen from Chrysler are other similarly capable models. 

While many American SUVs are great for heavy towing, several foreign manufacturers have also produced vehicles that are just as capable as their American counterparts. The Land Rover Range Rover from the UK, the Nissan Armada from Japan, and Germany’s G-Class and GL-Class from Mercedes Benz and the Touareg from Volkswagen are all SUV models that are great for towing heavy loads. 

More and more people are considering purchasing trucks and SUVs simply for their heavy towing capabilities. The installation of trailer hitches has grown from 40 percent of all owned trucks in 1988 to nearly 60 percent in 2006, and it is forecast that this number will continue to grow. The appeal of these vehicles lies in their ease of use and the wide range of applications they allow.

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