Summer's here and the time is right for towing in the streets. OK, so that's not exactly how the old song goes, but it's true nonetheless. With the rising mercury comes masses of people who take to the roads and do what they've been waiting to do all year — tow sumthin'. Campers, trailers, boats, muscle car projects, Jet Skis or old motorcycles there's only one thing standing between you and all that summer fun — a proper tow vehicle. Of course the heftiest towing capacities will belong to trucks, but we've included some sedans and wagons (in no particular order) just in case you can't make do with a big ol' truck or SUV in your everyday life. Although, given the level of comfort found on some of today's trucks, a Range Rover or GMC Sierra might be your best bet if you find yourself in a towing mood more than just once a year. Most of these vehicles won't make it to the top of any fuel economy lists any time soon, but boy, can they tow.
Top 10 Vehicles for Towing
With more than 16,000 pounds of towing capacity, this Ram is the king of the towing hill topping the nearest competitor by more than 2,000 pounds. Sure, it's not practical for use as an everyday vehicle, but it sure can tow! If you need more towing ability than the Ram 3500 can offer, you might want to look into renting a dump truck.
With just over 9,000 pounds of towing capacity, this new full-size SUV from Nissan is impressive. But it's not just about towing ability, the Armada offers tons of interior room and almost limolike rear-seat legroom. Towing capacity, roomy interior and a nice ride make the new Armada a tow vehicle that's easy to live with.
With a 9,990-pound rating, the Sierra Denali offers the most towing ability of any 1500-Series (half-ton) pickup. To get more capability than the Sierra, you have to step up to a heavy-duty series truck from Dodge, Ford or Chevy. Standard on this top-level Sierra is GM's Quadrasteer, a four-wheel-steering system that gives it a reduced turning radius and improves stability when pulling heavy loads.
Sure, it's not quite a full-size SUV, but with 8,950 pounds of towing ability, it's the truck equivalent of the little engine that could. With a tow rating that exceeds that of GM's full-size SUVs, the Durango is worth considering as a tow vehicle that can double as the family car.
Bigger than the Durango but with the same ability to pull stuff, the Expedition offers a classy and attractive SUV that can also do some real work. Its 60/40-split, fold-flat third-row seat is a nice bonus.
With 8,400 pounds of tow capacity, the half-ton Suburban 1500 isn't the baddest on the block when it comes to pulling trailers, but its combination of reasonably stout towing capacity and tons of passenger/cargo space make it a "go to" vehicle for families on the tow. If you're willing to step up to the burlier, three-quarter-ton 2500 model, you'll be able to pull loads of up to 12,000 pounds.
Need some luxury in your tow vehicle? The Range Rover is for you. With a simply beautiful interior, a striking exterior and 7,700 pounds of towing capability, the Range Rover is the Rolls-Royce of trucks. Oh, and it can off-road like crazy, too.
Not everyone can live with a truck or truck-based SUV. If you're one of those people, but still need to do some towing, the Pacifica and its 3,500-pound towing capacity are worth noting. Add to this the fact that the Pacifica offers all the amenities of a luxury sedan and this big Chrysler is clearly one of the best "cars" when in comes to towing stuff.
No, this is not a typo. The Elantra offers 3,086 pounds of towing capacity when trailer brakes are used (without the brakes, it tops out at 1,000 pounds). That's not much by truck standards, but for a budget-priced compact sedan, it's exceptional. Note that this is 1,000 pounds more than full-size sedans like the Cadillac DeVille and Mercury Grand Marquis are rated to carry.
The Outback is all new for 2005 and with a 3,000-pound towing capacity, Subaru's all-terrain family wagon offers some fairly serious grunt for a midsize car. Its standard all-wheel-drive system should also come in handy when looking for the most remote campsite.