The Best SUVs for Towing in 2021

These rugged SUVs provide truck-caliber towing capability and family-friendly practicality.

2021 ford expedition
Ford

Pickup trucks may be the preferred vehicles for towing — but many people who are towing have families, and a Super Duty isn't ideal for school runs and other non-towing purposes. Fortunately, there are a good number of rugged, powerful and (mostly) truck-based SUVs that provide other compelling options.

These sport-utility vehicles offer most of the towing capability of a full-size truck —think 8,000 pounds or more — while also providing a bit more family practicality. In addition to listing them based on their maximum towing capacity, we've also included their torque outputs (torque generally being more important for towing performance than horsepower), and listed which versions of each model specifically you'll need to choose if you want maximum trailer-tugging capability.

Check out the best SUVs for towing trailers below.

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Ford Expedition
ford expedition 2020 gear patrol
Ford

Max Torque: 480 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 9,300 lbs (9,200 lbs 4x4)

The Ford Expedition has the highest potential towing capacity on the list. To get the max ratings you need to add the Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Package ($795), which also includes Ford's Pro Trailer Backup Assist.

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Dodge Durango
2021 dodge durango srt 392 equipped with the 392 cubic inch hemi v 8 delivering 475 horsepower and 470 lb ft of torque, the durango srt 392 features new aggressive exterior styling and a new interior with a driver centric cockpit, shown here in f8 green with dual low gloss gunmetal stripes
FCA US LLC

Max Torque: 640 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 8,700 lbs

Towing may be the best reason to buy a Durango. To hit the max rating you need a V8; the Hellcat and SRT 392 versions will handle the weight, but if you can't justify those hot models, so will the R/T model equipped with the $4,995 Tow N Go package. Still, even without that, the R/T's 7,200-lb stock towing capability is still fairly formidable.

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Lincoln Navigator
the monochromatic package, available on the navigator reserve series, offers on trend exterior sweeps of color that showcase the bold lines of lincoln’s full size suv
Eric Perry Photography

Max Torque: 510 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 8,700 lbs (8,300 lbs 4x4)

The Navigator is the Expedition for fancy people. You lose a bit of towing ability with the Lincoln, although the Navigator still competes with anything else on this list. To get the max rating you do need the Heavy Duty Trailer Tow package ($690), which is not available on the base Standard trim.

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Nissan Armada
armada’s rugged yet refined exterior matches its capability – with a more squared and chiseled appearance from the a pillars forward the new front fenders, grille and bumper are framed by a new led headlight design with more than 50 leds in each headlamp, helping create a wide, bright headlight pattern
Nissan

Max Torque: 413 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 8,500 lbs

The Nissan Armada isn't the best SUV out there, but it is an absolute workhorse. The 5.6-liter V8 engine comes standard, and so does the towing setup. The only add-on you need is a hitch ball.

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GMC Yukon / Chevrolet Tahoe
gmc yukon denali 2021
GMC

Max Torque: 460 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 8,400 lbs

The Yukon has a max tow rating of 8,400 lbs. Oddly, to get that, you need the two-wheel drive model and the smaller 5.3-liter V8. Switching to 4x4 knocks 200 lbs off the rating, as does jumping up to the 6.2-liter V8. The diesel has a max of 8,100 lbs (7,800 with 4x4). To get the full numbers, you also need the $465 max trailering package.

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Chevrolet Suburban
2021 chevrolet suburban z71
Chevrolet

Max Torque: 460 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 8,300 lbs

The Suburban is the longer version of the Tahoe, but the numbers differ. The max rating is 8,300 lbs with two-wheel drive and the 5.3-liter V8; the 6.2-liter V8 can tow 8,200 lbs, whilehe diesel will tow 8,000 lbs. Knock 200 lbs off those capacities for 4x4 models. And to get those numbers, you need the Max Trailering Package ($465).

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Land Rover Defender
land rover defender gear patrol exterior action slide 25
Land Rover

Max Torque: 406 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 8.201 lbs

The four-door Defender 110 with the larger 3.0-liter inline-six engine delivers 8,201 lbs of towing capacity. All you need is a tow hitch. That said, you can add the $1,850 Towing Pack for $1,850, which brings features like Advanced Tow Assist that let you steer the trailer while reversing. Upgrading to the adjustable air suspension with load-leveling would also help.

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Land Rover Discovery
land rover discovery
RICHARD PRESCOTT email:info@richardprescott.com

Max Torque: 368 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 8,201 lbs

The Disco shares a fair amount of componentry with the Defender and has the same tow rating. To get the max rating, you need the larger supercharged V6 engine; you also must add the Towing Package ($1,150) and the hitch receiver ($675).

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Cadillac Escalade
2021 cadillac escalade
Cadillac

Max Torque: 460 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 8,200 lbs (8,000 lbs 4x4)

The Escalade
is a fancy luxury beast, but it's still a beast. To get the max rating you need the Heavy-Duty Trailering Package ($600), which is not available on the base Luxury trim. Note that the diesel drops the max rating to 7,800 lbs.

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Toyota Land Cruiser
toyota land cruiser heritage edition
Toyota

Max Torque: 401 lb-ft

Max Tow Rating: 8,100 lbs

2021 is the last year for the current J200 Toyota Land Cruiser. Both the standard and Heritage Edition versions come fully loaded for towing, with a rating of up to 8,100 lbs.

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all new f 150 limited in smoked quartz tinted clearcoat
Ford

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