The Ultimate Guide to SUV Towing Capacity in 2023

By: HowStuffWorks  | 
suv towing capacity
Diverse Range: SUVs offer varied towing capacities, from compact crossovers to full-size options, catering to different needs. Batuhan Kocabaş / Pexels

Are you craving adventure-filled trips or family vacations with your favorite outdoor toys in tow? If so, you’ll need an SUV with ample towing capacity to make those dreams a reality. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the top 10 SUVs with impressive suv towing capacities in 2023, ensuring you can find the perfect vehicle for your needs.

Short Summary
  • Understanding the tow rating of an SUV is essential for selecting a vehicle that meets towing needs.
  • The top 10 SUVs with impressive towing capacities in 2023 offer high capacity, features and varied price ranges.
  • Proper loading, tire pressure monitoring and use of safety equipment such as trailer brake controllers are essential for safe and efficient towing experience with an SUV.


Understanding SUV Towing Capacity

Towing capacity plays a crucial role in choosing the right SUV for your needs, and understanding tow ratings is essential. It’s not just about pulling a trailer behind your vehicle; it’s about ensuring your SUV can handle the weight safely and efficiently.

Let’s delve deeper into what standard towing capacity is and the factors that affect it.


What is Towing Capacity?

The towing capacity is an important factor for vehicles like SUVs. It indicates the maximum amount of weight they can safely pull. This is a vital aspect to consider when selecting an SUV, as it enables them to effortlessly tow your equipment up to their maximum capacity.

Before acquiring an SUV for towing purposes, it is essential to consider factors like:

  • The SUV’s maximum towing capacity
  • Trim level
  • Any additional features necessary to meet the desired towing capacity, such as those found in the 2023 Land Rover Defender.

To ensure the best towing experience with your SUV, you should consider essential towing features, such as:

  • The tow package
  • Drive system
  • Chassis design
  • Trailer tongue weight
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
  • Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
  • Payload
  • Tongue weight

Considering these features will help you make an informed decision and ensure a safe and efficient towing experience with your SUV.

Factors Affecting Towing Capacity

The towing capacity of an SUV depends on various factors such as engine power, transmission type, and suspension. For instance, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is equipped with a 270 horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which provides a solid towing capacity for its class. The choice of transmission can also influence towing capacity, especially in midsize SUVs, such as the 2023 Porsche Cayenne, which offers a range of engine options, including a 335-horsepower turbocharged V6, a 434-horsepower twin-turbo V6, and two twin-turbo V8s with horsepower ratings of 453 and 541.

To achieve the maximum towing capacity, it is essential to have the proper equipment installed. For example, the 2023 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk requires a Trailer-Tow Group ($1,295) which includes a Class III hitch and wiring harnesses for towing.

By understanding the factors affecting towing capacity, you can make an informed decision when selecting the best SUV for your towing needs.


Top 10 SUVs with Impressive Towing Capacities in 2023

Let’s dive into the top 10 best SUVs for towing with impressive towing capacities for 2023. These SUVs not only boast high towing capacities, but also come equipped with essential features and fall within various price ranges to suit your budget and requirements.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway with your boat or an extended road trip with a camper, these SUVs have you covered.


Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit

The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit stands out with a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds. This SUV is equipped with a Class IV trailer hitch receiver, a Trailer Reverse Guidance system, and a heavy-duty radiator as standard for towing. To maximize the towing capacity, consider upgrading to the optional adaptive air suspension, which is packaged with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) for $2,390.

Safety features such as hill descent control, dynamic stability control, brake fade compensation, dynamic traction control, dynamic brake control, and trailer stability assist ensure a safe towing experience.

The starting price for the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit is $64,204, and it comes equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 engine, delivering 392 horsepower and 404 lb-ft of torque.

Dodge Durango SRT 392

The 2023 Dodge Durango SRT 392 boasts a towing capacity of 8,700 pounds, making it a powerhouse in the SUV towing market. It offers a 475 horsepower engine and a range of upgraded features, with a starting price of $70,295. To reach maximum towing capacity, you can choose from the 6.4-liter V8, 710 horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter Durango SRT Hellcat, and AWD Durango R/T with the Tow N’ Go Package.

The AWD Durango R/T Tow N’ Go Package features a range of additions for optimizing performance. These include:

  • Electronic limited-slip differential
  • Trailer brake controller
  • Automatic headlight leveling
  • Upgraded brakes and suspension
  • Class IV trailer hitch

With its impressive towing capacity and comfortable interior, the Dodge Durango SRT 392 is an excellent choice for those in need of a powerful towing SUV.

Chevrolet Suburban

The 2023 Chevrolet Suburban is a full-size SUV that offers a generous interior and a towing capacity of 8,300 pounds. This SUV is equipped with various features to make towing a breeze, such as:

  • Trailer side blind zone alert
  • Reverse automatic braking
  • Lane change alert
  • Max Trailering Package, which includes a trailering hitch platform, trailer sway control, and hitch guidance.

The 2023 Chevrolet Suburban can tow between 7,600 and 7,900 pounds without the Max Trailering Package. Upgrading to the Max Trailering Package increases towing capacity. With its powerful towing capacity and spacious interior, the Chevrolet Suburban is a top choice for families and adventurers alike.

GMC Yukon

The 2023 GMC Yukon features a towing capacity of 8,400 lbs, offering an exclusive interior design and 13 camera views, including High Definition Surround Vision. To achieve maximum towing capacity, the 2WD version with the 5.3-liter V8 engine and the optional Max Trailering Package is recommended.

Available towing options for the GMC Yukon include:

  • In-vehicle trailering app
  • Blind-zone alert system for the trailer
  • Tire pressure monitor for the trailer tires
  • Multi-height load-leveling suspension

With its impressive towing capacity and unique features, the GMC Yukon is a top contender in the SUV towing market.

Ford Expedition

The 2023 Ford Expedition is a versatile SUV with a towing capacity of 9,300 pounds with the standard engine. To maximize towing capacity, consider adding the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package, which includes:

  • Digital rearview camera
  • Integrated trailer brake controller
  • Pro Trailer Backup Assist
  • Reverse brake assist
  • Electronic limited-slip differential

The starting price for the Ford Expedition with the maximum towing capacity, the XLT with the heavy-duty trailering package, is $60,585. Equipped with a twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine, the Expedition provides ample power and performance for all your towing needs.

Toyota Sequoia

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia has the following features:

  • Towing capacity of 9,520 pounds
  • i-FORCE MAX 3.4L twin-turbo V6 hybrid drivetrain
  • SR5 model with rear-wheel drive and the Tow Tech Package is recommended for optimal towing capacity
  • Load-leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension
  • Adaptive Variable Suspension system
  • Panoramic View Monitor with a hitch view

With its impressive towing capacity and drivetrain options, the Toyota Sequoia is a top choice for families and adventurers in need of a powerful towing SUV.

Audi Q7/SQ7

The 2023 Audi Q7 and SQ7 models offer a towing capacity of approximately 8,000 pounds. These luxury SUVs feature an array of engine options, including a 3.0L V6 engine required to attain maximum towing capacity. To optimize towing capabilities, the Audi Q7 comes equipped with a tow hitch receiver and connector pin as part of the towing package.

With their impressive towing capacity and luxurious features, the Audi Q7 and SQ7 models are excellent choices for those seeking high-performance suvs for towing.

Mercedes-Benz GLS 450

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 boasts a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds, offering luxurious features for towing, although specifics have yet to be revealed. The Class IV trailer hitch is the suggested option for this model.

Equipped with a twin-turbo inline-6 engine that generates 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, the Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 offers both towing power and a luxurious cabin experience for its passengers.

Land Rover Range Rover P530

The 2023 Land Rover Range Rover P530 has the following features:

  • Towing capacity of 7,716 lbs
  • Powerful 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8 engine
  • 523 horsepower
  • 553 pound-feet of torque

Please note that towing options must be added to reach the maximum towing capacity.

With its impressive towing capacity, horsepower, and luxury features, the Land Rover Range Rover P530 is an excellent choice for those seeking a high-performance SUV that can handle heavy loads.


Essential Towing Features for SUVs

When choosing an SUV for towing, it’s essential to consider features that enhance towing capability, such as tow packages, drive systems, and chassis design. These features not only improve the overall towing experience, but also ensure the safety and longevity of your SUV.

Tow packages typically include a hitch, wiring harness, and other components that make towing easier.


Tow Package

A tow package is a set of factory-installed components that include a trailer hitch, specialized wiring, and occasionally additional parts and equipment designed to accommodate the demands of towing. Installing a tow package in an SUV offers a range of benefits, such as improved suspension, a larger radiator, enhanced brakes, and a transmission that distributes more power to the drive wheels.

These components combine to increase the strength of a vehicle. It can address the need of heavy loading demands with higher efficiency.

Drive System

The type of drive system in an SUV can impact its towing capacity. Rear-wheel drive is the most advantageous for attaining the maximum tow rating, while all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive can assist in maintaining traction on slippery surfaces or providing an additional sense of security when towing a trailer on rough terrain.

Choosing the right drive system for your towing needs will ensure optimal performance and safety during your towing adventures.

Chassis Design

The design of an SUV’s chassis plays a significant role in its towing capabilities. Body-on-frame construction offers increased rigidity and durability compared to unibody designs, making it better suited for towing. The frame is able to absorb more of the towing force, thereby reducing the strain on the vehicle’s suspension and drivetrain.

Considering the chassis design of your SUV is crucial in ensuring it can handle the demands of towing.


Tips for Safe and Efficient Towing with Your SUV

To make the most of your SUV’s towing capacity, it’s essential to follow some guidelines and best practices. Properly loading your trailer, monitoring tire pressure, and utilizing safety equipment such as trailer brake controllers and sway control devices can help ensure a safe and efficient towing experience.

It’s important to make sure your trailer is loaded correctly and evenly. This will help you.


Properly Loading Your Trailer

When loading your trailer, it’s crucial to arrange the cargo in a way that ensures safe and balanced weight distribution within the cargo space, with about 60% of the weight towards the front of the trailer. Also, make sure to secure the load on your trailer using straps, bungee cords, or other tie-down materials to prevent shifting during transit.

Don’t forget to use wheel chocks to ensure the trailer is stable and secure when loading and unloading.

Monitoring Tire Pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure while towing is essential for ensuring that tires are adequately inflated. Underinflated tires can lead to decreased fuel efficiency, increased tire wear, and inadequate vehicle handling, while overinflated tires can result in a harsh ride and reduced traction.

Regularly check your tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge and utilize a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) if available.

Using Safety Equipment

Safety equipment, such as trailer brake controllers and sway control devices, can help ensure a safe and efficient towing experience. These devices work in conjunction with your SUV’s braking system to provide smooth, controlled stopping power and minimize the risk of trailer sway.

By using safety equipment, you can protect both your vehicle and your trailer, ensuring a stress-free towing experience.



In conclusion, choosing the right SUV with an appropriate towing capacity is essential for safe and enjoyable towing experiences. By understanding the factors that affect towing capacity, considering essential towing features, and following best practices for safe and efficient towing, you can make the most of your SUV’s towing capabilities. So, go ahead and plan your next adventure, knowing that your SUV is well-equipped to handle all your towing needs.

This article was created using AI technology.