I want a family hauler than can tow my stuff! What are my choices?
A ton of you guys out there in the TFL community are keen on the question, as it’s been one of the most popular topics here on TFLcar.com. While we extensively cover trucks’ towing capability across size classes on TFLtruck.com and through the Ike Gauntlet — the World’s Toughest Towing Test™️ — and are expanding that reach out through our “Tike Ike” series.
To that end, let’s take another look at SUVs that are rated to tow at least 5,000 pounds. Good news: As automakers lean harder toward SUVs and improve current models, there’s more and more choice each year. Now, if you’re just looking to tow a small trailer (i.e. lightweight teardrop, 5×8 utility trailer), even some compact crossovers like the Toyota RAV4 can do the job these days. As ever, just be mindful of your vehicle’s rated capacity and that your hitch and wiring setup are compatible with whichever trailer you are towing. If you need the capacity to tow your boat, side-by-side or a heavier-duty working trailer, though, that’s where these midsize SUVs come in.
Depending on your towing needs, it never hurts to leave a little wiggle room between your rated capacity and what you’re actually towing. If you’re towing often with a braked trailer, we’d also advise using an OEM or aftermarket brake controller when hauling over 3,000 pounds.
Check out the updated list below!
Electric SUVs are coming into play
There’s another angle to cover beyond your conventional SUVs out there. More electric models are coming onto the market, so you’ll also have some options if you want to couple zero-emissions driving with some decent towing capability. At the moment that list is fairly limited above 2,000-3,000 pounds, but that won’t be the case for much longer.
For the time being, towing is also a stat that EV automakers mention in passing, as the focus leans heavily toward range and performance. Bear in mind, just like gasoline vehicles, you’ll also have to consider the impact pulling any weight will have on range, as we experienced with our Tesla Model X. Nevertheless, the Model X is rated to tow 5,000 pounds when properly equipped with a hitch, and the impending Rivian R1S SUV can potentially haul 7,700 pounds.
Most smaller EVs — Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5/Kia EV6, etc. — hit the upper bound of their towing capacities at about 3,500 pounds (2,700, in the Volkswagen’s case). Apart from the Tesla and Rivian, Audi’s e-tron SUV is the next most capable, with a 4,000 pound rating. Nevertheless, more and larger electric SUVs are set to arrive on the scene within the next two years, so we’ll cover those changes in lists like these.
2022 Midsize Crossover/SUV tow rating chart
At present, here are your options if you’re looking for a midsize SUV to tow around 5,000 pounds (or slightly more). Starting prices listed here are the least expensive way to get to that towing capacity, and include OEM towing hitches/wiring harness packages on models where it doesn’t come standard:
|Make/Model||Engine||Max. Towing Cap.||Starting Price*|
|Acura MDX||3.5L V6||5,000 lbs. (SH-AWD)||$51,272 (SH-AWD)|
|Audi Q7 (55 TFSI)||3.0L Turbo V6||7,700 lbs.||$63,945 (Premium 55 TFSI)|
|Audi SQ7||4.0L Twin-Turbo V8||7,700 lbs.||$89,840 (Premium Plus)|
|Audi Q8||3.0L Turbo V6||7,700 lbs.||$72,145 (Premium)|
|Audi SQ8||4.0L Twin-Turbo V8||7,700 lbs.||$94,395 (Premium Plus)|
|Audi RS Q8||4.0L Twin-Turbo V8||7,700 lbs.||$121,745|
|BMW X5||3.0L Turbo I6||7,200 lbs.||$59,950 (sDrive40i)|
|BMW X6||3.0L Turbo I6||7,200 lbs.||$67,900 (xDrive40i)|
|Buick Enclave||3.6L V6||5,000 lbs.||$46,640 (Essence AWD)|
|Chevrolet Traverse||3.6L V6||5,000 lbs.||$36,895 (LS AWD)|
|Dodge Durango||3.6L V6/5.7L V8/6.4L V8/|
6.2L S/C V8
(Tow N Go/392/Hellcat: 8,700)
|$35,752 (SXT, ’21)|
|Ford Explorer||2.3L I-4/3.3L V6 Hybrid/|
3.0L Turbo V6
|5,300 lbs. |
(Hybrid: 5,000/ST: 5,600)
|$34,715 (Base, ’21)|
|Honda Passport||3.5L V6||5,000 lbs.||$36,399 (Sport AWD)|
|Honda Pilot||3.5.L V6||5,000 lbs.||$42,669 (EX-L AWD)|
|Hyundai Palisade||3.8L V6||5,000 lbs.||$36,510 (SE AWD)|
|Infiniti QX60||3.5L V6||5,000 lbs.|
(Sensory AWD/Autograph: 6,000)
|$47,875 (Pure AWD)|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||3.6L V6/5.7L V8/|
2.0L Turbo Hybrid
(5.7L: 7,200/4xe: 6,000)
|TBA (2022 MY pricing|
not yet released)
|Jeep Grand Cherokee L||3.6L V6/5.7L V8||6,200 lbs.|
|$41,425 (Laredo 4×2)|
|Kia Telluride||3.8L V6||5,000 lbs.||$34,490 (LX)|
|Land Rover Defender||2.0L I-4/3.0L I-6||7,716 lbs.||$52,525 (Base 110)|
|Land Rover Discovery||2.0L I-4||6,613 lbs.||$55,925 (S P300)|
|LR Range Rover||3.0L I6||7,716 lbs.||$94,050 (Range Rover P360)|
|LR Range Rover Sport||3.0L I6||7,716 lbs.||$71,550 (SE P360)|
|Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class||2.0L Turbo I4||7,700 lbs.||$58,875 (GLE 350 4MATIC)|
|Nissan Pathfinder||3.5L V6||6,000 lbs.||$37,160 (S 4WD)|
|Porsche Cayenne||3.0L Turbo V6||7,700 lbs.||$71,010 (Cayenne)|
|Rivian R1S||Electric||7,700 lbs.||$70,000 (Explore Package)|
|Subaru Ascent||2.4L Turbo H4||5,000 lbs.||$33,970 (Base)|
|Tesla Model X||Electric||5,000 lbs.||$99,990 (Long Range)|
|Toyota 4Runner||4.0L V6||5,000 lbs.||$38,020 (SR5 2WD)|
|Toyota Highlander||3.5L V6||5,000 lbs.||$38,599 (L V6 AWD)|
|Volkswagen Atlas||3.6L V6||5,000 lbs.||$42,490 (SE V6 w/ Tech, 4Motion)|
|Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport||3.6L V6||5,000 lbs.||$42,185 (SE V6 w/ Tech, 4Motion)|
|Volvo XC90||2.0L Turbo I4||5,000 lbs.||$54,965 (T5 Momentum AWD)|
Since we’re flipping over into the 2022 model year, this list may be updated periodically with new and updated models.