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Towing ability requires much more than just fitting a towbar to any large car. In general, there are several factors when it comes to the towing vehicle, which contribute to a safe and stressless towing. These include weight, power, strength of the vehicle's frame, suspension, axles, wheels, and others. It's a complicated formula, which gives you the towing capacity of a vehicle or the maximum amount of weight it can safely pull.

But what makes modern SUVs some of the best options for towing vehicles on the market? Well, they are quite capable. Be it a midsize or a large body-on-frame utility, most of these vehicles have enough power, proper all-wheel-drive systems, and a decent weight to safely tow anything from your weekend caravan to a boat or a horse trailer.

Sure, pickup trucks are the most capable production vehicles when it comes to towing but SUVs have one huge advantage – they offer an abundance of passenger space and a generally more comfortable cabin. If you need to pull a heavy trailer while carrying lots of people, a modern SUV should easily meet your requirements. Plus, an SUV is generally more efficient, more luxurious, and better-looking than a pickup truck.

If you're looking to get the most utility out of your sport utility vehicle, then check out this list of the best heavy hauling SUVs. While this list breaks down the top overall towers on the market for 2022, there's a healthy mix of SUVs ranging from midsize to large and from entry-level to luxurious.

Midsize SUVs

Midsize SUVs have grown significantly in recent years to offer more power and space than ever before, so it's no surprise that these midsize offerings have no problem keeping up with their full-size counterparts when it comes to towing capabilities. Today's landscape of midsize SUVs is extremely diverse, but if you're looking to get a family-friendly vehicle with all-wheel drive that can tow without having to step up to a large SUV, then here are the best options available.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee exterior

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is brand new for the 2022 model year but even in its most capable form, it comes with the same maximum towing capacity as its predecessor. Nevertheless, the SUV remains a solid family hauler and a very good off-roader. The base model with the standard 3.6-liter V6 tugs just 3,500 pounds, while the Grand Cherokee with the optional 5.7-liter V8 pulls up to 7,200 pounds, but only if you add the Trailer Tow Group IV package and four-wheel drive. There's also a hybridized 2.0-liter turbo engine, capable of towing up to 6,000 pounds.

2022 Audi Q7/Q8

2022 Audi Q7 and Q8 Competition Plus Together

Whether you're looking for style or passenger space, Audi has a solid one-two punch when it comes to towing with the three-row Q7 and coupe-like Q8 (as well as the sportier SQ7 and SQ8 models). To hit the max towing capacity of 7,716 pounds, the $750 towing package is required, and the Q7 also needs to be equipped with the optional V6 engine.

  • Max Towing Capacity: 7,716 pounds
  • Combined Fuel Economy: 20 MPG
  • Starting Price: $57,500 (2022 Audi Q7)
  • Audi SQ7 Review

2022 Porsche Cayenne/Cayenne Coupe

2022 Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition

The Porsche Cayenne is one of the first midsize SUVs developed by parent company Volkswagen AG, and its success has led to additional performance and luxury SUVs including the Audi Q7/Q8, Bentley Bentayga, and Lamborghini Urus. The 2022 Porsche Cayenne is available as the Cayenne and the sleeker Cayenne Coupe, and both versions offer a towing capacity of 7,716 pounds when equipped with the $660 tow package.

2022 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Land Rover Range Rover Sport (2021)

A new generation Range Rover Sport is scheduled to debut in the calendar 2022 but Land Rover is still selling the outgoing model as the 2022 Range Rover Sport in the United States. Despite being the more performance-oriented version of the previous-gen Range Rover family, the model is still just as capable when it comes to towing with a max rating of 7,716 pounds. For max towing, the Range Rover needs to be equipped with the $1,100 Towing Pack that adds a hitch receiver and the self-steering Advanced Towing Assist (as well as other features). The Range Rover Sport's maximum towing capacity is available with all powertrain configurations except for the plug-in hybrid model, which maxes out at 5,511 pounds. 

  • Max Towing Capacity: 7,716 pounds
  • Combined Fuel Economy: 24 MPG
  • Starting Price: $70,900

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

2022 Land Rover Range Rover exterior

The Range Rover is one of the earliest examples of a rugged SUV, and even though today's Range Rover is seen as more of a luxury vehicle, it is still ready to tow just about anything you need it to with a tow max of 7,716 pounds. To achieve that, it needs to be equipped with the $1,100 Towing Pack that adds a hitch receiver and Land Rover's self-steering Advanced Towing Assist (as well as other features). This capacity is available on both standard or long-wheelbase models and all powertrain configurations except for the plug-in hybrid model, which maxes out at 5,511 pounds. 

2022 Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga Outdoor Pursuits Collection

While there is no shortage of luxury SUVs that are fully capable of towing, the 2022 Bentley Bentayga definitely tops the list as the most luxurious. Bentley offers the Bentayga with two towing options with choices of a retracting tow bar as well as a fixed tow bar, and both give the Bentayga a maximum towing capacity of 7,716 pounds.

2022 Land Rover Defender

2021 Land Rover Defender vs. 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser

The 2022 Land Rover Defender is a retro-inspired off-road SUV, and it's ready for just about any adventure with a hefty towing capacity of 8,201 pounds. This maximum tow rating is only available on the four-door Defender 110 equipped with the $1,100 Towing Pack that adds a hitch receiver and self-steering Advanced Towing Assist. The two-door Defender 90 still hauls as much as a Ranger Rover, though, with a max capacity of 7,716 pounds. 

2022 Land Rover Discovery

2023 Land Rover Discovery Metropolitan Edition Three Quarters Front

If you want a Land Rover that delivers the most towing capacity, then the 2022 Land Rover Discovery is the way to go. Equipped with the available turbocharged V6 and the $1,150 Towing Pack with hitch receiver and the self-steering Advanced Towing Assist (as well as Terrain Response and All Terrain Progress Control), the Discovery is able to tow up to 8,201 pounds. 

  • Max Towing Capacity: 8,201 pounds
  • Combined Fuel Economy: 21 MPG
  • Starting Price: $56,600

2022 Dodge Durango

2022 Dodge Durango R/T Plus

Despite its midsize classification, the 2022 Dodge Durango is one of the best SUVs for towing with a maximum capacity of 8,700, which is tied for the second-highest overall towing capacity of all SUVs for 2022. This tow max is for both Durango's V8 engine options, while the V6-powered model is rated at 6,200 pounds. Most importantly, the Dodge Durango is the most affordable SUV on this list. 

Large SUVs

If you want even more towing capabilities from an SUV, here are the top large SUVs that offer the highest tow ratings. These large SUVs are sometimes based on full-size pickup trucks, and they maximize towing and payload capabilities with more powerful engines and sturdier frames than midsize SUVs.

2022 Toyota Sequoia

2021 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

There's a brand new 2023 Toyota Sequoia but it's not going on sale until later this year. Meanwhile, the 2022 model has a maximum towing capacity of 7,400 pounds in the SR5, TRD Sport, and Limited trims with RWD and a 5.7-liter V8 engine. The good news is every 2022 Sequoia comes as standard equipped with a hitch receiver and wiring harness with a 4/7-pin connector. If you are in the market for a new Sequoia though, we'd advise you to wait until the 2023 model arrives as it comes with a massive 9,000-pound maximum towing rating thanks to its updated platform, twin-turbo electrified V6, and 10-speed automatic gearbox.

  • Max Towing Capacity: 7,400 pounds
  • Combined Fuel Economy: 15 MPG
  • Starting Price $50,500

2022 BMW X7

2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i

Recently facelifted for the 2023 model year, the X7 is one of the most versatile and comfortable luxury SUVs on the market. The new face may not be for everyone, but the X7 is fully capable of hauling seven passengers comfortably. If you find the pre-facelift design more appealing, you have several months to order one until the refreshed variant hits the showrooms. Buyers who opt for the Alpina XB7 are rewarded with a maximum capacity of 7,500 pounds. This Aplina-tuned X7 packs a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 612 horsepower (621 hp for the 2023 Alpina XB7), but you obviously won't be able to enjoy the stated 0-60 mph time of about 4.0 seconds when towing a trailer. 

  • Max Towing Capacity: 7,500 pounds
  • Combined Fuel Economy: 21 MPG
  • Starting Price: $74,900
  • Alpina XB7 Review

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580

As the flagship SUV of the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the 2022 GLS-Class boasts the brand's top towing capacity with a rating of 7,700 pounds, which outperforms the more rugged G-Class by 700 pounds. This rating is listed for the GLS 450, which is the only one available for the 2022 model year as the GLS 580 and Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 are no longer on sale in the US. To get the maximum tow capacity, the GLS offers an optional Class IV trailer hitch for an extra $575, and all GLS models come standard with Trailer Stability Assist to reduce trailer sway.

2022 Cadillac Escalade

2021 Cadillac Escalade

Like the Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, and GMC Yukon, the Cadillac Escalade was completely redesigned for the 2021 model year. The model now enters its second year on the market with two engine options including a diesel inline six-cylinder, and the standard-length Escalade returns 8,200 pounds of tow capacity with the longer Escalade ESV maxing out at 8,100 pounds. All versions of the Escalade come standard with the Trailering Package, and the Trailering Integration Package is optional on base trims (Luxury and Premium Luxury) and standard on higher trims bringing an integrated trailer brake controller, hitch assist guidelines on the backup camera, and a trailering app.

2022 GMC Yukon

2023 GMC Denali Yukon Ultimate Front View

As the corporate sibling to the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, the 2022 GMC Yukon lineup delivers identical towing capabilities. The large SUV is available with the same three engines as the Tahoe/Suburban, and the standard-length Yukon gets a max tow capacity of 8,400 pounds with the longer Yukon XL maxing out at 8,300 pounds. Like its Chevy counterparts, there's a Max Trailering Package available for an extra $465 adding an integrated trailer brake controller, Advanced Trailering System, special hitch guidance from the backup camera, and enhanced cooling from the radiator. 

2022 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban

2022 Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Suburban is the original SUV as this family-hauling nameplate dates back to 1935, and the Suburban (along with the closely related Tahoe) was redesigned last year. The Tahoe and Suburban SUVs are available with three engine options including a diesel inline-six, but it's the base V8 that delivers the best tow capacity with a max rating of 8,400 pounds for the Tahoe and 8,300 pounds for the longer Suburban. For an extra $465, the optional Max Trailering Package adds an integrated trailer brake controller, Advanced Trailering System, special hitch guidance from the backup camera, and enhanced cooling from the radiator.

2022 Nissan Armada

2021 Nissan Armada Towing

The 2022 Nissan Armada has the same maximum tow capacity of 8,500 pounds as the previous model year. Unlike other SUVs, the Armada's max towing is the same whether you choose the two- or four-wheel drive models, and Nissan offers a Class IV weight-distributing hitch for an extra $370. A Trailer Brake Controller is standard on SV, SL, and Platinum trim levels, while the Trailer Sway Control is standard on SL and Platinum.

  • Max Towing Capacity: 8,500 pounds
  • Combined Fuel Economy: 16 MPG
  • Starting Price: $49,150
  • Nissan Armada Review

2022 Infiniti QX80

2022 Infiniti QX80

The 2022 Infiniti QX80 is the more luxurious version of the Nissan Armada, so it isn't surprising that both of these large SUVs are identical when it comes to trailering. The three-row, eight-passenger QX80 delivers 8,500 pounds of tow capacity in two- or four-wheel drive form, and buyers can get even more towing capabilities with the optional Class IV weight-distributing hitch for an extra $370.

  • Max Towing Capacity: 8,500 pounds
  • Combined Fuel Economy: 16 MPG
  • Starting Price: $71,100

2022 Lincoln Navigator

2022 Lincoln Navigator

Closely related to the Ford Expedition, the 2022 Lincoln Navigator is the top luxury SUV when it comes to hauling with a max towing of 8,700 pounds when equipped with the optional Heavy-Duty Trailer Towing Package. This tow rating is for the standard length Expedition, while the stretched Navigator L drops slightly to 8,400 pounds.

2022 Ford Expedition

2022 Ford Expedition Stealth Edition Performance Package

When it comes to towing, the 2022 Ford Expedition is the top dog. Equipped with the optional Heavy-Duty Trailer Towing Package, the Expedition has a maximum tow rating of 9,200 pounds, while the longer-wheelbase Expedition MAX still outperforms all other SUVs with a rating of 9,000 pounds. This affordable package (just $795) adds a heavy-duty radiator, integrated trailer brake controller, and the innovative Pro Trailer Backup Assist that allows for easy backing up of a trailer with the turn of a knob. 

  • Max Towing Capacity: 9,200 pounds
  • Combined Fuel Economy: 19 MPG
  • Starting Price: $52,620

FAQs

What SUV has the best towing capacity?

The 2022 Ford Expedition has the highest tow rating of any SUV right now with a maximum towing capacity of 9,200 pounds for the standard model (the long-wheelbase Expedition MAX is rated at 9,000 pounds). This class-leading towing figure surpasses the Expedition's more luxurious counterpart, the Lincoln Navigator, by a whopping 500 pounds, and it dominates its main competition, the Chevrolet Tahoe, by 800 pounds.

What midsize SUV has the best towing capacity?

After the full-size Ford Expedition, the midsize 2022 Dodge Durango is tied (with the Expedition's closely related Lincoln Navigator) for the second-highest towing capacity of an SUV with a maximum rating of 8,700 pounds. This figure allows the Durango to outperform larger SUVs such as the Nissan Armada and Chevrolet Tahoe.

Can you tow at max capacity?

The short answer here is "yes, but be very careful." If your SUV has a tow rating of 8,000 pounds, and you have no passengers or cargo inside the vehicle, then you can tow 8,000 pounds of trailer weight. Once you add passengers or cargo to the SUV or trailer, then the maximum weight of the trailer you can tow drops accordingly. Additionally, you will also want to pay close attention to payload and tongue weight capacities when shopping for SUVs and/or trailers.

Is a 4x4 better for towing?

Well, yes and no. While having four-wheel drive is more advantageous for pulling your boat from the launch ramp or navigating a muddy camp site with your camper, most SUVs deliver their peak towing capacity in two-wheel drive configurations due to the lower Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Four-wheel-drive SUVs also command a price premium over their two-wheel-drive counterparts.

What class tow hitch do I need?

Tow hitch ratings are broken up into five general classifications, but the maximum towing capacity is still limited by the individual vehicle. Aside from the weight ratings, the main differences in the five classes are the size of the receiver hitches: Class I and II hitches use a 1.25-inch receiver, Class III and IV use a 2-inch receiver, and the Class V uses a 2.5-inch receiver. Below are the pounds per class:

  • Class I tow hitch - Up to 2,000 pounds
  • Class II tow hitch - Up to 3,500 pounds
  • Class III tow hitch - Up to 6,000 pounds (up to 10,000 pounds w/ Weight Distribution hitch)
  • Class IV tow hitch - Up to 10,000 pounds (up to 14,000 pounds w/ Weight Distribution hitch
  • Class V tow hitch - Up to 12,000 pounds (up to 17,000 pounds w/ Weight Distribution hitch)

Best SUVs for Towing

  • 2022 Ford Expedition: 9,200 pounds
  • 2022 Lincoln Navigator: 8,700 pounds
  • 2022 Dodge Durango Hellcat: 8,700 pounds
  • 2022 Nissan Armada: 8,500 pounds
  • 2022 Infiniti QX80: 8,500 pounds
  • 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe: 8,400 pounds
  • 2022 GMC Yukon: 8,400 pounds
  • 2022 Chevrolet Suburban: 8,300 pounds
  • 2022 GMC Yukon XL: 8,300 pounds
  • 2022 Land Rover Discovery: 8,201 pounds
  • 2022 Land Rover Defender 110: 8,201 pounds
  • 2022 Cadillac Escalade: 8,200 pounds
  • 2022 Bentley Bentayga: 7,716 pounds
  • 2022 Porsche Cayenne/Cayenne Coupe: 7,716 pounds
  • 2022 Land Rover Range Rover: 7,716 pounds
  • 2022 Land Rover Range Rover Sport: 7,716 pounds
  • 2022 Audi Q7/Q8: 7,716 pounds
  • 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS: 7,700 pounds
  • 2022 BMW X7: 7,500 pounds
  • 2022 Toyota Sequoia: 7,400 pounds
  • 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee: 7,200 pounds
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