Post 17: Towing with Family SUV

My friends and I spend a lot of time debating the best way to get their racecar to the track. Some people can’t stomach buying a truck as an extra vehicle, especially those with somewhat limited parking space. An alternative to the traditional pickup truck is a mid-fullsize SUV. Fancy, modern, EXPENSIVE SUV’s may not fit in the track budget but if you are already looking for a large refined modern family hauler, why not get one that can do double duty? It makes much more sense to spend a large chunk of money on a tow vehicle if it doubles as a necessary family vehicle and commuter the rest of the time. SUV’s cost quite a bit more than a car or CUV, but the elimination of specific truck/tow vehicle from the stable is certainly going to make up most, if not all of that cost gap.

With a few exceptions, many modern SUV’s carry a 5,000 pound or greater tow capacity. Their day to day road manners are also surprisingly pleasant, despite their size. 5,000 lb of towing may be cutting it a bit close for towing a trailer+car+spares, but is certainly doable if you have a lighter car and reasonably light trailer. 

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Towing is something that begins one of the most heated debates on internet car forums. Keyboard commandos will scream bloody murder if you DARE to tow with anything less than a 2500 pickup, or perhaps a full semi truck. If you operate within tow capacity, use trailer brakes, and a weight distribution hitch you will be just fine. 

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Below are just a few of the mid/full size SUV’s with impressive tow capacities:


Volkswagen Touareg: 7700 lb tow capacity

Jeep Grand Cherokee: 6200lb 

Dodge Durango: 6200 lb

Nissan Pathfinder 6,000 lb

Kia Sorento: 5,000 lb

Ford Explorer: 5,000 lb

Toyota Highlander: 5,000 lb

Chevy Traverse: 5,000 lb

Honda Pilot: 5,000 lb

 


There are also plenty of luxury SUV’s with staggeringly high numbers, upwards of 6,000 and nearly 8,000. However, with the sticker prices of this segment, I don’t expect many of our readers to be dropping this much money. 

Here are a few:


Range Rover Sport: 7700lb tow capacity

Porsche Cayenne: 7700lb tow capacity

BMW X-5: 6,000lb tow capacity


*One thing to keep mind is these Tow Capacities are dependent on a Trailer Tow package. I seriously considered a Jeep Grand Cherokee as a daily driver/tow vehicle and I was shocked at how FEW came equipped with the factory tow package. They are out there, but you may need to search a bit. By the time you spend the time and money equipping a non-package vehicle (trans coolers/hitches/wiring/airbags), it is absolutely worth finding one already equipped.

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Do you tow with a SUV? How do you keep tow vehicles from being a unnecessary huge expense?

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