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.
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.
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.
Do you tow with a SUV? How do you keep tow vehicles from being a unnecessary huge expense?
3 thoughts on “Towing to the track in comfort with your Family SUV”
Also a lot of those listed are available with diesel yielding 26mpg+ on a daily basis and as much as 30+mpg on the highway at 75mph.
The diesel tow option is awesome, though they’re tough to find and often carry quite a price premium