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The best trucks for towing


(iSeeCars) – While pickup trucks are known for their wide array of capabilities, including off-road adventures, hauling heavy loads, and even offering a fair degree of luxury in their upper trim levels, a truck’s maximum towing capability is typically its most impressive specification. Unlike SUVs that have to balance passenger space and cargo capacity with towing needs, trucks have a more utilitarian focus that’s reflected in their powertrains specs, including payload capacity and tow rating.

We’ve included the max tow rating for each truck listed below, along with maximum horsepower and lb-ft of torque figures for the engine that delivers the best tow capacity. You might not be surprised to learn the best engine for towing is rarely the base engine. We’ve also included each truck’s starting MSRP. Keep in mind that achieving a truck’s highest towing capacity will often involve ordering (and paying for) a tow package. You can also increase any truck’s maximum towing capacity by adding a gooseneck or fifth wheel hitch in the center of the bed, which locates the trailer’s tongue weight directly over the rear axle to improve trailer stability. 

While heavy-duty pickups have the highest towing capacity, we’ve also included the specifications for full-size and midsize trucks below. 

Best Trucks for Towing: Heavy-Duty Trucks

These are the largest and most capable consumer pickup trucks. Their engine options include diesel engines (usually turbo diesels) with names like “Cummins”, “Duramax” and “Power Stroke”. They are also physically larger than full-size trucks, making them the best pickups for towing large, heavy trailers or campers. It’s worth noting that while manual transmissions used to be commonplace in pickup trucks, in recent model years every automaker has switched to automatic transmissions across their lineups.

Best Heavy-Duty Trucks for Towing
Model Starting MSRP Max HP Max Torque Max Towing Capacity
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD $35,300 445 910 18,510 pounds*
2022 Ford F250 Super Duty $37,895 475 1050 20,000 pounds*
2022 GMC Sierra 2500HD $36,200 445 910 18,510 pounds*
2022 Ram 2500 $40,865 370 850 20,000 pounds*

*Denotes diesel engine

Best Trucks for Towing: Full-Size Pickups

Full-size pickups are consistently the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. market, reflecting their strong demand as both work vehicles and weekend adventure vehicles. Available as both regular cab (two-door) and crew cab (four-door) models, full-size trucks like the Chevy Silverado and the Ram 1500 have evolved into capable, even luxurious, family transportation. But they haven’t yet dethroned the Ford F-150 as the best-selling truck for the past four decades. Does the Ford’s highest tow rating in this category play into its ongoing sales success? Maybe.

Best Full-Size Trucks for Towing
Model Starting MSRP Max HP Max Torque Max Towing Capacity
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 $34,600 277 460 13,300 pounds*
2022 Ford F-150 $30,495 400 500 14,000 pounds
2022 GMC Sierra 1500 $35,400 277 460 13,300 pounds*
2022 Nissan Titan $38,810 400 413 9,320 pounds
2022 Nissan Titan XD $46,380 400 413 11,060 pounds
2022 Ram 1500 $35,900 395 410 12,750 pounds
2022 Toyota Tundra $35,950 437 583 12,000 pounds

*Denotes diesel engine

Best Trucks for Towing: Midsize Pickups

Although physically smaller than modern full-size pickups, today’s midsize trucks still offer roomy, comfortable cabins and enough towing capacity to serve many of today’s truck buyers while being easier to park and delivering superior fuel economy. You can’t get a high-torque diesel or V8 engine in this category, but you will find capable V6 and four-cylinder engines, rear-wheel and four-wheel drive powertrains, plus premium features like advanced infotainment systems and safety features. There’s even a fully-electric midsize truck from Rivian, though it’s starting price is between two and three times the cost of a traditional model.

Best Midsize Trucks for Towing
Model Starting MSRP Max HP Max Torque Max Towing Capacity
2022 Chevrolet Colorado $25,200 181 369 7,700 pounds*
2022 Ford Ranger $25,715 270 310 7,500 pounds
2022 Ford Maverick $19,995 250 277 4,000 pounds
2022 GMC Canyon $26,800 181 369 7,700 pounds*
2022 Honda Ridgeline $38140 280 262 5,000 pounds
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz $24,440 281 311 5,000 pounds
2022 Jeep Gladiator $36,085 285 442 7650 pounds
2022 Nissan Frontier $28,690 310 281 6,750 pounds
2022 Rivian R1T $73,000 754 826 11,000 pounds
2022 Toyota Tacoma $27,150 278 265 6,800 pounds

* Denotes diesel engine

Bottom Line:

Pickup trucks come in many configurations and offer a wide range of features across trims. There are also more models than ever before to choose from thanks to the growing compact and midsize truck segment. Hauling capability can also vary widely across trucks in each segment, so if towing capacity is a priority, consider the heaviest haulers on this list.

More from iSeeCars:

If you’re in the market for a new or used pickup truck, you can search over 4 million used and new trucks with iSeeCars’ award-winning car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check or Best Cars rankings. Filter by cab design, bed length, rear- or four-wheel drive, and other parameters in order to narrow down your truck search.

This article, Best Trucks for Towing, originally appeared on iSeeCars.com.


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