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Which SUVs Can Tow at Least 5,000 Pounds?

ford expedition 2023 exterior suv towing oem 01 jpg 2023 Ford Expedition | Manufacturer image

There are lots of choices among the cheaper-to-buy-and-drive mid-size SUVs that, when properly configured, can safely tow at least 5,000 pounds. That’s enough to haul a modest trailer for your toys (such as a bass boat, camper trailer, ATVs or Jet Skis) or just a box trailer to haul your kid’s stuff to college. Below you’ll find all the SUVs available that meet or exceed this 5,000-pound minimum. (If you need an SUV for serious towing, we have a better list for you here that’s dominated by hefty truck-based SUVs with equally hefty appetites for fuel.)

Related: What You Need to Know Before Towing With an SUV

The maximum ratings in the list below are for the top-rated configuration of the SUV and may require options such as a tow package or trailer braking for the top rating. All of the SUVs have versions with a maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds or more. The maximum might be less — even substantially less — for versions with other available powertrains, trim levels, options, or even tire and wheel combinations. Be sure to verify the specific configuration you are considering if towing capacity is a priority.

2023 SUVs That Tow 5,000 Pounds or More

toyota sequoia trd pro 2023 01 exterior front angle towing scaled jpg 2023 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro | Cars.com photo by Matt Barnes

Below are SUVs from the 2023 model year with a maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds or more.

  • Acura: MDX
  • Aston Martin: DBX
  • Audi: Q7/SQ7, Q8/SQ8/RS Q8
  • Bentley: Bentayga
  • BMW: X1, X5, X6, X7
  • Buick: Enclave
  • Cadillac: Escalade, Escalade ESV
  • Chevrolet: Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse
  • Dodge: Durango
  • Ford: Expedition, Expedition Max, Explorer
  • Genesis: GV80
  • GMC: Yukon, Yukon XL
  • Honda: Passport, Pilot
  • Hyundai: Palisade
  • Infiniti: QX80
  • Jeep: Grand Cherokee, Grand Cherokee L, Grand Cherokee 4xe, Grand Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer L, Wagoneer, Wagoneer L
  • Kia: Telluride
  • Lamborghini: Urus
  • Land Rover: Defender, Discovery, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport
  • Lexus: GX 460, LX 600
  • Lincoln: Aviator, Navigator, Navigator L
  • Maserati: Levante
  • Mercedes-Benz: G-Class, GLC-Class, GLE-Class, GLS-Class
  • Nissan: Armada, Pathfinder
  • Porsche: Cayenne, Cayenne Coupe, Cayenne E-Hybrid, Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe
  • Rivian: R1S
  • Subaru: Ascent
  • Tesla: Model X
  • Toyota: 4Runner, Highlander, Sequoia
  • Volkswagen: Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport
  • Volvo: XC90, XC90 Recharge

2024 SUVs That Tow 5,000 Pounds or More

Unlike the 2023 list, this list is incomplete and based only on the 2024 SUVs for which U.S. specs have been announced. Many other SUVs listed for 2023 will carry over or increase for 2024, but official information is not available yet.

  • Acura: MDX
  • Audi: Q7, SQ7
  • BMW: X5, X6, X7
  • Buick: Enclave
  • Dodge: Durango
  • Ford: Expedition, Expedition Max
  • Genesis: GV80
  • GMC: Hummer EV SUV
  • Hyundai: Palisade
  • Jeep: Wrangler
  • Kia: Telluride
  • Lamborghini: Urus
  • Land Rover: Discovery, Range Rover, Range Rover Velar
  • Lincoln: Navigator, Navigator L
  • Mazda: CX-90
  • Mercedes-Benz: GLE-Class
  • Subaru: Ascent
  • Toyota: Grand Highlander, Grand Highlander Hybrid, Sequoia
  • Volkswagen: Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport
  • Volvo: XC90, XC90 Recharge

Things to Consider When Towing

volkswagen atlas 2024 12 exterior front angle towing green scaled jpg 2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

The weight that you can safely tow can be lowered by the load onboard your SUV. Tow ratings are calculated under the SAE International J2807 performance standard for safe vehicle performance, trailer stability and load on the vehicle’s mechanical systems. The standard  assumes ideal towing conditions: a minimal load of people and cargo, only common optional equipment and a trailer tongue weight (pounds the trailer is putting on the hitch) of about 10% of the trailer weight. Loading up the SUV can reduce the safe trailer weight.

Trailer weight is not the only safety limit that matters: You also must not exceed the vehicle’s maximum payload weight (people and cargo plus tongue weight) and the gross combined vehicle weight rating (total loaded vehicle plus the trailer). These limits can be found on the information plate that’s typically located on the driver-side door or door frame. You can read more about calculating how much your SUV can safely pull in our towing coverage, including “How Much Can My Truck Tow?” and “Why Weight Capacities Are Important.”

With careful weight planning — and perhaps spending for extra towing accessories, such an electronic brake controller — you can safely push the envelope in a mid-size SUV, as Cars.com Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman did with people and gear in a Ford Explorer (rated to tow 5,600 pounds) while pulling a 4,200-pound, 22-foot Airstream travel trailer. Bragman notes, however, that adding a bracket-style weight distribution hitch would have made his rig more stable in some situations. Some vehicles even require them for maximum towing, but others — particularly unibody SUVs that don’t have a separate frame — recommend against or even ban such a hitch, so you’ll need to check your owner’s manual to learn more.

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Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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