While the go-to tow vehicle is usually a pickup truck, if you need to tow over 7,000 pounds while also carrying passengers an SUV might be the better (or even the only) option. There are a number of SUVs on the market that can handle this kind of duty, whether you’re looking for something that’s mid-size or full-size, has two rows of seats or three, two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and even unibody or body-on-frame. Read on to discover our list of the ten best SUVs that can tow 7,000 pounds (sorted by towing capacity in ascending order) as selected by the expert editors at Autobytel.
10 SUVs That Can Tow 7000 Lbs.
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Dodge Durango – 7,400 pounds
When equipped with the optional 360-horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque V8, properly equipped rear-wheel drive Dodge Durangos can tow up to 7,400 pounds (all-wheel drive models are limited to 7,200 pounds). Standard features include Trailer Sway Control, while a Trailer Tow Group IV package is available (and highly recommended) that adds desirable options such as a Class IV receiver hitch, 7-pin and 4-pin connectors, a full-size spare, heavy-duty engine cooling and a rear load leveling suspension. Three rows of seating mean that you can bring the whole clan, while the available dual-screen Blu-Ray entertainment system should help keep the kids occupied on longer drives.
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel – 7,400 pounds
The Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow up to 7,400 pounds in rear-wheel drive configurations (and up to 7,200 pounds in four-wheel drive applications) when equipped with either the 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoDiesel V6 engine (the most economical option) that makes 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque or the 5.7-liter V8 that generates 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. Those planning on doing lots of towing would be well advised to add the Trailer Tow Group IV package that includes 7-pin and 4-pin connectors, a Class IV receiver, heavy-duty engine cooling, rear load leveling suspension and rear tow hook delete. The only downside to the Grand Cherokee may be its lack of a third row.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz GLS – 7,500 pounds
No matter which engine you choose, whether it’s the 362-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, the 449-horsepower turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 or the high-performance 577-horsepower turbocharged 5.5-liter AMG V8, the Mercedes-Benz GLS is rated to tow 7,500 pounds. Standard features that should help when towing include all-wheel drive, an Airmatic air suspension and Trailer Stability Assist, while optional features include an Adaptive Damping System and a Class IV trailer hitch with wiring for lights and brakes. While the Mercedes-Benz GLS isn’t cheap, it is one of the ten best SUVs for towing more than 7,000 pounds, especially if you are looking to do it as luxuriously as possible.
Photo Credit: Audi
Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI – 7,700 pounds
The Audi Q7 makes our list of ten SUVs that can tow 7,000 pounds thanks to a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds when powered by the 3.0-liter 333-horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque supercharged V6 (and equipped with the available Towing package). Other towing-friendly features include the standard Quattro all-wheel drive system as well as the available adaptive air suspension and rear-wheel steering, while the three rows of seats means that you can bring the whole family with you to the campsite (though the third row is quite cramped). The Q7 also manages a good blend of ride comfort and sporty handling, and like other Audi models the interior is top notch.
Photo Credit: Porsche
Porsche Cayenne – 7,716 pounds
If you’re looking for a sporty vehicle that can carve mountain roads and also tow more than 7,000 pounds then the Porsche Cayenne might be the solution you’ve been looking for. Models from the base Cayenne with its 3.6-liter V6 that makes 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque all the way up to the top of the line Cayenne Turbo S with its turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 that generates 570 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque are rated to tow 7,716 pounds (or 3,500 kilograms). Optional features that help improve the towing experience include a trailer hitch with harness for trailer lights as well as the optional air suspension.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen
Volkswagen Touareg – 7,716 pounds
The Volkswagen Touareg is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque which is sent to all four wheels by the 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Towing capacity is 7,716 pounds and a trailer hitch is standard equipment, but if you plan on doing lots of heavy towing or live in a hilly area you might find that the engine has to work hard to keep up with traffic. To save you some running around you might want to consider Volkswagen’s optional Trailer Hitch Extras package which includes a tow and ball mount kit as well as a 7-pin adapter plug.
Photo Credit: Toyota
Toyota Land Cruiser – 8,100 pounds
When you buy a Toyota Land Cruiser there aren’t really any choices to make other than what color you want the interior and exterior. All models have a towing capacity of 8,100 pounds and all are powered by a 5.7-liter V8 that produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. Standard features include a full-time four-wheel drive system, Trailer-Sway Control and Hill Start Assist Control. You also get an integrated towing received as well as a wiring harness with both 4-pin and 7-pin connectors as well as a standard rear-seat DVD entertainment system. The Toyota Land Cruiser is the ultimate SUV that can tow over 7,000 pounds right out of the box.
Photo Credit: Nissan
Nissan Armada – 8,500 pounds
All versions of the Nissan Armada come with a 5.6-liter V8 motor that produces 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque, which helps the Armada tow a maximum of up to 8,500 pounds. Standard features include a tow/haul mode and hill start assist, while those who tow frequently will want to add the optional Driver Package that includes a trailer towing harness and pre-wiring for a trailer brake controller (among other things) as well as the Class IV weight-distributing hitch ball mount. Other interesting options include a rear-seat Mobile Entertainment System and a Hatch Tent that unfolds easily to a 10 foot by 10 foot tent, either connected to your Armada or stand-alone.
Photo Credit: General Motors
Chevrolet Tahoe / GMC Yukon – 8,600 pounds
The Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon are traditional body-on-frame SUVs, built similarly to the brands’ pickup trucks, and as you’d expect from such a design they have a generous towing capacity of up to 8,600 pounds for two-wheel drive models (or 8,400 pounds in four-wheel drive models). Power comes from a 5.3-liter V8 that makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, and standard towing features include a 2” receiver and a 7-way connector, while an integrated trailer brake controller is optional. Despite their large exterior size interior space is relatively tight, but the availability of the longer wheelbase Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL somewhat mitigates that issue.
Photo Credit: Ford
Ford Expedition – 9,300 pounds
With its massive towing rating of up to 9,300 pounds (when properly equipped) the Ford Expedition earns the top spot on our list of ten SUVs that can tow 7,000 pounds. The only available engine is a relatively frugal turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Trailer Sway Control is standard, while a mechanical rear load-leveling suspension is available as is a Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package that includes a Class IV receiver, 7-pin and 4-pin connectors, a heavy duty radiator and oil cooler and an integrated trailer brake controller. The Expedition is also one of the roomiest SUVs on the market, especially in the longer EL versions.