If you’re looking for maximum towing capacity in a new vehicle and a fully enclosed ride, you’re seeking one of the SUVs with the highest towing capacity for 2016. However, before you charge off and buy the one with the highest capacity, take a look at what you intend to tow with it. Too much capacity will cost you in the long run. If all you really need is 6,000 pounds of towing capability, and you get a ride capable of pulling 9,000, you’ll spend more to get it—and more on fuel to keep it moving. Meanwhile, a vehicle with a lower towing capacity and better fuel economy could well have sufficed. This is why we have choices; so we can run the right horses on the right courses.
With seating for up to eight people, and a maximum cargo capacity of 130 cubic feet in the long wheelbase version, you could almost start your own moving company with a Ford Excursion. Seriously though, horse trailer, huge boat, whatever you have, the Excursion makes pretty short work of dragging it wherever you want it to go. Make no mistake though, this is one big mamma-jamma. Be sure you really need its immense capabilities before charging into your nearest Ford dealer and signing on the dotted line. Standard features include automatic headlights, keyless entry, voice activation, and Bluetooth. Power comes from a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with 365 horsepower and 420 ft-lbs. of torque. Rear-drive and a six-speed automatic transmission come standard, four-wheel drive is optional. Pricing starts at $44,585.
Photo by Ford
Tying for second place among SUVs with the highest towing capacity for 2016, the Lincoln Navigator is one of but two gasoline-powered vehicles on this list to eschew a V8 engine. Capable of seating up to eight people in supreme luxury, Lincoln’s Navigator (the first American luxury suv BTW) is a pretty slick piece. Standard features include bi-xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensor arrays, automatic wipers, power folding running boards, power adjustable pedals, and of course, supple leather upholstery. Cargo capacity is 103 cubic feet for the standard Navigator, and 128 for the long wheelbase model. Earlier, we mentioned the Navigator’s engine, what we didn’t tell you is it’s a 3.5-liter turbo V6 good for 380 horsepower and 460 ft-lbs. of torque. Pricing starts at $61,920.
Yes, we all like to believe size doesn’t matter—but when it comes to SUVs with the highest towing capacity for 2016, size most definitely do be a issue y’all. Also holding down second place on the list is the Nissan Armada. This thing is so big Dwayne Johnson (AKA “The Rock”) looks up at it. Also capable of seating up to eight passengers, the Armada boasts some 97 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Yes, others will let you stuff more inside the ride, but only the Expedition will out-tow it, and not by much. Power comes from a 5.6-liter V8 good for 317 horsepower and 385 ft-lbs. of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard equipment; four-wheel drive is an option. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a rear parking sensor array, and Bluetooth. Pricing starts at $38,410.
When it comes to dealing with the truly heavy haul; you’re looking at one of the old-school body on frame designs. So it’s logical then the Tahoe would rely upon body on frame construction, as do the majority of the SUVs with the highest towing capacity for 2016. Power comes from a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 horsepower and 383 ft-lbs. of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive complete the standard powertrain configuration. Tahoe is offered with four-wheel drive as an option, but towing capacity drops to 8,400 pounds. Maximum cargo capacity is 94.7 cubic feet. Among Tahoe’s standard features are a rear parking sensor array, tri-zone automatic climate control, and seating for up to nine. Pricing starts at $46,300.
Closely related to the Nissan Armada and boasting a more powerful engine, the Infiniti QX80 is also tasked with carrying considerably more luxury equipment, so its towing capacity is diminished in comparison to its Nissan cousin. The good news is the Infiniti’s number is still high enough to pull a horse trailer, so you can show up at the foxhunt looking suitably posh. Power comes from a 400-horsepower version of Nissan’s 5.6-liter V8 with 413 ft-lbs. of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; four-wheel drive is optional. Automatic LED headlights, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, automatic tri-zone climate control, an eight-inch touchscreen interface, and leather upholstery are among the standard features. Pricing starts at $63,250.
Completely redesigned for the 2015 model year, the Cadillac Escalade is one of the two newest entries among SUVs with the highest towing capacity for 2016. The new look of the Escalade is definitely a head turner. The Caddy’s sheer size aside, Escalade has a significant presence. The new interior treatment is the finest ever fitted to a Cadillac, and if you know the marque, you know this is a significant statement. Capable of seating up to eight, the Escalade is rated to carry some 94.2 cubic feet of cargo in the standard wheelbase model. The long wheelbase Escalade ESV is good for up to 120.9 cubic feet. Power comes from a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 ft-lbs of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive are standard; four-wheel drive is offered as an option. Pricing starts at $72,970.
Photo by Benjamin Hunting
In every group there is the alpha, the big dog, the one. While it ties for fourth place among SUVs with the highest towing capacity for 2016, the Chevrolet Suburban nonetheless occupies the alpha position in popular culture. Nearly everyone thinks “Suburban” when they think of a traditional full-size SUV. And here’s the thing; on the street, regardless of what you’re really capable of, your rep carries the day. With that said, the Suburban is pretty potent. Power comes from a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 horsepower and 383 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard equipment; four-wheel drive with a low-range and a two-speed transfer case is optional. Cargo capacity is 121.6 cubic feet. Standard features include a rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, and remote ignition. Pricing starts at $49,000.
Pushing the upper limit in towing capacity for a unit body design, the Land Rover Range Rover marks the transition point out of body on frame construction for SUVs with the highest towing capacity for 2016. Going into the 2016 model year, Land Rover is offering its Range Rover model in the USA with a diesel engine for the first time. The 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 makes 254 horsepower and 440 ft-lbs of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive are standard equipment. Aside from an interior treatment unrivalled by anything this side of a Rolls-Royce, the Range Rover is capable of going anyplace on earth a wheeled vehicle can travel. It also offers every conceivable luxury feature, as well as up to 82.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Pricing starts at $84,950.
Photo by Benjamin Hunting
The Mercedes-Benz of SUVs with the highest towing capacity for 2016, the big Benz GL-Class SUV delivers all the "roadability" we’ve come to admire about cars wearing the three-pointed star. The GL-Class Benz along brings a positively enormous interior, offering some 93.8 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity. Outfitted with all the luxury features you’d expect of a premium model in the SUV category, the tow rating is the same regardless of your engine choice. A total of four powerplants are offered, ranging in output from 240 horsepower and 455 ft-lbs of torque for the 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 to 550 horsepower and 560 ft-lbs for the twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter gasoline-fired V8. A seven–speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard equipment regardless of your engine choice. Pricing starts at $63,600.
Dodge has a knack for bridging segments. A tad too small to be full-size, but a bit too big to be mid-size, Dodge Durango is one of the SUVs with the highest towing capacity for 2016. If you’re looking for high towing capacity in something with a manageable size, the Dodge Durango is probably the one you’re after. Happily, it also has reasonable off road capability and a comfortable ride too. For maximum towing capacity you’ll go with the 5.7-liter 360-horsepower V8 with 390 ft-lbs of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-drive are standard; four-wheel drive is an option. Max cargo capacity is 84.5 cubic feet. Pricing starts at $40,690 with the V8. BTW, the Jeep Grand Cherokee ties the Dodge Durango’s maximum towing capacity of 7,400 pounds, with V8-powered pricing starting at $40,360.