This summer, many families this will be loading themselves – and their gear – into a vehicle and hitting the open road for the campground, cottage, shoreline, or anywhere in between.
If your plans also include hooking a trailer to that vehicle then you need to make sure you are using the correct vehicle/trailer combination to make your vacation as safe as possible.
In This Guide
- Complete Towing Capacity Chart for 2017
- What is Towing Capacity?
- Impact on Braking
- Calculating Trailer Weight
- Importance of the Hitch
- Type of Hitch
- Hitch Class
- Type of Trailer
- Vehicle Considerations
Complete Towing Capacity Chart for 2017
The table below includes the maximum tow rating on the base model as well as the maximum rating available for that model (when properly equipped with towing accessories).
You may search or sort by Make & Model, price, fuel economy and vehicle classification. The source of the data is linked to in the last column (referenced pages may have been updated/moved since this guide was published).
|Make & Model||Starting MSRP||MPG||Type||Base Towing Capacity (lbs.)||Maximum Towing Capacity (lbs.)||Source|
|Acura MDX||$44,050||18/26||Midsize SUV||3500||5000||Source|
|Acura MDX Hybrid||$51,960||26/27||Midsize SUV||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Acura RDX||$35,670||20/28||Compact SUV||1500||Source|
|Audi Q3||$32,900||20/28||Compact SUV||2200||Source|
|Audi Q5||$41,500||23/27||Compact SUV||4400||Source|
|Audi Q7||$49,000||19/25||Midsize SUV||7700||Source|
|BMW X1||$33,750||23/32||Compact SUV||N/A||N/A||Source|
|BMW X3||$40,050||21/28||Compact SUV||3500||Source|
|BMW X4||$47,600||20/28||Compact SUV||3500||Source|
|BMW X5||$56,600||18/25||Midsize SUV||5952||Source|
|BMW X6||$62,500||18/25||Midsize SUV||6000||Source|
|Buick Encore||$22,990||25/33||Compact SUV||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Buick Enclave||$39,065||15/22||Midsize SUV||2000||4500||Source|
|Buick Envision||$34,065||22/29||Compact SUV||1500||Source|
|Cadillac Escalade||$73,395||15/22||Large SUV||8300||Source|
|Cadillac XT5||$39,395||19/27||Midsize SUV||1000||3500||Source|
|Chevrolet Bolt||$36,620||N/A||Small Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Chevrolet Colorado||$20,000||19/26||Compact Pickup Truck||3500||7000||Source|
|Chevrolet Equinox||$23,580||26/32||Compact SUV||1500||3500||Source|
|Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid||$27,875||49/43||Midsize Car||1000||Source|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||$27,785||18/24||Full Size Pickup Truck||6000||12500||Source|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||$47,215||16/22||Large SUV||6400||8600||Source|
|Chevrolet Traverse||$28,700||15/22||Midsize SUV||2000||5200||Source|
|Chevrolet Trax||$21,000||25/33||Compact SUV||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Chevrolet Volt||$33,220||43/42||Small Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid||$41,995||N/A||Minivan||1500||3600||Source|
|Dodge Durango||$29,995||14/22||Midsize SUV||6200||7400||Source|
|Dodge Grand Caravan||$25,995||17/25||N/A||3600||Source|
|Dodge Journey||$21,195||19/25||Midsize SUV||1000||2500||Source|
|FIAT 500X||$19,995||25/33||Compact SUV||1000||Source|
|Ford C-Max Energi||$27,120||N/A||Hybrid & Electric||Not Recommended||Not Recommended|
|Ford C-Max Hybrid||$24,175||42/38||Hybrid & Electric||Not Recommended||Not Recommended|
|Ford Edge||$28,950||21/29||Midsize SUV||1500||3500||Source|
|Ford Escape||$23,750||21/29||Compact SUV||1500||3500||Source|
|Ford Expedition||$47,125||15/21||Large SUV||6600||9200||Source|
|Ford Explorer||$31,660||17/24||Midsize SUV||2000||5000||Source|
|Ford F-150||$27,110||18/25||Full Size Pickup Truck||5000||12200||Source|
|Ford Flex||$30,195||16/23||Midsize SUV||4500||4500||Source|
|Ford Fusion Energi||$33,305||N/A||Midsize Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended|
|Ford Fusion Hybrid||$25,295||43/41||Midsize Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended|
|GMC Acadia||$29,070||21/26||Midsize SUV||1000||4000||Source|
|GMC Canyon||$20,885||18/25||Compact Pickup Truck||3500||7000||Source|
|GMC Sierra 1500||$28,405||18/24||Full Size Pickup Truck||6000||12500||Source|
|GMC Terrain||$24,070||21/31||Compact SUV||1500||3500||Source|
|GMC Yukon||$48,530||16/23||Large SUV||8400||Source|
|Honda Accord Hybrid||$29,605||49/47||Midsize Car||N/A||N/A|
|Honda CR-V||$24,045||26/32||Compact SUV||1500||Source|
|Honda HR-V||$19,465||28/34||Compact SUV||Not Rated||Not Rated|
|Honda Pilot||$30,745||18/26||Midsize SUV||3500||5000||Source|
|Honda Ridgeline||$29,475||19/26||Compact Pickup Truck||3500||5000||Source|
|Hyundai Ioniq||$22,200||57/59||Small Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Hyundai Santa Fe||$25,350||18/25||Midsize SUV||5000||Source|
|Hyundai Sonata Hybrid||$26,000||39/45||Midsize Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Hyundai Tucson||$22,700||23/30||Compact SUV||1000||Source|
|Infiniti QX30||$29,950||24/33||Compact SUV||Not Rated||Not Rated||Source|
|Infiniti QX50||$34,650||17/24||Compact SUV||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Infiniti QX60||$43,100||20/27||Midsize SUV||5000||Source|
|Infiniti QX70||$45,850||17/24||Midsize SUV||2000||Source|
|Infiniti QX80||$63,850||14/20||Large SUV||8500||Source|
|Jaguar F-Pace||$41,990||N/A||Compact SUV||5290||Source|
|Jeep Cherokee||$23,695||21/30||Compact SUV||2000||4500||Source|
|Jeep Compass||$19,940||23/32||Compact SUV||2000||Source|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||$30,395||19/26||Midsize SUV||6200||7200||Source|
|Jeep Patriot||$18,040||23/30||Compact SUV||1000||2000||Source|
|Jeep Renegade||$17,995||24/31||Compact SUV||Not Recommended||2000||Source|
|Jeep Wrangler||$23,995||17/21||Compact SUV||3500||Source|
|Kia Niro||$22,890||52/49||Compact SUV||N/A||N/A|
|Kia Optima Hybrid||$25,995||39/46||Midsize Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Kia Sorento||$25,600||21/28||Midsize SUV||2000||5000||Source|
|Kia Sportage||$23,200||23/30||Compact SUV||1650||2000||Source|
|Land Rover Discovery||$49,990||16/21||Midsize SUV||8201||Source|
|Land Rover Discovery Sport||$37,695||20/25||Compact SUV||4400||Source|
|Land Rover Range Rover||$85,650||17/23||Large SUV||7716||Source|
|Land Rover Range Rover Evoque||$41,800||21/29||Compact SUV||3307||4409||Source|
|Land Rover Range Rover Sport||$65,650||17/23||Midsize SUV||7716||Source|
|Lexus GX||$51,680||15/18||Midsize SUV||6500||Source|
|Lexus LX||$89,880||13/18||Large SUV||7000||Source|
|Lexus NX||$35,285||22/28||Compact SUV||2000||Source|
|Lexus NX Hybrid||$39,720||33/30||Compact SUV||1500||Source|
|Lexus RX 350||$43,120||20/27||Midsize SUV||3500||Source|
|Lexus RX Hybrid||$53,035||31/28||Midsize SUV||3500||Source|
|Lincoln MKC||$32,880||21/28||Compact SUV||2000||3000||Source|
|Lincoln MKT||$43,530||16/24||Midsize SUV||2000||4500||Source|
|Lincoln MKX||$38,260||17/25||Midsize SUV||2000||3500||Source|
|Lincoln Navigator||$63,515||15/21||Large SUV||9000||Source|
|Maserati Levante||$72,600||14/20||Midsize SUV||5900||Source|
|Mazda CX-3||$19,960||29/34||Compact SUV||N/A||N/A|
|Mazda CX-5||$24,045||24/31||Compact SUV||2000||Source|
|Mazda CX-9||$31,520||22/28||Midsize SUV||3500||Source|
|Mercedes-Benz G-Class G550||$122,400||13/14||Large SUV||7000||Source|
|Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class||$39,150||N/A||Compact SUV||3500||Source|
|Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class||$52,000||18/23||Midsize SUV||6600||Source|
|Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class||$67,050||19/22||Large SUV||7500||Source|
|Mitsubishi Outlander Sport||$19,795||24/30||Compact SUV||Not Rated||Not Rated|
|Nissan Armada||$44,900||14/19||Large SUV||8500||Source|
|Nissan Frontier||$18,390||15/21||Compact Pickup Truck||3500||6500||Source|
|Nissan Juke||$20,250||28/32||Compact SUV||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Nissan Leaf||$30,680||N/A||Hybrid & Electric||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Nissan Murano||$29,740||21/28||Midsize SUV||1500||Source|
|Nissan Pathfinder||$30,290||20/27||Midsize SUV||6000||Source|
|Nissan Rogue||$23,820||26/33||Compact SUV||1100||Source|
|Nissan Rogue Hybrid||$26,240||33/35||Compact SUV||N/A||N/A||Source|
|Nissan Rogue Sport||$21,420||25/32||Compact SUV||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Nissan Titan||$29,580||15/21||Full Size Pickup Truck||9740||12760||Source|
|Porsche Cayenne Hybrid||$78,700||N/A||Midsize SUV||7716||Source|
|Porsche Macan||$47,500||17/23||Compact SUV||1653||Source|
|Ram 1500||$26,495||17/25||Full Size Pickup Truck||5030||10430||Source|
|Subaru Crosstrek||$21,695||26/33||Compact SUV||1000||1500||Source|
|Subaru Forester||$22,595||22/28||Compact SUV||1500||Source|
|Tesla Model X||$82,500||N/A||Midsize SUV||5000||Source|
|Toyota 4Runner||$34,210||17/21||Midsize SUV||1655||5000||Source|
|Toyota Avalon Hybrid||$37,300||40/39||Large Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Toyota C-HR||$22,500||27/31||Compact SUV||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Toyota Camry Hybrid||$26,790||42/38||Midsize Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Toyota Highlander||$30,630||20/24||Midsize SUV||1000||5000||Source|
|Toyota Highlander Hybrid||$36,270||29/27||Midsize SUV||1000||3500||Source|
|Toyota Land Cruiser||$84,775||13/18||Large SUV||1000||8100||Source|
|Toyota Prius||$23,475||54/50||Small Car||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Toyota Prius c||$20,150||48/43||Compact SUV||Not Recommended||Not Recommended||Source|
|Toyota RAV4||$24,410||23/30||Compact SUV||1000||1500||Source|
|Toyota RAV4 Hybrid||$27,910||34/30||Compact SUV||1000||1750||Source|
|Toyota Sequoia||$45,560||13/17||Large SUV||1000||7400||Source|
|Toyota Tacoma||$24,320||19/23||Compact Pickup Truck||3500||6600||Source|
|Toyota Tundra||$30,120||13/18||Full Size Pickup Truck||8500||10500||Source|
|Volkswagen Atlas||$30,500||N/A||Midsize SUV||5000||Source|
|Volkswagen Tiguan||$24,995||20/24||Compact SUV||2200||Source|
|Volkswagen Touareg||$49,495||17/23||Midsize SUV||7716||Source|
|Volvo XC60||$41,500||22/28||Compact SUV||1650||3300||Source|
|Volvo XC90||$45,750||22/26||Midsize SUV||1650||5000||Source|
What is Towing Capacity?
The term towing capacity simply refers to the amount of weight that the vehicle is capable of pulling and stopping safely. Towing capacities are determined by several factors including engine size, transmission model, gear ratio, and how the suspension is configured to name a few. So never assume a neighbors or friends vehicle is the same as your own when it comes to trailer towing.
This figure can usually be found in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website. You can also try calling your local car or truck dealership for your brand of vehicle and speak with someone about your specific setup.
Impact on Braking
The towing capacity also takes into consideration the vehicles ability to stop the weight. You may think the vehicle is capable of hauling more but it may not be able to slow it down properly if the situation arises.
Trailer brakes can be installed and used with trailers that have electronic braking systems. A trailer brake will not increase your capacity but does greatly improve handling. Again, with trailer brakes, there are factory and aftermarket available so proper installation and programming should be verified.
Calculating Trailer Weight
When calculating your trailer weight vs. towing capacity always remember to add the weight of passengers (industry standard is 150 lbs. /occupant), gear (tents, coolers, and bikes add up quickly) and how the weight in the trailer is distributed.
The hitch and trailer are designed with a specific tongue weight range – usually between 10-15% of the trailer weight. The tongue weight is the amount of downward pressure being put on the exact hitch point.
This is often a round ball on the hitch but may also be a fifth wheel design. A fifth wheel appears as a large plate that is mounted in the bed of the truck and will have a different coupling system than under vehicle mounted hitches. A properly loaded trailer will provide the correct tongue weight and improve the overall handling.
Below are all of the things that need to be taken into consideration any time you tow a trailer. You may only be towing a small utility trailer to pick up some top soil on weekends or a 40 ft. travel trailer while going across country but almost everything you need to safely and properly tow a trailer can be done before you leave the driveway.
The total weight of the vehicle as built in factory including all fluids and a full tank of fuel but does not account for passenger weight or any cargo
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
Also known as Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is the maximum allowable weight that the vehicle can safely operate at. It includes the weight of passengers and cargo but not the weight of the trailer. The tongue weight from the trailer should be added into GVWR.
Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
This is the maximum allowable combined weight of a vehicle and trailer when travelling on the road. It includes the weight of the vehicle, passengers, trailer and cargo. This weight rating is determined by the manufacturers and takes into consideration the engineering design of the vehicle.
Gross Trailer Weight Rating (GTWR)
This is the maximum allowable weight that the trailer can safely be towed at. It includes the weight of the trailer, fluids and cargo. Tongue weight should be 10-15% of GTWR.
Importance of the Hitch
Your vehicle’s towing capacity assumes the proper hitch is installed. Hitches installed in factory will be mounted properly and will include the proper wiring and transmission and engine cooling system.
On the other hand, aftermarket or universal fit hitches may not have been installed correctly. Whether or not you have a factory installed or aftermarket hitch should be verified when determining towing capacity.
Type of Hitch
The most common style of hitch seen on the roads today is a receiver or draw bar type hitch. This means that the ball can be removed by sliding the mounting bar out of the receiver when not in use. There are also fixed draw bar hitches but they have become less common in newer vehicles.
A fifth wheel hitch will be mounted in the bed of a truck and the trailer will have what is known as a king pin that slides into an opening in the hitch and locking jaws will wrap around it. Usually fifth wheels are found are larger trailers owing to the better weight distribution that they offer.
There are four main weight classes for trailer hitch rating. The hitch’s weight rating should be compared against the GTWR.
Class I — rated to 2,000 pounds (907 kg)
Class II — rated to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg)
Class III — rated to 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg)
Class IV — rated to 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg)
It should be noted that you cannot add a weight distribution kit to a Class I and II hitch. Weight distribution kits help even out the weight that is transferred to all four wheels and reduces vehicle sag and trailer sway.
Type of Trailer
Trailers can generally be split into three categories based on size.
These include small personal trailers that might be used to haul small amounts of dirt and gravel or personal recreational vehicles. Typically they would require Class I or II hitches only as towing capacity would seldom be of issue.
Travel and Tent Trailers
Includes all travel type trailers and all sizes. Although some smaller tent trailers can be compacted and lowered for travel and are not much bigger than some utility trailers, they should be treated the same as any larger trailer because weight of passengers and cargo can vary from trip to trip as well as distance.
Large or Commercial Trailers
This includes all large semi truck trailers, industrial and commercial trailers. These may be used to transport goods for industrial needs or commercial equipment requirements. Usually these require specialized hitches or coupling systems and may require special licenses or permits
It is important to have the proper tires for both the tow vehicle and trailer. Manufacturer’s weight ratings assume the recommended tire is being used as well as correct tire pressures are set because it can affect the weight capacity and handling characteristics.
A passenger (P rated) has considerably less weight rating than a light truck (LT rating) tire. You must make sure that the tires being used are rated for the weight being towed.
Trailer towing will increase tire wear so when pricing replacement tires be sure price the correct model. Passenger rated tires are cheaper because they are not made as sturdy as light truck models.
Although they will not increase or decrease towing capacity, the importance of having the correct mirrors, both size and setting, will greatly improve your overall towing experience.
They must be mounted wide enough to allow a proper visual down both sides of the trailer. They must be adjusted correctly to limit blind spots and allow for easier backing maneuvers.
There are some aftermarket add ons for some lighter duty towing that include convex mirrors or extension that mount to the factory mirrors. Some vehicles will have electronic devices like blind spot detectors, power adjustable glass and power folding options. Some of these options cannot be added unless ordered from factory so explore all options.
A common misconception is that a 4×4 truck is better for towing than a 4×2. The truth is that a 4×2 offers more towing capacity because it is lighter and transfers that weight saving to towing capacity. A 4×4 vehicle will give better traction in adverse weather conditions or where traction may be limited such as boat ramps.
Overall Towing Safety
The variables involved when towing trailers can change frequently and a solid understanding of all systems is crucial to continued success with towing. You should not leave anything to chance when it comes to following recommended towing capacities.