Towing Capacity Tiers For 2021 SUVs (7,500 Pounds and More)
The best towing capacity records are usually coming from the largest SUVs and engines. But, it is not always the case. Some properly tuned V6 units can pull a lot of cargo. On the other hand, in 2021, we will see more diesel units and that will raise the game to the new level. General Motors is already making the first moves, and we expect the response from Ford and Toyota. However, not everything is in power, since full-size and powerful SUVs are already underachieving in the fuel economy. Now, let’s see which models are the best if you plan to haul a lot of cargo, but you don’t want to purchase a truck.
Captains (7,500 – 8,000 lbs)
Audi Q7, BMW X7, Mercedes-Benz GLE and G 63 AMG, Range Rover, Bentley Bentayga
We cannot say these SUVs have a poor towing capacity, but we take 7,500 lbs as the low for the ranking. In this tier, we will find a lot of premium vehicles. German carmakers are well-known for their powerful and large engines, but they sacrifice utility to provide more power and speed. Still, all three big carmakers are on the list. The 2021 Mercedes GLE mid-size model manages to make 7,700 with a V6 unit, while its super-luxurious cousin, 2021 Mercedes G-Class will have the same capability with the AMG G 63 package. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 is under its hood and it delivers 577 horsepower.
The price of this one would be highest on the list, but the 2021 Bentley Bentayga beats all other models. The British SUV is not only luxurious, but it can pull a lot of cargo. It is better than the abovementioned Germans with 7,715 pounds coming from a 6.0-liter W12 unit. Range Rover is at the same level as Bentayga. However, it comes with a way smaller displacement – a 3.0-liter turbodiesel. Again, this is the pricy option, since the 2021 Range Rover starts at $90,000 and goes up to $200,000. The 2021 Audi Q7 and 2021 BMW X7 are also in this league. Two archrivals are not letting others one a step ahead. With both SUVs, you will be able to pull 7,700 pounds.
Majors (8,001-8,500 lbs)
Toyota Land Cruiser Lexus LX 570, Nissan Armada, Infiniti QX80, Land Rover Discovery, Cadillac Escalade
As you can see, most of the Majors are Japanese SUVs. Still, after the next season, Toyota will update its lineup with the new I-Force Max engine. A twin-turbo V6 will be under the hood of its big rigs. Until that happens, the lineup relied on a 5.7-liter V8 unit makes Japanese SUVs one of the best haulers in the market.
Two luxurious models are there – 2021 Land Cruiser and 2021 Lexus LX 570. The last one will change the name soon to LX 600. Until this happens, you will be able to tow up to 8,500 pounds with LX, while Land Cruiser returns 8,100 lbs. Nissan’s SUVs, Armada and premium Infiniti QX80 are Toyota’s rivals. They match 8,500 pounds by Lexus LX. A 5.6-liter V8 petrol unit is powering both 2021 Infiniti QX80 and 2021 Nissan Armada. SUVs will be redesigned and with a lot of new features, but the engines should remain the same.
JLR is also present in this tier with Land Rover Discovery. It adds nearly 500 pounds compared to the diesel unit. A 3.0-liter supercharged V8 gasoline is good for 8,200 lbs. While its non-premium siblings can haul more, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade will pay more attention to comfort and safety. Still, a 6.2-liter V8 comes with 8,300 pounds of towing capacity.
Colonels (8,501-9,000 lbs)
Lincoln Navigator, Dodge Durango, Chevy Tahoe/Suburban
While the same unit is making 8,300 for the premium model, 2021 Chevy Tahoe and Suburban will gain another 300 pounds. Well, the company didn’t confirm the diesel engine for these two, so we won’t rank them higher. A 6.2-liter mill also delivers 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, and next season two SUVs might gain extra capacity thanks to the new IRS system.
That will make vehicles from this company on par with Ford’s models. One of its Colonels in towing capacity will be 2021 Lincoln Navigator. The premium SUV is there with a V6 unit. The high-output motor can produce 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque from a 3.5-liter displacement and returns 8,700 lbs for hauling. The 2021 Dodge Durango will do the same with a 6.4-liter SRT version. Besides the high towing capacity, the engine will be able to make 500 hp. The next-gen Durango will also go to the body-on-frame platform, which can push it towards the higher tier.
Generals (more than 9,000 pounds)
Ford Expedition and Excursion, GMC Yukon Diesel
As you can expect, there are no too many Generals in this market. Currently, the best hauler in the SUV segment is 2021 Ford Expedition with 9,300 pounds and 300 lbs less if you pick an extended MAX version. The abovementioned high-output V6 engine is under its hood. Still, Ford is not done yet, since we can hear rumors about the return of the 2021 Ford Excursion based on the heavy-duty trucks. In this case, the company would deploy a 7.3-literV8 unit, which guarantees nearly 10k of towing capacity.
The 2021 GMC Yukon is the only model confirmed to get a diesel engine. Well, all the SUVs might boost its towing capacity if they borrow powertrains from a pickup class. Yukon already did it. Chevy Silverado is not the best hauler in the class, but with 9,600 pounds, a 3.0-liter Duramax unit would crown the GMC model as the best hauler among SUVs.