Best Trucks for Towing (With August 2020 Deals)

If your next adventure involves towing a trailer, you'll want to make sure you have the right vehicle for the job. Typical family crossover SUVs might be useful for towing a small boat or pop-up trailer, but anything larger will require a sport-utility vehicle or pickup truck with a higher tow rating.

We've compiled a list of the best trucks for towing ranging from midsize SUVs to heavy-duty pickups. Although tow capacity is the priority here, we've made our selections with an eye toward convenience. For example, most families shopping for a pickup are going to want a crew cab with a standard-length bed, so we've focused on that popular configuration. Likewise, we've given priority to trucks that offer driver assistance technology that takes some of the hassle out of dealing with a trailer. 

Keep in mind that manufacturer tow ratings represent the maximum weight you can possibly tow with a given vehicle – when it's properly equipped with the manufacturer's towing hardware. In general, it's wise to stay comfortably below that threshold. 

Midsize SUV: 2020 Dodge Durango

A midsize SUV with three rows of seating, the Dodge Durango is a family-friendly option for light to medium towing jobs. For 2020, Durango SRT 392 models with the 6.4-liter V-8 are rated to tow 8,700 pounds, while the mid-range R/T offers a solid 7,400-pound rating (7,200 pounds with all-wheel drive). For the 2021 model year, Dodge has added a Tow N Go package that gives the R/T the same heady 8,700-pound rating as the SRT and the new-for-2021 SRT Hellcat debuts.

2020 Dodge Durango SRT Towing

Although the 2020 Durango offers blind-spot warning, forward collision warning, and lane-departure warning systems, the only safety aid specific to towing is trailer sway control (a common feature on SUVs and trucks). In addition, this SUV's older design translates to lower crash-test ratings than newer SUVs. The Dodge earned a Marginal rating (second-lowest) in the small-overlap front offset crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 

Summer incentives on the 2020 Dodge Durango include 0% financing for up to 72 months (except the SRT), and it's likely this program will continue through August as Labor Day discounts commence.

Runner-up: 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Related to the Durango, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a midsize SUV with 5-passenger seating. All V-8 versions are rated to tow 7,200 pounds. The Jeep can be equipped with a more advanced four-wheel-drive system and it's much more capable off-road than the Dodge. The main knock against it is its crash test performance relative to newer SUVs: In IIHS small-overlap testing, it earned a Marginal rating for the driver and a Poor rating for the front passenger. 

Summer incentives on the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee include 0% financing for up to 72 months (except SRT and Trackhawk trims). Expect deals like this to continue into August.

Large SUV: 2020 Ford Expedition

Bigger families seeking more space and a higher tow rating will find plenty to like in the 8-passenger 2020 Ford Expedition and Expedition MAX. With its strong, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, this Ford can tow more than any V-8-equipped competitor. Two-wheel-drive models with the Heavy Duty Trailer Towing package are rated at 9,300 pounds (9,200 pounds with 4WD). 

2020 Ford Expedition Towing

The 2020 Expedition comes with a strong menu of driver-assistance aids, but most relevant to towing is a blind-spot warning system with trailer coverage when the tow package is equipped. You can even set the length of your trailer (up to 33 feet long). There's also Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which does all the steering when you're backing up with a trailer hitched to your Expedition. Additionally, there's an integrated trailer brake controller which helps you set up and customize braking for trailers with brakes. 

Summer incentives on the 2020 Ford Expedition include 0% financing for up to 72 months, a deal likely to continue through Labor Day.

Runner-up: 2020 Nissan Armada

Although it's one of the older designs in this class, the 8-passenger 2020 Nissan Armada offers a useful 8,500 pounds of towing capacity in any configuration. All Armadas use a 5.6-liter V-8 engine, which offers solid acceleration but below-average fuel economy and refinement. There's a connector for a trailer brake controller, but you'll have to buy the actual controller separately. In its favor, the big Nissan ranked first among large SUVs in the J.D. Power 2020 Initial Quality Study (IQS)

As this is published, Nissan is offering 0.9% financing for 36 months in combination with a $2,000 cash rebate.

Midsize Truck: 2020 Ford Ranger

Among midsize trucks, the 2020 Ford Ranger is hard to beat for towing. It's rated for 7,500 pounds in any configuration, as long as it’s equipped with the tow package. That's a big number for a truck with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder, but this engine is more vigorous than rival V-6s. The Ranger comes with a full menu of driver assistance aids, along with towing-specific features like a blind-spot warning system with customizable trailer coverage and trailer sway control. 

2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Towing

Crash-test ratings for the Ford are generally good, though the IIHS rated it only Acceptable for front-passenger safety in its small-overlap test. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frontal crash testing, it earned 5 stars for driver safety but just 4 stars for the front passenger. The Ranger has also earned high honors in J.D. Power customer satisfaction studies.

Ford is offering 0.9% financing for 60 months on the Ranger as this article is written.

Runner-up: 2020 Chevrolet Colorado

The 2020 Colorado has a slightly higher tow rating than the Ranger at 7,700 pounds. That's for the expensive optional diesel engine, though. Most buyers select the gasoline 3.6-liter V-6, and trucks with that engine are rated to tow 7,000 pounds. Although the Chevy doesn't have the Ranger's advanced blind-spot warning system, it has trailer sway control and its rearview camera incorporates a hitch guidance feature that helps you line up your truck's hitch with your trailer when you don't have a human spotter. 

Like the Ranger, the Chevy Colorado earned just 4 stars from the NHTSA for front-passenger safety in frontal impacts. In IIHS testing, it has a Marginal rating for the front passenger in the small-overlap test and its old-school halogen headlights rate Poor.

Summertime deals include a $3,000 cash rebate on the Colorado, and Chevy is likely to continue with this incentive.

Large Light Duty Truck: 2020 Ford F-150

Among full-size trucks, the Ford F-150 has the highest tow ratings. Properly equipped, the F-150 SuperCrew (crew cab) with the standard 5.5-foot bed can tow 12,700 pounds with 2WD or 4WD. Notably, these ratings are with the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 under the truck’s hood. F-150s with the diesel 3.0-liter V-6 and gasoline V-8 are limited to 11,100 pounds and 10,900 pounds, respectively. A redesigned F-150 arrives for 2021, and Ford is promising even higher tow ratings.

2020 Ford F-150 SuperCrew Towing

Towing-specific features available on the F-150 include trailer sway control, a blind-spot warning system with trailer coverage, Pro Trailer Backup Assist (as on the Expedition), an integrated trailer brake controller and extendable side mirrors. In crash testing, the Ford earned Good ratings from the IIHS but its halogen headlights are rated Poor. It earned 4 stars in NHTSA front-impact testing. 

At the midpoint of summer, Ford is offering 0% financing for up to 72 months on 2020 F-150s. This deal is likely to continue through August and Labor Day as Ford gears up for the arrival of the all-new 2021 F-150.

Runner-up: 2020 Ram 1500

We've always liked driving the Ram 1500, and it's a good option for towing as well because you don't need to pony up for an expensive optional engine. Equipped with the widely available 5.7-liter V-8, a 2020 Ram 1500 crew cab with the standard bed can tow up to 11,540 pounds. 

You can equip your truck with blind-spot warning with trailer coverage, an integrated trailer brake controller, extendable mirrors, and an optional air suspension that automatically detects and compensates for the weight of your trailer. The Ram 1500 also has you covered on safety, as the IIHS rates it a Top Safety Pick+. The NHTSA rated it 4 stars in frontal-impact crash testing. 

Summer incentives include 0% financing for up to 72 months, and Ram will likely offer this deal for as long as the competition does.

Large Heavy Duty Truck: 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty

Although light-duty trucks are easier to drive, a heavy-duty pickup is usually a must if you're pulling a very large camper or 5th-wheel trailer. Most buyers opt for a diesel engine in these trucks, as this nets the highest tow ratings and usually the best fuel economy. 

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab Dually Towing

The leader in this class is the Ford F-Series Super Duty. An F-250 crew cab with a standard-length bed and Ford's 6.7-liter diesel V8 is rated to tow 20,000 pounds. If you're willing to drive a truck with the dual rear wheels, the F-350 bumps that to 21,200 pounds while an F-450 dually can handle up to 24,200 pounds. If you have a 5th-wheel trailer, your best bet is an F-350 dually, which is rated for 35,200 pounds when properly equipped.

Ford's trailer backup assist system is available on these trucks and works with both conventional and 5th-wheel trailers. Blind-spot warning with trailer coverage is also offered, along with an integrated trailer brake controller and extendable mirrors. 

Ford refreshed the Super Duty for 2020, and the truck is selling well. Mid-summer incentives are limited to $500 cash ($1,000 is available on specific versions), but that might change in August.

Runner-up: Ram Heavy Duty

Another fine option for a large heavy-duty truck is the Ram Heavy Duty series. Equipped with the 6.7-liter diesel inline six-cylinder, a Ram 2500 crew cab with the standard-length bed can tow up to 19,310 pounds. The 3500 can pull up 24,180 pounds with single rear wheels and 32,880 pounds as a dually. 

Ram requires a 5th-wheel hitch for trailers over 23,000 pounds. An available air suspension detects the weight of a trailer and levels the load accordingly. In addition, the Bed Lowering Mode drops the suspension to its lowest level to make it easier to hook up your trailer. You can also get blind-spot warning with trailer coverage, along with an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer tire-pressure monitoring, and rearview-camera hitch guidance. 

Ram is offering 0% financing for up to 72 months at the midpoint of summer, a deal likely to continue into August.