Best cross­over SUVs for tow­ing – Ed­munds

RV and trailer sales greatly in­crease this sum­mer

Arab Times - - BUSINESS - By Ryan Zum­mallen

RVand trailer sales greatly in­creased this sum­mer as consumers sought out va­ca­tions while re­main­ing so­cially dis­tant dur­ing the pan­demic. But what’s the best ve­hi­cle to tow them?

Many shop­pers as­sume they’ll need a brawny pickup truck or a full-size SUV to tow a trailer. But there are also some cross­over SUVs that can han­dle the ex­tra de­mands of tow­ing.

As a bonus, a cross­over SUV is more car-like and is typ­i­cally eas­ier to drive and more fuel-ef­fi­cient than a truck-based SUV.

Ed­munds’ ex­perts com­piled a list of five cross­over SUVs that rated highly in their test­ing. Note that while we list max­i­mum tow­ing ca­pac­i­ties for the ve­hi­cles be­low, the spe­cific tow­ing ca­pac­ity of your par­tic­u­lar ve­hi­cle will vary based on how it’s equipped and how much weight you have on board from pas­sen­gers and cargo. All prices for the rec­om­mended trim lev­els in­clude the des­ti­na­tion charge.

2020 Subaru Out­back

The re­designed Subaru Out­back is one of the most ver­sa­tile ve­hi­cles you can buy. The XT trim level comes equipped with a pow­er­ful tur­bocharged four-cylin­der en­gine. It al­lows the Out­back XT to achieve a max­i­mum tow­ing ca­pac­ity of 3,500 pounds when prop­erly equipped. That’s suit­able for pulling a small boat or a trailer loaded up with recre­ational toys such as per­sonal wa­ter­craft or ATVs.

Go­ing with the Out­back also gets you stan­dard all-wheel drive and a spa­cious in­te­rior. We’re less fond of the Out­back’s op­tional 11.6-inch touch­screen. It looks great but isn’t very func­tional. Un­for­tu­nately, you’re stuck with it on the XT trim lev­els. Man­u­fac­turer’s sug­gested re­tail price of 2020 Out­back Onyx Edi­tion XT: $35,905

2020 Ford Ex­plorer

The Ford Ex­plorer, which is fully re­designed for 2020, is well suited for tow­ing. Un­like most other three-row cross­over SUVs, it has a rear-wheeldrive ar­chi­tec­ture, which can help with tow­ing sta­bil­ity. It also comes with a va­ri­ety of en­gine choices and a 10-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion to bal­ance power with fuel econ­omy.

You can get re­spectable tow­ing ca­pac­ity - 5,300 pounds when prop­erly equipped - even if you go with the Ex­plorer’s base four-cylin­der en­gine. The Ex­plorer’s max­i­mum tow­ing ca­pac­ity with the tur­bocharged V6 rises a bit to 5,600 pounds. Ei­ther fig­ure is suit­able for smaller camper trail­ers. Ed­munds hasn’t found the Ex­plorer to be quite as re­fined as other three-row cross­over SUVs but its tow­ing ca­pa­bil­ity makes it worth con­sid­er­ing. MSRP of 2020 Ex­plorer XLT with rear-wheel drive: $38,170.

2020 Jeep Grand Chero­kee

Crossovers can be rugged too. A per­fect ex­am­ple is the Jeep Grand Chero­kee. It has re­mark­able off-road ca­pa­bil­i­ties, es­pe­cially in its spe­cial­ized Trail­hawk trim level. A prop­erly equipped Grand Chero­kee can tow up to 6,000 pounds with its stan­dard V6 en­gine. If you need even more, a larger V8 pushes the rat­ing up to 7,200 pounds. That is enough ca­pa­bil­ity to tow a de­cent-size boat or a travel trailer.

On the down­side, this Grand Chero­kee gen­er­a­tion has been around since 2011. It looks and feels dated, and it has a firmer ride than more mod­ern ri­vals. But when it comes to tow­ing, it’s a proven vet­eran. MSRP of a 2020 Grand Chero­kee Limited with four-wheel drive and 5.7-liter V8: $45,350

2020 Dodge Du­rango

The Dodge Du­rango was built to tow, with all three of its avail­able en­gines boast­ing lofty max­i­mum tow rat­ings. The stan­dard V6 can pull 6,200 pounds when prop­erly equipped. Dodge also offers a few avail­able V8 en­gines that will al­low you to haul up to 8,700 pounds.

On the down­side, the Du­rango is not very fuel-ef­fi­cient, and its bulky size is cum­ber­some on the road. But this old-school ap­proach pays div­i­dends when tow­ing. The op­tional tow pack­age in­cludes ex­tra en­gine cool­ing and big-time tow­ing fea­tures such as a seven-pin wiring har­ness and a Class IV re­ceiver hitch. MSRP of 2020 Dodge Du­rango Citadel with 5.7-liter V8: $48,485.

2020 Land Rover Dis­cov­ery

The three-row Land Rover Dis­cov­ery is a lux­u­ri­ous tow ve­hi­cle. It boasts an im­pres­sive max­i­mum tow­ing ca­pac­ity of 8,201 pounds when prop­erly equipped. The Dis­cov­ery is par­tic­u­larly well suited for tow­ing when pow­ered by its avail­able dieselpow­ered six-cylin­der en­gine. It pro­vides ex­tra low-end grunt and higher fuel econ­omy com­pared to the stan­dard gaso­line V6.

There’s also a wealth of help­ful tech­nol­ogy to make tow­ing less in­tim­i­dat­ing. One help­ful avail­able fea­ture al­lows you to eas­ily con­trol the di­rec­tion of an at­tached trailer when you’re back­ing up by twist­ing a knob in­side the cabin and watch­ing your progress on the backup cam­era dis­play. One draw­back is that the Dis­cov­ery’s in­fo­tain­ment screen can be slow to re­spond and not as in­tu­itive as we’d like. MSRP of 2020 Dis­cov­ery SE with the diesel en­gine: $55,650.

Ed­munds says: Full-size trucks and SUVs cer­tainly make tow­ing eas­ier. But do some re­search and you’ll find that many cross­over SUVs are also ca­pa­ble of han­dling the job. (AP)

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