Saving money on fuel is something everyone can do, especially if you tow a lot. So, choosing a good vehicle for towing purposes can be useful for saving money.
If you’re looking for a new car and want to save, or at least you want your vehicle to be able to tow, here are a few of the best towing vehicles that aren’t trucks because they offer excellent mileage can tow too.
Table of Contents
- 1. Nissan Armada
- 2. Audi Q7 Prestige Quattro
- 3. BMW X7
- 4. Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude 4X4 V8
- 5. BMW X5 xDrive40i
- 6. Kia Telluride SX AWD
- 7. Chevrolet Traverse
- 8. Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum AWD
- 9. Ford Explorer
- 10. Ford Flex
- 11. Toyota Sienna
- 12. Subaru Outback
1. Nissan Armada
Another excellent option for those who want the towing power of an SUV but find a truck body style too restrictive or impractical is the Nissan Armada.
This full-size SUV can tow up to 8,500 pounds—more than enough for all kinds of trailers. It’s also a great family vehicle with plenty of space for passengers and cargo and can easily transition between weekdays and weekends without missing a beat.
Those looking for maximum fuel efficiency might be disappointed; however, despite its smaller size than trucks, it still has a lot of weight to move around, so you probably won’t get the best fuel economy.
2. Audi Q7 Prestige Quattro
When planning a road trip, it’s essential to ensure that whatever you’re towing behind your vehicle is secure and balanced.
The Audi Q7 Prestige Quattro, one of the best towing vehicles that aren’t trucks, is an excellent choice for a reliable and refined ride that can handle towing capacities of up to 7,700 pounds.
It features a standard supercharged V6 engine that will get you where you need to go with plenty of power, 8-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.
Even though the Audi Q7 has ample strength, it doesn’t skimp on comfort. With heated front seats, smooth leather upholstery, and soft carpeting in the cabin, this SUV can accommodate anyone looking for a comfortable drive—whether or not they have something in tow.
Passengers will enjoy the panoramic sunroof and three rows of seating so that everyone can take in the views during their journey.
This SUV has an EPA-estimated 17 MPG city/25 MPG highway fuel economy rating when properly equipped for towing.
Towing capacity for the standard trim is 7,700 lbs, and if you opt for the S line package or higher trim level, that number goes down to 6800 lbs. So be sure to keep your load under this amount if you choose one of these trims.
3. BMW X7
As a general rule, you’ll be looking at SUVs for the best non-truck towing vehicles. The BMW X7 might be the greatest option if you want to tow in the lap of luxury.
Any X7, regardless of engine option, can pull up to 7,500 pounds with the tow hitch engaged. The kick-activated tailgate’s additional functionality is lost because the tow hitch goes where a specialized sensor resides in the X7’s rump.
4. Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude 4X4 V8
With a max towing capacity of 7,200 pounds, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude 4X4 V8 is popular for drivers who want to tow with an SUV.
This sporty model boasts a 6.4-liter V8 engine that produces 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Its Quadra-Trac Active On-Demand 4WD system lets you choose how much torque to send to each wheel, so handling even the toughest terrain is easy.
The base price for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude 4X4 V8 is $53,395. Standard features include heated front seats with 10 power adjustments on both sides, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 115-volt household outlet located in the center console, and rain-sensing wipers that activate at predetermined speeds based on how much rainfall they detect.
5. BMW X5 xDrive40i
If you’re looking for a vehicle as comfortable on the highway as it is hauling around your boat, trailer, or other cargo, then look no further than the BMW X5.
This SUV has a 7,200-pound towing capacity—enough for a standard trailer—and can haul your belongings in comfort and style. It’s also got a luxurious interior and plenty of technology to keep you safe on the road.
You should buy it: The powerful engine gives the X5 excellent acceleration, which becomes even more important when pulling heavy loads.
Plus, it has an easy-to-use infotainment system with plenty of options for apps and music. If you want more space for passengers or cargo, go with the xDrive50i model—it has seating for seven passengers instead of five.
What we like about it: The X5 drives smoothly even when pulling heavy loads; its air suspension (available on all models) helps reduce jarring bumps while driving over rough terrain.
On top of that, this SUV offers many advanced safety features that can be added on at little or no extra cost.
6. Kia Telluride SX AWD
If you’re looking for one of the luxurious and powerful towing vehicles that aren’t trucks, with the option to sit up to eight people, look no further than the Kia Telluride.
The power of its 3.8-liter V6 engine (291 horsepower) is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that has been expertly tuned for efficiency, so when it comes time to hitch your trailer and go on vacation, you’ll be able to travel seamlessly through all sorts of terrain.
And if you’ve got a lot of stuff coming along with you on that trip, don’t worry—the Kia Telluride boasts a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.
With a starting price under $33,000 and some truly cutting-edge features like an available 10.25-inch touchscreen display and blind-spot detection system with rear cross-traffic alert and safe exit assist technology that allows passengers in the backseat to safely exit the vehicle when other cars are approaching from the sides (a must-have in family vehicles), this isn’t just any old SUV—it’s one that will keep everyone safe while letting them relax in comfort along the way.
7. Chevrolet Traverse
The Chevrolet Traverse is a full-size crossover SUV that competes with heavy hitters like the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot.
It has plenty of space for people as well as towing capacity when you need it, and thanks to a higher-than-average tow rating of 5,000 pounds, it even makes the list.
In fact, the only difference between the two is in how they pull. The front-wheel-drive version can pull up to 4,500 pounds, while all-wheel-drive versions can tow up to 5,000.
8. Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum AWD
If you’re looking for an SUV that can tow, the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a great choice. The hybrid-powered model has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds and gets up to 36 mpg on the highway.
However, this SUV’s strongest selling points are its size and comfort. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid has room for eight passengers and is packed with standard features like power front seats, three-zone automatic climate control, and a sunroof.
The cabin is quiet thanks to sound-deadening glass and active noise cancellation technology that cancels out outside sounds.
It also comes with tons of safety features (we recommend getting the Advanced Safety Package because it comes with adaptive cruise control), which means this hybrid SUV will keep your family safe without sacrificing comfort or space.
9. Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer is a great choice for many reasons. First, it has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. Second, the V6 engine provides plenty of power to the vehicle.
Third, its 6-speed automatic transmission makes it easy to shift gears. Fourth, its long wheelbase allows you to haul more items on the back of your vehicle and provides better control while driving.
Finally, as a crossover vehicle, you get the best of both worlds; enough room for your family or friends and still powerful enough to tow your load easily.
These features make the Ford Explorer one of the best towing vehicles that aren’t trucks.
10. Ford Flex
The Flex is a crossover SUV that was introduced in 2009. It’s very roomy, with seating for up to seven people.
It has a towing capacity of 4,500 pounds, and it can easily tow small boats or trailers. Its amazing specs make it one of the best towing vehicles that aren’t trucks.
Flexes have been phased out by Ford as of 2019; however, you can get one used in good condition for relatively cheap.
Since the Flex will likely be discontinued soon, you may not want to splurge on the newest model—but if you’re looking for an affordable family vehicle that gets great gas mileage (about 18 mpg) and still has some power behind it for towing, this could be the car for you.
11. Toyota Sienna
When you’re shopping for a vehicle, the most important aspect of towing you need to consider is whether or not it can tow what you want it to.
The Toyota Sienna can easily tow up to 3,500 lbs, plus it has plenty of room for your family and their stuff. Sure, it’s a minivan (which might elicit some eye rolls from the kids), but at least they’ll be able to bring all their friends along for the truck.
12. Subaru Outback
This wagon is a great choice for those who want to tow something bigger than the typical load of grocery bags, furniture, or a rolling suitcase.
With its 3.6R six-cylinder engine, it can tow up to 3,500 pounds. While that’s less than what you’d be able to haul with most tracks on this list (and nowhere near the F-150’s 13,200 pounds), if the only thing you’re hauling is your own tiny home or an off-road camper trailer—a joint project for Subaru Outback owners—the Outback will get the job done just fine.
It received a three out of five in overall performance from Consumer Reports and scored high marks for safety features such as electronic stability control and side airbags.
And although it isn’t quite as spacious as some other vehicles on this list, getting into and out of it is easier because you can step into it without climbing over a bumper or lift gate like with many SUVs and trucks.
The best towing vehicles offer utility and capability at affordable prices, delivering excellent fuel economy.
From here on out, we’ll describe three different families of vehicles that are best suited for the task: minivans, midsize SUVs, and full-size pickup trucks.
In addition to being able to tow a boat, RVs, or trailers (if you don’t know what towing one of those things is like, imagine backing up a trailer over a cliff), these best towing vehicles that aren’t trucks can tackle almost everything else you throw at them.