The Best Tow Cars & SUVsby Jessica Kaufman
With so many different cars on the market, buyers have become increasingly aware of a vehicle’s towing capabilities. The most important aspect of towing capabilities is towing capacity. Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight a vehicle can tow and is measured in pounds. Other features significant to towing include the size of the car and its engine size. The SUVs and cars that are best for towing are those with the highest towing capacity and powerful engines.
The Nissan Armada first appeared on the market as the Pathfinder Armada in 2004. Classified as a full-sized SUV, the Nissan Armada provides two styling options, SE and LE. The SE comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, an in-dash CD changer and rear-seat air-conditioning. The LE adds power liftgate, a rear-view camera, heated leather seats and an upgraded 10-speaker Bose audio system to the base SE model. The V8 engine has a 5.6-liter capacity with a 5-speed automatic transmission. It produces 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. The Armada has 9,100 pounds of towing capacity and a large interior cabin. The cons include low gas mileage, parking difficulties due to its size, loose cornering and heavy braking.
The Dodge Durango second generation model launched in 2004. It features three styles: the base SE, mid-level SLT and top-level Limited. Engine options are a 210-horsepower V6, 303 horsepower V8 and a Hemi 376-horsepower V8. Each style has a spacious interior with three rows of seats, back-up camera, CD/MP3 player, DVD-compatible audio and an available MyGIG multimedia information/entertainment system. The Durango’s maximum towing capacity is 8,950 pounds. Some cons include rough handling and low gas mileage.
Ford is introduced the third generation of the Expedition in 2007. The Expedition frame is based on the platform used for Ford pickups. The Expedition comes in two lengths: standard and EL, which offers more than 15 inches of extra length. Four styles are available: XLT, Eddie Bauer, Limited and King Ranch. The 5.4-liter V8 engine produces 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. The Expedition has the capacity to tow about 9,000 pounds. The interior has power-folding third row seats and fold flat second row seats for added space. The main con to the Expedition is its low gas mileage.
The Subaru Outback fourth generation was introduced in 2010. Classified as a station wagon, the Outback comes in six styles distinguished by power train. Two engine types are available: a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed boxer four-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and a 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine that produces 256 horsepower. Transmission options include a six-speed manual, continuously variable and five-speed automatic. The wagon has a 3,000-pound towing capacity and folding rear seats for up to 71 inches of cargo space. All models come with roof rails, power accessories, tilt-telescoping steering column, height-adjustable driver’s seat and CD stereo with auxiliary jack.
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