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Towing Capacity of Small SUVs

by Richard Rowe

Small/compact SUVs and crossovers are among the best-selling vehicles in America. While incapable of hauling as much as their larger kin, these products can still hold their own when it comes to towing.


There's no official definition of a "small" SUV. However, many classify an SUV as "small" or "compact" if it measures less than 106 inches from the center of the rear wheel hub to the center of the front (the "wheelbase").

Low End Capacity

On the low end of 2010's offerings is the Subaru Forester (1,000 pounds towing capacity). The Acura RDX, Honda CR-V AWD, Hyundai Tucson AWD and Nissan Rogue AWD are all rated at 1,500 pounds. The Jeep Patriot AWD, Jeep Wrangler 4WD, Kia Sportage AWD and Mitsubishi Outlander can tow 2,000 pounds apiece.

High End Capacity

On the heavier end, the Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute AWD, Mercury Mariner and Toyota RAV4 AWD each rate 3,500 pounds of towing capacity. Land Rover's LR2 can haul 4,400, Jeep's Liberty 4WD and Toyota's FJ Cruiser sit at the top of the small SUV towing heap at 5,000 pounds each (all figures are for 2010 models).

About the Author

Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.

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