Best Trucks for Maximum Towing Capacity

Ryan OlbryshCar and Driver

We’re living in the age of the luxury pickup. Today’s trucks, both big and small, are more luxurious, more comfortable, and feature more gizmos and cutting-edge technology than ever before. Yet none of that matters when there’s a tough job that needs doing.

Towing capacity has always been a major part of a pickup’s appeal. It’s like top speed for supercar fans. The bigger the number, the better the bragging rights. Yet a hefty towing capacity isn’t there simply to boost the ego of the pickup owner or the truck’s manufacturer, it serves as a snapshot of the truck’s engineering and capability.

Here’s our list of new pickups with the highest towing capacity. They’re ordered by towing capacity, beginning with the lowest and moving upward to the highest. We’ve highlighted the maximum conventional towing ratings here, but also mention gooseneck or fifth-wheel ratings when appropriate.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Ford Maverick | 4000 pounds

The Ford Maverick is one of only two entries in the compact pickup segment. These little trucks are geared toward better fuel economy and a lower starting price than they are towing. The Maverick comes standard with a 191-hp inline-four hybrid and front-wheel drive. This base powertrain can tow up to 2000 pounds. Front- or all-wheel drive Mavericks using the 250-hp turbocharged inline-four can tow up to 4000 pounds when equipped with the 4K Tow package, a $745 option.

Hyundai Santa Cruz | 5000 pounds

The illuminated front grille on the Hyundai Santa Cruz sets it apart from any truck on this list. It looks nothing like the other offerings, and yet despite its compact stature, it matches larger trucks in at least some of its capability. A 191-hp inline-four engine with an eight-speed automatic is standard. So is front-wheel drive, a four-door body style, and a roughly four-foot-long bed. Max towing for that model is 3500 pounds, surpassing base Ford Mavericks by 1500 pounds and matching the front-wheel-drive Honda Ridgeline. To tow heavier loads, you’ll want the Santa Cruz with all-wheel drive and the 281-hp turbocharged inline-four with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. That also matches the capability of the all-wheel drive Ridgeline, at 5000 pounds.

Honda Ridgeline | 5000 pounds

The Honda Ridgeline offers mid-size pickup charm with the ride of the crossovers and SUVs it shares its chassis with, like the Honda Pilot. The Ridgeline, which is only available in crew-cab configuration with four doors, comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 with 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque at 4700 rpm. As a result, the Ridgeline’s tow ratings don’t set the world on fire. With all-wheel drive now standard, the Ridgeline has a max towing capacity of 5000 pounds. And yes, that is the same tow rating you’ll get with the Pilot.

Nissan Frontier | 6720 pounds

Fresh from an overdue revamp, the Nissan Frontier gets down the road courtesy of a 310-hp 3.8-liter V-6 and nine-speed automatic transmission. It uses the same ladder-type frame as the previous Frontier, but with stronger mounting points for the suspension, new bump stops, and hydraulic body mounts that better insulate the cab from road noise. Its 3.8-liter V-6 makes 281 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm, and the cheapest Frontier happens to be one that tows the most. An Extended cab rear-wheel-drive Frontier S can tow up to 6720 pounds, while the least amount the Frontier will pull is 6270 in PRO-4X guise. That’s 20 pounds more than the max towing capacity of the last-gen Frontier, however.

Toyota Tacoma | 6800 pounds

It wasn’t long ago that the Toyota Tacoma had the mid-size truck market practically all to itself. Now there’s competition from Chevy, GMC, Ford, and Jeep, and they all tow more than the Tacoma. With its standard 159-horsepower four-cylinder, the Toyota can only pull 3500 pounds. Its 278-hp 3.5-liter V-6 with 265 pound-feet of torque improves those numbers to between 6400 and 6800 pounds, depending on the truck’s configuration. The Access Cab 4×2 can tow the most. Most models get a standard six-speed automatic, which is about as antiquated as a landline telephone. Those who prefer to shift for themselves will be happy to know Toyota still offers the V-6 with a six-speed manual.

Ford Ranger | 7500 pounds

The Ford Ranger midsize pickup is powered solely by a gas-fed 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Rated at 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, it comes paired with the same 10-speed automatic transmission used in the larger F-150. While it doesn’t tow as much weight as some direct rivals, it isn’t far behind. Every Ranger, including 2WD and 4WD variants, has a maximum tow rating of 7500 pounds. That’s only 200 pounds less than the recently updated Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, and more than the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.

  • Powertrain: 270-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-4 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Max conventional towing: 7500 lbs

GMC Hummer EV | 7500 pounds

Given its size and power, the GMC Hummer EV seems like the sort of truck that can tow a lot. Well, you’d be wrong. With a max tow rating of 7500 pounds, even GMC’s mid-size Canyon can out tow this behemoth. Nonetheless, it managed to tow a 6100-pound camper 140 miles on a full charge—further than either the Rivian R1T or Ford F-150 Lightning. Credit the Hummer EV’s massive 212.7-kWh battery pack for this feat, and not the truck’s efficiency.

Jeep Gladiator | 7650 pounds

The Jeep Gladiator is offered with a stout turbo-diesel V-6, but that’s not where you’ll find the highest towing capacity. Gladiators using the 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V-6, which is shared with the Wrangler, tow the most. It makes 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm and can be had with a six-speed manual transmission, though an eight-speed automatic is optional. Just like the Wrangler, every Gladiator has four-wheel drive. With the manual, this Jeep has a maximum tow rating of 4500 pounds, but the Gladiator Sport model can pull up to 7650 pounds when equipped with the automatic. That number drops to 7000 pounds for the off-road-oriented Rubicon model.

Chevrolet Colorado | 7700 pounds

The Chevrolet Colorado gets a complete makeover for the 2023 model year. Gone are the optional turbo-diesel inline-four and gas-fed V-6 engines. Also getting the heave-ho, thankfully, is the outdated six-speed automatic found in the previous model. An eight-speed automatic takes its place and works in cooperation with a turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four that produces anywhere from 237 to 310 horsepower, and up to a maximum of 430 pound-feet of torque. To uncork the Colorado’s full 7700 pounds of towing capacity means opting for the Z71 or Trail Boss trims, each of which comes with the more potent iteration of the turbo four-cylinder. Sales of the 2023 Colorado begin in early 2023.

The GMC Canyon is the twin to the Chevrolet Colorado. So, just as the Colorado is completely updated for the 2023 model year, so is the Canyon. Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder coupled with an eight-speed automatic and choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. Like the Colorado, the 2023 Canyon has jettisoned its previous V-6 and Duramax Diesel powertrains. Despite having only one engine available, towing capacity remains the same with this turbo inline-4. Output ranges from 237 horsepower up to 301 hp in higher trims. When properly equipped, the Canyon Elevation, AT4, and Denali trims deliver a class-leading 7700 lb. towing capacity.

  • Powertrain: 310-hp turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-4 engine, eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Max conventional towing: 7700 lbs

Nissan Titan | 9323 pounds

Every Nissan Titan is powered by Nissan’s long-serving 5.6-liter V-8 that, when fed 91-octane premium fuel, produces 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. If you fill the tank with 87-octane gasoline, the engine’s output is dialed back to 390 hp and 394 pound-feet. Working with a nine-speed automatic, the Titan can tow up to 9320 pounds. Keep in mind, the Titan XD is a heavy-duty version of Nissan’s full-size truck, which is why it’s listed separately in these rankings. It’s also worth noting the Titan and Titan XD are the only trucks that offer a gooseneck trailer hitch standard on everything above the base trim level.

Nissan Titan XD | 10,920 pounds

The Titan XD is about 15 inches longer and three inches taller than the regular Titan and has a 151.6-inch wheelbase. Most importantly, at least if you’ve got heavy stuff to move, it can tow more. The Titan XD is powered by the same 5.6-liter V-8 found in the standard Titan pickup. This means output rings in at 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, and the engine is paired to a nine-speed automatic. You aren’t exactly spoiled for choice, as the Titan XD is offered only as a 4×4 crew cab with a 6.5-foot bed. With its standard gooseneck hitch, the Titan XD and tow up to 11,060 pounds.

Rivian R1T | 11,000 pounds

For now, the Rivian R1T is the most tow-friendly electric truck available today thanks to its max towing capacity of 11,000 pounds. Expect this electric truck’s driving range to suffer when used this way, though. We strapped a 6100-pound camper to the R1T and only made it 110 miles on a full charge—more than 200 miles less than the truck’s unladen EPA-rated range.

Toyota Tundra | 12,000 pounds

The Toyota Tundra full-size pickup has finally been given the tools needed to stand a chance against competitors like the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, and Chevrolet Silverado. Fresh from a major redesign, the Tundra’s base powertrain is now a 389-hp twin-turbo 3.4-liter V-6 coupled to a 10-speed automatic. A 437-hp hybrid version of this powertrain is available, though the Tundra’s max towing strength requires sticking with the entry-level engine. In SR5 trim with rear-wheel drive, the Tundra provides 12,000 pounds of towing capacity.

  • Powertrain: 389-hp twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Max conventional towing: 12,000 lbs

When it comes to the Ram 1500 full-size pickup, two of the half-ton truck’s three available engines battle for towing supremacy. First up is the Ram 1500’s diesel engine. The 3.0-liter V-6 makes 260 horsepower at 3600 rpm and 480 pound-feet of torque at 1600 rpm. With this engine, the Ram 1500 is rated to tow up to 12,560 pounds, which is more than other diesel-powered half-ton trucks. But the Ram can pull a bit more with the less expensive 5.7-liter V-8. Producing 395 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 410 lb-ft of torque at 3750 rpm, the V-8 proves there’s no replacement for displacement. It cranks up the Ram’s maximum towing capacity to 12,750 pounds.

  • Powertrain: 395-hp 5.7-liter V-8 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Max conventional towing: 12,750 lbs

GMC Sierra 1500 | 13,200 pounds

The half-ton Sierra 1500 shares much of its mechanical hardware with the Chevy Silverado. Buyers should be aware, however, that the GMC has lower maximum tow ratings. With the 277-hp 3.0-liter inline-six diesel, which produces 460 pound-feet of torque at just 1500 rpm, the Sierra can tow a maximum of 9100 pounds. That’s 200 pounds shy of the Chevy’s capability. Like the Chevy, the GMC pulls more when equipped with the available 6.2-liter V-8, which is rated at 420 horsepower at 5600 rpm and the same 460 lb-ft of torque, but at a higher 4100 rpm. With this engine, max towing is 13,200 pounds. Comparatively, the Silverado 1500 can tow up to 13,300 pounds with this configuration.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | 13,300 pounds

When it comes to the Chevy Silverado 1500, you would think its 277-hp six-cylinder diesel engine that produces 460 pound-feet of torque would pull the most. Nope. With the diesel, the Silverado can tow a maximum of 9300 pounds. The Silverado can pull considerably more weight when equipped with its available 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8, which makes the same 460 lb-ft of torque, but at a higher rpm. Like the diesel, it’s backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission. With this configuration, the Silverado 1500 can tow up to 13,300 pounds.

Ford F-150 | 14,000 pounds

America’s bestselling vehicle, the Ford F-150, offers a long list of engines, including a hybrid V-6 option. The 430-hp gasoline-electric powertrain can tow up to 12,400 pounds when paired with four-wheel drive. The lesser 290-hp 3.3-liter turbocharged V-6, meanwhile, can tow up to 8200 pounds. The battery-electric Lightning, meanwhile, maxes out at 10,000 pounds. For rear-drive 5.0-liter V-8 models with a 141.5-inch wheelbase, that number jumps to 13,000 pounds. The F-150 can tow more when powered by its twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6. That engine packs 500 pound-feet of torque. With all that torque, the F-150 can pull 14,000 pounds.

  • Powertrain: 400-hp turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Max conventional towing: 14,000 lbs

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD | 20,000 pounds

Chevy’s big-dog truck, the Silverado HD, is available with a 6.6-liter diesel V-8. The turbocharged engine, which makes 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque, is offered in both 2500 and 3500 guises. With this engine, these Chevys can pull considerably more weight than they can with their gas-swilling 6.6-liter V-8. In the 2500 models, this setup allows the Silverado to tow a maximum of 14,500 pounds. but that number jumps to 18,500 pounds with the diesel. The 3500 can yank around up to 16,800 pounds with the gas engine and 20,000 with the diesel. When you start talking about fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailers, the 3500’s capacity maxes out at 36,000 pounds.

GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD | 20,000 pounds

GMC’s top towing machine is the Sierra HD. It’s offered in three-quarter-ton 2500 and one-ton 3500 configurations powered by GM’s 6.6-liter diesel. The turbocharged V-8, which makes 445 horsepower and a gargantuan 910 pound-feet of torque, is backed by an Allison-sourced 10-speed automatic transmission and pulls considerably more weight than its 401-hp 6.6-liter naturally aspirated gas V-8 kin. With that engine, the 2500 model can tow a max of 14,500 pounds—that number jumps to 18,500 pounds with the diesel. Meanwhile, the 3500 can tow up to 16,800 pounds with the gas engine and 20,000 with the diesel. Like the Chevy, the GMC’s numbers soar when you start talking about fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailers. When properly equipped, the 3500’s capacity maxes at a forget-the-movers-we’re-taking-the-entire-house 36,000 pounds.

  • Powertrain: 445-hp turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V-8 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Max conventional towing: 20,000 lbs

Ram 2500HD and 3500HD | 23,000 pounds

Ram’s three-quarter- and one-ton pickups have been about burly diesel power for decades, specifically Cummins diesel power. In addition to the standard 410-hp 6.4-liter gas-fed V-8, Ram offers two six-cylinder Cummins-sourced diesels in its biggest of big rigs. The 6.7-liter version offered in the three-quarter-ton Ram 2500HD pumps out 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque. An even more powerful version of this engine is offered in the 3500HD. Its ratings rise to 400 horsepower and an astonishing 1075 lb-ft of torque. Of the gazillion configurations offered, the high-power 3500 4×2 Regular Cab Tradesman with the eight-foot box can pull a conventional trailer weighing 23,000 pounds. When equipped with a gooseneck hitch, it can tow up to 37,100 pounds.

  • Powertrain: 400-hp turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel inline-6; 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Max conventional towing: 23,000 lbs

Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty | 24,200 pounds

The Ford F-series Super Duty family of pickups ranks among the torque kings of the truck world, with the optional 6.7-liter turbo-diesel V-8 churning out a total of 1050 lb-ft of torque. That puts it ahead of the diesel offered by Chevy and GMC, though 25 lb-ft behind the high-output Cummins in the Ram. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the 475-hp V-8 is available on all F-series Super Duty models, though keep in mind it costs roughly $10,000 more than Ford’s gas-burning V-8s. The diesel powertrain gives the F-250 a max tow rating of 20,000 with four-wheel drive. In the F-350 those numbers climb to 24,200. At its upper towing echelon, the rear-wheel drive F-450 gooseneck has a max towing capacity of 37,000 pounds.

Best Trucks for Maximum Towing Capacity

  • Ford Maverick | 4000 pounds
  • Hyundai Santa Cruz | 5000 pounds
  • Honda Ridgeline | 5000 pounds
  • Nissan Frontier | 6720 pounds
  • Toyota Tacoma | 6800 pounds
  • Ford Ranger | 7500 pounds
  • GMC Hummer EV | 7500 pounds
  • Jeep Gladiator | 7650 pounds
  • Chevrolet Colorado | 7700 pounds
  • GMC Canyon | 7700 pounds
  • Nissan Titan | 9323 pounds
  • Nissan Titan XD | 10,920 pounds
  • Rivian R1T | 11,000 pounds
  • Toyota Tundra | 12,000 pounds
  • Ram 1500 | 12,750 pounds
  • GMC Sierra 1500 | 13,200 pounds
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | 13,300 pounds
  • Ford F-150 | 14,000 pounds
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD | 20,000 pounds
  • GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD | 20,000 pounds
  • Ram 2500HD and 3500HD | 23,000 pounds
  • Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty | 24,200 pounds

Quickest Pickup Trucks We’ve Ever Tested

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below