Best Vehicles for Towing

By Angela Monroe - September 16, 2020

Best-10-Vehicles-for-Towing

Towing Stuff: It’s been part of Australian life for decades – boats, building supplies, horses and of course, caravans. So, which vehicles do the best job?

Firstly, what makes a good towing vehicle?

Towing vehicles need to provide solid pulling power with easy maneuverability and sure-footed anchorage. Feature-wise, trailer sway control, stability control and a reversing camera make things much easier so if you’re looking at a used vehicle, make sure the tech meets your needs. Ideally, delivering it all in comfort and with a minimal fuel bill attached. Here’s what we want:

Engine: We’re looking for unstressed, high torque.
Interior: Comfortable for a family holiday or durable enough for tools and jobsites.
Chassis: Planted with towing in mind (shorter the distance between rear axle and tow-ball = more towing stability).
Drivetrain: Ideally 4×4 or AWD.
Price: We don’t want to break the bank before we even start towing.
Availability: We’re looking for vehicles readily available in Australia.

Some of the best vehicles for towing…

man and woman looking in dealership

Toyota LandCruiser

Towing Capacity: 3500kg (braked)
Torque: 650 Nm
Fuel Economy: 12.7L / 100km (when towing)
2020 Prices From Around: $86,000

Review: Toyota’s big (but not extreme) dollar flagship SUV is going to be on almost all towing vehicle lists. In the last few decades, the LC has really made its mark on the luxury SUV market – which Toyota is clearly aiming it at. With 28 vents and four-zone climate control, comfort is taken seriously. However, it hasn’t lost a centimeter of its capability or reputation for awesome reliability. The twin-turbo V8 option delivers the best towing performance of the range.

Ideal For: Caravanning family who wants comfort and off-road ability.

Ford Ranger XLT

Towing Capacity: 3500kg (braked)
Torque: 470 Nm
Fuel Economy: 8.9L / 100km
2020 Prices From Around: $51,000

Review: The Ford Ranger has been and is a common appearance on jobsites and in caravan parks throughout Australia. Sales figures even overtook the Toyota HiLux in 2019. It’s no wonder as the wide range of models attracts buyers from different market segments. The twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel offers solid towing power and decent fuel economy.

Ideal For: Tradie with trailer, couple with caravan.

BMW X7

Towing Capacity: 3500kg (braked)
Torque: 750 Nm (M50i)
Fuel Economy: 11.1 – 10.9L / 100km
2020 Prices From Around: $171,900

Review: Don’t take the high price tag above too seriously: the 2019 base model starts at around $119,000 (more than a new Ford Ranger cheaper). Having said that, the one in question is the massively powerful 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 option. Ultra power, ultra-luxury and ultra presence on the road. The X7, depending on trim level, comes with 22-inch rims – not ideal for off-roading so we’ll peg this one as a highway cruiser. Infotainment and superior interior (and exterior) build quality make the X7 a hit with passengers.

Ideal For: Caravanning family who want comfort and luxury on long, sealed highways.

Land Rover Discovery

Towing Capacity: 3500kg (braked)
Torque: 700 Nm
Fuel Economy: 7.7L / 100km (Claimed)
2020 Prices From Around: $111,600

Review: The Disco has been a 4×4 off-roader and family SUV and luxury SUV legend for a while now. The 360-degree cameras, parking sensors, reversing camera, active cruise control make towing easy – to be expected at its price point. There’s an option (with a large price tag) for all 7 seats heated, the front and second rows vented as well and four-zone climate control. The Disco’s load assist and nose load measurement system makes towing simpler and safer – accessible via touchscreen too. Rear ride height can also be adjusted via the key fob.

Ideal For: Caravanning family who want comfort and luxury on sealed and unsealed roads.

Volkswagen Amarok

Towing Capacity: 3500kg (braked) (V6 turbo-diesel option)
Torque: 580 Nm
Fuel Economy: 8.9L / 100km
2020 Prices From Around: $38,500 – $70,990

Review: VW’s ute has been gaining popularity for a few years now – and it’s in the ultra-competitive Australian ute segment. Plastics and smaller-than-expected touchscreen (6.3 inches) do remind one that it’s not a high-end player but that appeals to who it’s aimed at. Easy to clean and no-fuss seats make it useful 7 days a week, holding up well with dirty work boots and being comfortable for a weekend away. Note that the towing capacity changes with the model variant.

Ideal For: Tradie with trailer, couple with caravan on sealed and some unsealed roads.

Other Top Towing Vehicles…

SUV with sunset background

Vehicle    Towing Capacity:         Torque:             Fuel Economy:         2020 Prices From Around:
Mazda BT-50         3500kg          470 Nm        10L / 100km      $29,060
Isuzu D-Max LS-M          3500kg          430 Nm        8L / 100km      $51,000
Toyota HiLux SR         3500kg          450 Nm        7.6L /100km      $42,500

The Bottom Line

couple relaxing in SUV

Just like choosing a family car or EV, towing vehicles are built with certain drivers and driving styles (and lifestyles) in mind. Make sure you do your research and understand how each vehicle will match to your needs and passengers – and budget.

Other key points:

  • High-riding off-roaders make loading heavy cumbersome objects into the cargo area difficult. 
  • Food and drink spills are tough on cloth seats.
  • Note the towball weight (max vertical weight) in comparison with trailers you plan to tow.
  • If you plan to tow trailers that need top reversing skills like with boats, consider a vehicle’s reversing camera features.
  • ‘(braked)’ means the trailer has its own brakes, taking some of the stopping power off the vehicle.
Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.

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