Tips for Buying a Towing SUV

What Makes A Vehicle Capable of Towing?

We think of cars and we think power. While we are quite aware of the fact that some are more powerful than others, it’s important to note that horsepower doesn’t always equate to towing capability. There are a lot of things that go into making a towing-capable SUV or truck. Why can’t sports cars tow? They’ve got the horsepower, right? Check out the 6 things your towing vehicle needs below! 

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6 Things Your Vehicle Needs for Towing

Curb Weight 

When you buy a vehicle for towing, you’ll have to take a look at the curb weight. The heavier the vehicle, the more weight it can tow with confidence. Modern SUVs and Trucks are lighter than they used to be, but are still capable of towing heavy loads.


The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axle, and the longer it is, the safer the vehicle is for towing. If the rear axel is too close, there can be issues with the front end lifting up because of the added weight to the rear. A longer wheelbase will make towing safer and easier on your car.

Drive System 

Most full-size SUVs and trucks have rear wheel drive that can be turned into four-wheel drive when necessary. Smaller trucks and SUVs usually have all-wheel drive. Both are great options, but for those towing heavy weight or on rough terrain, the four-wheel drive might be the safer option.

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A manual transmission used to be the standard on all towing vehicles, but these days an automatic transmission can give you the benefit of being able to focus on driving, rather than shifting gears while towing. The most important thing to consider is what you are most comfortable using.

Chassis Design 

The frame of a full-size SUV or pickup truck usually has a “body on frame” design meaning that there’s a solid steel frame giving the vehicle strength as a foundation. This gives them added strength for heavy loads.  Smaller SUVs have a less structured unibody design, but are still safe for towing smaller loads.

Towing Package 

Finally, vehicles capable of towing heavy loads are often available with a specific towing package that could add upgraded suspension and brakes, a larger radiator and more efficient cooling system. If you’re unsure if a vehicle has a towing package available, ask a professional at Palmen GM!

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