Tips, Tricks & Trends

Best Cars for Towing a Trailer

The ability to tow a trailer behind your vehicle opens up a world of possibilities. From outdoors enthusiasts towing dirt-bikes and jet-skis, to small business owners hauling their landscaping or property maintenance equipment. It is no longer necessary to invest in an expensive truck or an SUV with a towing package as a number of medium-size cars on the market today can get the job done.

Not all vehicles are suitable for towing a trailer, even those that come equipped with a trailer hitch. You should always check your owner’s manual first to determine your vehicle’s towing capacity. It is now possible to tote the family in the same vehicle you tow your equipment as shown by these cars listed by U.S. News and World Report.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica

At 3600 lbs towing capacity, this is not the minivan you remember as a child. For $995 the Trailer-tow Group equips you with four and seven-pin wiring harnesses, trailer sway damping, and Class II hitch receiver.

MotorTrend writes that it has an excellent build quality, nine-speed automatic transmission that works well and a 3.6-liter V-6 that delivers powerful acceleration for a minivan. Squishy brakes were one negative mentioned as well as long travel for the brake pedal.  

2018 Chevy Malibu

With sporty handling, roomy back seat and smooth ride, a utilitarian side comes unexpectedly from one of the most-driven passenger cars in the U.S.

Priced at $31,020 with the max towing package, the 2.0-liter engine is able to tow up to 1,000 lbs. Safety is another perk per Autoblog, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2018 Chevy Malibu an overall top rating of 5 stars for protecting the driver and passengers against injury for both frontal and side crash protection.”

One downside though is the two-star rating that J.D. Power gave the Malibu for reported problems with the transmission, engine and overall driving experience. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2aosaRWOl8

2018 Toyota RAV4

Reasonably priced with towing package at $28,650, this compact SUV performs like a much larger vehicle. Able to tow 3,500 lbs, the Adventure trim level has all-wheel drive and a standard tow prep package.

Kelly Blue Book lists cons as no third-row seat and there is no longer a rear-mounted spare tire as in previous years.

2018 Honda Accord

As if this popular model needed any more publicity, being able to tow a trailer up to 1,000 lbs with the 2.0-liter engine is just one more reason to love it. Complaints are few and most owners of this model are simply infatuated with its tight handling and 30 miles per gallon.

Car and Driver editor, Rick Ceppos did voice one criticism with the 2.0, stating that it had too much power. He joked that he was left unintentionally burning rubber all the time.

2018 Dodge Challenger

Not expected from a muscle sports car, the Challenger is able to tow a small trailer up to 1,000 lbs. Models suitable for trailer towing are the 3.6-liter V6 and the 5.7-liter V8.

Unfortunately though, if you are planning on towing and driving the 5.7-liter V8, an automatic transmission is required. Of course, this may take some of the thrill out of driving this powerhouse.

2018 Honda CR-V

This compact SUV not only holds its value but has a reputation for being one of the most reliable vehicles of the decade. The base LX 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine is capable of towing up to 1,500 lbs. Plus, it offers even more hauling capacity with 75.8 cubic feet of cargo space. However, the base engine on this model does have the reputation of consuming more gas than it’s higher-powered turbo engine.