The New Light-Duty Toyota Tundra Can Tow More Than the Heavy-Duty Nissan Titan XD

Here is an amusing byproduct of vehicle classification: Toyota just redesigned its Tundra pickup trucks and increased this full-size, light-duty truck’s towing capacity by nearly a ton. The resulting 2022 Toyota Tundra can trailer up to 12,000 pounds. On the other hand, Nissan’s aging heavy-duty Titan XD can only tow 11,060 pounds. How is this possible? A truck’s classification depends on its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), not its tow rating.

What’s the 2022 Toyota Tundra’s maximum towing capacity?

Toyota is advertising a maximum 2022 Tundra towing capacity of 12,000 pounds. This is for a Tundra SR5 configured with 2WD and the Tundra Tow Package. If you order a 4WD Toyota Tundra, your tow rating may drop closer to 11,000 pounds.

Red Toyota Tundra pickup truck towing an airstream camper trailer down a wooded road.
2022 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

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Your Tundra’s tow rating depends on the trim level you order. The entry-level Tundra SR can only tow 8,300 pounds. Meanwhile, the top-trim Tundras are heavier than the SR5 and have slightly lower tow ratings (around 11,300 for a 2WD model). That said, all Tundra trims above the SR can pull more than 10,000 pounds if properly configured.

If you order the Tundra Tow Package to enable that maximum towing capacity, Tundra installs a whole slew of goodies. These include the usual suspects: Class-IV receiver, trailer wiring, TOW/HAUL mode, and tow mirrors. In addition, Toyota includes air suspension, capable of auto-leveling while loaded and all of its off-road, driver aid software.

Learn how Toyota increased the Tundra’s towing capacity.

Is the Nissan Titan XD a heavy-duty pickup truck?

The short answer is yes. The Nissan Titan XD’s GVWR puts it at the bottom end of the heavy-duty (3/4-ton) pickup truck category. But towing is not its strong point: Every light-duty (half-ton) pickup truck manufacturer offers a configuration that can tow more than the Nissan Titan.

Red Nissan Titan pickup truck hooked up to a large trailer and parked in the road with hills and trees visible in the background.
2020 Nissan Titan XD | Nissan

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Nissan has been building its Titan full-size pickup truck since 2003. Though Nissan is headquartered in Japan, it builds the Titan in Canton, Mississippi.

The current Titan is a bit of an anomaly in the truck market. For one thing, every Titan comes with a naturally-aspirated 5.7-liter V8. For another thing, you can order a Titan XD which is technically a heavy-duty pickup truck, though Nissan advertises it as a medium-duty.

The government classifies vehicles, including pickup trucks, by their combined weight and maximum payload capacity. This number is called the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). So a light vehicle with a very high payload capacity (such as a truck) might have the same GVWR as a heavy vehicle with a small payload capacity (such as an SUV).

Light-duty pickup trucks (think F-150 or 1500) all fall into Class 2a, with a GVWR between 6,001 and 8,500 pounds. Heavy-duty pickup trucks (F-250, 2500, etc.) are in Class 2b with GVWRs between 8,501 and 10,000 pounds. The 2022 Nissan Titan XD has a GVWR between 8,650 pounds and 8,800 pounds, putting it at the bottom end of this range.

Read more about the Titan XD’s heavy-duty status.

How much can a half-ton pickup truck tow?

Most pickup truck buyers looking to tow heavy loads opt for a heavy-duty truck. That said, most half-ton truck manufacturers offer a configuration aimed at towing. The current highest half-ton tow rating goes to the Ford F-150: 14,000 pounds.

Ford F-150 pickup truck towing a boat down a two-lane, trees blurring by in the background.
2021 Ford F-150 | Ford

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Each of the six half-ton pickup truck manufacturers advertises a maximum towing capacity, based on a very specific configuration. Check out each half-ton pickup trucks’ maximum tow rating in the table below:

Make and ModelMax Towing CapacityConfiguration
Ford F-15014,000 pounds3.5-liter EcoBoost V6
Chevrolet Silverado 150013,300 pounds3.0-liter turbodiesel, double cab, 2WD, max trailering package, and 20-inch wheels
GMC Sierra 150013,000 pounds3.0-liter turbodiesel, double cab, 4WD, max trailering package, and 20-inch wheels
Ram 150012,750 pounds5.7-liter HEMI V8 with eTorque
Toyota Tundra12,000 pounds 2WD SR5 with the tow package
Nissan Titan9,320 poundsKing Cab 4×2

Next, read about the Toyota Tundra trim levels or watch the Toyota Tundra’s towing capacity reviewed in the video below:

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