Only 1 of the Top Towing SUVs Offers a V8

The reason many SUV owners upgrade to a V8 engine is to improve their towing capacity. But that is about to change. The three 2023 SUVs with the highest towing capacity are powered by twin-turbocharged V6s, I6s, and hybrid powertrains. Only the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer even offers a V8 engine option. Will these powerful new engines be the death of the V8?

The 2023 Ford Expedition can tow 9,300 pounds with an EcoBoost V6

Green Ford Expedition SUV showing its towing capacity by pulling a camper trailer up a winding mountain trail, trees visible in the background.
2023 Ford Expedition Timberline | Ford

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The Expedition is Ford’s largest, full-frame SUV. It shares a chassis and a lot of technology with Ford’s F-150 truck. But Ford does not offer the Expedition with the full range of engines you can order in its pickup truck cousin. In fact, Ford builds every 2023 Expedition with the turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6–according to Kelley Blue Book.

Instead of offering higher Expedition Trim Levels with a premium engine, such as the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 or the PowerBoost hybrid, Ford simply tunes the EcoBoost. While most trims of the Expedition only offer 470 lb-ft of torque, the Platinum makes 480 lb-ft of torque, and the Timberline and Stealth trims boast 510 lb-ft.

That said, the Expedition’s 9,000+ pound towing capacity is not dependent on that extra engine torque, and is available at any trim with the $795 heavy-duty trailering package and 2WD.

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia SUV has a hybrid powertrain and 9,520 pound towing capacity

Promo shot of a Toyota Sequoia SUV hitched up to an Airstream camper trailer, parked on a country road.
2023 Toyota Sequoia Limited | Toyota

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Toyota completely redesigned its Sequoia SUV for the 2023 model year. This third-row SUV shares a lot of technology with the new 2022 Toyota Tundra. But like Ford, Toyota is not offering its Sequoia with every Tundra engine. In fact, you can only order the 2023 Toyota Sequoia with the premium Tundra engine, the i-FORCE MAX hybrid.

The all-new i-FORCE MAX is similar, in both specs and output, to Ford’s PowerBoost drivetrain. It features a 3.44-liter twin-turbocharged V6. Its transmission is an Aisin-built 10-speed automatic. Toyota has also sandwiched an electric motor/generator between the two.

The resulting Toyota Sequoia uses regenerative braking and engine start/stop to sip fuel while not trailering. But in Tow/Haul mode its turbochargers come to life and it makes 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. As a result, this SUV is a trailering beast that can handle heavy loads with ease.

The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer can tow 9,750 pounds with a turbocharged I6

White Jeep Grand Wagoneer hooked up to a horse trailer, parked in front of a stable in the woods.
2022 Grand Wagoneer | Stellantis

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The highest towing capacity of any 2023 SUV is 10,000 pounds, claimed by the new Wagoneer from Jeep/Stellantis. The entry-level of this SUV shares a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with the Ram 1500 and Dodge muscle cars.

When you upgrade to the luxurious Grand Wagoneer trim level you get a bigger engine–and a heavier SUV. The engine is the 6.4-liter (392 cubic inches) HEMI V8 from Ram’s heavy-duty trucks, Dodge’s Scat Pack series, and the Jeep Wrangler 392. But this SUV can only tow 9,850 pounds.

Overhead view of a white Grand Wagoneer SUV towing a horse trailer down a driveway, white fences visible on both sides.
2023 Grand Wagoneer L | Stellantis

These V8s are not the Wagoneer’s only engine option. If you upgrade again, to the long-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer L, you get to choose between a V8 and a new I6. This twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter I6 makes 510 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. It also maintains 14 city/20 highway mpg. Finally, it bumps the Grand Wagoneer L’s towing capacity to 9,750 pounds. With numbers like that, the HEMI V8 better watch its back.

Next, read up on towing with the Grand Wagoneer or watch the SUV tested in the video below:

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