All cars can tow — even the pocket-sized Smart ForTwo can pull a small trailer — but some are happier doing it than others. If you’re occasionally taking bags of leaves to the landfill, you can get away with putting a hitch on your daily driver. If you’re regularly towing heavy loads, you’ll need to put a truck in your driveway. From midsize to heavy-duty models, these are the best trucks for towing available new in 2020.
Chevrolet’s smallest truck, the Colorado, proves you don’t need to buy a mammoth pickup to benefit from a useful towing capacity. Although the entry-level, four-cylinder-powered model receives a 3,500-pound towing capacity, selecting the 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine and rear-wheel drive increases that figure to a class-leading 7,700 pounds. That’s enough to pull a car and a trailer, a camper, a couple of ATVs, or a boat. Selecting four-wheel drive reduces that number slightly to 7,600 pounds, so the trade-off is worth it if you want to venture off the beaten path.
Powered by the 3.5-liter V6, the 13th-generation Ford F-150 is capable of pulling 13,200 pounds with ease. It tows more than its closest rivals, the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ram 1500, thanks in part to the widespread use of weight-saving aluminum. Ford introduced the 14th-generation F-150 in June 2020, but it hasn’t released its towing capacity yet. We expect it will pull at least as much as its predecessor; the aforementioned Ram is not far behind.
Ram’s 3500 Heavy Duty pickup was developed specifically for towing, so its 35,100-pound capacity is impressive but not surprising. This is the truck to buy if you regularly tow a fifth-wheel trailer, a camper (pictured), other trucks, or construction equipment. Alternatively, it offers a 7,680 payload, meaning it can carry as much weight in its cargo box as a Chevrolet Colorado can tow. It offers several useful tech features, including a function named Trailer Reverse Guidance View that displays footage on the dashboard-mounted touchscreen to help the driver back up.
Buyers have two engine options to choose from: A 6.4-liter Hemi V8, and a 6.7-liter turbodiesel straight-six that makes up to 400 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque. It’s the latter that crosses the 35,000-pound threshold.
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