Whatever sort of towing you need to do, a pickup truck is definitely the best type of vehicle to do it with. But not every truck is the same, and deciding which one is right for you is where things can get more complicated. Two similarly-sized trucks could have very different towing capacities, and it won't be immediately obvious which one is better than another. That's why we've put together a guide to compare some standout trucks in each segment to help you find the best balance between towing capacity and budget.
Whether you intend to use your truck for work or hauling toys on the weekends, with our guide you can be confident that you're taking home a truck capable of the type of hauling you need.
Max Towing Capacity - 7,700 Pounds
Midsize pickups are often where you see a lot of variation in towing capacity from one model to another, and even from one engine option to another for the same model. Sometimes this results in small towing capacities, but even when equipped with the base engine, the Chevy Colorado still offers much better towing than you typically get with a gasoline 4-cylinder. The base engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, which produces 200 horsepower and 191lb-ft of torque. This option is available with a 6-speed automatic transmission and is only offered on rear-wheel drive models. This gives you a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs.
There are two additional engine options on the Colorado, the first being a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 308 horsepower and 275lb-ft of torque. Offered with an 8-speed transmission, this engine doubles the towing capacity to 7,000 lbs. There is a diesel option for the Colorado as well, a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel 4-cylinder that produces 181 horsepower and 369lb-ft of torque. This comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission and gives you the best towing capacity of the three, 7,700 lbs.
Max Towing Capacity - 13,300 Pounds
The Silverado is one of those legendary pickups, a hugely popular model for more than two decades, the Silverado offers outstanding towing no matter what configuration you choose. And you will have a lot to choose from. There are three different cab sizes, three different bed lengths, and four different engines offered. And obviously, these are only the basics when it comes to trims and equipment. There is even a Max Trailering package, which comes with a beefed-up suspension setup, as well as a bigger rear axle, radiator, and alternator.
Nine different trims are available to go with all of the other customization options for the Silverado, and the engine options are truly impressive. The base engine is a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 310 horsepower and 430lb-ft of torque. Two different V8 engines are available, with the larger of the two putting out 420 horsepower. To max out torque, there is a 3.0-liter Duramax diesel, which puts down 495lb-ft. Since there are so many configurations for the Silverado, we've included a chart.
|2.7L I4||9,500 lbs||9,200 lbs||9,200 lbs|
|5.3L V8||9,800 lbs||11,200 lbs||11,200 lbs|
|6.2L V8||N/A||13,300 lbs||13,200 lbs|
|3.0L Diesel||N/A||13,300 lbs||13,200 lbs|
Max Towing Capacity - 36,000 Pounds
When you need the maximum possible towing capacity in a pickup truck, you need the Silverado HD. This heavy-duty version of the Silverado is built just for this, out towing everything else on the road. That's why it includes the Advanced Trailering System, allowing you to create separate towing profiles for different types of trailers, and giving you the assistance you need in specific towing situations.
Two different engines are offered, one gasoline and one diesel, but both are 6.6-liter V8s. The gasoline engine makes 401 horsepower and 464lb-ft of torque. With the diesel you get 445 horsepower and a whopping 910lb-ft of torque. It's no wonder that this engine delivers a truly incredible towing capacity, as you can see from the chart below.
Max Conventional Trailering Towing Capacity
|6.6L Gasoline V8||17,370 lbs|
|Duramax® 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8||36,000 lbs|
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