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Best Trucks for Towing in 2021

2020 Chevrolet Silverado

Best Full-Size Trucks for Towing

Whether you’re on the job, helping a friend move, or bringing your boat on vacation, pickup trucks are the best way to move heavy items. A truck with robust towing capacity – meaning the maximum weight it can pull – can greatly enhance your capabilities.

To reach its top towing capacity, a truck usually needs to be specially configured with a towing package. Read your truck’s manual carefully before you attempt to tow anything, especially as you approach its weight limit.

Other Truck Towing Rankings

How We Ranked These Full-Size Pickup Trucks

The trucks listed below are ranked by their maximum towing capacity when properly equipped. We also specify the engine required to reach the maximum tow rating for each pickup.

It’s important to note that, depending on your needs, you may not need that max capacity; some of these trucks may have enough towing capacity for you with their base engine or a mid-range powertrain. Be careful not to overbuy; it doesn’t make sense to spend extra money on an engine you don’t need.

Best Used Full-Size Pickup Trucks for Towing

You could save money by choosing a used full-size pickup truck. Many of these models haven’t changed much in the past few years, so you may be able to find a gently used pickup with nearly identical styling and towing capacity as a new model, but at a fraction of the cost.

Search Carfax’s used truck listings, where every listing comes with a free Carfax Vehicle History Report.

2021 Ford F-150 / Photo credit: Ford

1. Ford F-150

  • Base price (2021): $30,985
  • Maximum towing capacity: 14,000 lbs
  • Engine required for max rating: 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6

The F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle of any kind in the U.S. for years now, and it’s redesigned for the 2021 model year. It comes with six engine choices, including an all-new hybrid powertrain with strong acceleration and excellent fuel economy.

The F-150 has a comfortable cabin, spacious seats, and excellent towing and payload capacities. It also earned impressive crash-test ratings, and it comes standard with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.

Research the Ford F-150

Shopping for a Used Ford F-150

Ford completely redesigned the F-150 for the 2021 model year. If you choose to save money by buying a used or certified pre-owned Ford model from the previous generation, make sure it has the features and towing capability you need.

Find a used Ford F-150

2020 Chevrolet Silverado Diesel

2020 Chevrolet Silverado / Photo credit: Chevrolet

2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500

  • Base price (2021): $30,995
  • Maximum towing capacity: 13,300 lbs
  • Engine required: 6.2-liter V8

The Silverado isn’t as upscale or refined as some rival pickup trucks, but it has a long list of capable engines and can tow a heavy load when properly equipped. It also has plenty of passenger space and well-balanced ride and handling.

Standard features include an intuitive touchscreen interface, smartphone connectivity, and GM’s Teen Driver safety system.

Research the Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Shopping for a Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2021 Silverado is part of a generation that started with the 2019 model. You can save money buying a used version, just make sure it has the powertrain and features you need.

Find a used Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2020 Ram 1500

2020 Ram 1500 / Photo credit: FCA

3. Ram 1500

  • Base price (2021): $34,490
  • Maximum towing capacity: 12,750 lbs
  • Engine required: 5.7-liter V8 (mild hybrid)

The Ram 1500 is arguably the most luxurious, quiet, and comfortable pickup truck on the market today. It delivers an exceptionally smooth ride, but it can’t quite match some competitors’ towing ability.

When it comes to standard features, the Ram is sparsely equipped. You can opt for a multitude of niceties and advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS), as well as a first-rate infotainment touchscreen with smartphone compatibility, but it’ll cost extra.

Research the Ram 1500

Shopping for a Used Ram 1500

Ram 1500 pickup trucks from the 2019-2021 model years have nearly identical styling and features; you could save money by choosing an older model.

Find a used Ram 1500

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 / Photo credit: GMC

4. GMC Sierra 1500

  • Base price (2021): $31,795
  • Maximum towing capacity: 11,800 lbs
  • Engine required: 6.2-liter V8

The GMC Sierra 1500 is practically a carbon copy of its Silverado 1500 corporate cousin — aside from being more upscale and a bit pricier. It also can’t tow as much as the Chevy.

The Sierra 1500 features a pleasant ride, high-quality interior, roomy seats, and respectable capability. It comes standard with an easy-to-use touchscreen interface, smartphone integration, and GM’s Teen Driver safety technology.

Research the GMC Sierra 1500

Shopping for a Used GMC Sierra 1500

GMC last redesigned the Sierra for the 2019 model year. Consider an older model or certified pre-owned GMC to save money, but be sure to check its features to get what you need.

Find a used GMC Sierra 1500

2020 Nissan Titan XD

2020 Nissan Titan XD / Photo credit: Nissan

5. Nissan Titan XD

  • Base price (2021): $47,125
  • Maximum towing capacity: 11,040 lbs
  • Engine required: 5.6-liter V8

The Titan is already the most expensive base pickup truck on the market today, and opting for the larger and more capable XD version adds about $8,500. Despite its potent V8 engine, the Titan can’t tow as much as its rivals.

This Nissan’s strengths include good crash-test ratings, intuitive tech features, and poised handling. Its cabin, however, isn’t as spacious or upscale as most full-size pickup trucks’.

The Titan comes standard with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and several ADAS features.

Research the Nissan Titan

Shopping for a Used Nissan Titan

This generation of Titan debuted for the 2017 model year. Trucks from 2017-2021 will have similar styling and features, so buying a used model is a good way to save some money.

Find a used Nissan Titan

2020 Toyota Tundra

2020 Toyota Tundra / Photo credit: Toyota

6. Toyota Tundra

  • Base price (2021): $35,445
  • Maximum towing capacity: 10,200 lbs
  • Engine required: 5.7-liter V8

The Tundra is expensive, but it’s not nearly as modern or capable as most rival pickups. Its lone V8 engine cranks out 381 horsepower, but it can’t tow as much as its competitors, and it returns poor gas mileage.

Like most Toyota vehicles, the Tundra has several ADAS features standard. It also comes equipped with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and WiFi hot spot capability.

Research the Toyota Tundra

Shopping for a Used Toyota Tundra

The Tundra’s current generation dates all the way back to 2007, though it received a face-lift for 2014. You can save money by considering an older model or a certified pre-owned Toyota, but know that features have changed a bit over the years.

Find a used Toyota Tundra

Next Steps

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