You can’t ride everywhere. Sometimes, you’ve got to drive. That doesn’t mean that your bikes have to stay behind. Choose the right vehicle, and you can efficiently tow or haul your ride behind you.
We’ve identified the best 2014 trucks and SUVs for towing and hauling. This roundup only makes sense when we took a hard look at how we use our trucks. Most of us have to use our vehicles like Swiss Army knives: commuting, family, towing a trailer full of dirt bikes, and the list goes on. We want our vehicles to look good, get good gas mileage and tow a healthy load. In short, we want them to do everything.
We’ve divided this list into categories to help you determine which vehicle checks all your boxes. Like the Swiss Army knife, trucks and SUVs come in many sizes and with a wide range of equipment. Not everybody needs a spoon, a flashlight and a pair of scissors on their pocketknife; similarly, not everybody needs seating for seven or ventilated seats in their hauling vehicle. What all of these vehicles will have in common is a healthy tow/haul rating and a good value for the money.
Best SUV for Motorcycle Towing:
2014 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4×4 V6
Towing Package: Included (Integrated towing hitch receiver and wiring harness with 4- and 7-pin connectors)
Towing Capacity: 4,700 lbs
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway
The only mid-sized, body-on-frame SUV left on the market, the Toyota 4Runner just had a cosmetic makeover for 2014. Step up to 4WD, and you’ll be able to tow your bike trailer deeper into the dirt, and still get it out again.
Best Truck for Motorcycle Towing and Hauling
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab, Long Box 1WT 2WD 5.3L V8
Towing Package: $770 (hitch platform and 2″ receiver, 7-wire harness, auto-locking rear differential)
Towing Capacity: 7,200 lbs
Payload: 2,007 lbs
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway
All-new for 2014, the Chevy Silverado can be ordered in a basic configuration that’s perfect for motorcycle hauling and towing. With a genuine 8′ box, your bike will be cradled in safety and comfort, and Silverado has enough power to tow an enclosed trailer.
Best SUV for Heavier Towing and Hauling
2014 Chevrolet Tahoe LS 2WD
Towing Package: $230 Heavy-Duty Trailering Package (external engine oil cooler, aux external transmission oil cooler, power steering cooler, high-output electric fan, heavy-duty radiator); $200 Integrated Trailer Brake Controller
Towing Capacity: 8,500 lbs
Fuel Economy: N/A
Tahoe rides on the venerable GMT900 platform, a very robust body-on-frame setup for a towing machine. With a 5.3-liter V8 under the hood and seven-passenger seating, Tahoe can move motorcycles and riders with ease.
Best Truck for Heavier Towing and Hauling
2014 Ford Super Duty F-350 XL Regular Cab 6.7L Power Stroke Diesel V8 Single Rear Wheels
Towing Package: Included
Towing Capacity: 12,500 lbs
Fuel Economy: N/A
Let’s not fool around. You want to do a lot of towing and hauling. You’ve got to get a diesel. Ford’s Super Duty trucks are the baddest, toughest tow/haul vehicles you can buy.
Best SUV for Everyday Use and Occasional Towing
2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i
Towing Package: $499 (for a tow hitch, dealer installed)
Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg city/32 mpg highway (with CVT)
The new Forester has been collecting well-deserved accolades, with good reason – it’s a solid, fun to drive compact SUV with standard all-wheel drive and great handling.
Best Truck for Everyday Use and Occasional Towing and Hauling
2014 Tacoma PreRunner Double Cab Longbed 4×2 4.0L V6 5-Speed Automatic
Towing Package: $650 (Class-IV towing receiver hitch, transmission cooler, engine oil cooler, 130-amp alternator, heavy-duty battery, 7-pin connector with converter and Trailer-Sway Control)
Towing Capacity: 5,400 lbs
Payload: 1,330 lbs
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway
Order up a Tacoma with the long bed (73.5″) and Towing Package, and you’ll get an SAE J2807 towing rating-compliant truck with trailer-sway control – perfect for occasional towing of multi-bike trailers.
Best SUV for a Big Family and Occasional Towing
2014 Dodge Durango SXT
Towing Package: included, with trailer sway control
Towing Capacity: 6,200 lbs
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway
The Durango is all-new for 2014, and this seven-seater may be one of the best all-around SUVs on the market. Load your trailer with multiple ATVs and dirt bikes, and you’ve still got room for gear (and riders) in the Durango.
Best Truck for a Big Family and Occasional Hauling and Towing
2014 Ford F-150 XL SuperCrew 4×2 6.5′ Box 5.0L V8
Towing Package: $410 (101A Package including tow hitch, wiring and trailer sway control)
Towing Capacity: 7,900 lbs
Payload: 2,620 lbs
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway
SUV levels of comfort can be ordered up in the SuperCrew, and standard trailer sway control helps keep things in line when you’re towing. The EcoBoost engine is getting lots of attention, but the proven 5.0-liter V8 does the job with 360 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque on tap (and no upcharge).
Best SUV for Luxury Towing and Hauling
2014 Cadillac Escalade Platinum RWD
Towing Package: Included Heavy-duty trailering equipment (trailer hitch platform, 7-wire harness, 7-way sealed connector)
Towing Capacity: 8,300 lbs
Fuel Economy: N/A
Don’t hate me because I am beautiful. The Escalade may be a fancy pants luxury vehicle, but it is still underpinned by the very solid GMT900 platform, just like the Chevy Silverado.
2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum CrewMax 4×2
MSRP: $ 45,756
Towing Package: Included (Hitch receiver, trailer brake controller prewire, TOW/HAUL mode switch, transmission fluid temp gauge, supplemental engine oil cooler, supplemental transmission cooler, heavy-duty battery, 170-amp alternator, 4/7-pin connector)
Towing Capacity: 10,00 lbs
Payload: 1,505 lbs
Fuel Economy: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway
Premium JBL Audio with navigation; perforated leather, heated and ventilated power seats, power tilt/telescope steering wheel; six cup holders and eight bottle holders – who could ask for anything more? Oh, yeah – and it’s a very capable pickup truck, too.
Towing: Ten Important Common Questions About Towing and Hauling
Review: 2014 Toyota Tundra
Review: 2013 Toyota 4Runner
Review: 2013 Ford F-150 Eco Boost