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  1. #1
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    Default Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Anyone have their favorite truck or SUV that doesn't have a V8 (maybe V6 or I5 or I6) that is rated to tow 5000 lbs or greater.In this tow classification, you could tow your average 18-19 foot bowrider and still put gas in the boat and not have to weigh every passenger. Granted, I would want a V8 to carry the family on a vacation through the mountains, but if you had a local lake and just wanted to pull fairly flat and not long distances with the whole family -- what would you choose or recommend?The idea behind this is something that would be a daily driver w/o being a gas hog and could double as a grocery getter, soccer shuttle, or commute vehicle. The other thing that got me thinking on this is the multitude of posts that show up and ask, "can I tow my new bowrider I just bought at the boat show with my minivan?" kind of questions.Let's make things even with saying it needs to be a 4x4 or AWD. Oh, it has to seat 4 people too (adults -- no club cabs).My source for data is the TBM tow ratings I'll start with those that I can see (in tow capacity order):Jeep Liberty (gas & diesel) 5000 lbsToyota 4Runner 4L V6 5000 lbsNissan Xterra 4L 5000 lbsVolvo XC90 I5 Turbo 5000 lbsFord Explorer Sport Trac V6 5080 lbsMercury Mountaineer 4.L AWD V6 5280Ford Explorer V6 5380 lbsChev Blazer 2door V6 5400 lbsChev Astro V6 5500 lbsIsuzu Ascenter 4.2L 5600 lbsNissan Pathfinder 4L V6 6000 lbsBuick Rainier AWD 4.2L 6100 lbsNissan Frontier crew cab 4L 6100 lbsTrailblazer/Envoy (SWB) I6 4x4 6100 lbsToyota Tacoma double cab 4L V6 6500 lbsWhat would you choose?Why?Did I miss any?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Yep, I forgot a couple of Fords (Explorers) -- sorry blue oval heads I just added them in the post above.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    The diesel liberty or the Pathfinder. Why- The diesel gets 26mpg. I saw a pathfinder off road at the auto show and really liked the looks. Too bad the Jeep GC or pathfinder don't come with diesels. At least not in North America.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Originally posted by KM2: The diesel liberty or the Pathfinder. Why- The diesel gets 26mpg.
    Yes, it would be nice to have the mpg ratings in the pdf listing. I didn't have the ambition to go track down ratings on mfg'ers web sites.In some cases the V8 doesn't get any worse mileage (but I digress).

  5. #5
    Moderator QC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Any of those would do the tow job. Even the long haul stuff. If budget is not an issue, I go with the Toureg V6. They have had a few problems with quality, so this is only about the one I think is the coolest. Plus it's rated to 7100 lbs.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Thanks for the reminder about the Toureg.Speaking of which, I forgot about the Mercedes ML350 with 3.2L V6 @ 5000 lbs capacity.

  7. #7
    Supreme Mariner Silvertip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Since fuel cost seems to be a major consideration, that means you must want the tow vehicle to be inexpensive as well. That would exclude the Volvo, Tourag, Mercedes, and probably the Ranier, possibly the Nissan and TrailBlazer. That leaves the Explorer/Mountaineer, S10 Blazer and Astro AWD. You said no crew cabs so those listed would be out of the hunt. My choice is GM Blazer/Astro. The 4.3 V6 is a very capable. I've had both and my current tow vehicle is an 02 S10 Crew Cab. Explorer/Mountaineer are also very capable and both GM and Ford would likely be the most economical used vehicles you could buy.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    The ML350 has a 3.5 liter V6 engine. The ML 320 used the 3.2 liter V6, and is an excellent tow vehicle. Disadvantage of both is the 91+ octane fuel requirement.Any of the above require brakes on the trailer if over 3,000lb. Some states require brakes on trailers over 1500lb.I like the idea of the Liberty with the Mercedes Diesel engine, but wonder if it isn't both short and light for towing that much weight.If you will be patient, all of the major brands will be offering mid-size pickups and UVs with Diesel, hybrid or even Diesel-hybrid drivetrains within the next 2 years. Great torque and great mileage. I think it would be worth the wait.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    I used my son's '97 Blazer 2 door with the 4.3L and while it was very capable towing I didn't like the stability of the vehicle. Just as he was getting rid of it I had a co-worker roll one. His job was posted about a month later. Had another co-worker a few years earlier try to avoid trash on the freeway that fell off of a truck. He rolled it and lived (probably because he was wearing a seatbelt and the first wasn't).While any vehicle will roll, I think these are more prone to do so. I think JB is right -- the hybrids will offer some good towing capabilities in this small boat range.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Originally posted by Upinsmoke: Since fuel cost seems to be a major consideration, that means you must want the tow vehicle to be inexpensive as well. That would exclude the Volvo, Tourag, Mercedes, and probably the Ranier, possibly the Nissan and TrailBlazer. That leaves the Explorer/Mountaineer, S10 Blazer and Astro AWD. You said no crew cabs so those listed would be out of the hunt. My choice is GM Blazer/Astro. The 4.3 V6 is a very capable. I've had both and my current tow vehicle is an 02 S10 Crew Cab. Explorer/Mountaineer are also very capable and both GM and Ford would likely be the most economical used vehicles you could buy.
    That's a good point. Some who have the disposable income could choose to go with higher mpg just from a environmental, responsibility, and/or political perspective.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Originally posted by Upinsmoke: Explorer/Mountaineer are also very capable and both GM and Ford would likely be the most economical used vehicles you could buy.
    I think new or used Exp/Mtneer would be two good choices.

  12. #12
    Admiral tommays's Avatar
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    my first was a G20 short chevy van with a 4.3 great captains chairs all around did well for 150000 miles nothing wore out from towingi use a 2003 GM pickup now with a 4.3 it doesent meet you needs but its lighter than most of the other cars it does tow fine but realy screams in the hillsif i put and amount of stuff = to your people i think it would be working pretty hard even on flat ground it has the 5000 # rateing but from useing it 2 years that is the max for sureboth allways had plenty of brakeing power but were on the edge for pulling powerthe I-6 chevy also turns a LOT of RPMS to make the power tommays
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Our 95 Chevy blazer 4 door 4.3L has a rating of 6000lbs with factory tow hitch and we put 210000 miles on it with no problems pulling our 16 cuddy cabin.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Just thinking out loud here....but towing 5,000 pounds and "fuel economy" just don't seem to belong in the same sentence. I'm thinking a big 3/4 or 1 ton V8 would probably get 10mpg towing that load. All those V6's might get 12mpg pulling the same load if they had a stiff tailwind and were going downhill.Maybe I'm wrong, but I really don't think fuel economy will be any better with the V6's, unless of course, as was in the original post, this vehicle is doing double-duty as a daily driver between vacations.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    I tow a 3 ton (6700lb?) boat with a toyota landcruiser 4.0L 6 cyl, slight mods such as headers & cam. Good torquey motor.She don't go fast but it's got plenty of low down torque and very good brakes. Never had a problem.Aldo
    Watch this space......................

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Isn't the cummins turbo diesel in the Dodge ram a I-6. It could tow the boat...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    GMC Envoy....I think it will tow 6500lbs and it is a 4.2l with 275hp.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    There are no import car dealers within 55 miles of me, so that eliminates most of them.The Explorers are ugly in my opinion.Cousin bought a Buick Rainier a couple months ago, been in the shop half dozen times for some pretty serious stuff.That leaves the Blazer. Trailblazer, and Liberty.I keep the Blazer I have now, and will consider the Liberty when it needs replacing.




  19. #19
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    I tow this pig (26' Seaswirl) around with my 2005 Tacoma V-6, 6 speed.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Originally posted by NateCCIE: Isn't the cummins turbo diesel in the Dodge ram a I-6. It could tow the boat...
    Nate, you are right, but that's cheating.... It would be a serious tow vehicle. I wish they would put that cummins in a Durango .

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    Originally posted by roscoe: There are no import car dealers within 55 miles of me, so that eliminates most of them.The Explorers are ugly in my opinion.Cousin bought a Buick Rainier a couple months ago, been in the shop half dozen times for some pretty serious stuff.That leaves the Blazer. Trailblazer, and Liberty.I keep the Blazer I have now, and will consider the Liberty when it needs replacing.
    I think the Exploders are bland, the Trailblazer too busy and ugly. The best looking, I think, is the Envoy.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    I like the way my Explorer Sport Trac tows my 3,000 lb 18 footer. I agree with the Toureg I have read some great things about the towing capacity and off road ability but you are looking at nearly $60 k and thats some big bucks!Word is that the new Sport Trac will be built on the Explorer platform in stead of the current Ranger frame that should improve it's overall manners.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    I use a S-10 V6 Blazer and a 3/4ton Dodge Ram PU to tow my pontoon and 18 foot ski boat. The Blazer (2wd) actually pulls better than the Ram. The Ram will spin on the ramp and you can feel the dynamic forces of the trailer when going down the highway. Gas mileage on the Blazer is about 20 when not towing compared to 14 for the ram. I really don't think you need 4wd if you chose a Blazer. I have had to use 4wd on the Ram.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    I pull a 23' CC with twin V4s on a tandem tlr with a 1993 Explorer Sport in flat south Florida. Ok for here but would like a bigger & heavier tow vehicle for long trips or hills.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Non-V8 engine truck/SUV's that can tow > 5000 lbs

    My Explorer has factory tow package rated at #6000, I tow a 20ft Wellcraft at #4800 Boat/trailer, truck is 4.0 V6 5speed auto, I get about 14-16 miles per CDN gallon towing without overdrive Truck has about 65000 miles on it, no problems at all.

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