Today’s truck and SUV market offers more choices than ever before, and that’s a good thing. Your task is to sift through the hype to find one that works for your family—and fulfills your towing needs.
With the price of gasoline, sales of gas-sipping cars have spiraled as SUVs and pickup trucks languish on dealers lots. But they haven’t stopped selling completely. After all, you can’t tow boat with an econobox. Sometimes, you’ve just got to have a truck.
As expensive as they are to fill up and drive these days, pickups and SUVs are still great for all the same reasons we’ve always loved them. Lots of room for the family and all their gear. High line of sight and big-time towing capacities. A smart little hybrid might be great for commuting and grocery-getting, but they don’t have what it takes for weekend towing duties.
When you’re pulling a trailer, you need a stiff frame and a stout hitch receiver. You need the torque only a big V-8 can deliver and you need a transmission that’s up to the job of pulling a truck and trailer You also need to be able to bring along everything you’ll want for a weekend at the lake, campground or racetrack, and SUVs have it. Not to be outdone, today’s pickup trucks come in more cab and bed configurations than ever. Regardless of what your needs are, there is a truck on the market that meets them. Part of the challenge—and part of the fun—is in finding a truck that’s right for you.
The first part of your search begins online. If you don’t know what kinds of trucks are out there or you haven’t shopped for one in a while, things have changed—for the better. First things first, though. A good tow vehicle starts with a competent engine.