Most capable full-size SUV for towing? The 2018 Ford Expedition, again

May 24, 2017

One of the last provinces for full-size SUVs are its ability to haul, tow, drag, or lug myriad toys up and down interstates, from one campsite to the next.

After all, car-based seven-seaters can offer the same interior space with better fuel efficiency and a better ride.

Eager to hold the high ground, Ford's new Expedition can lay claim to the superlative of best-in-class towing potential among full-sizers. It took the crown from itself.

The company announced Thursday that the new 2018 Ford Expedition can be equipped to haul up to 9,300 pounds attached to its stern. Ford measured the capability using the widely accepted—and more stringent—J2807 SAE standard.

The new Expedition will come equipped with a 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6, which Ford calls EcoBoost, and a 10-speed automatic as standard. Last year's version was equipped with the same engine, but a 6-speed automatic instead, and was rated to tow up to 9,200 pounds when equipped with a Heavy Duty Tow Package. The package included a heavy duty radiator, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, hitch, and wiring kit for $560 on lower models, but was standard on Expedition Limited, Expedition King Ranch, and Expedition Platinum versions.

Ford didn't specify if the 9,300-pound rating was with an optional package, or what the rear axle ratio for the Expedition would be when it arrives later this year.

MUST SEE: 2018 Ford Expedition video preivew

Nissan uses the same SAE standard to rate its V-8-equipped full-size 2017 Nissan Armada, which tows up to 8,500 pounds. Samesies for Toyota, who says its 2017 Toyota Sequoia is rated to tow up to 7,200 pounds.

The Tahoe/Yukon twins from GM? The best they can do—for now—is 8,600 pounds in certain versions of the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, which is equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8. The more powerful 2017 Cadillac Escalade tops out at 8,300 pounds.

In theory, GM could make it a competition in years to come—if they wanted. For 2018, Chevy announced it would equip the Tahoe with a 6.2-liter V-8 in a performance version of the Tahoe, which is based on the Silverado pickup. The Silverado, with the same engine, is rated to tow more than 10,000 pounds with that engine when equipped with a taller rear axle ratio. Chevy already announced that the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST would be rated to tow up to 8,400 pounds, but the hardware is on the shelf to bring it up higher.

Of course, that would sink the overall fuel efficiency for the Silverado, but bragging rights have no logic.

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