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Towing Capacity of Higher-End Sport SUVs

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    Towing Capacity of Higher-End Sport SUVs

    I am considering trading to a different vehicle than my current 2500 pickup
    I work in the city with a long commute as well ride and travel to competitions once to twice a month from hour-long to eight-hour drives. I upgraded from a 1500 pickup to 2500 Ram pickup three years ago believing that if I upgraded from my 2H BP I would have the option to buy a gooseneck or haul for someone else, etc. etc. In those three years, I never had the gooseneck hitch installed, and I instead purchased a larger 2 horse BP that fits my needs with no foreseeable plan to upgrade from this trailer for some time.

    I am fairly frustrated/exhausted (as a young professional who can only afford one vehicle at a time) driving my huge truck in the city now. Between the parking decks, gas mileage, and now age/mileage I've put on the truck think it may be a good time to switch. Initially, and I may still wait until this vehicle is completely paid off and purchase a sportier car. But, it doesn't hurt to look

    I've just started to browse and within my budget, once I sold and/or traded in my truck consider some of the sportier SUV such as the Audi Q7, Landcruiser , etc.

    The Audi Q7 with the V6 engine can tow 7,700 pounds.

    This seems fairly reasonable for a 2H trailer plus 2 horses.

    BUT, what am I, a naive young professional with expensive tastes that just want a sportier SUV that I can park in my parking garage but also go to horse shows forgetting?

    In my defense, though I've seen the comments that the Europeans drive lighter trailers, Horse&Hound did list these as the top towing SUVs?

    What does your trailer weigh? American or Euro?

    If your trailer isn't the euro style, I'd only be considering a full size SUV - Suburban, Armada, Escalade, or similar. Properly equipped, you should have around 8500 lbs. of listed capacity, which should let you pull a 2 horse with 2 horses and a reasonable amount of stuff while still leaving the 20% cushion for live weight.

    I tow my Brenderup with a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland (with v8 Hemi and factory tow package). It's rated for 7200 lbs. and does a great job. That said, I would never pull an american style trailer with it. The wheelbase is short and I'd worry about how it would handle that much tongue weight.


      I would not tow a standard **american** steel or aluminum 2 horse trailer with a medium sized SUV, luxury model or not. Remember that the tow rating is the absolute max, and you want to stay well below it (some say 20%-25% below max tow rating).

      The safest option (IMO) is to find an SUV that is "body on frame" construction, with a wheel base like a pick-up. They are more stable, and provide safer towing. There are fewer and fewer SUVs out there that are body on frame (built from a pick-up truck frame) construction. Just because something can tow 7,000#, doesn't mean it will safey tow a horse trailer with live animals aboard.

      This is an old article (2017), but shows some models that are body on frame.

      ETA: here is a 2019 article that will be more current:
      Last edited by 4LeafCloverFarm; Nov. 5, 2019, 02:27 PM.
      ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


        I don't think the SUVs you mentioned are safe to tow a "larger" 2H BP unless it's a euro trailer designed to be towed by such a vehicle.

        Besides towing capacity, your issues are too short of a wheelbase, transmission, brakes, and overall weight. You really need a proper truck or a large SUV to tow it, especially at the distances you're going.


          If you have a long commute, it might be cheaper/better to buy a small, fuel-efficient vehicle like a used Honda Fit for your commute and save your truck for hauling. Anything you're going to pull with is going to get terrible gas mileage and still be a PITA in the city.
          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


            Original Poster

            Yeah, definitely not willing to pay car insurance on two vehicles, but thanks!

            It's really the more shallow side of me to just want something nice and trendy for the every-day bee-bopping around the city that I enjoy driving that could also pull my trailer.

            Thanks for all the insight. Looking into vehicles that are more "body on frame," it's a shame the LandRover models went away from this.


              Before you dismiss the idea of paying car insurance on two vehicles, I suggest you price it out. If you're shopping for Audis and Landcruisers, the additional insurance on a used Fit might be a rounding error. (Insurance on my older Fit is around $600 a year; it's not my main vehicle.) It's going to depend on where you live, your insurance company, your driving record, etc. Of course it's not necessarily cute and trendy, though it's in the eye of the beholder. Now if you have nowhere to park two vehicles, that could be a bigger problem.

              I say this with the real world experience that you have to size down quite a bit from the big pickups to have something pleasant to drive and park in the big city.
              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                No suv. Do not tow a horse trailer with a suv. No way.


                  I have a second hand Toyota Corolla. Bought it ten years ago as an excellent condition returned lease 4 years old. So 14 now and going strong.

                  I more recently bought an F250 long box heavy duty gas truck for hauling. Ten years old and in excellent used condition.

                  The gas mileage difference between the 2 is huge and the F250 barely fits into underground parking at the mall.

                  The insurance is similar on both, about $1500 a year (it's Canada). Honestly I am sure extra gas costs would be more than that if I decided to commute in the truck daily.

                  Each vehicle cost me $12,000 cash, oddly enough, Toyota off a dealer lot and truck private purchase.

                  Now I realize the economics of having two vehicles is different if you buy new and finance. But if you have vehicles you aren't making payments on then the extra costs are minimal.

                  In your place I would get a good deal on a second hand subcompact for city commuting.


                    Original Poster

                    Thanks, I fully admit to be the consumer advertisers love. I have a taste past my own budget. Am I proud of this? No. I knew it would come out to buy a small car. (My car insurance is through the roof, with my driving record. I hit all the curbs, and I'm convinced law enforcement does not expect the person they find behind the driver's window. )

                    There's just a small part of me that wouldn't mind lush leather interior of an Audi, my early 2000's rap music playing softly through the Bose Speakers already installed in the system, as I cruise into the parking lot for Saturday brunch, not hitting one curb among all the other Audi, Tesla, and Mercede's owners drinking their mimosas on the rooftop patio above me in the posh part of the city.

                    I already spent the summer with my field boots duct-taped together, buy second-hand breeches, and muck stalls before brunch. For a brief minute this morning, I thought just maybe I could finagle a way to look the part at brunch.

                    I can wait...

                    Thank you for your patience as this millennial took the blinders off for a second.


                      Well, do you have to be able to haul yourself? Could you ship the horse with a trainer or professional hauler for shows instead, and get yourself the fancy car you want?

                      I love my trucks, but I don't even like taking them to my suburban grocery store parking lot, never mind driving them into the city. I have a very cute Bimmer convertible for that (NB: I am decades older than you are and this is one of the perks of old age and a long career.) But if you are regularly commuting into the city with a truck just so you can haul somewhere once or twice a month, it may make sense to reconsider.

                      The other option, if getting another hauler lined up for those occasional shows or clinics isn't feasible, is getting that lush leather in a fancier truck. I adore my 99 F250 - the much vaunted 7.3L powerstroke diesel of towing legend. But it's a work truck with a very utilitarian interior. This year, knowing I was going to be shipping longer distances and a lot more frequently, I bought a late model F250 Platinum edition diesel with all the bells and whistles. The ride (and leather seats) is nicer than what I get in my 650i, which is saying something. And it has all the other amenities you'd expect in a fancy SUV - heated/cooled seats, premium sound, nav, etc. It was forty grand, so not crazy expensive. They're out there. It doesn't solve the hitting the curb problem, but it would surely lack for nothing compared to the other luxury vehicles you mention.
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                        There are several SUVs that are appropriate to tow smaller BP trailers, and even more that can tow the Euro trailers. However, you said yours was a large BP? I think you might find that a suitable SUV would be just as bad in gas as your truck. I also think you will notice a significant power and handling difference downsizing from a 2500 to a SUV that you might not like.

                        We purchased a Prius as our daily driver and our truck sits hitched up most of the time. It might not be a luxury vehicle, but you do get "environmentally friendly eco warrior" points from your trendy friends.

                        We found we actually paid less per month for the Prius than we did putting gas in the truck! Since we purchased ours used from a private seller we are actually saving money, even with two vehicles.


                          Original Poster

                          I mean I think I could go with a Tahoe, Suburban, or a Landcruiser and be fine, I don't think that does anything for me as far as ease of parking. I just really liked the thought of getting a used higher-end sporty suv that had low mileage. (I have the Adams Julite with dressing room, so no, it's not extremely heavy, but a bit larger and wider) I

                          In terms of personal value if I could get a lighter sporty SUV that in all respective purposes cost the same/pulled sufficiently/ was safe I'd go with something a bit sporty. If not, it just makes more sense for my current lifestyle just to wait a few years.

                          I think I should have rephrased my topic to , " Can I safely haul my 2H BP and 2 horses with the Audi Q7 w/ V6 engine to a show or two a month and not wear it out ?" And I'm thinking the answer to this is no now.


                            Originally posted by AskMyAccountant.17 View Post

                            I think I should have rephrased my topic to , " Can I safely haul my 2H BP and 2 horses with the Audi Q7 w/ V6 engine to a show or two a month and not wear it out ?" And I'm thinking the answer to this is no now.
                            Short answer No.
                            Audi have never seen a garage/repair shop they did not like to visit, often


                              Originally posted by clanter View Post

                              Short answer No.
                              Audi have never seen a garage/repair shop they did not like to visit, often
                              Both true statements.
                              We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                European vehicle with European BP trailer.... well, Europe isn't full of wrecks and horses are moved around all the time.
                                "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


                                  I know not an answer you're looking for but I went for two vehicles. Before I got married I had a 2001 3/4 ton gas Chevy and a newer (2011) BMW 3-series and the insurance on two vehicles still made more financial sense than driving the old Chevy as my daily. For what it's worth, the BMW was less maintenance than the Chevy, LOL.

                                  I don't think I'd be comfortable hauling our animals with something like a Q7 or X5 - especially when it comes to braking.


                                    For what it's worth, my dad is a mechanic and he said no way to anything smaller than an Expedition (which is what I ultimately got) / Suburban / Sequoia type SUV.


                                      OP, your horse *is* your luxury vehicle, that's where your spare cash is going. Give up horses and you can lease a sports car and shell out for all inclusive fortnights in Mexican resorts and however else the unhorsed population makes up for the tragic gap in their lives (from not having horses).

                                      If you want horses then you have to skimp on other big ticket items or lifestyle choices. Its the choice most of us here are making.



                                        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                                        OP, your horse *is* your luxury vehicle, that's where your spare cash is going. Give up horses and you can lease a sports car and shell out for all inclusive fortnights in Mexican resorts and however else the unhorsed population makes up for the tragic gap in their lives (from not having horses).
                                        Fancy high end leather seating too!
                                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket