When choosing the best car for towing a horse trailer, you must consider many factors. One of the most important things to determine is is you are going to be using the same car as your daily driver or if you will have a separate tow vehicle.
If you plan to use your daily driver, then you need to be sure that first, it satisfies all of your requirements for your day-to-day driving. It should have a comfortable interior for you and your family, have enough room for everyone and their things, and get good fuel economy.
You will also want to make sure that it can handle the weight of the trailer when it is fully loaded. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road because your car does not have enough towing power.
For this, you would need to know how much weight you are planning to carry in the trailer. This includes the weight of your horse, trailer weight, all of your gear, and any additional supplies you may need. Knowing this will help you match it with the towing capacity of the car you are considering.
Best Cars For Towing Horse Trailers
Now that you have an idea of what type of vehicle you need, the next thing to do is find the best one that suits your needs. Here are some of the best cars for trailer hitching:
#1 Toyota Land Cruiser
The Land Cruiser is a great option for those who need a reliable and tough car that can handle towing a horse trailer. It has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 kg or 7,700 pounds, so you can be sure that it can handle your fully loaded trailer.
It is also a comfortable car for long drives with plenty of features to keep you and your family entertained. It comes standard with a trailer sway control, hill start assist, and tri-zone automatic climate control.
The only downside of this vehicle model is its fuel economy. It gets an estimated 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway. Remember that when you are hauling horses, the overall weight will significantly affect your fuel efficiency.
Plus, the changes inside the car are also significant. Not only does the luxurious interior have a new steering wheel and center console, but the 12-inch touch screen is located at the top for your convenience. Overall one of the best cars for towing heavy loads.
#2 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Silverado 1500 is a fantastic pick for those who need a strong and dependable truck that can tow a horse trailer. It has a towing capacity of up to 13,300 pounds or 6,033 kilograms, depending on your chosen powertrain.
It is comfortable for long drives with its spacious interior and supportive seats. Also, this towing vehicle includes a trailering package with a hitch platform and a seven-pin connector. Look into the Max Trailering package to improve your towing experience.
There is a four-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive available for this vehicle model. This truck also has a few different bed size options to choose the one that best suits your needs. Both the diesel engines and the gasoline engines come with a dynamic fuel management system.
Whether you need a long bed for hauling hay or a short bed for towing your trailer, these trucks have you covered. You can easily drive under rough terrain or through any type of weather condition with this vehicle. It is a good fit for those who need a towing vehicle that can also be used as a daily driver.
#3 Kia Sorento
Even though the Kia Sorento is not considered a large SUV, it still has a towing capacity of up to 2,000 kg or 4,410 pounds. This vehicle comes with enough pulling power to tow your horse trailer with ease.
The Kia Sorento also has a comfortable interior with enough room to seat up to seven passengers. It comes with an AWD system and has a terrain management system with different drive modes. You can choose between sand, snow, mud, and more.
Furthermore, this SUV also has a cruise control feature and a hands-free tailgate. You can easily load and unload your horse trailer with this vehicle without any issues. These vehicles are suited for single trailer towing and for those who do not need to tow a heavy load.
With its new interior, the Sorento is a car that will make you feel at home. With excellent upholstery and lacquers for an elegant look inside, as well as many other features, such as a speed limiter, trailer stability assist, and a infotainment system, this vehicle offers everything one needs to drive around in style!
#4 Audi Q7
The Audi Q7 is a fantastic pick for those seeking a towing vehicle with a high-end interior. This SUV has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 kg or 7,700 pounds of maximum weight, which is enough to tow two horses.
Not only does this vehicle come standard with all manner of technological equipment designed specifically so you can drive and stay safe at high speeds without feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable. It is a perfect family car with all the amenities to keep you and your seven passengers happy.
The parking sensors and the trailer assist feature make this one of the best vehicles for towing horse trailers. You can easily park and unhitch your trailer without any issues.
The vehicle’s suspension system can be equipped with an anti-roll feature to help prevent rolling when driving on uneven roads or taking corners quickly. This feature can be useful because horses throw their weight around when they get scared, and this can cause the trailer to roll over.
#5 Dodge Durango
With an amazing 8,400 pounds or 3,810 kg towing capacity, the Dodge Durango is one of the best choices for those who need to tow a horse trailer. This SUV comes with different engine options that offer different levels of power and torque.
The most powerful version of the Durango model features a powerful 6.4L Hemi V8 engine with 475 horsepower, 470 lb-ft of torque, and 8-speed automatic transmission with sequential manual control.
It competes with models like Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Tahoe. It has a comfortable interior with enough room to seat up to seven passengers. This SUV also has a few different safety features like blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.
The all-wheel drive is a great choice for those who need a tow vehicle that can also be used as a daily driver. Comes with automatic or manual transmission. If you are looking for a tow vehicle that can do it all, this one must be on your list.
#6 Volvo XC60
The Volvo XC60 is a fantastic choice for people looking for a car that is both comfortable and useful. This SUV has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 kg or 7,700 pounds, allowing you to tow a horse trailer and all of your gear with ease.
The R-Design models come with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a high-end SUV. It has a sleek exterior and an interior that is both comfortable and stylish. The tow/haul mode helps to improve your towing experience by making it easier to maneuver your trailer.
Additionally, the front and rear parking sensors, which aid in avoiding any obstacles while parking, are also handy. The parking assists feature of these cars makes it easy to line up your hitch so you can quickly and easily attach your trailer.
Unlike other rear-wheel-drive cars, this SUV comes with a four-wheel-drive system. This means that it can handle any terrain and any weather condition. You will never have to worry about getting stuck in the snow when you are driving this vehicle.
#7 Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery is known for its off-road capabilities. It has a towing capacity of up to 3,720 kg or 8,201 pounds, which allows you to tow your horse trailer, or other heavy loads, with ease.
Land Rover is a brand somewhat old-fashioned and not very prone to change. The English have a long experience in the production of high-capacity SUVs. The Discovery is one of the longest-lived models of the brand and one of its most successful models in terms of sales.
Other models like the Range Rover Sport or the Evoque have surpassed it in terms of design and luxury, but when it comes to a pure off-road vehicle, this model is still the king. It does not matter if you want to go for a walk in the woods or cross a desert; the Discovery will do it without problems.
#8 Ford Expedition
The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV that has a towing capacity of up to 9,200 pounds or 4,173 kg. This tow vehicle is perfect for those who need to tow double-d trailers with a living quarter.
These vehicles have different engine options, including a powerful V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. The automatic transmission is perfect for towing, as it offers a wide range of gears that can be used to control your speed on different slopes.
Experts typically add a tow bar to this vehicle to spread the weight over the entire SUV, which helps to improve its stability. The Ford Expedition comes with a four-wheel-drive system, which is perfect for those who need a tow vehicle that can also be used as a daily driver.
#9 Mercedes-Benz GLS
The Mercedes-Benz GLS is a luxury SUV that can tow up to 7,700 lbs or 3,500 pounds. This tow vehicle is perfect for those who need to tow a horse trailer, as well as other mid-size loads.
The GLS comes with various engine options, including a powerful V8 engine that produces 449 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. It is a premium SUV that comfortably exceeds five meters in length, standing at 5.13 with its trunk capacity of 680 liters – enough for any trip you might take.
The four-cylinder engine in the GLS 450 4MATIC from Mercedes is one of the most popular gasoline engines. With three liters, a 48-volt micro-hybrid system, and 367 horsepower, it offers outstanding performance. Also, the Mercedes GLS 580 4MATIC also comes standard with this function, which may produce up to 489 HP.
#10 Volkswagen Tiguan
The Volkswagen Tiguan can surprise you with its ability to tow up to 2,500 kg or 5,500 lbs which is enough to tow a single trailer. The vehicle’s length is 4.49 meters, making it a rather compact SUV.
More so, the engine is a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit with 220 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque – more than enough to move this vehicle without any problems and enjoy a comfortable ride.
With its sleek, tentacle design and LED signature in the grille, it’s clear that this new headlight has been designed with an aesthetic trend. The renovation includes a brand new steering wheel with touch controls for automatic climate control.
These updates allow the car to be more sleek and discreet at first glance, but it also comes at an affordable price. The equipment, which will vary depending on the country where it goes on sale, announces an improved infotainment system with WiFi hot-spot and remote services through a mobile app.
Tips For Towing Horse Trailers Safely
You need to check all the boxes regarding safety before you even think about towing a horse trailer. Here are some terms you need to become familiar with and some tips to help you tow your horse trailer safely:
GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight: The weight of the tow truck alone, without the trailer, when completely loaded.
GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: The maximum loaded weight your vehicle can carry, as defined by the manufacturer.
GTWR or Gross Trailer Weight Rating: The total mass of the trailer is defined by this sum. It includes all accessories, standard equipment, as well as horses, and the weight of an empty trailer.
Curb Weight: The combined weight of your car or truck with the expected accessories it has.
Tongue weight: When towing anything, one of the essential limits to consider is tongue weight. In a nutshell, it is the total weight of the trailer tongue that is pressing down behind the rear axle on your hitch. The shorter the wheelbase, the easier it is for the tongue weight to rock the unit from front to back.
Avoid parking on a slope at all times. If you do park on a slope, turn the front tires towards the slope to keep the trailer from pushing the back of your car down the hill.
When hitching up your trailer, always use a weight-distributing hitch. This type of hitch uses chains and spring bars to distribute the weight of the trailer tongue evenly across the length of your car or truck. This prevents the trailer tongue from putting too much pressure on your hitch, which could cause your car or truck to topple over.
You can always finance with a bank and not a lender if you have good credit. The interest rate will be lower, and you’ll have a shorter loan term. Get insurance on your horse trailer to protect your investment. If something happens to your trailer, you’ll be covered.
What size engine do you need to pull horse trailers?
The majority of the tow vehicles can tow less than 7,000 pounds. If you need to tow more than 7,000 pounds, you will need a V8 engine. A 4.8L V8 engine with a 3.42 axle ratio will be enough to tow 6000 lbs.
To tow a load of 25 pounds, you’ll require one horsepower. For example, if you have a 3,000-pound horse trailer, you’ll need a vehicle with at least 120 horsepower.
What is the towing capacity needed for a horse trailer?
Towing capacity is the maximum load your car can tow. You will want to tow less than the actual weight capacity to ensure safety and efficiency. You can find out the towing capacity on your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website.
Most SUVs and trucks can tow 3,500 kg or 7,700 lbs like the Nissan Navara. If you need to tow more than that, you’ll need a bigger engine. Some trucks are too small and don’t have the power needed.
Can you tow a horse trailer with an automatic transmission?
Yes, most vehicles with an automatic transmission can tow a horse trailer. However, you should check your vehicle’s towing capacity before doing so. One of the benefits of getting a manual transmission is that you can downshift gears, which will help reduce speed without putting as much strain on your engine.