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Car buyers have a responsibility to be well-informed consumers. That's not always a very simple task, but some guidelines are self-evident. If you live in a very snowy climate, you generally know a Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro might not be as viable a vehicle choice as an all-wheel drive Explorer or Traverse, for example. If you want a fuel-efficient car, it's generally a good idea to know the difference between a diesel and a hybrid. But what if it's kind of tough to be an informed consumer? What if the information you need is more difficult to come by, or worse, based on different standards for each vehicle? Well, in that case, you might be a truck shopper.

For years, customers of light-duty pickups have had to suffer through different ratings of towing capacities for each brand. For 2015 model year trucks, though, that will no longer be a problem. According to Automotive News, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Group have announced that starting with next year's models, a common standard will be used to measure towing capacity. The Detroit Three will join Toyota, which adopted the Society of Automotive Engineers' so-called SAE J2807 standards way back in 2011.

The standard was originally supposed to be in place for MY2013, but concerns that it would lower the overall stated capacity for trucks led Detroit automakers to pass. Ford originally passed, claiming it'd wait until its new F-150 was launched to adopt the new standards, leading GM and Ram to follow suit. Nissan, meanwhile, has said it will adopt the new standards as its vehicles are updated, meaning the company's next-generation Titan should adhere to the same tow ratings as its competitors.

While the adoption of SAE J2807 will be helpful for light-duty customers, those interested in bigger trucks will still be left with differing standards. There is no sign of the new tow standards being adopted for the heavy-duty market.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      holophonic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yes, consumers need objective specs. Too much bullsh*t about design. I can clearly see the design with my own eyes.
      carguy1701
      • 1 Year Ago
      Knew it was going to happen some time. BD is going to be ticked.
      to your email L
      • 1 Year Ago
      Include cars in this too, used to be most passenger cars would tow 2000 lbs. Now (if you can find the info-so far the only place I find it is in CU\'s auto tests) it\'s usually NONE at all or less, and the car makers are NOT telling you this. And it\'s mostly just for US bound cars. If you go to europe Audi\'s MBZ and BMW\'S cars are towing trailers all over, while here the SAME cars they say NO trailer towing, it violates the warranty. And the automotive press in cahoots with the carmakers are NOT saying ANYTHING about this, like the first Lexus LS400 would tow 2000 lbs. but the new one DOESN\'T..........what\'s with that carmakers your\'s stiffing us.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @to your email L
        I'd venture to guess most Lexus LS owners aren't looking to tow with them.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @to your email L
        Its called using smaller, and thus cheaper, parts like the radiator, transmissions, and half shafts and applying more EPA friendly transmission calibrations. You are not getting the same car as Europe; most cars there are diesels which have considerably more torque and transmission, bigger brakes, and the like.
        SpikedLemon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @to your email L
        Agree. There's a dearth of tow capabilities listed for cars. Subaru used to rate the Impreza for towing but it was removed on the Gen3 vehicles. Subaru threatened to invalidate their entire vehicle warranty if a trailer hitch was installed. Curiously enough the Subaru XV is rated for towing. I purchased the VW Golf over the Subaru due to its support of towing. (my owner's manual lists towing capability of ~1 ton)
          wilkegm
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SpikedLemon
          I've seen VW's own tow ratings as high as 2000kg- thats 4400# on a Golf- keep in mind though that weight bearing is only 5% (tongue weight) and speeds are limited to 90km/h- far from apples to apples.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SpikedLemon
          New cars have CVT's, which are less than ideal for towing - it is just a belt after all. A VW Golf with 1 ton behind it, Id love to see that. Better yet, I wanna see it stop going downhill. Or uphill in snow. Shoulda got the Subie.
      bnekic
      • 1 Year Ago
      It shows you what kind of companies the 3 big really are. Toyota adopted the standard ASAP but the big 3 just wanted to inflate tow ratings and misguide the customer.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bnekic
        [blocked]
      Its StilBush's fault
      @PM: Notice that headline said Detroit 3, Detroit's Big 3 days a long gone.
      Bruce Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      So basically all the manufacturers decided to wait until their newer models could actually tow a competitive amount versus the Tundra before adopting the standards to avoid embarrassing themselves. At least they're honest about why nobody adopted the standards.
        bnekic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bruce Lee
        ^ You got it, the Tundra has always been a superior truck. The people driving the "American" trucks have an ego are to proud to switch to the better "Japanese" truck.
        billfrombuckhead
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bruce Lee
        TRDyota has proved that they lie and they don't care about lawsuits. Plus the Big 3 have heavy trucks they would rather sell for towing. Mostly it's not about the towing but the stopping, a sore point with TRDyota.
      PM
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's always "next year" for the Big 3 to implement this. Kind of like the Cubs and winning a World Series
        Bernie Kressner
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PM
        Ken - - - Cars with RWD that have close to a 50/50 weight distribution, traction and stability control, and winter tires, are best in snow. I don't recall the weight distribution criterion being a Mustang thing, but maybe Camaro has it. At any rate, BMW 3-series certainly meets it. ---------------
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      Next year? why not 3 years ago?
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bK
        Because it's easier to not comply than it is to lower your capacities thus making it look like your truck is now less capable.
        Matt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bK
        Read the article. It clearly states Ford would not agree until the new F150 came out. Therefore, Ram and GM were not going to switch. It pretty much had to happen all at the same time or not at all.
      the.fog
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyotas tow things? (Besides the gloriously edited NASA commercial) I figured they were too busy rusting and puking camshafts to do that.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @the.fog
        Studies show that 98% of people who mock Toyota trucks have never actually owned one, or a truck for that matter. Only main towing complaint on the Tundra is the lack of a factory brake controller option.
        404 not found
        • 1 Year Ago
        @the.fog
        Do all of us a favor and keep your thoughts to yourself. Starting yesterday.
        TheBanditKing
        • 1 Year Ago
        @the.fog
        Toyota makes awful trucks, glad others are realizing this fact.
        Ed
        • 1 Year Ago
        @the.fog
        Everyone know that the space shuttle was on powered dollys, right? The Tundra in that commercial was simply steering the thing.
      ken
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mustang and Camaro are best RWD cars in snow (cheap parts, cheap wheels, and regular fuel). At least, they are no worse than Crown Victoria.
        flychinook
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ken
        Wide tires and lots of power does not make for a good car in the snow. It *can* be done, in much the same way ravioli *can* be filled with velveeta and hotdogs. Generally not recommended. And I'm not sure what difference "regular fuel" makes in the winter.
      v6sonoma
      • 1 Year Ago
      Aren't they the Detroit 2 and the Italian Job now?
      SpikedLemon
      • 1 Year Ago
      How about a universal towing standard for all vehicles? Some of us tow with our cars.
        wilkegm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        J2807 covers all light-duty vehicles- pick-up trucks are simply spotlighted here, because of the segments marketing emphasis on tow ratings.
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