If you’re towing a boat, the vehicle that you buy is largely going to depend on the size and weight of your boat plus trailer. Most cars, realistically, aren’t cut out for the job. We recommend a pickup truck or a good, solid SUV.
With that in mind, we’ve evaluated several vehicles, and have narrowed our choices down to the Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram 1500, Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Ford Excursion. The popularity of these vehicles over the years means that you should be able to find a used one without difficulty.
Toyota Tundra: The Tundra has a towing capacity of up to 10,400 pounds, depending on the configuration. Even in the V6, it comes in at a very respectable 7,900 pounds, so it can handle most boats easily. The Tundra is also a nice-handling vehicle with a comfortable interior.
Dodge Ram 1500: Depending on the configuration, the Ram can handle up to 11,500 pounds. It’s available in V6, V8 and premium V8. It offers a comfortable ride, and a great exterior appearance, so you’ll look good heading to the marina.
Ford F-150: The F-150 is the granddaddy of all pickups, ranking high in virtually every “top ten” list for the past 30 years. Towing capacity is up to 11,000 pounds, depending on configuration. With the F-150’s luxurious interior, you’ll be assured of a great ride as well as a highly competent truck for boat towing.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500: This isn’t the most powerful truck available, with a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds in the V8 configuration. Still, it should be adequate for most boats, and it’s a good-looking truck as well – perhaps not quite as flashy as the Ram, or as stylish as the Ford, but very respectable and competent nonetheless.
Ford Excursion: Moving away from trucks and into the SUV category, this workhorse is great for towing large boats. It’s based on the F-250 frame, so it’s heavy-duty, and has a towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds. It seats eight people, so you can bring friends along to enjoy a day out in the boat.
Towing a boat usually requires something a bit more powerful than a car, so we recommend a truck or an SUV. These five vehicles top our list of best choices for boat towing.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're Towing a Boat and was authored by Valerie Johnston.