Over the summer of 2017, RV Lifestyle Magazine had the opportunity to test several of the tow vehicles available on the Canadian market, including both 2017 and 2018 models.
Throughout the spring and summer months, RV Lifestyle Magazine had the pleasure of using a handful of these tow vehicles at industry events, as well as our tow tests and road tests. We put these vehicles through their paces, towing everything from small camp trailers to large toy haulers and travel trailers in a variety of conditions. Through all of this hands-on experience, we’re extremely pleased to bring you this synopsis of tow vehicles for 2018.
7. Ford F-150
We had the pleasure of putting the 2018 F150 4WD Supercrew powered by the 5L V8 with automatic transmission through its paces. This truck, newly redesigned for 2018, features heat-treated high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in key cab and bed components, making the truck body stronger yet lighter than previous Ford F-150 models.
This lighter construction, combined with technological enhancements in the engine and drivetrain, contributed to a better than anticipated fuel efficiency in highway cruising, especially when towing. We were particularly impressed with the Pro Trailer Backup Assist™, the integrated tailgate step and remote tailgate release, and the deployable box side steps.
6. Ford F-250
The new Ford F250 Super Duty®, also featuring the new design aluminum alloy load bed, riding on stronger axles and chassis components, and an all-new fully boxed frame constructed of 95 percent high-strength steel. The towing capacity, cited by Ford as class-leading, was easily capable of hauling our load over some of the winding mountain roads in Eastern North America.
5. GMC Yukon XL
The new GMC Yukon XL SLT tows with ease and provides an absolutely luxurious ride! Power from the 5.3L 8cyl gas engine was plentiful, and the 4×4 drivetrain with smooth shifting automatic transmission was a pleasure to run on the highway and in the city, with or without a trailer in tow. We covered close to 2,000 km and came pretty close to the fuel efficiency rating of 15.3L/100 km city, 10.9L/100 km highway, and 13.3L/100 km combined.
4. Nissan Armada
During the summer, we participated in a Nissan Canada tow test marathon, where we had the opportunity to drive a variety of their tow vehicles.
The Nissan tow vehicles have taken a quantum leap forward, with the 2017 and 2018 models bringing outstanding comfort and towing capability to the light and mid-size tow vehicle segments. The Armada, redesigned for 2017 and tweaked for 2018, is powered by a fuel efficient, 5.6-litre Direct Injection Gasoline V8 with dual overhead cams, 32 valves, and VVEL valve control to enhance throttle response. This full-size SUV boasts 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, to deliver 8,500-lb. maximum towing capacity.
3. Nissan Titan
We had the opportunity to tow with the 2017 Nissan Titan XD Platinum Reserve, powered by the Cummins Turbo diesel, and the Tundra gas models.
The Titan XD with the 310 HP 555 lb-ft. Cummins Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel has a Holset M2 two-stage turbocharger for smooth and confident power. The Titan turbo diesel can carry a load of 2,000 lbs. and tow a rig weighing up to 12,000 lbs. Handling is a pure pleasure – this is easily the best Nissan pickup we have ever driven, and well worth a look – especially if you have not driven a Nissan truck before… the engine is really quiet for a diesel, thanks to the latest Bosch® HPCR fuel system and piezo-style injectors that deliver precise fuel control and multiple injections per combustion stroke, this increases efficiency and drastically cuts down on ‘diesel clatter’.
2. Ram 1500 SXT
One of the coolest rides we tried out this fall was the new RAM 1500, powered by the 5.7L Hemi V8 with Torqueflite eight-speed transmission and 10.50 to 1 compression ratio, delivering 395hp @ 5,600RPM. This truck was a real sportster, with precise handling, great performance and a fully-featured interior that transformed any task into a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. Our RAM 1500 SXT Quad Cab test truck was a bright green – “sublime green jellybean” it was spectacular inside, and very, very green outside… towing capacity when suitably equipped is 10,620 lbs.
1. Toyota Tundra
We had the pleasure of driving a Toyota Tundra 2018 4X4 Crewmax SR5 powered by the 5.7L 8 Cylinder gas engine, rated at 18L/100km city, 14.2L/100km highway. This truck was a beauty with a 10,000 lb. towing capacity.
The Tundra Crewmax interior is elegant and fully-featured, with top-of-the-line seating and instrumentation. While this model is at the top end of the price scale, there are several alternatives that bring the Toyota within the competitive price range.