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October 1, 2018updated May 12, 2020

The Three Ultimate Tow Vehicles

By Alexandra Cheney

This story originally appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.

Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum

At its core, Cadillac calls Escalade an SUV with the capacities of a full-size truck. Its new 10-speed automatic transmission with a 7.39 gear ratio spread apportions the engine to run at a lower rpm on the highway, adjusting shift points in a manner similar to the tow/haul mode. The result is greater fuel mileage, as well as a smoother, more precise gear-shift quality. Coupled with the 6.2-liter V8 VVT with direct injection, Escalade tenders a trailering rating of 8,100 lbs. Triple-sealed doors keep exterior noises out while the Bose Centerpoint Audio System supplies 16 surround-sound speakers, including five custom-tuned speakers across the instrument panel and front doors.

From $93,795, cadillac.com

Lincoln Black Label Navigator

Although its max towing capacity of 8,700 lbs is quite impressive, the Black Label Navigator enters opulent territory with its Pro Trailer Backup Assist technology—a program that uses radar and cameras to steer the vehicle to self-park in reverse while the driver controls the braking. It’s possible to program information for several trailers into its memory system. The pre-installed trailer brake controller provides a precise module that allows for time-delayed and, if need be, automatic emergency braking. A twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 and seating for eight, including a 24-way-multi-contour set of front seats with power thigh extender, ensure each passenger rides in comfort.

From $96,650, lincoln.com

GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD

Trailering with intent, the GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD offers a range of specifications to maximize heavy-duty hauling. The Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel V8 engine delivers acute power with both a 2WD and 4WD option, as well as a fifth wheel/gooseneck towing alternative. Therefore, the max trailering can range from 13,000 to 14,800lbs. Keenly focused on hauling, the Sierra’s hitching options include heated, power-adjustable mirrors with LED rear guidance lamps that are integrated into each mirror, enhancing trailer visibility when backing up. Asphalt disappears under the Sierra; inlaid doors, specialized powertrain mounts and the quietest Duramax diesel ever allow for a tranquil ride.

From $66,995, gmc.com

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