The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're Towing a Boat

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.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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