These are the best and worst towing trucks in each of the three major segments: midsize, full-size (half-ton), and heavy duty.
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We have over six years of extreme truck tow tests under our belts. It’s based on the Ike Gauntlet™ – the world’s toughest towing test. It’s time to look back and pick out the best results we got with each truck.
Best Midsize Towing Rig
2020 Jeep Gladiator : 9:54, 4.7 mpg, 11 brakes (6,100 – 6,500 lbs)
2017 GMC Canyon diesel : 9:11, 6.9 mpg , 1 brake
2017 Nissan Frontier : 8:45, 3.7 mpg, 8 brakes
2017 Honda Ridgeline : 8:16, 6.4 mpg, unknown brakes (4,800 lbs)
2016 Toyota Tacoma : 8:05, 4.5 mpg, 21 brakes
2019 Ford Ranger : 8:02, 5.2 mpg, 7 brakes
The results show that the Ford Ranger and its 2.3-liter turbocharged engine was the quickest midsize truck with a trailer up the 7% grade 8-mile Ike Gauntlet highway to a top elevation of 11,153 feet above sea level. Does it mean it is the best midsize towing rig? Not necessarily. The GMC Canyon diesel showed the best downhill performance with just 1 brake application. I pick the GMC Canyon diesel as the best, but you may disagree. This is why we publish all the date, so you can make your judgements.
Best HD Dually Towing Rig
2020 GMC Sierra 3500 : 11:47, 2.4 mpg , 9 brakes
2020 Ram 3500 : 11:32, 2.5 mpg , 0 brakes
2020 Ford F-350 : 10:20, 2.4 mpg , 5 brakes
This is the most recent HD dually diesel truck comparison we performed. These trucks towed the heaviest trailer (30,000 lbs), and these trucks performed the best after the last six years of testing. In the end, I vote for the Ford F-350 and its newest 6.7-liter turbo-diesel V8.
Best Full-size Towing Truck
2016 Toyota Tundra : 8:18, 2.9 mpg , 11 brakes
2017 Nissan Titan : 8:12, 3.2 mpg , 9 brakes
2019 Ram 1500 : 8:05, 4.7 mpg , 10 brakes
2019 GMC Sierra : 8:01, 3.8 mpg , 10 brakes
2019 Ford F-150. : 7:55, 3.3 mpg , 10 brakes
No competition has been closer than the one among the newest half-ton trucks. Just 23 seconds separate the slowest and the quickest trucks up the mountain. All half-ton trucks listed here are equipped with the most powerful gas-powered engines. My vote for a best towing half-ton stands with the GMC Sierra 1500 and its 6.2-liter V8 engine.
Let us know what you think about this look back at the best Ike Gauntlet results for each truck.