Advice appreciated

I’m researching mid-size SUVs with 3rd row, 4x4 & 5000lbs towing…does anyone make a 3.5L V6 that’s not AWD ?

You’ll need to specify exactly what you mean by 4x4 vs AWD, because different manufacturers use those terms differently.

Google is your best friend here.

What options are there?
Here are the current midsize choices for towing around 5,000 pounds or more:

Make/Model Engine Transmission Max. Towing Capacity Starting Price (excl. destination charges)
Acura MDX 3.5L V6 9-speed auto 5,000 lbs. $46,300 (SH-AWD)
Audi Q7 3.0L Turbo V6 8-speed auto 7,700 lbs. $56,400 (Premium)
BMW X5 3.0L Turbo I6 8-speed auto ~6,000 lbs. $58,195 (xDrive35i)
Buick Enclave 3.6L V6 9-speed auto 5,000 lbs. $47,295 (Essence AWD)
Chevrolet Traverse 3.6L V6 9-speed auto 5,000 lbs. $34,600 (LS AWD)
Dodge Durango 3.6L V6 8-speed auto 6,200 lbs. and up $32,595 (SXT)
Ford Explorer 3.5L N/A or Turbo V6 6-speed auto 5,000 lbs. $32,140 (Base)
Honda Pilot 3.5.L V6 6-speed auto (LX, EX and EX-L)

9-speed auto (Touring, Elite)|5,000 lbs.|$32,800 (LX AWD)|
|Hyundai Santa Fe|3.3L V6|6-speed auto|5,000 lbs.|$32,600 (SE AWD)|
|Infiniti QX60|3.5L V6|CVT|5,000 lbs.|$45,100 (AWD)|
|Jeep Cherokee|3.2L V6|9-speed auto|4,500 lbs.|$27,240 (Latitude 4×4)|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee|6.4L V8|8-speed auto|7,200 lbs.|$67,495 (SRT)|
|2019 Kia Sorento|3.3L V6|8-speed auto|5,000 lbs.|$33,090 (LX V6 AWD)|
|Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class|3.5L V6|7-speed auto|7,200 lbs.|$54,700 (GLE 350 4MATIC)|
|Nissan Pathfinder|3.5L V6|CVT|6,000 lbs.|$32,730 (S 4×4)|
|2019 Porsche Cayenne|3.0L Turbo V6|8-speed auto|7,700 lbs.|$65,700 (Cayenne)|
|Range Rover Sport|3.0L S/C V6|8-speed auto|7,716 lbs.|$66,750 (SE)|
|Subaru Ascent|2.4L Turbo H4|CVT|5,000 lbs.|$34,195 (Premium)|
|Toyota Highlander|3.5L V6|8-speed auto|5,000 lbs.|$35,135 (LE V6 AWD)|
|Volkswagen Atlas|3.6L V6|8-speed auto|5,000 lbs.|$33,950 (S w/ 4MOTION)|
|Volvo XC90|2.0L Turbo I4|8-speed auto|5,000 lbs.|$49,100 (T5 Momentum AWD)|

Of course, there’s a wide range of options here. Really, from a towing perspective, they’ll all tow around 5,000 pounds. The exception is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which came up a bit short at 4,500 pounds. Weirdly, the larger Grand Cherokee, with the larger 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, is only rated to tow 3,500 pounds. To better define the “good” part of “what makes a good midsize SUV for towing”, it partially depends on price. This list includes economical and luxury options, and fuel economy varies depending on the car.

It seems you are asking people to do your research for you. All you have to do is go to each manufactures web site and you will see what they have , trim levels , options and specifications . Also prices and where a vehicle you like can be found.

1 Like

Correction… I’m looking for used SUVs. I read conversations on CarTalk from 2009, asking similar question, discussing Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer & similar. I am wondering if a SUV, 3.5L V6, rear-wheel drive with 4 wheel drive option, not AWD, 3rd row & 5000 lb towing even exists…I can’t seem to find any. Someone had commented that towing over 2500 lbs was not a good idea with front wheel drive…I’m compiling all my information, and appreciate any help - Thanks ! Any experience with AWD in New England snow ? Maybe I’ll give it a try. I ski - I drive in the snow - in NH…and tow a small camper in the summer, in NH.

Why are you stuck on a 3.5L V6? Wouldn’t it make more sense to look for something that has the power and fuel efficiency combination you want, and not worry about what the internals look like?

With that engine requirement you’re looking for a unicorn. Jeep Grand Cherokees get close, but they have 3.6 or 3.7L engines, and some of them are I6’s, not V6’s. And they’re not exactly the most reliable things out there either.

We’d also need to know your budget.

With your mission in mind I’d be looking at 4runners. With your specifications in mind I’d be giving up.


I’d find a pickup truck with a V8, myself. Solves all the problems. :smile:

1 Like

Thank you, your response has been most helpful.

:frowning: Need 3rd row - or Is love a pick up !

You might try going to Carmax with your hard to fill shopping list and see what they can do. Of course you can look online at all most every used dealer inventory .

How used? If you can accept an I6, a Trailblazer EXT fits the rest of your requirements. Last year for those was 2009. I found a 2008 LT with 68k miles in fantastic condition for $10k last year. Saw a few EXTs during my search that were in great condition so they are out there.

Wow, yes ! I had and loved my 07 Trailblazer…until it had a cracked manifold in 2016. I didn’t realize they had 3rd row available, Thanks !

Just noticed the last year for the EXT was 2006. Was truly bummed when they discontinued these. I’ve had three now and really like them. I even have a plow on mine. Great for plowing, short turning radius, automatic 4x4 and full frame.

I did a search just after reading your original comment and found a few…06’s. Thank you for being so helpful !!!

Do you really want a 13 year old vehicle to pull 5000 lbs. and go up mountains in the winter with snow on the ground. I think not.

1 Like

I have a question about the 3rd row . . .

How crucial is that?

Do you have many kids?

Are grandpa and grandma coming along?

Fido will be in the back?

Does the 3rd row need to be for the typical american adult . . . or is a 3rd row for midgets sufficient?

In other words, who’s sitting in the 3rd row . . . and how often will they be back there?

And how often are you going to be towing this mystery 5000lb load . . . ?!

There are a lot of 2006 and older trucks on the road doing that and more every day. You may consider it too risky but lots of people have no trouble.

1 Like