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Boat Tow vehicle suggestions

I have a 2750 lb boat that I tow with a 2006 Chevy Trail Blazer. I am looking for a tow vehicle (pre-owned) that would get better mileage. But I don’t know the requirements a vehicle should have to tow a boat that size. Any recommendations?

Just short local tows? Long tows?
How often would the towing occur?

Mostly in and out of the lake a few times in the summer season, but I usually like to take an annual trip with the boat up to an hour away. I live in Indiana, so nothing mountainous (in case that matters).

The vehicle needs a tow rating of at least 2750 lbs. At least as long as that is the weight of your boat AND the trailer. If it is the boat alone, add 1200 lbs or so for the trailer. So 3950 lbs tow rating.

That is the #1 criteria IF you want to tow the boat with the vehicle you want to buy. MPG ratings are #2. Simple. Don’t expect great MPG ratings with a 4000 lb tow rating.

Mr. Mustang is correct again. Towing and fuel economy are not usually in the same sentence.
Why not just keep the Trail Blazer and find a nice used small car for your daily use?


Realistically, you’re going to want something with 4WD/AWD (boat ramps are slick), and realistically tow 4000 pounds. I don’t think you’re going to find something that can do that and still get noticeably better fuel economy than a mid-size SUV, which is what you already have. Something like V6 Full-sized truck or a car-based CUV like a newer Explorer or Traverse would probably get you about an extra 3 MPG overall. But that’s going to be about it.

I assume you are looking for something that will get you better fuel economy for the 50 weeks a year you are not towing, since mpg while towing is irrelevant.

I’ve heard good things about the new generation Chevy Colorado, but since you are looking for a used vehicle I would suggest a Toyota 4Runner with a tow package.

I drive a 2005 Trailblazer EXT and I find the highway mileage tolerable for a vehicle that size. What kind of mpg are you trying to achieve?

All very good input, thank you all. I would like 30 mpg (lol) and I didn’t take into consideration the weight of the trailer. What I didn’t mention is that about 7 years ago when gas prices sky rocketed, I bought a 2007 Toyota Corolla, for the gas mileage, and that has complemented the Trail Blazer, but two sets of insurance, two sets of registration and lack of parking (plus issues with vehicle age popping up) made me wonder if I could compromise and find one satisfactory vehicle to tow the boat and not cost a fortune at the gas pumps…

To the best of my knowledge there is no vehicle that will get you 30mpg and also be able to tow 3000lbs safely and reliably.

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Sigh. Then I wonder what would be the next best choice? Because the reality really is the other 50 weeks of the year when I’m not towing the boat (and I don’t want to rely on using a friends truck).

I guess I was wondering if a midsize SUV or a crossover vehicle would work but it does not really sound recommendable…

Toyota Highlander Hybrid will get you to 30 MPG and 3500 lbs tow rating, but I’m not sure it would fit the budget

Is this the kind of vehicle a person would want to back down into the water enough to launch a boat ? I think not .

I agree, this is marginal, although in fairness I should tell I observed an AWD Sienna getting smaller boat on the ramp.
Still, I do agree, this is as far as one can get on “MPG vs. towing” dilemma

Just throwing out a question . It does not sound like the OP really uses this boat a lot. Why not sell it and just rent one and not have to drag it around and possibly pay to park it the rest of the time.


That’s actually a great point, and it applies to both boat and towing vehicle

Oh no I could not part w the boat :slight_smile: (avid skier that I am), but I’m fortunate enough to keep it at a neighborhood pier so I don’t have to tow it at every use. And if I didn’t have the boat, I have gotten used to my 4WD with these Midwestern winters, but alas would not need a tow package.

The Highlander hybrid is the best compromise if you prefer having one vehicle. The tow package came standard when it first came out.

If we still had our 16ft boat a Highlander hybrid would be towing it to the boat launch.

Completely Unrealistic. You can’t even get buy a vehicle that can safely tow 4,000lbs and get 30mpg when NOT towing. Some SUV hybrids can tow up to 3500lbs. And they can get 29-30 when not towing.

Seems like I am hoping for the impossible! Looks like I will either keep what I’ve got or maybe I can find an SUV hybrid as the best bet. Puts my search in a more realistic light and eliminates a a lot of choices. Thanks again!