Pickup trucks are meant to do work, and they feature robust construction with powerful engines to get the job done. Many people focus on horsepower, but the trucks with the most torque should be on your list if you need to tow. The higher the torque, the more pulling power and towing capacity a vehicle has, which is a vital part of truck ownership for many people. Electric powertrains have completely transformed the truck game, as there are non-heavy-duty pickups running around with 775, 908, and even 1,200 pound-feet of torque.
We’ve gathered all of the full-size trucks on sale for 2023 and ranked them by their torque ratings. It’s important to note that many trucks are offered with several powertrain options, so the numbers you see here may only be applicable to some trims or configurations.
GMC Hummer EV
The GMC Hummer EV is a massive pickup truck with equally massive specs. It weighs 9,000 pounds and can out-accelerate some supercars, making full use of its 1,000 horsepower and 1,200 pound-feet of torque. Though it’s got mind-boggling torque numbers, the Hummer EV isn’t the most capable towing rig, and only offers a 7,500-pound capacity.
GMC made the Hummer EV far more accommodating than its military-bred predecessor by adding desirable tech and comfort features. The EV comes with a 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster that run the automaker’s excellent and easy-to-use software. Synthetic leather upholstery is standard, and the spacious Hummer brings comfortable seating for five people.
Up to 908 Pound-feet
The R1T is classed as a full-size pickup truck, and it backs that up with full-size capability. Its quad-motor powertrain offers 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque. Performance is stout, with a 0-60 time of around three seconds and a maximum towing rating of 11,000 pounds. The R1T is also massively capable off road and brings a good deal of on-road comfort.
Rivian keeps R1T passengers happy with an upscale interior packed with tech. Synthetic leather and heated front seats come standard, and buyers can upgrade with ventilated buckets. A 16-inch touchscreen and a 12-inch gauge cluster offer several desirable features, but the system does not run Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Ford F-150 Lightning
Up to 775 pound-feet
Ford’s inaugural electric pickup landed for the 2022 model year, and it’s been a smash-hit success to the point that the automaker has struggled to keep pace with demand. The F-150 Lightning offers up to 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, which returns a sub-four-second 0-60 mph time and a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds.
One of the best parts of the F-150 Lightning experience is that it feels and looks almost exactly like a normal Ford truck. That means an upscale, spacious interior with comfortable seats and solid tech. The truck comes standard with a 12-inch touchscreen and a 12-inch digital gauge cluster, but Ford offers an impressive 15.5-inch display in higher trims.
Up to 650 pound-feet
The Ram 1500 offers up to 650 pound-feet of torque in the absolutely bonkers TRX model, but even the everyday diesel powertrain brings a healthy 480 pound-feet to the table. The TRX can tow up to 8,100 pounds, but its off-road suspension limits heavy loads. Ram 1500 models equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi are the best choice for towing in the group, with up to 12,750 pounds of pulling power available.
Ram’s interiors are easily the nicest in the business, making the 1500 a delight to drive. Higher trims get soft leather and upscale features like heated and ventilated seats, but even the more basic cloth upholstery feels nice. Most models come with an 8-inch touchscreen, but Ram offers a 12-inch display. Both run the automaker’s excellent Uconnect infotainment software.
Up to 640 Pound-feet
The Ford F-150 is the best-selling full-size truck and one of the best-selling vehicles of any type in the world. The range-topping F-150 Raptor R delivers the most torque in the range from its supercharged 5.2-liter high-output V8. It’s rated at 700 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. Like the TRX, though, the Raptor R’s off-road suspension limits its towing capacity to 8,700 pounds. The standard F-150 offers up to 14,000 pounds of towing capability in some configurations.
Ford’s interiors are nice, though not quite up to Ram levels of posh. The F-150 comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, and more. Ford offers a 12-inch screen, and both units get the automaker’s excellent Sync infotainment system. Lower trims get decent cloth upholstery, but top trims bring leather and neat features like massaging front seats and heating/ventilation.
Up to 583 Pound-feet
The redesigned Toyota Tundra dropped its V8 but picked up more power, torque, and capability. Its hybrid twin-turbocharged V6 engine delivers 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. When properly equipped, the powertrain delivers a 12,000-pound towing capacity, which isn’t at the top of its class, but not far off. At the same time, the new Tundra is quick and feels lively to drive, and with a six-second 0-60 time, it has no trouble cruising around town and road-tripping on the highway.
Toyota improved the Tundra’s interior with better materials and updated tech. Cloth upholstery comes standard, but top trims get nice leather and creature comforts like heated and ventilated front seats. The Toyota’s cabin is still much more utilitarian than Ford’s and Ram’s, but it’s a far nicer place to spend time than the previous generation.
GMC Sierra 1500
Up to 460 Pound-feet
The GMC Sierra is recently refreshed and offers a range of powertrain choices to meet most budgets and capability requirements. It’s also a bit nicer and offers a more luxurious interior than the Chevy Silverado. The available 6.2-liter V8 delivers the best specs, with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. When properly equipped, the Sierra 1500 can tow up to 13,000 pounds, and many configurations can tow more than 10,000 pounds.
GMC updated the Sierra 1500 with a notable interior makeover. The cabin is more luxurious and doesn’t look so much like it came from a work truck. Cloth upholstery comes standard, and GMC offers several upgrades for higher trim levels, such as leather, massaging seats, and more. A 7-inch touchscreen comes standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Up to 460 Pound-feet
The Chevrolet Silverado offers similar powertrains and configurations to the GMC Sierra. Its most powerful engine is a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. When properly equipped, the truck can tow up to 13,300 pounds. At the same time, that torque and horsepower make the Silverado feel lively and quick, and it makes a wonderful noise under heavy throttle.
The Silverado got an interior glow-up for 2022, and the new models offer great tech with better materials throughout. Lower trims are quite basic, but top models bring rich leather upholstery and available heating and ventilation. A 7-inch touchscreen comes standard, and buyers can upgrade to a 13.4-inch unit with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Nissan Titan is often overlooked among full-size trucks, as it’s not as popular or well-known as the American Big-Three brands or Toyota. Even so, it comes standard with a V8 that makes 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Towing maxes out at 9,323 pounds, though, so the Titan trails everything else on this list except for the GMC Hummer EV, which is more of an expensive electric toy than a serious towing rig.
Nissan wins back a few points for the Titan’s interior, which offers supremely comfortable seats. That said, the truck also has plenty of low-rent materials and its cabin appears dated compared to the rest of the class, all of which have had updates way more recently than the Nissan.
Frequently asked questions
Is high torque better for towing?
Torque is a measure of the rotating force produced by the engine crankshaft. Higher torque numbers are better for towing because they indicate that the truck will be more capable of generating the pulling force to move heavy loads. There’s a lot more math and numbers behind the explanation than that, but we’ll avoid getting too deep into the weeds.
What is the 80/20 rule for towing?
The 80/20 rule states that you shouldn’t tow a load that is more than 80 percent of the truck’s maximum towing capacity. This give you room to make mistakes and miscalculate without hurting yourself or your vehicle. Some people use the 85 percent rule, but the concept is the same.
Does towing shorten the life of a vehicle?
Towing creates additional wear and tear on the engine, suspension, and other components. Over time, the forces can cause parts to wear out and fail more quickly than they would otherwise.
Do I need to tell my insurance company I’m towing?
You may not be required to tell them, but alerting the company that you’re using the vehicle for towing may prevent unnecessary confusion or delays in claims payment if there’s an accident.
Can I pull a trailer at 70 mph?
Yes. You can tow at 70 mph, as long as the speed limit allows it and your vehicle is capable of pulling at that speed.