Top used family SUVs with towing capacity

Although the weather in New York and New Jersey may paint a different picture, spring is just around the corner. Owners of trailers, campers and boats who are expectantly waiting for warmer weather will soon be relying on one thing – a capable tow vehicle.

However, some consumers don’t have a lifestyle that can accommodate a heavy duty truck. For those individuals, the 2004 Nissan Armada or the 2004 Dodge Durango may be the perfect vehicle. Both SUVs have accomplished towing capacities, but are also terrific family automobiles that won’t cost and arm and a leg.

The 2004 Armada has many similarities to a full-size truck. In fact, it actually shares the same powertrain with the Nissan Titan pickup. It comes standard with a 5.6-liter V8 and a 5-speed automatic transmission with tow-haul mode.

Available in SE, SE Off-Road and LE models, the ’04 Armada is offered with rear-wheel and four-wheel drive with low-range gearing. The Off-Road model includes skid plates, special shock absorbers, a low final-drive ratio and 17-inch wheels, according to Consumer Guide Auto. Optional features include a navigation system, satellite radio and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. It seats eight passengers, and its 2nd and 3rd row seats fold flush to the floor, making travel a breeze.

With all of its family-friendly features, the Nissan Armada tows more than 9,000 pounds, making it ideal for weekend warriors. In 2004, a brand new Armada was priced at just over $33,000.

In the same year, the Dodge Durango was completely redesigned. The 2004 Durango is 7 inches longer, 2 inches wider and more than 3 inches taller than its predecessor, according to

A standard Durango is equipped with a 210 horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine. However, the most popular models are powered by a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that cranks out 335 hp and 370 pound feet of torque.

Durango models with V-8 engines come with either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive and have a tow/haul feature built into the transmission, which can limit gear searching while towing. While it is not quite a full-size SUV, the 2004 Dodge Durango has a towing capacity of nearly 9,000 pounds.

In 2004, a new Durango was priced at around $26,000.