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2015 Ford Everest – can it really tow 3000kg?

The 2015 Ford Everest has a braked towing capacity of 3000kg, but can it really tow that much? We analyse the Everest’s true towing capability.

THE EVEREST can nominally tow 3000kg if fitted with trailer brakes.  To see how we might set up the vehicle for such a load we start with the kerb weight, which is the car ready to roll (all figures in kg).

Kerb weight230724072495

As always, the higher-spec models are heavier.  All those electric motors, extra padding and so on add up.  However, the maximum the vehicle can weigh – the Gross Vehicle Mass or GVM – is the same.  This means the top models have less payload, which is the difference between GVM and kerb weight and the amount you can carry.

A payload of 793kg is quite respectable for a wagon. A payload of 605kg isn’t, even though vehicles such as the larger LC200 might have payloads as low as 580kg in top-spec variants.  The whole overloading of 4WDs problem is a topic for another time.

Towing figures

Next we look at the towing stats:

 AmbienteTrend Titanium
Kerb weight230724072495
Max trailer weight (braked)300030003000
Max tow +GVM610061006100
Difference between GCM and above300300300
Max vehicle weight with 3000kg trailer280028002800
Max trailer weight at GVM270027002700
TBM (10% of trailer weight)300300300
Max payload with 3000kg trailer493393305
Payload with 2700kg trailer (270kg TBM)523423335

The maximum tow weight is 3000kg.  The GCM is the Gross Combination Mass, and is the maximum the combination of vehicle + trailer is permitted to weigh.

Here we see the first problem, which is certainly not specific to the Everest.  The sum of the GVM and max tow weight is 6100 (3100 + 3000).  But the GCM is 5800, 300kg less.  This means that you cannot tow the maximum braked trailer weight with the Everest at GVM.  And to reverse the logic, if you want to run your Everest at GVM you cannot tow as much as 3000kg.

So if you want to tow a 3000kg trailer then your Everest must weigh no more than 2800kg. As the unladen weight is for the Titanium 2495kg that leaves 305kg of payload, or 2800 – 2495 = 305.

Now what about the towball mass of 300kg, 10% of the 3000kg trailer? That doesn’t affect the GCM, as it’s adding 300kg of weight from trailer to towcar, yet that 300kg is also counted at part of trailer’s mass.  That means the Everest’s payload has to be reduced by 300kg, so it’s 493/393/305kg respectively.

Alternatively, if you run the Everest at its GVM of 3100kg so you can get the , then you can tow 2700kg only.  After deducting 270kg we have 335kg of payload left for the Titanium.

How does the Toyota Prado fare?

Ford seem keen to put the Everest up against the Prado, so let’s take the mid-range GXL turbodiesel as an example.

  • Kerb weight – 2300kg (approx, Toyota give a range so I’ve made an estimate)
  • GVM – 2990kg
  • GCM – 5370kg
  • Payload – 605kg (so the GXL is the same as the top-spec Everest.  The Kakadu top-spec model is around 555kg.  Gadgets aren’t lightweight)

The Prado can tow 2500kg braked, so 2990+2500 = 5490.  The GCM is 5370, which is 120kg less than 5490.  So, same problem as Everest (and pretty much everything else).  You need to lose 120kg from either the trailer or the car. 

Same caveats apply as for rear axle loading, which for all Prados is 1800kg.  You’d be wise to assume a 280kg TBM equates to 320kg on the rear axle due to leverage (refer below for link to the reason why).

The above is not an entirely fair comparison because Everest can tow 3000kg and Prado only 2500kg.  If we tow 2500kg with an Everest Trend – 6100 GCM – 2500 trailer = 3600 left to play with.  The Everest GVM is 3100, so we’ve got plenty of room. 

What does this all mean?

Simply that your average 4WD wagon can’t really tow its maximum capacity in the real world.  A good rule of thumb is to tow no more than 2/3 to 3/4 of the maximum braked tow weight.  Try towing a 1500kg trailer along some twisting roads with Prado then do it again with an LC200 to see the difference.

This topic is explored further on the post Why a 3500kg Tow Rating May Not Really Be a 3500kg Tow Rating and there’s an even more detailed analysis on Everything You Need To Know about Towing Heavy Trailers which covers everything here and much more.

Both Everest and Prado will have a couple of advantages over over some competitors for towing.  They have standard Trailer Sway Control, which is a variant of stability control designed to combat the dreaded oscillation of trailers at high speeds.  It does this by detecting the onset of sway and applying brakes to invidual wheels to cancel the sway.  It is effective, but is not a license to overload your trailer.

Both vehicles have full-time 4WD, which is much better for towing than part-time as per Fortuner and others.  Also, both can select low range without locking the centre differential (most Prados, all Everests) so and the car driven on high-traction surfaces without fear of transmission windup.  This will make manouvering a trailer easy and less stressful than other vehicles.

Find the best demonstrator car deals for Practical Motoring readers around Australia on our Live Deals website. 

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5 years ago

Having just dragged 1.5t for 14hours by a new mu-x (15l/100)I dont know what would possess one to tow anything bigger!

I know you can add approx 300kgs on gvm upgrade to the ranger. I would pressume roughly same is available on everest.

Given the stoutness of the ranger driveline it would be a good fifth option for towing biggish stuff. In company with 200, d4, jeep gc and pajero. All have at least 140kw/440nm, 3litres only one (paj) has 4cyl.

Andrew Riles
Andrew Riles
4 years ago


Is it just me, or have you counted the towball mass twice?? Wouldn’t it be included in the 3000kg trailer weight, rather than added on (giving a total of 3300kg) as you have appeared to have done?? And if you account for that 300kg as part of the vehicles payload, then isn’t the remaining trailer weight 2700kg, and therefore it can tow 3T while loaded at GVM, because its still 100kg under it’s 5900kg GCM?? (3100kg + 2700kg = 5800kg)

Having said that, I believe your point still stands, as by my calculations, I get a remaining payload of 305kg when towing a 3000kg trailer with a 300kg TBM…

Robert Pepper
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Riles

Hi Andrew

Good questions. The TBM is meant to be counted twice. The trailer mass is indeed partially carried by the towcar (hence payload reduction of TBM, in the case of a 3000kg trailer we allow 300kg).

However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the trailer still weighs 3000kg. It does make a difference to the axle load on the trailer, but that’s not something I looked at. It also increases axle load on the back of the towcar by a significant margin, more than the TBM.

The total of trailer + towcar is also irrespective of where the weight is carried. So there’s an immediate loss of 200kg as GVM + max braked is greater than GCM.

Not all manufacturers (notably, Land Rover and to some extent Nissan) apply the same logic of TBM being as much as part of payload. That’s explained in the “All you need to know…” article.

All this gets complicated…the bottom line for the tl;dr crowd is that very few, if any wagons can tow at max capacity and the Everest Titanium in particular.

Andrew Riles
Andrew Riles
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert Pepper

Thanks Robert,

The effect of high rear axle loading is something I am familiar with from using heavy implements on the back of tractors, in particular larger slashers (up to 8ft square deck), and I have previously read, and just reread, the article you mentioned and found it quite informative….my understanding for the linkage implements at least though is that the effect is exacerbated because the linkage is mounted above the rear axle line, not below it like the drawbar is….

What I don’t understand is the reasoning for counting the TBM twice, unless it is a simple way to account for the effect it has on rear axle loading, with a safety margin included….

I shall keep researching, as at the moment this is more a personal interest than an actual need (for road use at least), though I am glad I am learning a lot about it at low speeds in a tractor, rather than high speeds on the highway, and from articles such as yours….

Thanks again for your response….

Alec Andrews
Alec Andrews
4 years ago

I have just signed up for a Everest trend, my caravan weighs in loaded at 2920kg and doing the figures I am having doubts whether the Trend would be able to legally tow my caravan given the GCM including braked trailer is 5800kg. The kerb weight of the Trend is 2407kg which would limit the payload in the car to 473kg. What is your opinion?
I was assured by the salesman the car could legally tow my caravan.
Alec Andrews

Robert Pepper
4 years ago
Reply to  Alec Andrews

The salesman was corect…but only just. You’ll need a 300TBM or so for the caravan, so 437 – 300 = 137kg. And the kerb weight of the Trend wouldn’t include the towbar, say another 20kg, so 117kg of payload left, so I hope you are a fairly slim guy Alec, and single.

Go back to the salesman, show him this article and thread, and ask him to explain.

My guess is that he has simply read “3000kg towing” and taken it at face value without understanding any of the details. My further guess is that there will be an explanation about why you shouldn’t worry. Please, post that explanation here, we’d love to see it.

ID of PP
ID of PP
3 years ago

I come in a bit late to this article and convo but what would you think was the most simple equation to give as close as possible the weights to be towed and legal weights of the tow vehicle. Thanks.

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper