Lifting a Toyota Tacoma: What You Need to Know

Here's what you need to know if you want to give the most popular midsize pickup truck a bit of a lift.

White 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro driving aggressively on dirt, throwing up dust clouds.Toyota

Article QuickTakes:

The Toyota Tacoma is popular for its capability, reliability, and rugged looks — which happen to be backed up by a fair amount of capability right out of the box. Like Toyota's 4Runner SUV, all Tacoma trims (including the off-road-ready TRD Pro versions) have the same ground clearance. You'll find 9.4 inches for both two- and four-wheel drive models, but a bit more on some of the redesigned 2024 Toyota Tacoma models. That's fine for people who do light off-roading, but if you want to explore the more adventurous side of off-roading, a lift may be worth considering.

The Best Type of Lift for Your Toyota Tacoma

You can get an inexpensive body lift kit if your goal is to make your Tacoma look taller or want to add larger tires. 4Wheel Parts offers body lifts from two to three inches priced from around $400 to $800 for the latest models. There is some advantage to fitting larger, more aggressive tires when off-roading, but ground clearance remains the same. You must install a suspension lift for more ground clearance, which raises both the frame and the body from the axle, leaving more room for larger tires and allowing your Tacoma to clear larger obstacles (such as rocks) when off-roading.

2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter driving through water in desert creek.Toyota

A TRD Kit Lets You Lift Your Tacoma and Keep Its Factory Warranty

You can snag a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) suspension lift kit and keep your warranty in check if a Toyota-certified technician installs it. If you want to go higher than the TRD lift kit, you can turn to the aftermarket, but you may void parts of your factory warranty. The TRD lift kit will raise the truck's front suspension by two inches and the rear by an inch. The kit comes with Bilstein shocks and has been designed to work with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of advanced driver's aids.

However, the TRD kit only works with some trims or model years of this Tacoma. You may also need an additional wiring harness. You can check for compatibility by entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the Toyota parts website. The cost of parts — without installation — is about $1,800.

If you want a higher lift, check out the six-inch aftermarket lift kits from Fabtech Motorsports. The Basic kit is about $2,600 and includes rear add-a-leaf springs, a differential skid plate, upgraded tie rods, and more. The Performance kit runs about $4,700 to $5,400, and adds upgraded shocks, with or without remote reservoirs.

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro driving fast on dirt with a large dust cloud behind it.Toyota

Other Considerations When Lifting a Tacoma

With any suspension lift kit, you'll likely need new wheels with a specific backspace and width. Backspace is the measurement from the wheel's mounting surface to its back lip. You might also need to modify the Tacoma's exhaust or add longer brake lines. Re-gearing and a speedometer recalibration may also be necessary if you add larger tires.

Be ready to drop the differential, upgrade your CV joints or likely both, depending on the resulting geometry, as the angle of your axles could be too steep. You'll also want to add a new set of front upper control arms to help with high-speed stability and retain your alignment.

Lifting your Toyota Tacoma can give you more off-road capability, but its higher center of gravity could make it feel unstable. If paired with notably larger tires, fuel economy will likely suffer as well. Those are the sacrifices for gaining even more off-road capability.

This site is for educational purposes only. The third parties listed are not affiliated with Capital One and are solely responsible for their opinions, products and services. Capital One does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The information presented in this article is believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change. The images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.
author photo
Emme Hall
Emme Hall loves small convertibles and gets out to the canyons in her 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata whenever she can. You can also find her in the dirt in her lifted (yes, that's right) 2001 Mazda Miata, or racing air-cooled Volkswagens in races like the Baja 1000. She's taken first place twice in the Rebelle Rally — once driving a Jeep Wrangler and then a Rolls-Royce Cullinan the second time. She was also the first driver to take an electric vehicle to the Rebelle Rally when campaigning the Rivian R1T to a top-five finish