Reviews | The Drive

You Know Your Toyota Tacoma Needs A Lift Kit

Combine ride comfort and off-road performance with these rugged lift kits.

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BYLisa Conant/ LAST UPDATED ON March 16, 2022

Whether you’re an off-roading animal or are looking to step up your factory OE shock setup for the first time, knowing what your options are for your Toyota Tacoma will allow you to make an informed choice when it comes to meeting your specific needs. There are plenty of lift kit options that promise big and deliver small. You can also run the gamut of price points when it comes to tricking out your Taco’s suspension, but more expensive doesn’t always mean better quality or performance.


Whatever mod you decide to go with, we want you to rest easy in your choice, especially considering how much time you’re going to spend sitting on those coils. To help provide you with a clearer picture and see through the sandstorm of lift kit options, we’ve compiled our top picks and an in-depth buying guide that pulls from several expert opinions.

Best Overall

Old Man Emu BP-51 Bypass Coilovers

Summary

This kit offers not just compression adjustment, but it’s also one of the few on the market that comes with rebound adjustment as well.

Pros
  • High-tech compression and rebound adjustments
  • Great for off-road or street setups
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • Pretty pricey
  • You have to remove the coilover to adjust the preload
Best Value

Bilstein 6112 2.5" Lift System

Summary

This kit is a great option for newer weekend warriors who are primarily daily drivers but want to have some fun also.

Pros
  • Really affordable
  • Large piston allows for good damping and consistency
  • Fully serviceable
Cons
  • Comes not fully assembled
  • May have long wait time for kit delivery
Honorable Mention

Fox 2.5 Factory Series Coilovers & Shocks

Summary

If you demand superior off-road performance without sacrificing comfort on the highway and city streets, this is the lift kit for you.

Pros
  • Ultra off-road performance
  • Dual Speed Compression capability
  • External reservoirs maintain optimal oil temperature
Cons
  • Super pricey
  • Limited one-year warranty
You Know Your Toyota Tacoma Needs A Lift Kit

Our Methodology 

When it comes to selecting the best lift kits, we rely on the opinions of many industry experts combined with personal experience. We also choose kits that are offered only by companies with the best reputations in the industry. These companies have a solid history of delivering top-quality, rugged, and reliable products to thousands of customers and offer decades of innovation and staying power. 

Price also plays a factor in choosing the best lift kits for your Toyota Tacoma, as we want to offer something to fit any budget or financial comfort zone. For more about our selection criteria, check out this link to The Drive’s Gear About page.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Best Toyota Tacoma Lift Kits Reviews & Recommendations 

Best Toyota Tacoma Lift Kits Overall
Old Man Emu BP-51 Bypass Coilovers
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If you’re looking for an almost perfect combination of comfort, performance, reliability, and price tag, the Old Man Emu BP-51 Bypass Coilovers are enough to make you want to pee your pants with excitement. Australians know a thing or two about navigating some seriously challenging off-road terrain without needing extensive dental work afterward. That’s why you can count on this setup to deliver one of the best rides in the business. This kit offers not just compression adjustment, but it’s also one of the few on the market that comes with rebound adjustment as well. That makes it the ultimate shock adjustment for terrain and daily driving characteristics. 


While this setup is fully adjustable, it’s excellent straight out of the box. The 51mm shock uses an internal bypass and progressive piston design that allows for one of the most customizable rides around. This setup doesn’t come cheap, though. However, you can protect your investment with a solid 3-year warranty and the ability to rebuild and re-valve this kit when the time comes. The other minor annoyance is that you have to remove the coilover in order to adjust the preload. 


Specs

  • Manufacturer: Old Man Emu
  • Model: BP5190003L
  • Adjustable Valving: Yes
  • Shock Body Material: Aluminum
  • Reservoir: Yes
  • Body Design: Gas-charged monotube

Pros

  • High-tech compression and rebound adjustments
  • Great for off-road or street setups
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Pretty pricey
  • You have to remove the coilover to adjust the preload
Best Toyota Tacoma Lift Kits Honorable Mention
Fox 2.5 Factory Series Coilovers & Shocks
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If you demand superior off-road performance without sacrificing comfort on the highway and city streets, you have to check out the Fox 2.5 Factory Series Coilovers & Shocks. This is one of the only lift kit setups equipped with Dual Speed Compression (DSC) adjustability. It allows for seriously precise tuning and impressive versatility that you won’t find in a lot of the competition. Access 12 different low-speed and 10 high-speed compression levels with a quick twist of one of the two adjuster knobs.  Of course, with that comes a somewhat sphincter-tightening price tag.


You can order this kit to be preset to level your ride straight out of the box, which is a pretty cool time saver. The external reservoirs keep oil at the ideal temp to smooth out body shocks and give you a luxurious off-roading experience. Just try to keep the smile off your face while ripping through some of the toughest terrains. One drawback to this lift kit is that it only comes backed by a one-year warranty. This kit also loses some love from consumers for having issues with packaging or missing parts on arrival. 


Specs

  • Manufacturer: Fox
  • Model: 880-06-376, 883-26-007
  • Adjustable Valving: Yes
  • Shock Body Material: Aluminum
  • Reservoir: Yes
  • Body Design: Gas-charged monotube

Pros

  • Ultra off-road performance
  • Dual Speed Compression capability
  • External reservoirs maintain optimal oil temperature

Cons

  • Super pricey
  • Limited one-year warranty

If money is no object and nothing is going to stop you from your desire to go big, the Bilstein B8 8112 ZoneControl CR Coilovers are for you. These over-the-top shocks feature some of the most sensitive damping on the market. It’s all made possible by two rebound zones and three compression zones which are precisely controlled by three independent pistons. This lets you go from the pavement to some of the most challenging off-road conditions with almost seamless ease. 


The external coilover spring rate is vehicle-specific, but you can still achieve an additional two inches of ride height adjustment. It’s one of the highest-quality direct fit, large-bore coilovers on the market. As an added bonus, the telescopic internal bump stop does away with the need for an external hydraulic bump stop for max compression. An impressive 60mm remote reservoir provides increased oil capacity and efficient cooling. If you want a sexy, high-tech advanced OE shock replacement, this is it. Be ready to sell a kidney to pay for them though.


Specs

  • Manufacturer: Bilstein
  • Model: B8 8112
  • Adjustable Valving: No
  • Shock Body Material: Aluminum
  • Reservoir: Can be added
  • Body Design: Gas-charged monotube

Pros

  • Ultra sensitive damping
  • Smooth transitions from street to off-road
  • Telescopic internal bump stop

Cons

  • Quality control might be an issue between units
  • Crazy pricey
Best Toyota Tacoma Lift Kits Daily-Weekender
Bilstein B8 5100 Monotube Gas Adjustable Shocks
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The Bilstein B8 5100 Monotube Gas Adjustable Shocks deserve some love for being a top entry-level choice that’s perfect for getting your feet wet in the off-roading world. They’re a solid step up from your OE suspension but are very forgiving on the wallet while not making you feel overpowered. Easy bolt-on installation and a sleek monotube design make this a great beginner upgrade that gets plenty of love from loyal users. The multi-layer zinc finish is long-lasting and provides decent protection in harsh environments.


Typical of many kits in this range, the digressive piston decreases body roll and nose dive while improving overall road handling. Even better, you get a limited lifetime warranty. One drawback is that this shock isn’t rebuildable, but for this low price point, you shouldn’t expect that they would be. 


Specs

  • Manufacturer: Bilstein
  • Model: B8 5100
  • Adjustable Valving: No
  • Shock Body Material: Aluminum
  • Reservoir: No
  • Body Design: Gas-charged monotube

Pros

  • Reliable entry-level technology
  • Great OE factory replacement option
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not rebuildable
  • Just a basic setup

King has a solid brand loyalty among Taco drivers, and for good reason. This high-end shock is well known for combining a comfortable and smooth on-road ride with limited sway and roll, but can take some serious off-road abuse without skipping a beat. It’s also loved for its distinctive and flashy style. That alone isn’t enough to justify such a high price tag, though. This shock utilizes some of the finest and highest quality construction and materials. It’s 100 percent built in the US using heat-treated 2024 aluminum alloy pistons with ridiculously high 100,000 psi tensile strength shafts that protect against some of the most damaging debris and conditions.


With between 0-3.5 inches of height adjustment capabilities, this shock delivers across a wide range of applications and needs. One thing it lacks, though, is specific low- and high-speed adjustment capability. You get mid-speed adjustments only. However, the tuning of these shocks can be custom ordered to whatever specs you desire, so you can be sure to get the ride you want. One other drawback though: the measly 90-day warranty. That’s barely enough time to really try these shocks on for size. 


Specs

  • Manufacturer: King
  • Model: 880-06-418
  • Adjustable Valving: Yes
  • Shock Body Material: Aluminum
  • Reservoir: Yes
  • Body Design: Gas-charged monotube

Pros

  • Very comfortable street riding
  • Sleek, distinctive style
  • High-quality construction

Cons

  • Super expensive
  • No high- or low-speed adjustment capability

Our Verdict

With so many terrific options on the market for your cherished Toyota Tacoma, it’s tough to pick just one. If you want the ideal combination of comfort, performance, reliability, and price tag, the Old Man Emu BP-51 Bypass Coilovers are our top pick overall.

If you’re looking for a high-performance, budget-friendly shock that delivers, check out the Bilstein 6112 2.5" Lift System. This kit is a great option for newer weekend warriors who are primarily daily drivers but want to have some fun also.

FAQs on Toyota Tacoma Lift Kits

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Are lift kits bad for your Toyota Tacoma truck?

A: Many people safely and effectively lift their Tacos without any unwanted damage or repercussions. Lift kits are one of the most common truck mods you’ll come across. That said, if installed incorrectly, any lift kit can be bad for your truck. So if you’re not an expert, consider having someone who is helping you properly install your lift kit.

Q: What is the Toyota Tacoma SR5 Package?

A: The SR5 Package is an added value option that features improvements like remote keyless entry, chrome grille and bumpers, extended fenders, leather-wrapped steering wheel, integrated back-up camera, a JBL audio system, power outside mirrors, and more. It’s typically seen on the 2011 V-6-powered trucks, versus a kit for lifting your Toyota Prius.

Q: What does the Toyota Tacoma TRD lift kit include?

A: The TRD lift kit is one of Toyota’s most popular kits and comes with TRD-tuned Bilstein monotube shocks, a pro-style front grille, millimeter-wave radar sensor integration, wire harness, and cable spacers.

Q: How many inches of suspension lift does the TRD kit offer?

A: The TRD lift kit gives you a 2-inch lift in the front end and 1-inch lift in the rear, which is just about the smallest amount of lift you can have and still claim to be lifted.

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