Aside from the usual towing and hauling duties, one of the main reasons that any truck enthusiast would buy a 2021 Toyota Tacoma is the ability to drive it off-road. The Tacoma’s proven reliability throughout the years, in addition to its off-road capability, makes it a prime choice in the mid-size truck segment.
But to up the ante, Toyota recently released the TRD lift kit for anyone that wants a little more lift out of their third-generation Tacoma without sacrificing the safety features that the truck is equipped with. It’s a good kit, but here are three reasons that could turn you away from buying it.
The TRD lift kit may cost more than an aftermarket one
If currently own or are planning to buy a 2020-2021 Toyota Tacoma and want a lift kit, then you’re probably aware of the aftermarkets kits that are available. Some of these kits range from under $1,000 to well over and can lift the truck up to three inches or more.
The TRD lift kit, on the other hand, lifts the truck up by two inches in the front and one inch in the rear. That doesn’t sound like much, fit it’s a good compromise between being too high and not high enough.
According to Toyota, the TRD kit retails for $1,450, not including the 4-5 hours of labor to install it, which could get pricey. In total, installing one of these kits could cost more than installing an aftermarket one.
The ride height makes it hard for some to get in and out
Depending on how tall you or your passengers are, some people might find that it’s hard to get in and out of a lifted Tacoma. Sure, the added ride height might not sound like much, but if you’re on the shorter side, or if you have trouble getting into taller vehicles in general, lifting a Tacoma with the TRD kit might not be ideal. Lifting the truck might be great for off-roading, but it can be a hassle on an everyday basis if it’s hard for you to get in and out of it.
You have to get it installed at a Toyota dealership
If you’re a Tacoma enthusiast that likes to work on his, or her, own truck, then you might not want to buy the TRD lift kit. Toyota says that in order to keep the 3-year/36,000-mile warranty intact (if you get it installed when you buy the truck) or the 1-year/12,000-mile warranty (if you install it after buying the truck), you’ll need to have the kit installed by a Toyota dealer.
That could be a bit of a letdown if you were looking to save money and install the kit yourself or have someone else do it. Since Toyota shop rates can vary from dealer to dealer, we can’t say how much that recommend 4-5 hours of labor would cost. But it could be up to an extra $1,000.
The warranty and safety features are the main highlights
Despite these three aforementioned drawbacks to buying the TRD lift kit, a couple of other advantages are that you’ll get a factory-backed warranty and Toyota’s Safety Sense compatibility.
The built-in driver-assist and safety features might not work with aftermarket lift kits, but with the TRD lift kit, you’ll still be able to use features like the adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and the frontal collision warning. That alone could make the lift kit worth it for some enthusiasts.