Hybrids & Electrics

Toyota Prius Lift Kits Are the Next Thing in the Safari-Everything Trend

Lift kits are something that are linked in most people’s minds to trucks and SUVs. However, there is a growing safari-everything trend which changes that mindset. In fact, lift kits are being added to just about any vehicle. For example, a Toyota Prius lift kit exists.

What is the Safari trend?

A blue and white 1984 Porsche 911 Paris Dakar Rally Car
Patrick Dempsey drives the famous Porsche 953, winner of 1984 Paris-Dakar rally and brought to the US by the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 | Axel Koester/Corbis via Getty Images

The safari trend dates back decades to rally racing in Europe and Africa. However, it was at the Paris – Dakar Rally of 1984 that things really started moving for the safari trend. At that race, Porsche showed up with a 911 model that had a bit of a lift and bigger tires. Since then, people have been enamored with the thought of lifting an ordinary car and modifying it for off-road usage. So, modifications have gone beyond lift kits to include cargo racks with spare tires and a lot of extra lighting. 

A Safari kit for the Toyota Prius

That brings us back to the Toyota Prius. The car is an economical small vehicle that rides similar to just about any other stock vehicle. However, travel over a dirt road means the pebbles and other road debris get slammed into the lower body features of the car. Also, driveway inclines can be challenging. So, somebody came up with a kit to lift the Prius and give it more ground clearance. In effect, what the kit does is make the Prius a good base for a safari vehicle. 

A company called Prius Offroad has made it their goal to provide off-road components for the Toyota Prius platform. The company is so adamant about their mission, that they have created lift kits for multiple generations of the car. A kit can be purchased for a Prius as old as 2004. 

A black Toyota Prius with a lift kit sits on a dirt road.
A Toyota Prius with a lift kit from Prius Offroad | Prius Offroad via Facebook

Finding the reason Prius Offroad would do these lift kits was easy. It was plastered on their website. 

“After spending over a decade building prerunners and off-road vehicles we found ourselves logging 60K+ highway miles a year in trucks with the fuel economy of a fully loaded 1984 box van going uphill in a headwind. The need for a fuel-conscious counterpart was inevitable and we reluctantly swallowed our pride for the possibility of 40+ mpg. It wasn’t long before we fell in love with all the Prius had to offer and our once beloved trucks sat collecting dust.”

How the kit changes the Toyota Prius

@g___u___s putting our 1.5” lift, 215/70r15 @yokohamatire geolander AT tires, and @toyotausa Prius V through it’s paces!…

Posted by Prius Offroad on Sunday, October 4, 2020

Liking the Toyota Prius and having it perform like a prerunner or other off-road vehicles does not work with the car in stock form. So, lift kits are a natural progression from there. Once installed, the additional ground clearance enables a bit more go-anywhere attitude from the car. Then, it is just a matter of how off-roady an owner wants to get. For example, a rooftop cargo rack, a huge fog light pod for the hood, decals, etc.…

The lift kits are all listed at $299.95. The company’s website says that the kits provide enough clearance to enable up to a two-inch taller diameter tire. But, it does not end there either. In fact, the company is now branching out with the Toyota Corolla. A lift kit is now available for that platform for the same price. 

The Toyota Prius is a much-loved and much-hated vehicle. However, with a lift kit installed, the car may actually attract a few more followers. Who knew a lift kit could make the Prius the next big thing for the safari-everything crowd?