Which New Trucks and SUVs Come With Locking Differentials?
Hardcore off-roaders swear by their trucks’ locking differentials (also called “lockers”). There are many options for aftermarket lockers, but a select number of new 4x4s are available with locking differential from the factory. Here are a few of the new 2023 cars and trucks with locking differentials.
Which trucks and SUVs offer a locking rear differential option?
- Toyota Tacoma
- Toyota 4Runner
- Toyota Tundra
- Ram 1500
- Ford F-150
- GMC Sierra
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Chevrolet Colorado
- Nissan Titan
- Nissan Frontier
- Nissan Xterra
A differential is housed in the center of an axle and allows the left and right tires to spin at slightly different speeds while cornering. A locking differential “locks” the left and right tires together so neither can spin out of control while off-road. This feeds at least half of the vehicle’s power to the wheel with the most traction to keep the vehicle moving forward.
Customers can order every major truck, and many SUVs with 4WD. Several of these models also offer locking diffs. Every full-size American truck offers some form of locker option. Some midsize trucks and even their corresponding SUVs offer locking differentials as well.
Most of these vehicles offer an electronically locking differential. The driver can lock the differential by pressing a button in the cab.
The General Motors vehicles on this list do not have an electronically locking differential the driver can control. Instead, they come with an “automatic-locking” internally named the G80. GM engineers designed this differential to automatically lock the left and right wheels together if one side begins spinning much faster than the other. The G80 comes on Chevy trucks with the Z71 off-road package and the GMC Sierra AT4.
Which trucks and SUVs have standard locking rear differentials?
- Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
- Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
- Ram 1500 TRX
- Ford Raptor
- Chevrolet Silverado ZR1 Off-Road
- GMC Sierra AT4
- Jeep Gladiator Mojave
The manufacturers of most of the 4WD trucks and SUVs mentioned above offer an extreme off-roading trim. These trims range from the Tundra TRD Pro to the Ford F-150 Raptor. Many of these off-road-ready trim levels come equipped with a locking rear differential.
Which vehicles offer both front and rear locking diffs?
- Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
- Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
- Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
- Ford Bronco Sasquatch
- Ford Bronco Raptor
- Dodge Power Wagon
- GMC Sierra AT4X
- Chevrolet Silverado ZR2
- Mercedes G-Class
- Land Rover
Several top-trim 4x4s boast locking differentials in both the front and rear axles. When both lockers are engaged, none of the wheels can spin faster than the other wheel on its axle.
Unlike the other General Motors 4x4s, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 has electronic locking diffs in both the front and rear axles. The Rubicon trim of the Jeep Rubicon and Gladiator also offer electric lockers in both axles.
The Ford Bronco Sasquatch has a unique system: drivers can opt to lock both axles, only the rear axle, or only the front axle. The Dodge Power Wagon is one of the only full-size trucks with a factory-installed front locker. It also has a winch.
The Mercedes G-Class features three lockers: Its driver can choose to lock either axle, then engage a center differential that locks the axles together so all four wheels must spin at the exact same speed.
The Land Rover’s lockers, like the Chevrolet truck’s rear lockers, are not operated by the driver. Instead, they are “active locking” differentials that automatically lock the left and right wheels on one axle together after one wheel begins to spin.
Did we miss any new cars or trucks with factory-installed locking differentials? Drop the make and model in the chat below so we can add them to our list.
Next, find out why you should buy a winch as your first off-road accessory, or see the many uses of a locking differential in the video below: