Toyota Tacoma 3 Inch Lift VS 6 Inch Lift – Pros & Cons For Off-Roading And Daily Driving

When comparing the Toyota Tacoma 3-inch lift vs. the 6-inch lift, the 3-inch lift is best for highway drives and costs less to install. The 6-inch lift, on the other hand, is more expensive to install but is best for off-road capabilities and handling.

A 3-inch lift will increase ground clearance and a more aggressive stance, but it will not significantly alter off-road capabilities. A 6-inch lift, on the other hand, will significantly boost ground clearance and off-roading capabilities. It will also have a greater impact on the vehicle’s handling and stability on highways.

Continue reading to understand the full comparison between these lifts, when you should opt for either, and the cost of installing each.

Table Comparing The Tacoma 3 Inch Lift vs. 6 Inch Lift

Here is a table comparing a 3-inch lift and a 6-inch lift for your Toyota Tacoma.

Feature3 Inch Lift6 Inch Lift
Ground Clearance+3 inches+6 inches
Off-Roading CapabilitiesImproved, but still limitedMuch improved
Cost$800 – $1,200$2,000 – $3,500
Impact on HandlingMinimalSignificant
Additional CostsNoneLarger tires, Driveshaft modification
Warranty ImpactMinimalSignificant

In-Depth Comparison of Toyota Tacoma’s 3″ Lift and 6″ Lift

Here is an in-depth comparison of the lifts.

#1 – Off-Road Capabilities and Performance

A 6-inch lift will give you a big advantage over a 3-inch lift regarding off-roading. The increased clearance allows you to accommodate wider tires, giving you even more off-road capability.

However, a 6-inch lift will change the Tacoma’s suspension geometry, which can severely impact the vehicle’s handling and stability on the road. A 3-inch lift, on the other hand, will provide you with a more moderate gain in off-road capability. But it will not modify the suspension geometry as much.

This means that the vehicle’s handling and stability on the road will be less affected. It’s also worth noting that a 3-inch lift allows you to install larger tires, but not as huge as a 6-inch lift would.

That is why people tend to ask, can you fit 35-inch tires on a 3-inch lift Toyota Tacoma? After all, it is the 6-inch lift that is known for handling large tires.

#2 – Handling, Stability, and Ride Comfort

A 6-inch lift will alter the suspension geometry of the Tacoma. This can have a detrimental impact on the vehicle’s handling and stability on the road. At high speeds, this can cause the vehicle to feel more top-heavy and less stable.

A 3-inch lift, on the other hand, will have less impact on the vehicle’s handling and stability, making it a better choice if you expect to do a lot of highway driving.

A 3-inch lift will normally provide a smoother ride than a 6-inch lift in riding comfort. This is due to the raise having less of an effect on the suspension, as well as the larger tires that may be installed with a 6-inch lift having more rolling resistance than smaller tires.

#3 – Installation and Cost

The cost of a lift kit will depend on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the type of lift kit you choose. Generally, lift kits range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

However, in general, installing a 3-inch lift is less complex and less expensive than building a 6-inch lift.

This is because a 3-inch lift requires the replacement of springs and shocks, whereas a 6-inch lift normally requires the replacement of control arms and other suspension components.

A 6-inch lift will also require more substantial welding and fabrication work, so if you plan to do it yourself, you should know how to lift a Toyota Tacoma. Here is a table showing a full cost breakdown.

Lift SizeCost of Lift KitLabor CostAdditional Components CostTotal Cost
3 Inch$500 – $1,000$500 – $1,000$0 – $500$1,000 – $2,000
6 Inch$1,000 – $2,000$1,000 – $2,000$500 – $1,000$2,000 – $4,000

#4 – Fuel Economy and Maintenance

Lifting a vehicle always negatively influences fuel economy, and the Toyota Tacoma is no exception.

On the other hand, the impact of a 6-inch lift will be greater because of the larger tires that are normally fitted with this lift size. Larger tires offer higher rolling resistance, requiring the engine to work harder to propel the vehicle. As a result, fuel efficiency suffers.

In terms of maintenance, a 3-inch lift will normally have less influence on Tacoma’s systems, and the replacement parts will be less expensive than those necessary for a 6-inch lift.

#5 – Aesthetics

A 6-inch lift makes a Toyota Tacoma look considerably more aggressive and tough than a 3-inch lift. A 3-inch lift, on the other hand, will give the car an elevated and more aggressive appearance.

A 6-inch lift will also allow for larger tires, giving it a more aggressive appearance.

When Should You Opt For A 3-inch Lift?

Here are circumstances when going for a 3-inch lift is better.

  • When you want to have off-road performance and smooth highway rides.

This lift is significant if you wish to improve your vehicle’s off-road characteristics, such as boosting ground clearance, while maintaining a smooth highway ride.

  • When you want to add larger tires to your truck without significantly affecting its appearance.

This can help improve traction and stability in off-road terrain while maintaining on-road performance.

When Should You Opt For A 6-inch Lift?

Here are circumstances when going for a 6-inch lift is better.

  • When you focus on a lot of off-road activities.

This lift is suitable for those who frequently engage in off-road activities like rock crawling or mud bogging when a higher lift is necessary for better clearance and improved approach and departure angles.

  • When you want to have larger tires.

A 6-inch elevation also allows for larger, more aggressive tires, which can improve traction and stability on slick surfaces.


Here are a few more related questions you might be asking.

Is a 6-inch lift too big?

It depends on your application and personal preference. Generally, a 6-inch lift is considered too large for most applications, but if you plan to do a lot of off-roading, a 6-inch lift is beneficial.

Is the 3-inch lift only for the 3rd generation Tacoma?

No, the 3-inch lift is available for all generations of Tacoma. However, the 3rd generation Tacoma is specifically designed to accommodate a 3-inch lift.

Key Takeaways:

When comparing the Toyota Tacoma 3-inch lift vs. 6-inch lift, both can improve the off-road performance of a Toyota Tacoma. But they come with different trade-offs. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • A 3-inch lift is more affordable and less labor-intensive to install.
  • A 3-inch lift will provide a small increase in ground clearance and a more aggressive stance.
  • A 6-inch lift is more expensive and may require additional suspension components.
  • A 6-inch provides more ground clearance and can improve off-road performance.
  • Ultimately, choosing between a 3-inch lift and a 6-inch lift will depend on your specific needs and goals.

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