Toyota Tacoma 3 inch Lift vs Stock: Which One is Right for You?

When comparing Toyota Tacoma’s 3 inch lift vs stock, a 3 inch lift kit will give your Tacoma extra off-road clearance and larger tires. However, using the stock suspension will maintain your Tacoma at its factory height, making it better for daily driving and city use.

It’s important to note that a lift kit is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your unique demands and driving habits will determine the best option. Choosing between either will largely depend on whether you drive off-road and the amount you are willing to spend.

Read on to learn the in-depth comparison of the 3-inch lift and stock suspension and when you should consider either option for your Tacoma.

Table Comparing of Tacoma 3 Inch Lift vs Stock

The table below compares the 3-inch lift and stock suspension features.

Feature3 Inch LiftStock Suspension
Off-Road CapabilitiesImprovedLimited
Towing CapacityReducedImproved
Fuel EfficiencyReducedImproved
Ride QualityRoughSmooth

Side-by-Side Comparison of The Tacoma 3″ Lift VS Stock

Here is a complete breakdown of the Tacoma 3 inch lift vs. stock:

#1 – Off-Road Capabilities

One of the primary benefits of a 3 inch lift kit is its increased off-road capability. You’ll be able to tackle more challenging tracks and obstacles with extra clearance.

It’s important to note that a 3 inch lift will not transform your Tacoma into a rock-crawling machine. Consider comparing Toyota Tacoma 3 inch lift vs. 6 inch lift if you want better off-road capabilities.

On the other hand, the stock suspension will have limited off-road capabilities. While your Tacoma may still manage some light off-roading, it will struggle on more difficult routes.

#2 – Towing Capacity

A 3 inch lift will change the weight distribution of your Tacoma, reducing its towing capacity. The increased height may also have an effect on the truck’s center of gravity, making it less stable when carrying heavy cargo.

On the other hand, the stock suspension will provide a higher towing capability. The original weight distribution and center of gravity will be preserved, allowing your Tacoma to pull huge loads safely and efficiently.

#3 – Fuel Efficiency

A 3 inch lift kit will also affect the fuel efficiency of your Tacoma. The increased height and wider tires might cause higher wind resistance and drag, lowering your truck’s fuel economy.

On the other hand, the stock suspension will provide better fuel efficiency. The original height and tires will reduce wind resistance and drag. It will allow your Tacoma to retain its factory fuel economy and avoid overthinking how many gallons does a Toyota Tacoma hold.

#4 – Ride Quality

A 3 inch lift kit can be a mixed bag regarding ride quality. The extra height might make the ride more difficult, especially on uneven or poorly maintained roads.

The stock suspension, however, will deliver a more comfortable ride. The factory height and tires will be more suitable for everyday driving and city use, resulting in a more comfortable and quieter ride.

#5 – Cost

Prices for a 3-inch lift kit can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the manufacturer and quality of the kit.

Sticking with the stock suspension, on the other hand, you won’t have to pay for a lift kit or larger tires. So you’ll be able to save any additional expenditures involved with the installation.

When Should You Choose A 3-inch Lift?

You should choose a 3 inch lift considering the following aspects:

● Off-Road Enthusiasts

If you’re an off-roader who wants to tackle tough trails, a 3-inch raise kit can give your Tacoma more clearance and grip.

● Aggressive Look

A 3 inch lift might be a terrific way to give your Tacoma a more rough and more aggressive appearance. The extra height gives your truck a more commanding stance on the road.

● Customization

A 3 inch rise provides more freedom and customization for tires, wheels, and other off-road accessories.

When Should You Choose Stock Suspension?

You should choose a stock suspension for these reasons:

● Daily Driver

If you primarily use your Tacoma for daily and city driving, the stock suspension will give you a smoother, more comfortable ride.

● Towing Capacity

If you want to haul heavy loads, the stock suspension will provide improved weight distribution and stability. These make it a safer and more efficient option.

● Fuel Efficiency

If you’re concerned about fuel economy and want to preserve your Tacoma’s factory fuel economy, stick with the stock suspension.

● Cost Efficiency

The stock suspension will be the most cost-effective option if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to invest in a lift kit and wider tires.


Here are a few additional questions you might be asking right now.

What size tires fit on a Toyota Tacoma with a 3 inch lift?

A 3 inch raise allows you to install larger tires on your Toyota Tacoma. The exact tire size that will fit will be determined by the lift package you have installed and the size of your rims.

Do I need longer shocks for a 3-inch lift?

Yes, longer shocks are typically required when installing a 3 inch lift kit. The extra height of the lift kit will alter the suspension geometry, necessitating longer shocks to maintain appropriate alignment and stability.

Key Takeaways:

Ultimately, choosing a Tacoma 3-inch lift vs stock suspension will depend on your specific needs and driving habits. They both have their own aspects of usage based on specific needs. Here are a few key takeaways:

A 3 inch lift kit can boost off-road capability but reduces towing capacity, fuel efficiency, and ride quality.

The stock suspension improves towing capacity, fuel efficiency, and ride quality while having limited off-road capabilities.

Off-road enthusiasts and those looking for an aggressive look may prefer a 3-inch lift. On the other hand, those who use their Tacoma primarily for daily driving and city use may prefer the stock suspension.

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