As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our website.
If you’re looking to add a little bit of height and style to your RAV4, a suspension lift may be a great option!
A lift kit can make a big difference in the look, feel, and capability of your vehicle.
In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about lifting a RAV4 so you can decide if it’s the right move for you.
A suspension lift is just one of the many RAV4 modifications that can be done to make your vehicle more exciting. Although it is not the right mod for everyone, it can be quite useful to those who are adventurous and enjoy activities like car camping and overlanding.
Let’s jump into the good stuff!
Can You Lift a RAV4?
Yes, you can lift a Toyota RAV4! Many people have lifted their RAV4 to improve capability and appearance.
Although lifting a RAV4 is not as common as lifting a truck, such as a Toyota Tacoma, it’s still a possibility. There are a few reasons why lifting a RAV4 might be appealing, which we will discuss a bit further down in this article.
Lifting a RAV4 Hybrid
You probably already know that there are a few different types of RAV4s currently on the market: gasoline, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid (Prime).
If you have a hybrid RAV4, you’ll need to make sure you can find a lift kit that is compatible with your hybrid.
Luckily, most lift kits are compatible with the hybrid models. Simply check the compatibility details before purchasing a lift kit.
Lifting a RAV4 Prime
The RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid version of the RAV4. This model was released for the 2021 model year of the RAV4, so it is fairly new at the time of this writing.
Since the RAV4 Prime is so new, there is not much aftermarket support at this time.
Lift kits for non-Prime RAV4s don’t quite fit the Prime, however, it may be possible with some modifications from a custom fabrication shop. Since the RAV4 Prime’s hybrid system is much different than other RAV4 models, the overall configuration of the vehicle is a bit different.
The differences are minor, so it may be worth asking a local shop what it would take to make it happen. Alternatively, you can wait for a compatible lift kit to be released on the market.
View Our Lift Kit Recommendations
Check out our top recommendations for RAV4 lift kits!
Pros and Cons
Now that you know it’s possible to lift a RAV4, let’s talk about why you might want to lift a RAV4.
There are a few great benefits to lifting your RAV4:
- Improved off-road capability
- Increased ground clearance
- Better appearance
These benefits are pretty obvious and probably the reason why you are reading about lifting your RAV4 in the first place.
Since these benefits are fairly well-known, let’s focus more on the disadvantages of lifting your RAV4, which are:
- Product and installation costs
- High center of gravity
- Risk of voiding your warranty
Product and installation costs:
Lift kits themselves can be expensive, but they will also need to be installed at a professional shop (usually). This means the out-of-pocket cost to lift your RAV4 can be quite high!
To make it worse… After lifting your RAV4 you may realize that your original tires look too small, so you may also need to buy larger (and more aggressive) tires to match the new look of your RAV4.
Adding up all these costs, you could be looking at more than $2,000 to lift your RAV4, but we’ll talk more about the costs later in this article.
High center of gravity:
Lifting any vehicle will raise the center of gravity, which will have a negative impact on your vehicle’s handling.
You’ll need to be more careful going around curves, for example.
Your ability to maneuver quickly, such as dodging an object on the road, will also be negatively impacted. This is because the vehicle’s suspension travel has been increased, which increases the time it takes for your vehicle to react to steering wheel inputs.
Risk of voiding your warranty:
If you’re lifting a newer RAV4, you may risk voiding your manufacturer or extended warranty.
Many warranties do not allow modifications to the vehicle, so you’ll want to check the specifics of your warranty to determine if lifting your RAV4 will impact the warranty.
Sometimes, only the area of the car that you modify will no longer be covered in the warranty, so it’s possible that installing a lift kit will not void the entire warranty.
For example, modifying the suspension might only mean that your suspension is no longer covered in the warranty.
Again, check your warranty documents to see what the situation is for you!
If you’re still unsure about lifting your RAV4, some visual examples may help you decide if a lift is right for you.
Check out these lifted RAV4 photos to see the difference that a suspension lift can make!
Want to add your car to the gallery? Contact us!
As we mentioned before, lift kits can be expensive!
On average, the cost of lifting a Toyota RAV4 is between $650 and $1,500. You can expect the parts to cost between $400 and $1,000, and the labor to cost between $250 and $500.
Let’s talk more about the cost of lifting a Toyota RAV4 so you can determine if it fits your budget.
The cost of a RAV4 lift will depend on a few different factors:
- Your model year and trim level – Different model years and trims may have different costs
- Quality of the kit – Higher quality kits will have a higher price tag
- Labor cost – The mechanic’s hourly rate will have a significant effect on the cost
For most people, it will be best for a professional to install your lift kit. You may not have the tools or expertise to perform a correct (and safe) installation yourself.
However, if you’re familiar with vehicle suspension (and have the necessary tools), let’s do this!
Before starting the installation process:
- Read all instructions that came with your kit
- Make sure your kit isn’t missing any parts
- Make sure you have all the tools on hand that are necessary to complete the job
The specific steps will vary depending on a few different factors, such as your model year, vehicle trim, and lift kit brand, but here are some general instructions for installing a lift kit on a RAV4.
Here is a summary of the steps to install a lift kit on a Toyota RAV4:
- Disconnect the battery
- Loosen the strut bolts under the hood
- Suspend the vehicle on a lift and remove the wheels
- Install the front strut spacers on the OEM struts,
- Install the front cradle spacers
- Install the rear cradle support bracket spacers
- Lower the control arms and remove the springs
- Install the spacers on the springs, then reinstall the springs
- Reinstall the wheels and enjoy your lifted RAV4!
DISCLAIMER: These steps should not be used as a guide during an installation, but rather as an overview of what to expect. This is NOT a comprehensive installation guide!
Where to Buy a Lift Kit
When you’re ready to buy your lift kit, there are a few different buying options available.
We recommend two different options for buying your lift kit:
- Directly from the manufacturer
If you’re buying from Amazon.com: prices are generally cheaper and you’ll have more brands to choose from
If you’re buying from the manufacturer: prices may be higher and you’ll need to know which brand you plan on purchasing, but you’ll (usually) get great customer support
Wherever you choose to buy your lift kit, make sure you read reviews for the product and check the specifications to ensure that it fits your model year and trim level.
Best RAV4 Lift Kits
When browsing the interest for lift kits, especially on Amazon, you’ll see TONS of different options. Unfortunately, many of these products are garbage!
When it comes to your suspension, don’t cheap out! After all, your suspension keeps your car safely planted on the road!
Since there are so many different lift kits available for the RAV4, we’ve taken the time to analyze the market and find some of the most highly recommend kits.
ReadyLift 2″ (2006-2018)
This 2-inch lift kit by ReadyLift is designed for 2006-2018 RAV4s. This kit is made in the USA and bolts right onto the vehicle without any permanent modifications.
Based on our research, this is the most highly recommend lift kit for RAV4s in the 2006-2018 model years.
People who purchased this lift kit were impressed with the quality and fitment. There were no major complaints about the kit itself.
However, people reported a few issues with properly receiving their shipment. Some people reported missing parts and one reviewer actually received… a box of soap. Luckily, ReadyLift is quick to fix any issues with missing parts or accidental soap deliveries.
Overall, this lift is great if your RAV4 falls within the 2006-2018 model year!
NOTE: The Amazon page says it only fits 2013-2018 RAVs, but the manufacturer confirms that it actually fits 2006-2018.
Torq Engineering 2″ (2019-2023)
The Torq Engineering 2-inch lift kit is designed for 2019-2023 model year RAV4s.
Although this is the cheapest 2-inch lift on our list, it doesn’t necessarily sacrifice quality.
People who purchase the Torq Engineering lift kit were very satisfied with the quality of the product. Additionally, people reported that it was very easy to install (even if you’re by yourself).
There were not any major complaints about this lift kit.
This lift kit is our top choice if you have a 2019+ Toyota RAV4. The pricing is fair, the quality is good, and the installation process is straightforward! You simply can’t go wrong with this kit.
Rough Country 2.5″ (2019-2021)
This 2.5-inch lift kit from Rough Country is the highest available lift kit currently on the market. It is only available for model years 2019-2021 and certain trim levels.
This kit is good if you’re looking to add the most clearance possible to your RAV4 and want larger tires.
People love this lift kit and did not have many complaints. It gets the job done and is a high-quality kit at an affordable price.
However, the main complaint among buyers is that it can be a pain to install. The instructions are vague, specifically for the rear of the vehicle. People said that the order of the steps for the rear installation did not make sense.
Overall, this is a great lift kit if you want maximum clearance for your RAV4. It is high-quality and reasonably priced. However, we recommend professional installation for this kit because buyers reported lots of confusion with installing the rear section of the lift kit.
NOTE: This product appears to fit the 2022 model year as well. Also, pay specific attention to the compatibility with different trim levels on Rough Country’s website!
Choosing the Right Tires
After lifting your RAV4, you may realize that you want bigger and more aggressive tires. Stock tires tend to look small and unappealing on any lifted vehicle.
When choosing new tires for your lifted RAV4, consider the following factors:
- The terrain you’ll be driving on
- The weather conditions in your area
- Your budget
There are many great tires on the market for the RAV4 that would work well with a suspension lift, so take your time to do research on all of your options.
Expert Tips for Using Your Lifted RAV4
Once your lift kit is installed, you’ll be excited to test it out in some real-world scenarios!
Here are some of the best ways to use your lifted RAV4 after installing this modification:
- Forest roads and trails: If you’re lucky enough to live around some forest roads or dirt trails, those are the best way to test out a lifted RAV4. This is always my favorite thing to do when I get the chance!
- Road trips: The RAV4 is a great road-tripping car. I even spent 4 months in the past two years on the road with my RAV4! When you have a lift kit, you’ll be able to explore more remote areas during your trip since you won’t be held back by rough roads.
- Winter driving: Since you have more ground clearance, you’ll be able to navigate deeper patches of snow since it won’t get stuck beneath your vehicle.
I hope these ideas inspire you to lift your RAV4 and start exploring!
Heading Into the Wild
Now that you’re all informed about lifting your RAV4, you’ll be ready to head into the wild and start exploring!
If you still have questions about lifting a RAV4, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us for more information. We’d be happy to help answer your questions.