There’s something naturally appealing about having the biggest, baddest car on the block. That’s why many of us choose to purchase Jeeps in the first place.
However, many Jeep owners aren’t content to sit back and accept the factory look and functionality of their Jeep. Many of these folks decide to take things up a notch.
Lift kits are one of the best ways to make your Jeep stand out. They can also improve the vehicle’s off-road capabilities tremendously. If you’d like to purchase a lift kit but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
Read through this guide to learn everything you need to know about Jeep lift kits and to get a look at the top 5 options on the market today.
What is a Jeep lift kit?
Jeep lift kits are exactly what they sound like. They’re built to raise either a Jeep’s suspension or its body. Which of these the lift kit effects depends on the type that you purchase.
A lift kit can either raise your Jeep’s springs or its shocks to increase the height of the vehicle. Suspension lift kits are most common, but some Jeep owners prefer body lifts.
The difference between these is fairly straightforward. A suspension lift increases the distance between your Jeep’s axles and its frame. A body lift, on the other hand, increases the distance between your Jeep’s frame and its body.
Advantages of Jeep lift kits
There are two main advantages of installing a jeep lift on your vehicle. The first is style. Lift kits give Jeep owners another way to personalize their ride.
Lift kits make a Jeep feel bigger and many owners prefer that look to the Jeep factory standard appearance. This is entirely a matter of preference and one that may or may not matter to you.
Lift kits also improve a Jeep’s ability to navigate tough off-road terrain. Lifting your vehicle will increase its ground clearance and suspension travel. Additionally, it will free you up to install larger tires on your Jeep. This will enable you to drive your Jeep through outdoor obstacles that the vehicle wouldn’t be able to handle otherwise.
That being said, you should keep in mind that the improved off-road functionality provided by lift kits depends on other factors.
Simply lifting your vehicle won’t do much on its own. You also need to purchase the right tires and tune your suspension correctly. Otherwise, you may not see the off-roading improvements that you imagined when purchasing a Jeep lift kit.
Choosing a lift for your Jeep
There are several key factors that you’ll need to consider while shopping in order to get the most out of your purchase of a Jeep lift kit.
First, think about your driving habits. Do you use your Jeep as an everyday vehicle? Or is it something that you almost only take off-roading?
Your answer to this question will have repercussions for the amount of lift you want and what components you need to look for in a lift kit.
Speaking of components, some Jeep lift kits have more than others. For example, some kits will include adjustable control arms, sway bar disconnects, shocks, and brake lines while others won’t.
Understanding what you hope to achieve with a lift kit will help you figure out what components you need to have and which you can live without.
You should also consider why you’re shopping for a lift kit. Do you want to make your Jeep look cooler? Or do you plan to use the kit to improve your vehicle’s off-roading ability?
If it’s the former, then you can probably get by with an affordable body lift kit. If it’s the latter, you may need to invest more in your lift kit to see the results that you hope to achieve.
How much do Jeep lift kits cost?
As is the case with most auto parts, the cost of Jeep lift kits can fluctuate pretty significantly. These price differences can be based on quality, the components included in the kit, and the type of kit.
That being said, lift kits aren’t too expensive. You can purchase one for as little as $75 or as much as $2-3,000. The average cost for a quality lift kit is around $200. Ultimately, the amount you need to spend will depend on what you hope to achieve with a Jeep lift kit.
How much should I lift my Jeep?
As you shop, you’ll find Jeep lift kits that raise your vehicle anywhere from 1 to 3 inches. This is considered the normal lift range and should be fine for most Jeep owners.
There are some special kits that will lift your vehicle 4 inches or even more off of the ground. These are pretty expensive and are really only a good option for drivers with special needs.
How much you lift your Jeep is entirely up to you. There’s a simple trade-off that you should consider while thinking about this.
The higher you lift your Jeep, the better the off-road performance that you can get out of it. With that comes the downside of decreased handling, a harsher ride, and parts that wear out faster.
You may be willing to put up with these downsides if you’re someone who almost only drives their Jeep offroad.
However, if your Jeep is your everyday vehicle, then the downsides of a high lift can be super annoying to deal with. For these Jeep owners, it’s probably a better idea to stick with a 1-2” lift.
The 5 best lift kits for Jeeps in 2020
- Suspension lift
- Compatible with 07-18 Jeep Wrangler JK models
- Includes front/rear coil spring spacers, front/rear brake line brackets, front-rear shock relocation brackets, rear track bar bracket, rear sway bar links, and hardware
- Fits up to 35” tires
- 2-3 hour installation time
- Provides a 2.5” lift
This suspension lift kit from Rough Country is one of the best on the market. It’s priced affordably and comes with everything that you need to lift your vehicle. Even better, this kit allows you to install up to 35” tires on your Jeep without having to worry about it affecting your drive.
- 7.64 lbs
- 12 x 10.9 x 5.7 inches
- Fits Jeep Wrangler JK and Jeep Cherokees
- Constructed out of high-grade polyurethane
- Includes two front and two rear spacers
- Provides 2 or 2.5 inches of lift based on your isolator selection
If you’re looking for a budget Jeep lift kit, your options don’t get better than this. For just $89.99, this kit includes everything you need to get the job done.
The kit is also constructed in a way that allows you to return your Jeep to factory condition very easily. That makes it a good option for Jeep owners who aren’t sure about lifting their vehicles permanently.
- 18.11 lbs
- 11.34 x 9.37 x 5.59
- Compatible with Jeep Wrangler JK models (2007-2018)
- Includes front and rear shock extenders
- Manufactured out of high-grade steel
- Black powder coat finish
- 100% bolt-on installation
This is one of the best 3-inch Jeep lift kits you’ll find anywhere. It’s made in the USA and comes with a free lifetime warranty. Beyond that, it’s also highly durable thanks to its steel-based construction. You won’t have to break your budget to purchase this Jeep lift kit either.
- 4.29 lbs
- 7.3 x 7.1 x 6.8 inches
- Compatible with Jeep Wrangler TJ models from 1997 - 2002
- Includes 2 front spring spacers, 2 rear spring spacers, 6 transfer case drop spacers, and installation hardware
- East bolt-on construction that takes 2-4 hours and requires no special tools
- Provides 2” front and rear lift
This lift kit is a solid choice for owners of older Jeep Wrangler TJs. One of the features that we like is that the front and rear spring spacers are built out of high-quality Delrin plastic.
This is some of the strongest stuff on the market and will ensure that your spacers don’t compress under the load of your Jeep.
- 126.1 lbs
- 39 x 11.75 x 10.75 inches
- Compatible with 1997 - 2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ models
- 4-inch lift
- Includes every required component
- Pieces are boxed together at the factory where manufacturing occurs
This kit is perfect for Jeep Wrangler TJ owners who want more lift than what’s offered by standard kits. This product from Skyjacker includes everything that you need to get your Jeep a full four inches higher.
While the kit is fairly pricey, it’s not more than what you would pay for similar kits from other brands. If you’re ready for an extreme lift, then this Jeep lift kit could be your best option.