Toyota 4Runner Lift Kit Guide

Updated on Aug 10, 2023

In an industry dominated by overlanding and wheeling, lift kits are one of, if not the first, consideration of truck, Jeep, and SUV ownership–and your 4Runner is no exception. If you’re anything like us, the first thought that crosses your mind when eyeing your new 4Runner in the driveway is, “It’d sure look better with a lift kit.” 

Now, lifts aren’t just for style. Sure, they make for a rugged stance that allows you to clear oversized, aggressive wheel and tire packages, but they also make your 4Runner into an off-road-capable mid-size SUV! Even in factory form, the 4Runner is renowned for its off-road prowess and overall reliability. Installing a premium lift kit sure doesn’t hinder off-road performance; quite the contrary, it significantly improves it! 

Whether you’re looking to lift your 4Runner for aesthetic or practical reasons, RealTruck has you covered. We carry a wide inventory of lift brands and styles; however, we understand how challenging it can be to narrow down a product that meets your needs, expectations, and budget. 

In this guide, the experts at RealTruck tackle Toyota 4Runner lift kits, covering everything from the types of lifts on the market to our top-recommended products. With the kits on this list, your 4Runner will ride as great as it looks!

Types of Lift Kits

To kick things off, let’s look at the three styles of lift kit you’ll likely come across while browsing our extensive inventory: body lifts, leveling kits, and suspension lifts. While all three lift types are engineered with the same general purpose–increasing ride height–they accomplish this goal using different methodologies and components.

Body Lifts

The first style we’ll discuss is the body lift kit: a budget-friendly method of gaining tire clearance and overall ride height on body-over-frame chassis. These kits utilize rubber, polyurethane, or composite plastic spacers that install between the frame’s body mount and cab, spacing the body off of the frame by the height of the spacer (typically 1–3 inches). 

Body lifts are a primarily aesthetic modification; though they increase your 4Runner’s overall height and fender clearance, the chassis retains the same low-slung height and factory handling characteristics. While promoting a comfortable ride on the street and improved aesthetics, ground clearance and overall off-road performance are no better than stock.

Leveling Kits

Leveling Kits are a popular option for those desiring minimal lift, but a more balanced appearance. From the factory, your 4Runner features a significant rake (i.e. when the rear suspension sits taller than the front.) Though ideal for towing and hauling cargo, this rake creates an undesirable, unbalanced appearance. 

Leveling kits counteract the factory rake and low front ride height by elevating the front end to sit level with the rear–hence the title. These kits utilize strut spacers, aftermarket strut assemblies, lift spindles, modified upper control arms, or any combination of the aforementioned components to net a small front lift (typically 1–3 inches). 

These kits can significantly improve off-road performance due to the increased front fender clearances and travel; however, they maintain your 4Runner's factory towing characteristics due to retaining the stock rear suspension.

Suspension Lifts

Suspension lift kits are typically the most expensive of the three lift styles; however, they significantly improve off-road performance. These kits modify the front and rear suspension with numerous aftermarket components, including lift struts, strut spacers, lift spindles, drop brackets, coil spacers, longer shocks, and more! 

Lift kits significantly increase your 4Runners overall ride height, ranging from mild 1–3-inch lifts to wild 4–8-inch lifts! With greater variety, suspension lifts allow you to tailor your 4Runner’s ride height to its specific use, whether daily driving or dedicated wheeling. 

However, it’s important to note that, on top of being the costliest, suspension lifts are also the most labor-intensive to install, requiring modifications to the chassis and near total disassembly of the suspension. Suspension lifts also greatly impact on-road handling, often reducing stability at high speeds.

How to Choose Your Ideal Lift

Now that we’ve covered the three most popular lift varieties, which is right for you? In this section, we’ll look at the considerations every 4Runner owner should make when selecting their ideal lift kit.

Your Vehicle’s Primary Use

Arguably the most vital consideration is how you typically use your 4Runner. Is it a daily driver, a weekend wheeler, or a dedicated trail rig? Each constitutes a different style of lift, and while everyone’s different, we have a few recommendations. 

Suspension lifts are best kept for dedicated off-road rigs where on-road performance is less of a concern. Not to mention, who wants to leap into their daily driver to commute to work? 

Leveling kits and body lifts are solid contenders for daily drivers and weekend wheelers. These kits mildly increase ride height and minimally affect on-road driveability, towing capacity, and payload capacity.

Your Budget

While some have seemingly unlimited budgets, the average enthusiast has bills to pay aside from their 4Runner build. For this reason, it’s important to factor your budget into a lift. While there’s a considerable price range for each lift style, body lifts and leveling kits are typically at the low–mid end of the spectrum, while suspension lifts are at the mid–high end.

Installation Difficulty

Whether you plan to install your 4Runner’s lift in your driveway or have a shop perform the labor, installation difficulty should always be considered. 

If you have the kit installed professionally, installation difficulty is closely related to cost. A more complicated installation means longer hours at the shop and, as a result, more money spent on labor. If you’re planning to take on the job yourself, installation difficulty can directly impact your choice of lift. For instance, a spacer leveling kit is far easier to install than a body or full suspension lift, requiring fewer tools and hours. 

As a rule of thumb, leveling kits are the easiest of the three to install. Body lifts aren’t overly complex but do require you to lift the entire body off of the frame, which will likely pose a challenge for the DIY-er. Suspension lifts are typically the most complex and time-consuming to install.

Top 4Runner Lift Kits

To kick things off, let’s look at the three styles of lift kit you’ll likely come across while browsing our extensive inventory: body lifts, leveling kits, and suspension lifts. While all three lift types are engineered with the same general purpose–increasing ride height–they accomplish this goal using different methodologies and components.

Top Body Lift Kit: Performance Accessories 3” Body Lift

Performance Accessories is the world’s leading body kit manufacturer, specializing in high-quality, American-made body lifts for the past 30 years! The company utilizes premium fiberglass-reinforced nylon lift spacers for strength and durability, ensuring a lifetime of reliable service. All brackets are laser-cut from high-grade steel to ensure flawless fitment and superior structural integrity.


  • Available in 2 and 3-inch kits

  • Heavy-duty fiberglass-reinforced nylon spacers

  • Premium steel brackets

  • USA-made

  • Limited lifetime warranty

Top Leveling Kit: Bilstein B8 5100 Adjustable Lift Struts

Replace your 4Runner’s factory front struts with Bilstein B8 Adjustable Lift Struts to improve ride height and performance on and off-road! Bilstein’s adjustable lift struts eliminate the need for strut spacers; instead, they rely on adjustable spring perches to lift or lower the front coil springs, resulting in a 0–2.75-inch lift! 

The premium, gas-charged monotube lift struts are tuned to complement your 4Runner’s weight, providing excellent ride quality. And considering the strut’s bolt-on design, installation is as easy as swapping out your struts! 


  • Performance-oriented digressive valving

  • Ride height adjustable (0-2.75” lift)

  • 46mm gas-charged monotube design

  • Offers fade-free performance on or off-road

  • Durable zinc-plated steel bodies

  • Direct-fit installation

  • Sold individually

  • Limited lifetime warranty

Top Suspension Lift Kit: Icon 0–4” Adjustable Coilover Lift Kit

Icon’s 0–4” Adjustable Coilover Lift Kit is engineered to perform, featuring heavy-duty front coilovers, external reservoir rear shocks, long-travel rear coil springs, adjustable links, and tubular upper control arms with uniball spherical bushings. Like all of Icon’s lift kits, the 4Runner kit promotes exceptional travel and off-road performance, making conquering challenging trails a breeze! 


  • Adjustable ride height

  • Constructed from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum, CNC machined components

  • Specific kits include CDCV shocks

  • Bolt-on installation

  • No drilling, cutting, or welding

  • All hardware and components included

  • USA-made

  • Limited lifetime warranty

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