Toyota Tacoma factory lift kit won't mess with your truck's active safety tech

It's the only lift kit available that keeps the Tacoma's driver-assistance systems intact.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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2021 Toyota Tacoma
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2021 Toyota Tacoma

The added lift gives the Tacoma a nice stance.


Modifying your car or truck comes with a number of caveats, and one that isn't talked about nearly enough is how altering your vehicle can sometimes screw with its onboard safety systems. That's why Toyota's new lift kit for the Tacoma pickup truck is actually pretty cool.

The new TRD Lift Kit, which Toyota announced Wednesday, is the only one of its kind that's been validated by the company's engineers to be compatible with the truck's driver-assistance suite. Available for Tacoma V6 4x4 models, the TRD kit offers 2 inches of front suspension lift and a 1-inch lift at the rear.

The key to this upgrade is actually in the grille. Toyota's TRD kit includes a redesigned grille just like the one on the Tacoma TRD Pro, which has a Toyota Safety Sense millimeter-wave sensor and camera support bracket that allow the existing TSS tech to work as advertised following installation. On the Tacoma, the standard Toyota Safety Sense equipment includes precollision braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control.

New Bilstein shocks provide the additional lift, and come with cool-looking red dust boots with TRD graphics. In addition to extra ground clearance, the new shocks improve the Tacoma's off-road geometry, with a 32-degree approach angle, 23-degree breakover angle and 24-degree departure angle -- increases of 3.1, 1.6 and 0.5 degrees, respectively. These make the Tacoma slightly more capable than the standard TRD Off-Road model, but not quite as robust as the Tacoma TRD Pro.

The TRD Lift Kit is only available as a dealer-installed option and can be fitted to most 2020 model-year and newer V6 4x4 Tacomas (except the TRD Pro, because duh). The whole kit costs $1,350 not including labor, and best of all, it's backed by a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty, just like all other TRD upgrades.

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road: Ready and willing to get dirty

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