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Lift Kit vs Leveling Kit: A Closer Look at Their Differences!

lift kit vs leveling kit
Last Updated on Aug 16, 2023 By Lillian Kazmierczak

The debate between lift and leveling kits is a traditional one, but the outcome depends on several factors. Both kits can increase the value and usability of your truck, although some are better designed for specific activities and driving types. Here comes all the distinctions between lift and leveling kits so you can decide what’s best for your vehicle.

Leveling kit

A leveling kit provides precisely what the name indicates as it levels the truck’s rear and front ends. This kit assists by slightly raising the front and balancing it with the back, which is set somewhat higher by nature. The reasoning for this is to minimize sagging with big loads on an SUV or truck. As a kit, such sets may have several components. Coil spacers, shocks, lift blocks, torsion keys, and strut extensions are the most typical components.

Lift kit

Lift kits, on the other hand, provide your vehicle with a greater working height. They raise both the front and back ends by an inch or more. Shocks, track bars, control arms, springs, coil, bushings, and other components are typically included in this kit.

Body lift kits and suspension lift kits and are the two types available. Suspension lift kits are far more difficult to install because they involve the replacement of practically everything, including struts and leaf springs. This results in increased ground clearance, improved suspension flexibility, and more space for bigger tires. Body lift kits, on the other hand, do not affect steering geometry or ground clearance.

Lift Kit vs. Leveling Kit: Side By Side Comparison

Difference between Lift Kit and Leveling Kit

1. Use

While both lift and leveling kits increase the height of your vehicle, there is a big distinction between them. The leveling kit just adjusts the front side to balance its elevation with the back end, while you’re not transporting a heavy load. A lift kit, on the other hand, increases both the front and back ends of the vehicle, delivering the entire vehicle a perceptible elevation.

2. Height

For your vehicle, the two kits provide distinct ranges of raising heights. A leveling kit will lift the front area of your vehicle by 2.5 inches maximum. With lift kits, particularly the suspension version, you may add 10 inches to both the front and back sides.

3. Ease of Installation

In comparison to lift kits, leveling kits are very easy to install and upkeep. With lift kits, you must elevate the vehicle’s body first and then replace the majority of the parts. Furthermore, after applying the lift kit, the chassis becomes more noticeable.

Installing a leveling kit, on the other hand, doesn’t even need a vehicle body lift or component replacement. Only a few components from the manufacturer version will need to be removed. Because of that leveling kits require less effort and time to implement than lift kits.

4. Off-Road Performance

If you commonly travel on rough terrain with difficult terrain characteristics, a lift kit will improve your driving experience. Because you can elevate both ends of the truck considerably with this kit, you have more space to fit larger tires and have a higher overall ride height.

5. Style

While applying a leveling kit will provide the appropriate balance for your empty truck or SUV, people may not realize it. The variation in height between the older and newer height will not be significant enough to attract attention. So if you wish your truck to have a significant distinction, lift kits are the right choice.

6. Cost

Because lift kits need more work, such as equipment replacement and give greater height, it is not surprising that they are more expensive. The most costly leveling kits are only around several hundred dollars, whereas the most costly lift kits cost several thousand dollars or even more.

Advantages of Leveling Kit

1. Balance of Wheels

By design, trucks and SUVs are manufactured with the back end somewhat elevated than the front. This rake will assist in carrying a big load without causing wheel instability. The extra few thousand pounds causes the spring rear ends to compress and drop a few inches. This problem may be solved with a leveling kit that raises the front side by 2.5 inches while the original riding quality will not be affected.

2. Larger Tires

Some leveling kits can raise the front side high enough to allow for the installation of somewhat larger tires. It removes the original rake to give your vehicle more ground clearance at the front. So, if you’ve been considering buying new tires for improved off-road handling, leveling kits should help you with it.

3. Affordable

Leveling kits are reasonably priced, so you won’t have to invest a fortune or steal a bank to achieve perfectly balanced sides. Many of them are under a hundred dollars, and several are even under fifty. As a result, you may effortlessly apply its benefits to your favorite vehicle.

4. Easy Installation

The majority of these kits are simple to set up. A leveling kit can be installed without jacking up your vehicle. It is more concerned with improving the front side than with lowering the rear side. As a result, the total payload balance is preserved.

Disadvantages of Leveling Kit

1. Death Wobble

Applying a leveling kit on some vehicles might cause death wobble if its geometry does not match. The kit tends to extend the stock suspension pressure, making any wear more visible. This causes a death wobble, in which you experience an uncontrollable steering instability. You should install it using exact front-end dimensions and then replace any worn components.

2. Gas Mileage

Your gas efficiency may be reduced if you utilize this kit. Wind resistance could arise in the vehicle since the front area sitting somewhat higher than normal. This increased airflow can enhance fuel usage, giving you higher gas consumption than before.

3. Appearance

A leveling kit isn’t the way to go if you’d like to give your truck a fresh tough look. It does not make a significant difference to the vehicle. This kit merely balances the front and rear end heights. However, more fashionable add-ons to the leveled vehicle are widely obtainable.

Advantages of Lift Kit

1. Higher Lifts

Lift kits may completely transform the appearance and usefulness of your vehicle. While the truck may appear more desirable to others, you will also profit from the massive lift. A lift kit may raise the vehicle by 10 inches, based on the variation.

2. Ideal for Off-road

If you’re an off-road enthusiast who frequently ventures off-road, a lift kit might give your vehicle the boost it needs. A properly raised vehicle can glide through rough terrains with as little effort as possible. You may make the journey even smoother and more pleasurable by fitting larger tires.

3. Original Ride Quality

Although a lift kit may elevate your truck’s whole body, most of them don’t make a significant difference in the way it rides. As a result, you may keep your original steering feel while gaining a greater perspective of the open road. There would be no need to adjust to a different driving style with this kit.

Disadvantages of Lift Kit

1. Comprehensive Installation

As previously stated, applying lift kits needs a bit more work than typical. To get the desired height, you will need to replace the control arms, springs, shocks, and nearly everything else. You may also need to install new driveshafts and modify brake lines occasionally.

2. Stability Issues

While a 10-inch lift is amazing, it will also force the center of gravity to shift higher. This might cause stability concerns, particularly while riding at higher speeds. As a result, experts would advise driving an elevated truck on the highways with caution and at a reasonable speed. Otherwise, this could result in traffic accidents.

3. Expensive

Lift kits are far more costly than leveling kits. Their pricing range starts at a few hundred dollars and goes all the way up to a couple of thousand dollars. Furthermore, hiring a professional to configure it can set you back anywhere from $400 up to approximately a thousand dollars.

Which One Is Right for You?

It all depends on whether you need a leveling kit or a lift kit for your car to handle your daily journeys and driving habits. The leveling kit would suffice if all you desire is a little elevation. However, if you’d like to make your SUV or truck look ferocious by raising it several inches over its natural level, a lift kit is the way to go. The leveling kit has the advantage in terms of cost and ease of installation. However, due to its elevation and off-road capabilities, the lift kit may be the most cost-effective option.


1. Are Leveling Kits Bad For Your Truck?

Ans. A well-installed premium leveling kit will not harm your vehicle. A leveling kit might also be useful if you want to use a snowplow.

2. Is a Leveling Kit the Same As a Lift Kit?

Ans. With leveling kit, the front side of the truck is leveled to match the standard height of the rear, with a maximum rise of around two inches at the front. A lift kit raises the vehicle significantly higher, but it takes a lot of time and effort to install what is essentially a full suspension system.

3. Does a Leveling Kit Void Warranty?

Ans. The leveling kit won’t cancel your warranty until something malfunctions as a result of its use. There will be no warranty if that happens.

4. Does a Leveling Kit Help Improve the Ride?

Ans. A leveling kit will raise the front area of your vehicle by 1 to 3 inches, increasing overall ground clearance. This also implies that bigger tires can be installed on your wheels.

About the author

Lillian Kazmierczak

As far as I can remember, I would say I have been a car nut for my whole life. My father was a car dealer who used to change and repair his cars himself. This gave me the opportunity to get around all sorts of cars and get my hands dirty repairing vehicles from an early age.

A great fan of Japanese quality and German preciosity, my deep passion lies in older models that I believe have a flair that takes me back to my childhood! I also love their extraordinary durability and reliability when compared to today’s modern models.

When not out taking a ride, I enjoy socializing with fellow motorheads online and consuming any car facts and figures I can get my mind on!

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