A red 2019 Chevy Colorado Bison is shown from the front while driving over rocks.

Getting the Most for Your Money: Shopping for a Used Truck with a Factory Lift

What’s the reason behind your search for used lifted trucks for sale? Are you looking for the perfect rig to take off-road, or are you drawn to the style or appearance of a truck that sits higher off the ground? There’s no right or wrong answer; it’s a matter of preference and performance needs. Lifted trucks are staples in the off-road realm just as much as they are on-road as “pavement crawlers” due to the popularity of their aesthetic.

Searching for a used truck with a factory-installed lift offers many advantages. For example, these trucks roll off the production line and onto the dealership lot with the lift installed. As a result, the lift is included in the truck’s MSRP and covered by the manufacturer-backed warranty. On the used lot, this means that—depending on age and mileage—you can find a truck with a factory-installed lift that is still under warranty. This coverage adds peace of mind, especially if you’re pushing the truck to its limits on the trail.

But how do you know what models come with a factory-installed lift? The industry makes it relatively easy, with manufacturers like Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota going toe-to-toe to answer the ever-growing demand from drivers looking for more ground clearance, capability, and unique style in their trucks. We see this in models like the Ford F-150 Raptor, Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, and Toyota Tacoma. These are three of the most popular trucks in the industry, making them even more valuable on the used lot, where you can reap the benefits and pay far less than any new truck price.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is an excellent find on the used lot because it transforms the mid-size Colorado into a rugged adventurer that remains loyal to the reliability of the Chevy name. The 2018 Colorado ZR2 sits two inches higher than its run-of-the-mill sibling, thanks to a factory-installed suspension lift. It also boasts a wider track that adds 3.5 inches to the standard Colorado. Other off-road components include class-exclusive front and rear electronic locking differentials and Chevrolet’s revolutionary Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve damper technology for improved handling and agility.

These features make the ZR2 worthy of the trail, but which one is the best option on the used lot? The 2018 Colorado ZR2 is one of the most affordable because of its age; however, the 2019 model offers even more. Chevrolet outfitted the truck with the updated Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system via a seven-inch or eight-inch color touchscreen display and added an available high-definition rear vision camera to give drivers a crisp view behind the truck.

Things get even more interesting when you find a 2020 Colorado ZR2 Bison, which marks Chevy’s first collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). The ZR2 Bison builds on the best-selling Colorado and adds several trim-specific components, like a unique front grille and AEV front and rear bumpers. Additional updates like fog lamps, wheel moldings, and high-strength skid plates make the Bison a must-have for adventurers on a budget who don’t want to sacrifice style or exclusivity.

A blue 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor is shown from the front while jumping after leaving a dealer that advertised having used lifted trucks for sale..

Ford F-150 Raptor

Finding an F-150 Raptor on the used lot is like hitting the proverbial jackpot if you’re a loyal Ford fan. The F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America for years, which Ford celebrates by continuously upping the ante to make it more capable and innovative with each new model year and generation. This ongoing evolution characterizes speed demons and adventurous road warriors like the F-150 Raptor, a high-performance truck in its third generation after its 2010 debut. While first-gen models are undoubtedly enticing, a second or third-generation model means enjoying the latest technology and features at a fraction of the new truck sticker price.

The second-generation Raptor debuted in 2017, adding 6.4 inches to the F-150’s width and larger Fox dampers to raise the truck another two inches. In addition, the advanced all-wheel drive system with individual terrain modes makes the 2017 Raptor even more agile than its predecessor. These modes carry over to the 2018 model, which saw few updates beyond exchanging the Sony audio system for Ford’s premier Bang & Olufsen sound system that delivers a concert-like experience throughout the truck. The 2019 Raptor enjoyed more updates, notably an upgraded suspension, Fox Racing adaptive dampers, and Trail Control, a vital tool for off-roaders since it acts as low-speed cruise control on the trail.

Depending on your budget, the 2021 F-150 Raptor is enticing and marks the debut of its third generation. The redesigned rear suspension, coil-spring setup, larger internal-bypass dampers, and 37-inch tires make this Raptor absolutely remarkable. In addition, new technology like the fully digital gauge cluster, 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and flat-folding shifter add incredible value to the 2021 model, especially if you can snag one of these gems on the used lot.

A white 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is shown from the front at an angle while driving off-road.

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

The Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks on the used lot, even more so if it has a factory-installed lift. The Tacoma is renowned for its off-road prowess, especially models like the TRD Pro. Toyota introduced the TRD Pro package in 2015, adding a two-inch front lift with Bilstein 2.5-inch front shocks and 2.0-inch rear shocks for improved maneuverability on technical terrain. The combination worked and set a new trend for the Tacoma, with future models like the 2018 TRD Pro raising the bar by adding 16-inch black alloy wheels and all-terrain tires, a front skid plate, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, and exclusive badging.

The 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro is even more exclusive, especially with the available Desert Air Intake. The intake raises the engine’s intake, moving it away from the dust into clean air for improved performance in harsh conditions. Toyota also introduced new exterior colors for the year, including the popular FJ Cruiser-inspired Voodoo Blue.

Beyond these minor updates, the Tacoma TRD Pro remained relatively unchanged until 2022. As a result, the newest iteration of the TRD Pro family is nearly impossible to find on the used lot. On the rare chance you hit the Tacoma jackpot, you’ll be amazed by the taller suspension lift that raises the truck 1.5 inches in the front and 0.5 inches in the rear for improved approach, breakover, and departure angles that ensure the Tacoma is always ready for adventure on the trail.

Finding the Perfect Lifted Truck

Drivers have always found ways to customize or modify their vehicles, especially when it comes to harnessing the full capability and power of their trucks. Unfortunately, suspension lifts were relegated to the aftermarket realm for years as automakers left these modifications up to drivers’ preferences and specific styles. Luckily, that has changed as demand for lifted trucks exceeded supply and forced automakers to respond.

Today, factory-lifted trucks are incredibly popular, which makes shopping for a used truck with a factory-installed lift exciting and fun. It’s a new type of adventure where you have the chance to search for the perfect truck for your needs at a price that keeps more money in your wallet. And with a factory-installed lift, you just might find a used truck that’s still under warranty, lift and all. There’s no better deal than that, especially for those planning to push the truck to its limits on the trail.