ICON Lift Kit Review: Is It Worth It?

Your pickup truck or SUV is made to traverse a variety of terrains much better than a sedan or minivan can. But, their performance can be enhanced even further with a suspension system lift kit that smooths out the ride and makes the bumps more bearable.

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The ICON lift kits have ten different stages of kits that will allow you to find just what you need. They’ll make the ride smoother, add ground clearance, and improve the overall drivability. The downsides are the price and that you may not be able to find a kit for an older vehicle.

 

Overall Rating

8/10

Ease of Use

10/10

Ease of Assembly

7/10

Affordability

7/10

Pros of ICON Lift Kits

  • Classified by stages: Find exactly what you need with stages 1-10, each one offering an extra feature not offered in the previous stage.
  • Go off-road: Lifts up the vehicle so you can easily drive over different types of terrain.
  • Fewer bumps: Driving over uneven terrain won’t bounce you around compared to before the lift kit was installed.
  • Increases overall drivability: You’ll find that your vehicle is much easier and pleasant to drive once it has a lift kit.
  • Easy maintenance: Wear and tear will cause these to deteriorate over time, but you only need to consider replacing them around 100,000 miles.

Cons of ICON Lift Kits

  • High price: The price tag of ICON lift kits is higher than other suspension systems brands. You get fewer pieces for more money, but you’re guaranteed a high-quality product.
  • Limited options: If you’re hanging onto your older vehicle, you might have difficulty finding a kit for it.
  • Installing takes effort: Many tools and a lot of time will be required to install a lift kit onto your vehicle.
  • Decreased vehicle value: Many people see vehicle modifications as a negative thing, so lift kits could hurt your resale value if you leave them on when you sell.

Should You Get One?

An ICON lift kit can be a pricey investment, so it’s important to consider some things if purchasing one is the right decision for you. 

Vehicle Needs

First, you should consider your vehicle needs. If you frequently travel across sparsely-traveled trails or you like to go off-roading, then a lift kit is definitely a necessity for you. If you don’t go off-roading very often and you spend more time on the pavement than you do country fields, then you might not need a kit.

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Lift kits improve car suspension, which is crucial for car safety. The suspension is responsible for keeping tires in contact with the ground at all times. When a car ride feels bumpy, the tires aren’t making good contact with the uneven ground. Lift kits help the tires stay on the ground and create smoother rides. 

 

When your vehicle bounces around, it creates an uncomfortable ride and a potentially dangerous ride, too. If you have luggage stored in the back seat, on top of the vehicle, or in the bed of the truck, you risk jostling them around so much that they could fall out of the vehicle and onto the roads.

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Investment Worth

You should also consider if it’s worth the investment. The smallest lift kit starts at around one thousand dollars, so it’s certainly an investment and not something you wake up and decide to buy one day. Consider the current age of your vehicle, how long you plan to have your vehicle, and how long you intend to use it in a way that needs a lift kit.

 

If you travel on uneven terrain or go off-roading frequently, then you should definitely buy a lift kit. It will help you stay safe and will save you money in the long run by preventing your vehicle from getting damaged since the kits lift the vehicle higher.

 

If you think you’ll sell your vehicle soon or will have a reason to stop off-roading, then you probably shouldn’t invest in a lift kit. Life is unpredictable, and you can’t always know what will happen, but you should at least try to think of all the potential reasons you might regret buying a lift kit later on.

 

What if you only occasionally have a use for a lift kit? You’ll have to decide if the time and effort is worth it to you. Are the expensive price tag and the long installation process worth 3-4 uses a year? Keep in mind that lift kits provide safety and better functionality, and they 

Why an ICON Lift Kit Is Worth It

Get Exactly What You Need

The ICON lift kits come in ten different stages. The first stage is the “beginner” stage and offers the basics of a suspension system, which is just raising up the vehicle and improving suspension. 

 

Stage 2 kits are an upgrade of Stage 1. It’s essentially the same thing, but it’s more for medium off-roading. 

 

The higher you go in stages, the more advanced the system will be. If you don’t do any major off-roading, Stages 1-3 will work for you. Medium performance stages are 3-5, and anything extreme would be Stage 6 or higher.

 

With ten different stages to choose from, it’s easy to find a lift kit that will suit your specific needs.

Go Wherever You Want

Lift kits create better suspension and more ground clearance, allowing you to travel pretty much wherever you want. Small cars such as sedans don’t drive well on uneven ground; even dips on paved roads can scratch them up because they can’t clear it. Pickup trucks and SUVs have better ground clearance, but even they can’t perform well on uneven terrain.

 

With a lift kit, you can raise your vehicle so it won’t get scraped by hills, weeds, and other debris. On a day-to-day basis, you don’t have to worry about tall curbs scraping the bottom of your vehicle when you have the lifts installed.

Get a Smoother Ride

Suspension lift kits keep tires on the ground better than they usually do, therefore making your ride much smoother. More advanced stages of ICON lift kits will provide more stability than the basic stages will. 

 

This is something to consider if you choose to buy a kit. If you drive on bumpy ground and you experience a lot of bouncing, it’s probably best that you get a more advanced stage kit since it will be able to stabilize your vehicle much better.

Easy to Maintain

Lift kits don’t have an expiration date, but instead, need to be replaced based on wear and tear. If you use them heavily in rough conditions, you’ll probably have to replace them sooner than someone who only drives on paved roads.

 

As a general rule of thumb, consider replacing them every 100,000 miles (160,934.4 kilometers). Most vehicles require some routine maintenance at the 100,000-mile mark, so it’d be a good habit to check the lift kit when you’re checking everything else. 

 

Maintenance isn’t necessarily mandatory for lift kits, but it’s highly recommended if you’re going to put the money and time into purchasing and installing them. If you clean them and check for rust and breakage regularly, you may not have to replace them every 100,000 miles. If you keep an eye on them, you can get by with only replacing them when you really need to.

The Downsides

The ICON lift kits have plenty of reasons to buy them, but there are a couple of points that might turn you away. Let’s take a look at those.

It’s a Big Investment

The price tag that comes on ICON lift kits is quite hefty, but that’s to be expected when it comes to vehicle modifications that enhance the performance. Stage 1 kits start at around one thousand dollars, and that’s just the bare bones of a suspension system.

 

What about more advanced stages? A Stage 7 kit is around five thousand dollars, and it’s definitely possible for the price to go up from there. 

 

The price depends greatly on the make and model of your vehicle, however. Kits are tailored for specific models of vehicles, and some vehicles have more expensive kits than others do.

 

ICON has high-quality lift kits, however, so the price isn’t totally outlandish. If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should get a lift kit, the price might be the deciding factor for you.

Long Installation Time

Installing ICON lift kits is a do-it-yourself activity. You’ll need to take the tires off your vehicle and install all the pieces onto your vehicle. If you buy an advanced kit, you’ll have several pieces you’ll need to install. The basic kits, however, only have a few pieces.

 

Kits don’t usually come with all the tools you need to install everything, so you’ll need to make sure you have all the proper tools for the job. 

 

Depending on your familiarity with vehicles, installing a lift kit could take up the entire day. It’s important to take your time when installing a suspension system to make sure your vehicle runs correctly afterward. If you realize you made a mistake, you’ll have to undo it and correct it so you’ll be able to drive your vehicle afterward.

 

Lift kits are difficult for novice mechanics. The kits aren’t necessarily a certified mechanic type of job, but it does require some knowledge and definitely a lot of patience. 

Limited Availability

ICON lift kits are made specifically for individual vehicles since no two vehicles are exactly the same. Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, and all the other vehicles have their own design; these kits aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of product. 

This means that older models might be difficult to shop for. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma has lift kits available in Stages 1-10, but the 1995 Toyota Tacoma only has lift kits available in Stages 1-3. This could be for a variety of reasons – technology has improved greatly over the past twenty-five years, newer models are more powerful, or the way Tacomas are built has changed.

 

Whether it’s a change in power or technology, you won’t be able to find the same powerful products for older vehicles as you will for current vehicles. ICON may eventually stop carrying lift kits for old vehicles if the demand for them slows down, so you won’t be able to buy replacement pieces if your lift kit malfunctions or breaks.

Decreased Vehicle Value

It’s unrealistic to think that you’ll keep your current vehicle forever, and lift kits can, unfortunately, bring down the value of vehicles. Many people assume that vehicles with lift kits installed have been treated poorly. They expect there to be a lot of hidden damage caused by off-roading in the mud. 

 

This isn’t always true – you can go off-roading but still take care of your vehicle – but it’s a shared assumption that isn’t easy to shake.

 

If you try to trade in or sell your vehicle to a car dealership, they might try to give you less than it’s actually worth because of the lift kit. If you’ve made any other modifications to your vehicle, those can greatly decrease its value, as well.

 

When it’s time to sell your vehicle, the smartest thing to do is to remove the lift kit and other modifications you have. Make sure the vehicle is clean and free of scratches. It’s amazing how much of a difference a simple lift kit can make when it comes to selling a vehicle.

 

Another aspect to consider is how much you paid for the lift kit. They’re not cheap, as it’s been discussed, so it’s understandable that you’d want to get your money back when you’re selling your car. You pay all this money on a lift kit, and it somehow lowers the value of your vehicle. 

 

Many people who try to sell their vehicle on Craigslist or in a parking lot will try to add on the price they paid for the lift kit to the value of the vehicle. It’s better to remove the lift kit before you try to sell your vehicle because, unfortunately, the price you want for it will be considered way too much compared to the price most people will say the vehicle is worth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a lift kit come with?

This will vary depending on which stage of a kit you purchase. If you choose a Stage 1 kit, you can expect to have four pieces with it. If you choose an advanced level kit, you might have closer to twenty pieces. This is also determined by the make and model of your vehicle.

 

The ICON 3.5” Stage 7 kit for an FJ Cruiser is an advanced kit, and it comes with fifteen pieces.

Can I sell a used lift kit?

The short answer: yes, you can.

 

You might not get many buyers, however. Many vehicle enthusiasts are wary of buying used parts if they don’t know the history of them. If you think you might want to sell your lift kit in the future, it’s wise to keep a careful record of:

 

  • How long they were on the vehicle (including mileage)
  • What conditions they were used in
  • How you installed and removed them
  • The dates of whenever they were cleaned or repaired

 

Keeping a log isn’t necessary, but it’ll allow you to keep a higher price on them and give the buyer confidence in their purchase. Most buyers will expect a dirt-cheap price if they think they’re taking a chance on questionable used parts.

What is a budget-friendly alternative to the ICON lift kit?

Rough Country has several lift kit options to choose from on Amazon. Their prices are generally much lower than ICON, and their kits are more universal. Most kits provide a year range for make and models of vehicles, meaning there are more options to choose from than the specially-tailored ICON kits.

 

The downside to Rough Country lift kits is that there isn’t a classification system in place. You can buy a Stage 4 kit from ICON, but there’s no way to identify the kits apart from make, model, and how many inches the lift kits raise your vehicle.

 

For comparison, here is the Rough Country 6” Lift Kit 2016-2020 Toyota Tacoma and the ICON Stage 2 3.5” Toyota Tacoma kit.

What kind of vehicles are ICON lift kits made for?

ICON makes lift kits for pickup trucks, SUVs, utility vehicles, and motorcycles. They have kits for every popular vehicle, such as Dodge/Ram, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Nissan, Toyota, and more. They also have kits for a utility vehicle and motorcycle brands, including Can-Am, Kawasaki, and Yamaha.

Final Thoughts

ICON lift kits are a great addition to the vehicle you like to take off-roading. If you need a smoother ride with fewer bumps, it’s definitely something to consider. ICON offers high-quality items at a high price – while the price might discourage you, you can be certain that you’re getting the best quality.

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