Buying 4x4 Trucks: 4x4 Trucks vs. Lifted Trucks

January 27, 2012

When it comes to choosing a 4x4 vehicle, usually people are confused whether they should go for 4x4 trucks or lifted trucks. Both types of vehicles have their share of supporters. The 4x4 trucks vs. lifted trucks debate can only be judged by paying attention to the following factors.

Ease of Driving

4x4 trucks are very easy to drive. Almost everyone who can drive a car can easily drive any 4x4 truck model, without any noticeable difficulty. These trucks offer very good handling. In comparison, lifted trucks have to be driven by an experienced driver. It's not child's play to drive a lifted truck. Their height off the ground contributes to the difficulty of driving them. The same factor makes it difficult to maneuver a lifted truck, especially on steep curves.   

Faster Driving

4x4 trucks are designed for faster driving. They offer smooth and easy acceleration and have a wonderful torque capability. There are a number of 4x4x trucks offered by different manufacturers that offer a much speedier acceleration than a lot of sedans. In comparison, lifted trucks are not as fast. Their design doesn't allow them to offer as fast a driving experience as 4x4 trucks.

All Terrain Driving

4x4 trucks are the favorite vehicles of adventure loving drivers. This is because they're fit to be driven across all sorts of terrains. They can easily be driven on smooth city roads, muddy downhill paths and frozen roads. The higher suspension on lifted trucks often allows the ability to drive on terrain that regular 4x4s have difficulty with. However, some of lifted truck owners complain of difficulty while making sharp turns on rugged terrain.  


The best 4x4 trucks are easily affordable. The most popular models from manufacturers like Ford and Toyota are available from $22,000 to $25,000. Used 4x4 trucks are available for even lower prices and are very efficient, too. The cost skyrockets when it comes to lifted trucks. One has to buy a good truck and then pay a large amount to get it lifted, which makes it even more expensive to own a lifted truck.

Risk Factors

4x4 trucks are designed to offer a safe and secure driving experience. Their capability of handling sharp turns and snow covered roads makes them safe to be driven any time of the year, in every part of the country. Lifted trucks, on the other hand, are considered riskier. They're heavy and their height off the ground can cause serious injury if someone is hit by them, not to mention the extra risk of roll-over. This is why different states have different laws regarding the allowable height of lifted trucks, as they are considered risky vehicles. 

Related Questions and Answers

What is the Height of the Highest Lifted Truck?

The highest lifted truck can vary from 10 inches to about 12 inches. Each state has its own laws on bumper heights and how far you can lift your truck. For example, Indiana has a bumper law of 27 inches to the bottom of the bumper, and 54 inches to the bottom of the headlights. Michigan has separate laws on bumper heights and frame heights. For example, a passenger vehicle should have a bumper height of 22 inches, and a bumper height of 12 inches. Heavy duty vehicles that range in the 7,501-10,000  pound range should have a bumper height of 30 inches, and a frame height of 26 inches, or within this range. Please get in touch with your state DMV to find out how high you can raise the truck. Though, an average of 6-10 inches is within accepted limits.

Do High Lifted Trucks affect the Vehicle's Fuel Economy?

Yes, high lifted trucks do increase your fuel consumption. The simplest reason is that bigger the truck, the more the power required to push it around. And that adds up to your fuel economy. Lifted trucks use larger tires that require more power to turn them in a larger circle, as compared to smaller tires in normal cars. Then the air that passes under your lifted truck drags down the suspension and the exhaust which slows it down. This means you have to use more fuel to push your lifted truck over the same distance, as compared to a civilian car. But even with these few drawbacks, you can take precautions to get your fuel consumption to as low as possible.

Are There Laws Against the Height of Big Lifted Trucks?

Yes there are laws that regulate the height of big lifted trucks. These laws are different in each state too. It's a good idea to get in touch with the DMV of your state to get exact information. For example, Ohio has a law that states heavy duty vehicles weighing in the 4,500 pound and under range, can have a maximum of 24 inches at the front bumper and 26 inches at the rear bumper. But Oregon does not have a maximum bumper height law. Though, headlights have to be at a maximum limit of 54 inches from the ground. Please take a look at your state's DMV requirements by using this forum link.

Which Model is the Best Selling Electric 4x4 Truck?

There are several models of electric 4x4 truck in the market at present. Out of the many models in the market, the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra win hands down due to their hardier build, better fuel emissions and purchase prices. The Silverado was the first of its kind offering 21-25 MPG, and it also offers the best fuel mileage among all trucks in the same category in the US. Both two wheel and four wheel drives are available, along with two or four door models. The same engine is used in the GMC Sierra, and that contributes to the same fuel efficiency and power. Another must checkout model is the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid, as it also offers value for money.

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