Best Lift Kits For Jeep Cherokee XJ – The Complete Round-up of 2021

| Last Updated: September 8, 2021

With a mix of style and off-road capability, lift kits can provide functionality and an aggressive aesthetic to the Jeep Cherokee XJ.

But with a glut of aftermarket options, knowing which lift kit to choose is an arduous journey.

To make the purchase easier, this guide will provide every aspect of the top products, what to look for in a lift kit, and answer other questions you might have. Armed with this information, you can find the best lift kit for your Jeep Cherokee XJ.

Comparison of the Best Lift Kits for Jeep Cherokee XJ

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Highlighted by a 3 year limited warranty
  • Laser cut material for versatile performance and durability
  • Highlighted by lifted leaf springs for superb suspension performance
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  • 3 Inch front and 2 inch rear suspension
  • Optimal material blend for all-around application
  • With an enhanced ground clearance
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  • Best for the Money
  • Highly recommended by XJ enthusiasts
  • All necessary hardware included
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  • Best Jeep XJ 4.5 Lift Kit
  • Fully adjustable with X-flex arms
  • Highlighted by impressive vibration damping
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  • Best Jeep XJ 3 Inch Lift Kit
  • With N3 shocks absorbers for versatile performance
  • Supports tires that are up to 31 inches in diameter
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  • Best Jeep Cherokee XJ Long Arm Lift Kit
  • Rubber bushings for enhanced adjustability
  • Perfect for models with a NP242 transfer case
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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Lift Kit

You can find lift kits for your Jeep Cherokee XJ in a number of heights, styles, and prices. That’s why researching the right one can feel so overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time buying and installing a lift kit. But before you pull the trigger on a new lift kit, make sure to pore over these factors so you pick the right one for your tastes and needs.

Price and Value

Budget can play a huge factor in what lift kit you buy for the Cherokee XJ. Some lift kits are as low as $300 or $400 while others can balloon into the thousands. However, a more well-known brand doesn’t always equate to a better value buy. Tons of companies have entered the aftermarket accessories space in the past decade or so, giving you plenty of options that will meet your budget (or the approval of your spouse).

Installation Ease

If you’re a hardcore gearhead, you probably won’t have to worry too much about the ease of installation of your lift kit. However, first-time installers can find the process troublesome, especially if they choose a kit that’s more difficult to install than others.

Keep in mind that several things can go wrong if you don’t install your lift kit properly. As a failsafe, you can always have a trained professional install the kit. But if you’re confident enough to go it alone, make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into and buy a kit that’s easier to install.

Capability and Driving Style

How you’re going to drive and the amount of capability you want will also play a crucial role in which lift kit you decide to buy. Are you a pavement driver that wants to add a little bit of aggression to your Jeep XJ, or are you an off-road enthusiast that wants to buy bigger tires and roll over the terrain in Moab?

Perhaps you just want some sort of balance between the two. Whatever you decide, just remember that how and where you plan to drive is a deciding factor in your ultimate purchase.

Review of the Best Lift Kits for Jeep Cherokee XJ

If you’ve done even a tiny bit of research on lift kits for the Jeep Cherokee XJ, you’re inundated with loads of information, brand names, and lift kit options.

So whether you’re going to turn your Cherokee XJ into an off-road behemoth or you want people to notice you on your way from the house to the gas station, these reviews of the best lift kits for Jeep Cherokee XJ should give you a valid starting point.

Best Overall

Rough Country N3 Series 623N2

Specifications

Lift Height: 4.5 inches

Maximum Tire Size: 33 inches

Installation Type: Bolt-on

Time Required for Installation: 5 to 6 hours

Shocks included: Yes

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Review

For a lift kit that’s easy on the wallet and great on the eyes, nothing beats the Rough Country N3 Series lift kit. With simple bolt-on installation, even the most novice DIYers can get the job done on a Saturday. And with everything you need to be included in the kit, you won’t have to run to the hardware store to finish the job.

Bottom Line

If you’re searching for a lift kit to accommodate 35-inch tires or even larger, this isn’t the product for you. A 33-inch tire may still require some modifications to the fender, which may lead you to another option on this list. Still, with an eye-popping price and the ease of installation, the Rough Country N3 Series lift kit is perhaps the best one that money can buy.

Pros

Easy to install

Mounting hardware included

Lifetime replacement warranty

Excellent aesthetic once installed

Contains all the big-ticket items, including shocks, springs, and the leaf packs

Cons

May work with 33-inch tires, but minor fender trimming is required

Some buyers say that it would be better if the kit came with upper control arms

Runner-up

Supreme Suspensions AZM 388.3(S6)

Supreme Suspensions - 3' Front + 2' Rear Suspension Lift for 1984-2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ 2WD 4WD Delrin Spring Spacers + Steel Shackles Lift Kit | Easy Install for Jeep Cherokee XJ Lift Kit

Specifications

Lift Height: 3 inches in the front and 2 inches in the rear

Maximum Tire Size: 32 inches

Installation Type: Bolt-on

Time Required for Installation: 2 to 4 hours

Shocks included: No

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Review

For a simple installation that takes a maximum of four hours, the Supreme Suspension AZM lift kit is a superb choice. Containing spring spacers and lift shackles, you don’t have to worry about removing your springs and shocks to complete an adequate lift. And with a low, low price, this kit is about as cheap as you can go and still get a quality lift.

Bottom Line

If you’re not familiar with Supreme Suspensions, you might be apprehensive about pulling the trigger. But with stellar reviews across the board, easy and quick installation, and excellent instructions if you aren’t sure where to start, the Supreme Suspensions AZM lift kit is a great buy all the way around. And it comes with stickers and a bottle opener to sweeten the deal. You can’t put a price on that.

Pros

Limited lifetime warranty

Includes detailed instructions for the novice installer

One of the quickest lift kit installations on the market

Increases ground clearance for better off-roading and looks

Works with both 2WD and 4WD Jeep Cherokee XJ models

Cons

Doesn’t include instructions of any kind

Doesn’t work with Jeep Cherokee XJ models that have welded bump stops

No shocks included, which means you’ll have to buy longer ones separately to the desired length

Best for the Money

Rubicon Express RE6160

Rubicon Express RE6160 2' Budget Kit for Jeep XJ

Specifications

Lift Height: 2 inches

Maximum Tire Size: 33 to 35 inches

Installation Type: Bolt-on

Time Required for Installation: 4 to 6 hours

Shocks included: Yes

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Review

If you’re an avid off-roader searching for a lift kit to accommodate 33- to 35-inch tires, the Rubicon Express lift kit does more than suffice. Not only does it provide clearance for your tires, but you also don’t have to raise your vehicle to comical heights to accommodate them. A simple bolt-on installation is required and detailed directions can turn your average gearhead into the king of the garage.

Bottom Line

It’s got the name Rubicon in it. That should be enough. But in all seriousness, this kit provides a 2-inch lift that’s easy to install. And even if you can’t be bothered to install it, the low price means that you can hire a professional without your wallet taking a heavy hit.

Pros

Detailed instructions make installation a breeze

Little difference in ride smoothness after installation

Bolt-on style shocks work great, even in rougher terrain

Can be used with super-flex or extreme-duty long arm systems

Can accommodate up to 35-inch tires, giving you the benefit of off-roading capability

Cons

Rear leaf pack replacements aren’t the best

Missing hardware components, especially if your older hardware is due for a replacement

May require you to purchase additional hardware, as it doesn’t include the U-bolts for the rear lift

Best Jeep XJ 4.5 Lift Kit

Rough Country 63330

Specifications

Lift Height: 4.5 inches

Maximum Tire Size: 32 inches or 33 inches with modification

Installation Type: Bolt-on

Time Required for Installation: 6 to 8 hours

Shocks included: Yes

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Review

Lift kits often make the Jeep XJ suffer from control and ride problems. But that’s not the case with the Rough Country 63330 lift kit. Even though it puts you 4.5 inches higher in the air, it contains Rough Country’s proprietary X-Flex control arms that are fully adjustable to give you a smoother ride. And with nitrogen-charged shocks included in the kit, you won’t feel the little bumps and potholes that plague many cheaper lift kits.

Bottom Line

If money is no obstacle, the Rough Country 63330 lift kit should be the first product you reach for if you’re in the market for a 4.5-inch lift kit. It checks all the boxes and then some, blending form and function into the heart of your Jeep Cherokee XJ. All that’s left to do is hit the off-road and see how this beast stands up to a pounding.

Pros

Limited lifetime warranty

Fully adjustable X-Flex control arms

Includes nitrogen-charged shocks for a smooth ride

Everything you need for a lift without a trip to the parts store or hardware store

Cons

Expensive compared to other options

Installation can take longer than other types of lift kits

Can only accommodate tires up to 33 inches, and that’s with modification

Best Jeep XJ 3 Inch Lift Kit

Zone Offroad Products J21N

Specifications

Lift Height: 3 inches

Maximum Tire Size: 31 inches

Installation Type: Bolt-on

Time Required for Installation: 5 hours

Shocks included: Yes

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Review

Zone Offroad Products isn’t a head-turning name in the lift kit industry, but the J21N lift kit looks poised to change all of that. Thanks to the inclusion of shocks, a full five-leaf pack, and all necessary hardware, this lift kit aims to reduce the poor ride that comes with many cheaper lift kits. And with outstanding reviews from nearly all buyers and a limited lifetime warranty, you won’t have to worry about this kit’s quality.

Bottom Line

Although brands like Rough Country are leading the charge in the lift kit realm, Zone Offroad Products proves that the quality of a product is more than just its brand name. Well-constructed, easy to install, and providing a cool aesthetic, this lift kit has it all.

Pros

Made in the USA

All necessary hardware included

Five-leaf pack provides a better ride

Maintains factory ride style even with the lift

Quick installation compared to similar lift kits

Cons

May not provide enough clearance for larger tires

Some buyers report needing an alignment after installation

Only fits Jeep Cherokee XJ models that have an 8.25 rear axle

Best Jeep Cherokee XJ Long Arm Lift Kit

Rough Country 616U

Specifications

Lift Height: For 4 to 6-inch lift kits

Maximum Tire Size: N/A

Installation Type: Bolt-on

Time Required for Installation: 1 to 2 hours

Shocks Included: No

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Review

Are you tired of putting extra wear and tear on your tires or suffering from poor steering and handling as a result of your lift kit? Then the Rough Country X-Flex Long Arm Upgrade Kit should be your next purchase. With these adjustable arms on your Jeep XJ, you’ll notice a sizable improvement in how well your vehicle handles, as well as the longevity of your tires.

Bottom Line

Although flex arms aren’t required for all lift kits, they’re a valuable accessory for those who don’t want to sacrifice the integrity of their ride by putting on a lift kit. And with Rough Country’s adjustable options, you simply won’t have to negotiate between height and handling.

Pros

Maintains the alignment

Increases maneuverability

Upper joints pivot up to 25 degrees

Lower joints pivot up to 30 degrees

Provides extra ground clearance over lift kit options

Cons

Powder coating can be prone to flaking

Attaching the transfer case skid plate to the frame rails is difficult

Price Points of Lift Kits

Like most aftermarket parts, manufacturers offer them at a number of prices. While price doesn’t necessarily coincide with quality, some of the more reputable brands may fetch higher prices. But to give you a starting point for your budget, this should give you a basic idea.

$100 to $300

If you can find a lift kit for less than $100, it should raise a red flag. However, the price point between $100 and $300 is a great starting point for entry-level lifters. At the low-end, you’ll find mostly spring spacer lifts with steel shackles. These are still a great option if you want a simple installation and can improve off-road stability if you don’t raise the vehicle too high.

Higher up in this range, you’ll find more high-quality options. This might include full kits with shocks, but often the shocks aren’t the same caliber as you’d find in higher price ranges. Above, you’ll see quality lift kits from Rubicon or Supreme Suspensions fit the mold of quality parts at an affordable price.

$300 to $600

The next tier of lift kits sees a drastic improvement in the quality of shocks and accompanying leaf packs. Better parts can equal a smoother drive, even if you’re going up into the 4.5- or 5-inch range for your Cherokee lift kit.

Rough Country offers its low-end products in this range, as well as offerings from the newer Zone Offroad Products lineup.

$600 or More

If your budget is of no concern, you can typically find some stellar lift kits for $600 or more. And as soon as you drive your vehicle with these, you’ll know it’s money well spent, especially once you reach or breach the $1,000 point.

These lift kits are usually made of higher-grade materials than lower price points, as well as offering additional parts and upgraded shocks that increase stability. If you love how your Cherokee rides at stock height but still want a lift kit, this is where you should shop. Rough Country has several options in this price range, as well as kits from makers like Rubicon.

Thinking of what more can you do to your Jeep XJ? Check this out: Best Jeep XJ Upgrades

How to Install Lift Kit on Your Jeep Cherokee XJ

If you’re going to forego the shop and install a lift kit on your own, you may not know where to start. Even with the included directions, sometimes things can get a bit tricky. To aid you in your conquest of lift kit installation, follow these simple steps.

How to Install the Lift Kit on the Front End 

  1. Disconnect the track bar.
  2. Disconnect sway bars on both sides.
  3. Loosen the shocks and lift them out.
  4. Remove the old springs.
  5. Put one of the new springs from your kit in place, making sure it fits in the pocket that’s on Cherokee XJs.
  6. Compress one side of the vehicle to allow you to fit the other spring in place.
  7. Install the new shocks.
  8. Reattach the sway bars.
  9. Install the track bar bracket (if included with your kit). It may need modifications to fit properly.

How to Install the Lift Kit on the Rear End

  1. Disconnect the shocks and then the axle U-bolts to free the axle.
  2. Take apart the leaf pack/leaf spring.
  3. Install the new (added leaf) and put the leaf pack back in place on both sides.
  4. Install the new shocks.
  5. Measure both the front and the rear when you’re done to make sure everything’s good to go.
  6. That’s it. You’re all done and ready to enjoy your brand new lift kit for the Jeep Cherokee XJ.

If you need more information on how to install a lift kit on your Jeep Cherokee XJ or you just need a visual aid, make sure to check out the video below.

Heighten the Look of Your Jeep Cherokee XJ With a Quality Lift Kit

With a high-quality lift kit on your Jeep Cherokee XJ, you can turn your everyday driver into a chariot of epic proportions. Not only will it look better, but you can also accommodate bigger tires and tackle even the toughest terrain. Just don’t settle for a low-quality kit. Instead, go with a reputable brand or one of the products on this list, and you’ll be satisfied with how your Jeep Cherokee XJ looks and drives.

People Also Ask

When you’re buying or installing a lift kit on a Jeep Cherokee XJ, you may have some questions or concerns that pop into your mind. So to give your brain some time off, here are some popular questions that people also ask, as well as the answers to set you straight.

How Much Does it Cost to Lift a Jeep Cherokee XJ?

The cost to lift a Jeep Cherokee XJ is highly dependent on what type of lift kit you buy, as well as whether you hire someone to install it or do it yourself. If you buy a super-cheap lift kit and get it installed, you could reasonably expect to pay about $500. However, labor can go up depending on how hard it is to install the lift kit. Throw in a premium lift, and you could be looking at up to $4,000. But as a general guideline, lifting your Jeep should cost around $1,000 to $2,000 for professional installation and a quality kit.

How Hard is it to Install a Suspension Lift Kit?

The process of installing a suspension lift kit on your Jeep Cherokee XJ is relatively straightforward, even for a novice if you follow the directions listed above. However, just because it’s straightforward doesn’t mean it’s not time-consuming. In most cases, you can expect to spend about 5 to 7 hours installing a lift kit.

How Do I Tell What Size Lift is on My Jeep Xj?

Perhaps the easiest way to tell what size lift is on your Jeep Cherokee XJ if you bought it from someone else is to look for the part number on the springs and the brand name. Usually, you can call the company, and they can tell you exactly how high your lift is.

Another way is to measure from the axle tube to the frame rail. This is probably the most accurate way to measure the lift if you don’t have a part number. You can also measure from the tire to the fender flare, but this assumes that you have stock fender flares. 

How High Should I Lift My Jeep Cherokee?

While there’s no right or wrong answer for how high to lift your Jeep Cherokee, most lift kits are usually between 1 inch and 4 inches. Some can even go as high as about six inches. What you have to think about is whether your lift will be high enough to provide clearance for larger tires, if that’s your goal, or if it’s just a matter of preference.

Who Worked on This?


Brian

Editor

A master of organization, Brian helps keep everything running smoothly for Your Jeep Guide.

No Jeep yet but we’re working on that!

Cory

Writer

Cory loves his XJ and frequently thrashes it through the hills. He’s constantly fixing something.


“What fenders?”

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