null Skip to main content
Lifting your Crossover (CUV)

Lifting your Crossover (CUV)

Apr 6th 2024

Flatout Suspension has been known as a premier lift suspension option for a few years now, and Offroad adventuring really took off around the time COVID locked us in our homes, or forced us to set about on adventures in solitude. In turn, this CUV (crossover utility vehicle) market has taken over the SUV boom. Everyone wants a smaller offroader that's better on gas. Be it a Subaru Outback, Ford Bronco Sport, Mazda CX-50, etc. Long gone are the desires for the gas guzzlers. This boom has even caught the attention of automobile manufacturers, evidenced by Subaru's "Wilderness", or Honda's "Trail Sport", etc.

bronco sport lift

As these smaller CUVs are more-car based with unibodies vs a body on frame design, offroading became a bit more challenging due to less ground clearance, multi-link suspensions, etc. The market shifted and put suspension companies like us to work.

On paper, building a coilover to lift instead of lower seems like it would be nothing more than "just make it longer." While simplified, that is true, there are a lot of factors involved that the inexperienced company that just wants to jump of the band wagon doesn't consider. While extending travel is a big factor, there's more to it. That's where our never-ending testing comes in to play.

First and foremost, for true offroad performance, you need grip. If your suspension is too stiff, it can't properly soak up rough terrain (especially at speed in rally/ rallycross). With a combination of our unique valving code and piston design, coupled with a spring that can easily compress without binding; soaking up bumps is a problem solved. We can deliver a package to make your car the way it should have come from the factory.

toyota rav4 lift

Once the suspension itself is up to task, the next thing to consider is geometry correction. In a multi-link suspension, when you raise the ride height, the trailing arm pulls the suspension forward and axle/ cv angles increase. An easy way to demonstrate this effect at home would be to put a jack under the rear differential and raise the car 1.5", then 2" and then 3", each time, paying attention to the position of the rear wheel. You will start to see it move forward in the arch.

Most cars with a multi-link suspension can go about 1-1.5" before the geometry becomes and issue. There are a few bits that will help correct this. The most common is a spacer which drops the subframe 1.5". If you are lifted 1.5" and then use a 1.5" subframe spacer, you have essentially cancelled out the geometrical effect of the lift. Your CV joints are back where they were and there's nothing pulling the suspension forward. Other vehicles such as the Ford Bronco Sport can get away with just a trailing arm spacer at 1.5" lift.

One of the biggest issues with the modern mulit-link suspension is the lack of adjustment available from the factory. For example, a 2021 Subaru Outback does not have adjustable rear toe or camber. Once you go over the 2" threshold, you'll likely be out of spec with your alignment. Fortunately, because the CUV lift market is booming, companies make adjustable arms to get you into spec, saving your tires from destruction.

Lifting the typical CUV to 2" is a pretty easy, done every day task. It gives you some great benefits such as additional ground clearance and clearance for larger offroad tires - both of which help you when you want to abandon pavement. Let's also not forget, it does look pretty cool to have something different than the regular traffic we see every day.

subaru outback lift

Please be safe when offroading, tread lightly, leave everything as you found it.

We'd love it if you could share a little bit about where you have gone on an offroad adventure. Email us ( with a story about your favorite offroad spot, a little bit about you, and some details about your offroad vehicle. We'd love to share it!