Lifted VS. Non-Lifted Golf Carts: Which Should You Choose?
There are a surprising number of customization options in the world of golf carts. One of the most popular golf cart accessories? Lift kits! Lifted golf carts are a popular choice for golf cart owners who want to ride in style.
But is a lifted golf cart worth the cost and effort?
That is totally up to your personal preference. To help you make your decision, we’ve listed the primary benefits and drawbacks of lifted golf carts.
WHAT ARE LIFTED GOLF CARTS?
Traditionally meant for the flat, paved paths of golf courses, golf carts have become more versatile over time. Now, golf carts are the vehicle of choice for many hunters, farmers, beachtown residents, colleges and universities, maintenance crews, apartment complex staff, and more.
To accommodate more challenging terrains, the golf cart needed to adapt!
Hence the recent popularity of lifted golf carts. By giving golf carts larger tires, a boost off of the ground, and an enhanced suspension system, manufacturers have created a golf cart perfect for nontraditional travel.
PROS OF LIFTED GOLF CARTS
There are several reasons many golf cart enthusiasts are requesting lift kits:
Better ground clearance: No more fear of “bottoming out” when you hit a speed bump or take an uneven trail. Lifted golf carts are simply above all of that (pun intended).
Off-roading potential: If you’d like to take your cart off of the beaten path, a lift may be worth the price! Of course, a lifted golf cart is still a golf cart – so don’t expect to take it mudding or on exceptionally rocky trails.
Seriously sporty style: Looks aren’t everything. But they ARE something! And they are definitely worth considering if you’re going to spend the money on a personal golf cart.
Smoother ride: You have the improved suspension to thank for this! Lifted golf carts will make those nasty speed bumps feel A LOT nicer.
Enhanced visibility: When the driver rides higher up above the road, they have a better view of surrounding traffic and obstacles.
Easier getting in and out: The seats of lifted golf carts are much more accessible for passengers who struggle climbing in and out of low-seated golf carts.
CONS OF LIFTED GOLF CARTS
Lifted golf carts don’t make sense for every golf cart owner. Along with the perks, lifted carts come with a few drawbacks:
Tipping potential: Lifted golf carts have a higher center of gravity. This translates to a greater risk of tipping over around sharp turns, steep slopes, or uneven ground.Kit & installation costs: Like all other vehicle accessories, golf cart lift kits cost money – not to mention the price of proper installation.
Increased weight: With bigger wheels and a heavy lift kit, your golf cart has some extra weight. Naturally, this makes your motor work harder – especially going uphill.
Decreased battery efficiency: Not only does the added weight place strain on your motor, but it also sucks up your battery life.
Driver learning curve: The change in center of gravity may be off-putting to some drivers. It can be more difficult to maintain control of the vehicle.
WHEN IS A NON-LIFTED GOLF CART THE WAY TO GO?
For some golf cart drivers, a lifted golf cart is simply not useful or necessary. A non-lifted golf cart is for you if…
You have a tight golf cart budget.
You don’t plan to take your golf cart on rough terrains.
You’re not concerned about bottoming out.
The sporty look doesn’t fit your style.
You are concerned about your golf cart’s stability.
You prefer simplicity.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Difference Between a Lifted and Non-Lifted Golf Cart?
- The difference between a lifted and non-lifted golf cart primarily lies in their ground clearance and overall height. Lifted golf carts have a raised suspension system, increasing their ground clearance and often allowing for larger tires. This modification provides better navigation over rough, uneven terrain. In contrast, non-lifted golf carts maintain the standard height and ground clearance set by the manufacturer, suitable for smooth, flat surfaces like golf courses.
2. Which is Better, a Lifted or Non-Lifted Golf Cart?
- The choice between a lifted and non-lifted golf cart depends on the intended use and terrain. Lifted golf carts are better for off-road activities and navigating rough terrains due to their higher clearance and larger tires. Conversely, non-lifted golf carts are ideal for smooth, flat surfaces like golf courses, where the added height and clearance are unnecessary.
3. How Much Does it Cost to Lift a Golf Cart?
- The cost to lift a golf cart varies based on the type of lift kit and the model of the golf cart. On average, lift kits can range from $100 to over $500, not including potential installation fees if professional installation is required.
4. What are the Benefits of Lifting a Golf Cart?
- The benefits of lifting a golf cart include increased ground clearance, which allows for better navigation over uneven and rough terrain. This modification often results in a more rugged and aggressive look, enhances the cart's ability to accommodate larger tires, and can improve the overall suspension of the golf cart.
5. What are the Drawbacks of Lifting a Golf Cart?
- The drawbacks of lifting a golf cart include a higher center of gravity, which can reduce stability and increase the risk of tipping, especially on uneven terrain. The modification can also lead to a harsher ride on smooth surfaces and may increase wear on the cart's suspension and brakes.
6. Can You Lift a Street-Legal Golf Cart?
- Lifting a street-legal golf cart is possible, but it's essential to consider local regulations and laws. Modifications, including lifting, must comply with legal requirements for street-legal vehicles in terms of safety, lighting, and overall design.
7. What are the Different Types of Golf Cart Lift Kits?
- Different types of golf cart lift kits include spindle lift kits, drop axle lift kits, A-arm lift kits, and long travel lift kits. Each type varies in complexity, lift height, and impact on the golf cart's performance and handling characteristics.
8. How Do I Choose the Right Lift Kit for My Golf Cart?
- To choose the right lift kit for your golf cart, consider the desired height increase, the type of terrain you'll be navigating, and the specific model of your golf cart. It's also crucial to factor in your mechanical skill level if you plan to install the kit yourself and your budget.
9. Can I Install a Golf Cart Lift Kit Myself?
- Installing a golf cart lift kit yourself is possible, especially for those with mechanical experience and the right tools. However, the difficulty varies with the type of lift kit and the specific golf cart model. It's recommended to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully or seek professional help if unsure.
10. Where Can I Buy a Golf Cart Lift Kit?
- Golf cart lift kits can be purchased from various sources, including specialty golf cart shops, online retailers, and sometimes directly from golf cart manufacturers. It's important to ensure compatibility with your specific golf cart model and type when making a purchase.