Kawasaki or Can-Am? ATV or UTV? There are big differences between an all terrain vehicle and a utility vehicle—and there will come a time when you’ll need one or the other. With an ATV, you have to be quick thinking and nimble. These are great machines for sharp, fast turns. This makes them ideal for riding in woods or when you have to haul around small loads (they let you hop in and out quickly). They’re also easy to tow, so it’s simple to get your ATV to the trails.
According to ATV Magazine’s Managing Editor Tom Kaiser, “The ATV is more physically demanding to ride, and the rider must use balance to manipulate and control the vehicle. It’s fun.” Plus, since they’re relatively small and easy to manipulate, they’re a great starter vehicle for teens who have undergone safety training courses. Simply put, ATVs are more active.
Speed + Budget
There are different types of ATVs, ranging from quads to high performance racing machines. A lot of people also modify two-wheel ATVs for special events. If racing is in your future, there’s no trumping an ATV, even if you go with a heavier model like a Polaris Sportsman. Heavier ATVs can help protect you, especially on messy trails. If you’re a racer, a hunter or a landowner with small projects on the horizon, these are great choices.
As an added bonus, ATVs are usually more cost effective than UTVs—to the tune of several thousands of dollars. Kaiser explains, “They’re getting very high tech these days with the addition of power steering” and other features, but even top of the line ATVs are les expensive than your average UTV. However, there may come a time when nothing but a utility vehicle will do.
Heavy, Specialized Lifting
If you have a big project and a lot of hauling, UTVs are your golden ticket. They feature a bigger rear cargo area for holding/dumping and can manage larger projects than ATVs (without needing a trailer). They’re kind of like mini trucks complete with cabs, more comfortable seats and are better suited for older drivers. You can go several miles comfortably (a challenge in a quad) and enjoy plenty of storage. That’s what makes them the easy choice for specialized work, since you can customize a UTV for your needs.
Go sporty with an Arctic Cat Prowler or high performance with a Can-Am Commander. But don’t get tricked by their aesthetics, these are real workhorses. Finally, UTVs come out on top when you want to show off. You can add LED lighting, in-cab heaters, killer stereo systems and anything else you can dream up. Upgrade the wheels and you have a showstopper. So, which is for you? Only you can decide (or maybe your budget will give you a hand!).