As of late, UTVs (or side-by-sides) are getting increasingly popular. A relatively new phenomenon even for ATV enthusiasts, the 4×4, off-road vehicles witnesses a significant rise in demand. With more and more models becoming available, one can safely say that UTVs are the new off-road muscle sensation. But whom are they for, and what purpose do they serve? Can you take one for a ride in the city? Let’s answer these questions today and give you some insights into UTVs!
What Are UTVs Good For and Why?
As its name suggests, a Utility Terrain Vehicle (sometimes called a Utility Task Vehicle) has a more practical value than an entertaining one. A UTV is a go-to vehicle for people who live on farms and rural areas or in the mountains who need to get where they want and haul equipment, people, or goods at the same time.
The UTV has also sparked the interest of hobbyists besides professionals. Here is a list of a UTVs most common uses:
One of the most significant advantages of side-by-sides is that they are highly customizable. While some models are veritable sporty, powerful beasts, others allow their owners to engage in specialized work. When it comes to farming, owners have plenty of UTV accessories to choose from to upgrade their vehicles. From sickle bar mowers, hay dollies, plows, and cultivators to power loader attachments, the UTV can support plenty of modifications.
With a UTV, you can go where no ATV or truck has taken you before. Moreover, you can tailor your vehicle with countless accessories, from gun and bow racks to game hoists and noise reduction exhausts.
3. Pro Off-Roading
A UTV does not compare to the modern muscle car you can ride on the highway, but it is a fierce challenger for trucks and 4x4s. Since the 80s, when they first got the public’s attention, UTVs became the top choice for all off-road buffs. They have the vehicles and the myriad of accessories to boldly experience mud bogging, rock crawling, trail and winter riding, and even professional racing.
4. Camping, Fishing, Family Trips
Since UTVs can transport two to six people, you can easily understand why they had become the “vacation vehicles” for many nature lovers. Whether you want to camp in a secluded mountain area, fish in a lake that you have never reached before, or engage in nature photography in places you barely believed existed, the UTV will take you there.
What to Expect from a UTV Regarding Performance?
What makes UTVs so popular these days is their proven ability to keep you safe while off-roading on the most challenging of terrains. So let’s see some of their best traits!
- UTVs feature steering wheels, safety features (seatbelts, rock cages, etc.), gas and brake pedals, sporty long-travel suspension, and a fuel economy of up to 20 miles/gallon. In other words, they provide similar safety and driving performance as cars.
- Speaking of fuel, most UTVs feature a fuel capacity of 10.0 gals.
- When it comes to horsepower, most standard utilitarian UTVs go up to 60 HP, while the sporty ones can reach 170 HP.
- The ability to carry multiple riders side-by-side makes the UTV a more popular vehicle than the ATV. The classic models allow a two-person ride, but the newer iterations can transport a family of six.
- They come with higher payloads and cargo capacity. UTV payloads usually go up to 1300lbs in addition to the driver’s weight.
- UTVs are more customizable than ATVs, as we mentioned before. You can add wheels, lights, different types of tires, turn signals, horn, speedometer, mirrors, windshield, etc.
- While they do not come cheap, they usually display high resale value.
Who Should Buy A UTV?
A UTV is an excellent choice if you:
- Need a utility vehicle for hard work with impressive storage room and towing capabilities;
- Want to carry passengers on challenging terrain for business or pleasure;
- Prefer to ride in a safe and comfortable vehicle that gives you full control and does not put your body through strain;
- Need a vehicle to ride through mud, rocks, ice & snow, hills, slopes, and mountaintops.
Before you jump at the opportunity to get your hands on a UTV for some off-road adventure, you should do more homework related to the differences between utilitarian UTVs and high-performance ones. The latter has a special kind of appeal to them, making you wonder if UTVs, in general, are street legal. As it happens to all vehicles, it depends on the state you live in and its laws. Most companies sell UTV kits that make them legal on roads and highways, but you should take time with your research.
So, how appealing are UTVs for you? Would you get such a muscle vehicle for your off-road adventures? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter!