ATV vs UTV | Which one is Better?

ATV’s vs Side by Side’s has been an argument had time and time again. So which one is better? Well, that’s a complicated question and has a lot of variables. In this video we help you decide.

Deciding whether or not you should buy an ATV or a Side by Side can be a very tough decision. Not to mention the growing number of options each brand keeps adding to their inventory. So instead of debating over which on is “better”, the real question should be, which one is better for you? Lets break down a few of the differences in hope to help you decide what will fit your lifestyle the best.

ATV’s provide better maneuverability - Due to their overall smaller size, ATV’s are easier to maneuver around. So if you take a few minutes to picture where you do/will ride, do you think maneuverability will be a concern? 

Easy to Transport - If you are looking to avoid spending (possibly thousands) of extra dollars on purchasing a trailer to tow your new machine around on, an ATV may be for you. With their smaller size, they are much easier to transport. In fact, with a decent set of ramps you can fit most ATV’s right in the back of a pickup truck.

More Narrow More Trails - Many trails have maximum width requirements. So depending on where you live, Side by Side’s may not have near as many places to ride as a standard ATV. Additionally even on trails that do allow wider Side by Sides, often have additional trails or loops that spawn off of them for more narrow machines. Tip, check the trails for the state / area you plan to ride to ensure what widths are legally allowed.

Low Storage - If you don’t have an extra garage available to store a large UTV, then an ATV may be for you. In fact, you can fit about 4 ATV’s in the same garage you would stick a single UTV. With their smaller size, you can often fit them in a garage while still having enough room for your car…but your truck might be pushing it. If that’s not an option, you can easily buy or build a small shed for your machine. Want to store your side by side in the garage? You’re pretty much going to need an entire garage space just for your machine.

A whole Lot Less Benjamin's - If you are on a limited budget, you might want to just scratch side by sides off the list. When comparing an ATV to its side by side counterpart, you will quickly find they are thousands more expensive.

It forces that “up close experience” - Now depending on your relationship this could be a good or bad thing! However, if you are looking to snuggle up close next to that special someone the ATV may be your better option.

That “ATV Feeling” - There is something about the power and feeling of riding an ATV that you just can’t replicate with a side by side. I mean after all, at the end of the day riding around in a side by side is familiar because its so similar to driving a car.

Horsepower - If horsepower is your came, a side by side may be what you are looking for. When it comes to overall horsepower, UTVs will usually lead the pack. For example, the Polaris Sportsman 1000 has 85 horsepower pushing it down the trail. While the the Can-am Maverick X3 Turbo R has 172 horsepower pushing it down the trail.

Convenience of Riding and snacking - If you want to be able to ride down a nice relaxing trail while sipping a cup of coffee, a UTV might be for you. Most side by side’s even include at least two cup holders now. Gone are the days where you need to use a thermos and store your drink in a backpack until you stop.

Much More Cargo - Whether it comes to having a nice size cooler, or lots of camping gear, when it comes to wanting extra space for your stuff a side by side is the way to go. Even if you manage to use every inch of space on a side by side during a long camping trip, you can still simply add more buy getting a luggage rack on top. So if you want space, you might want a side by side.

Safety - If you are concerned about safety, keep looking at side by sides. There is no question that with options such as roll cages and 4-point harnesses, side by sides are better options for keeping you and your loved ones safe. It’s also worth noting that if you are going to ride with younger kids, this is especially the case as it is harder for smaller kids to safely ride on an ATV since they are often too small to hold on securely.

Comfort - When you find a comfortable side by side, you can ride all day without straining your body near as much as you do on an ATV. Especially with adjustable seat and steering wheels that are starting to come standard on many machines now, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience.

Speed - If you are looking to test the speed of sound (not really), you may find yourself more attracted to a side by side. While both ATVs and UTVs are fast, there is no question that in the end a side by side will win a drag race in its class…at least until the trail isn’t straight (see maneuverability above).

Allowed on a lot of Streets - Now this one will vary by Country and State. Here in North America, most places allow side by sides and ATVs on the same roads. However, there are places that allow side by sides but not ATVs. Their ability to have blinker kits and that familiar resemblance of a car helps in the ability to ride more roads in certain places of the world. Tip, check the area you plan to ride and see what their laws are regarding ATVs and UTVs on roads and trails.

Have a benefit for either argument on why ATVs or Side by Sides are better? Leave a comment below letting us know. As always thanks for reading, and we hope to see you on the trail.