Where the Road Ends: ATV & UTV Reviews
July 22, 2019
Finding the perfect off-road ride for your kind of adventure can be tough. We break down this year's newest and most relevant ATVs and UTVs.
As the market continues to swell with feature-filled rides, one thing is certain: This is a buyer’s market, and getting feature-filled goodies on the ATV or UTV of your choice is progressively easier. Choosing those, however, might not be.
Whether you are an avid hunter, part-time tailwater fisherman or just someone who loves to ride into the wilderness in search of that perfect day filled with friends and family, there is a machine for you. Items that attract most riders include comfort, ease of use as well as maintenance and possibly the backbone of the ride for those days when work comes first.
Here are a few great examples of reliable ATV and UTV rigs for your next adventure.
The throwback to the World War II Willys jeep fans made the Mahindra Roxor a hit, and for hunters or those who love to fish remote locations, it is also worth looking into. Mahindra actually held the rights to build the Willys jeep for many years and has now decided to bring an off-road version stateside. Where this should get hunters and fishermen excited is the all-steel fully boxed frame, providing a solid platform for adventure and the 2.5 liter, 62 horsepower turbo-charged diesel engine that gives you an incredible amount of grunt. When you get 32 to 34 mpg and an estimated 350-plus-mile range for the tank of diesel, it makes this vehicle even more valuable.
The Roxor has a rear cargo capacity of up to 349 pounds, while the 2-inch receiver can tow an insane 3,490 pounds at 15 mph, building up to 144 ft.-lbs. of torque at a minuscule 1,400 rpm. This makes the Roxor the heavy hitter in the working side of off-road. Shifting this power is a five-speed gearbox with Hi/Lo capabilities, and unknown to most, the transfer case actually has PTO capabilities that will be explored even deeper in coming years by Mahindra.
Rolling on 16-inch, 5-lug rims, the BFG Ko2 tires connect the power to the terrain. An impressive 11-inch hydraulic disc brake system out front as well as 11-inch drum brakes on the rear keep the Mahindra Roxor in check when braking is needed. The engine braking from this 4-cylinder diesel also helps in that way as well. If getting out of a situation while adventuring is a concern, keep in mind that Roxor offers an 8,000-pound winch out front on some models.
When you look at most SXS offerings today, the trail width of the machine comes into play. This Roxor is only 62 inches wide, keeping it in a really tight arena of very nimble machines. Mahindra’s Roxor comes with hydraulic assist steering that provides a stable and comfortable steering prowess even when locked into 4WD.
With all of the advancements in today’s market, one thing that takes new SXS owners by surprise is not being able to work on their own machine without consulting a dealer first. The Roxor is built in a way that allows the owner, if mechanically inclined, to not only service it themselves, but to purchase most any part from automotive suppliers all over the United States. The one and only issue would be remembering that it is not street legal, so resist jumping in to cruise to the grocery store.
Engine: 2.5 liter Turbo Diesel
Driveline: 2WD/4WD 3.73:1 front and rear differentials
Power: 62 hp @ 3200 rpm
Towing Capacity: 3,490 lbs.
Warranty: Limited 2-year or 12,000 miles
$15,999 | roxoroffroad.com
Honda Fourtrax Foreman Rubicon DCT EPS
New for 2019, the Fourtrax Foreman Rubicon DCT EPS cruises through the trail with a powerful mid-bore 475cc fuel injected mill, and it puts the power of that engine to the ground through one of the most highly engineered automatic transmissions on the market. When thinking in terms of power transfer, gear-to-gear transmissions put power to the ground without the issues some might experience with belted machines. Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) does all of the work for you in auto mode. If you like to be in charge while climbing steep creeks or banks, you can switch to electronic shift program and change the gears with a simple up or down arrow on the left side of the handle bars.
The independent rear suspension helps to keep both rear wheels planted for maximum forward movement as well as a more confidence-inspiring ride. When traversing tougher sections of trail, you will be glad that this Rubicon has the Honda exclusive TraxLok 2WD/4WD engagement system. Again, the switch on the handle bars will engage the front differential, giving you a limited slip front differential, and simply sweeping the TraxLok lever up engages a fully locked front differential. Seated in Honda’s ergonomically perfected seating position, you will find that you can ride longer with less fatigue. One specific item that helps with those long day rides is the EPS or electronic power steering.
Engine: 475cc fuel-injected single-cylinder 4-stroke
Driveline: TraxLok 2WD/4WD/ 4WD mode w/locking front differential
Rack Capacity (Front/Rear): 99 lbs./187 lbs.
Towing Capacity: 1,322 lbs.
Warranty: Limited 1-year transferable
$9,299 | powersports.honda.com
Can-Am Outlander XT 850
Digging straight into the best feature, it has to be the power of this Rotax V-Twin engine. The available 78 horsepower and incredible torque gives Outlander the ability to tow up to 1,650 pounds through the 2-inch receiver hitch. The rack space on the Outlander XT also allows up to 100 pounds on the front and 200 pounds on the rear racks. This means you have plenty of grunt to get your gear into and back out of any adventure.
Can-Am also integrated their LinQ attachment system and filled the accessory catalog with product to further assist you in securing this gear to the rack. The storage in the rear of the Outlander XT is a spacious 5.7 gallons of cargo space.
Getting the awesome power to the ground is a CVT belt drive transmission with engine braking, and when traction is an issue, the Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential steps in to manage the 4WD duties ahead. All of which is engaged by the handlebar-mounted switches.
The Outlander XT comes equipped with ITP Terracross tires that are 26 inches tall to provide the maximum of this machine’s 11 inches of ground clearance. Combine this with the arched front dual A-arm suspension, and this means getting over trail obstacles becomes even easier.
You shouldn’t worry about the underside of this ATV as the Outlander XT has full skid plates protecting the bottom of the machine. If for some reason you fail at negotiating a trail obstacle, the Outlander XT comes equipped with a WARN 3,000-pound winch to help with the rescue.
Maintaining an ATV is something many prefer to do themselves, and almost everything about the Outlander XT is self-maintainable. Oil changes, air filter cleaning as well as simple fluid checks can be done easily in the home garage with an OEM service manual.
Engine: 854cc Rotax fuel injected V-Twin
Driveline: Selectable 2WD/ 4WD with Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential
Rack Capacity (Front/Rear): 100 lbs./200 lbs.
Towing Capacity: 1,650 lbs.
Warranty: Limited 6 months; extension available up to 36 months
$10,949 | can-am.brp.com
Yanmar Brahma Bull Series YU1000D
Although Yanmar has been powering the world of diesel SXS machines for years and has had an offering in the world of UTV, it will be the model year of 2019 that sets them apart from their competitors. The 2019 Yanmar Brahma YU1000D 4x4 will be the latest vehicle to give the working off-road and adventure seekers everywhere an option from the typical SXS market.
The Yanmar 3-cylinder Mini-Max diesel engine has incredible strength, and there’s massive amounts of storage in each model of this machine. In the cabin, you will find a very spacious seating area with individual bucket seats that offer lumbar support for comfort. The all-steel cargo bed on the Brahma features a cargo capacity of 1,000 pounds and will hold a full-sized pallet for those working days. With 2-inch receivers on both front as well as rear, plowing snow or towing a utility trailer is as simple as hooking in. It will tow an impressive 2,000 pounds. The Brahma has dual A-arm suspension both front and rear that further add to the comfort on rougher trail systems, and with preload adjustable shocks, you can tune to your specific style of riding.
There are three different models of Brahma from Yanmar, but all will come standard with some type of roof. This keeps riders out of the elements. The three models are as follows, the Brahma base, which will include a hardtop roof; the Brahma semi-cab, with a partial enclosure including front windshield with a wiper, rear windshield and additional custom storage space; the premium, full-cabin model that utilizes sealed doors, a power-tilt dumping bed, even more refined storage options and an automotive-style HVAC system to really make the day in the wild comfortable no matter the season.
Engine: 993cc 3-cylinder diesel
Driveline: 2WD/4WD rear differential gear lock
Cargo Capacity: 1,000 lbs.
Towing Capacity: 2,000 lbs.
Warranty: 12-month extendable
$16,999-$21,999 | yanmar.com
Yamaha Kodiak 700
New for 2019, the Yamaha Kodiak 700 gets a refined powerplant. This 700-class engine brings a lower gearing for low-rpm cruising and delivers more mid-range torque for the working side of life. Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission is not only the most bulletproof system in the marketplace, but they ensure you will be satisfied by giving you a 10-year belt warranty on their 2019 machines.
In terms of comfort on the trail, Kodiak also offers a narrower seat but with thicker padding to make you want to ride all day. When cruising the trails, the independent front and rear suspension provide a nice plush ride. The Kodiak also utilizes a sealed wet braking system in the rear differential housing.
Obviously, there are dual front hydraulic brakes and getting the Kodiak stopped is a non-issue even with the racks loaded to capacity. Speaking of rack space, the steel front and rear racks can carry up to 110 pounds out front and 198 pounds on the back. This is yet another great feature for the game and fish community. If you are into towing a fencing trailer or feeder/spreader of some kind, you will be happy to know that the 2-inch receiver hitch in the rear of this Kodiak is capable of towing up to 1,322 pounds.
Some other features include a mechanical 2WD/4WD engagement system. This is a left-handlebar-mounted lever that, when actuated, puts the Kodiak in 4WD. The simple design helps reduce the cost of this incredible machine.
Engine: 686cc liquid cooled SOHC 4-stroke
Driveline: 2WD/4WD Lever-operated
Rack Capacity (Front/Rear): 110 lbs./198 lbs.
Towing Capacity: 1,322 lbs.
Warranty: Limited 6-month; Limited 10-Year V-belt
$6,999 | yamahamotorsports.com