Shopping for a new or used Utility Vehicle or sidebyside is a challenge to say the least and powersports fans are a demanding breed.
Several years ago the choices were limited and therefore quite a bit easier. With a customer base that has increased every year since 2005 and a growing desire for a machine that will do the job at hand, and not break down half way through the day: the manufacturers listened and responded.
Many people who originally purchased Honda 3 wheelers upgraded to a quad or four-wheeler. Now, many of those quad customers are heading back to their dealer to buy a sidebyside. The sidebysides are more capable and impressive than ever, with more torque, horsepower, ground clearance and seating capacity.
If you've made the decision to buy into the latest offroad craze, the first step is research.
DYODD, do your own due dilegence.
Research, investigate, ask questions, visit dealerships in your local area, and ask around on the multitude of 4x4 & UTV Forums.
There are many choices in today's sidebyside marketplace but the big players are Polaris, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Can-Am and Arctic Cat. John Deere is also a major player in the UTV market, but for much of recent history their demographics have been biased to the agricultural side. Recently John Deere has introduced the Gator RSX 850i and the XUV 550 which were built to compete with the more aggressive and powerful sidebysides from Polaris & Can-Am, namely the Polaris RZR XP 900 & Can-Am Commander.
The second step is to determine a reasonable budget. Price is an important factor in determining which utility vehicle is right for you. Keep in mind many of the newer more powerful sidebysides cost as much as a new car!
Your next step will be to decide the main purpose for your purchase. Knowing why you need a sidebyside will help guide you to the best vehicle to meet your needs. Are you using the vehicle on your farm to feed livestock or sow fields? Maybe you're an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and you're looking for an easier way to get to your blind. Or perhaps you enjoy racing or leisurely trips around your property or to the lake. All of these factors should be taken into consideration when determining the best machine for you.
Another factor to keep in mind is whether you are going to purchase sidebyside accessories or aftermarket parts for your UTV. You can add gun racks, lift kits, larger wheels, high performance exhaust, hard windshields, led lighting and 100's of other atv parts.
Based on recent market surveys, the most popular brands today seem to be Polaris & Can-Am.
A more complete list of currently available UTV | Sidebysides:
Bush Hog Trail Hand 4400
Trail Hunter 440
Club Car XRT
Honda Big Red
John Deere Gator
John Deere 550
John Deere 550 S4
John Deere 850i
John Deere HPX / XUV 620i 850d
John Deere XUV 625i 825i 855d
Mule 3010 TRANS
Mule 4010 TRANS
Teryx 2010 - Present
Kubota RTV 1140
Kubota RTV 400 / 500
Kubota RTV 900
Polaris Ranger 700 XP
Polaris Ranger 800 XP
Polaris Ranger Crew 800
Polaris Ranger Crew 500
Polaris Ranger Midsize 400/500/800
Polaris RZR 4
Best of luck in your hunt!