A UTV (which stands for “utility vehicle”) is an off-road vehicle with four to six wheels. It has a steering wheel, seats with seatbelts, foot pedals, and a roll bar or cage. Most UTVs can carry up to six people, and many have 4WD or all-wheel drive (AWD).
Since UTVs usually have two front seats, they are often called "side-by-sides" (or SXS). You might also see them labeled as “Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs)” or “Multipurpose Off-Highway Utility Vehicles (MOHUVs).”
To simplify things, you can think of a SXS or UTV as a sturdy vehicle that allows you to reach places regular cars can't. Plus, you can take your loved ones along for the ride! In this article, we’ll be discussing the ins and outs of discovering the best midsize UTV for your needs, so stick around!
UTVS vs. ATVS: What’s the Difference?
If you're big into off-road adventures or simply need a hardy vehicle for completing specific tasks, you might be considering purchasing an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or a utility vehicle (UTV). These are both excellent choices for outdoor activities and recreational fun. The question is, what sets them apart?
Let's start with ATVs. ATVs are efficient for outdoor travel, especially on single roads and off-road trails. They have a straddle seating position (just like riding a bicycle), handlebar steering that’s quite similar to bikes or motorcycles, as well as the ability to navigate different types of terrain.
ATVs are usually used for practical transportation and recreation purposes, such as racing or trail riding. They’re relatively budget-friendly, with new models ranging from a few thousand to over $15,000.
As stated before, UTVs are also called side-by-sides (SXS) and are more geared toward specialized work than recreation. These large and powerful vehicles can seat passengers side by side and come with ample storage space, too. They’re often used for hauling equipment and supplies, especially in places where using a truck would be impractical.
UTVs are popular in farming communities, especially for jobs like transporting feed and hay. While they come with a higher price tag (starting around $5,000 for new ones and going up to $30,000), they’re super versatile and customizable, so most people agree it’s well worth it. UTVs can also be used for off-roading, with sports models available for going on trail adventures with friends.
How to Find the Best Midsize UTV: Things to Consider
When it comes to finding the right midsize UTV for you (whether you want to use it on your job site, for farming, or even just for adventuring with your buddies) there are a few things you’re going to want to take into consideration, which we’ll break down below.
When choosing an SXS (for trail riding, for example), size is one of the most important factors to consider. Naturally, smaller UTVs are more agile on narrow, winding trails, and models with a width of 50 inches or less will generally be better when it comes to accessing tight trails usually reserved for ATVs.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’ve purchased the right tires for your UTV. If you’re all about off-roading, you can’t go wrong with Thumper Fab’s Braven Berserker M/T (PDT) tires. They come with an aggressive tread design, and staggered sidewall lugs, both of which will keep you and your friends safe while exploring particularly rough terrain!
Another major trail-riding consideration is an SXS/UTV’s ground clearance, as you want to be able to navigate deep-rutted, rocky, and otherwise uneven terrain when out off-roading. In general, the higher the ground clearance, the better: higher clearance means you’ll be able to get through even the toughest of obstacles.
You don’t want to forget about the benefits of custom add-ons, like integrated camera systems and audio roofs, too! We highly recommend Thumper Fab’s Polaris General Audio Roof Level 4 if you’re looking to bump to your favorite tunes while hitting the trails! This audio roof comes with a Bluetooth receiver that’s compatible with most smartphones. Not only that, but it’s strong enough to stand on!
You might also want to take the availability of certain safety accessories (e.g., windshields, roofs, lights, and roll-cage enhancements) into consideration. Most UTVs are highly customizable, so you should be able to fit your UTV with whatever accessories match your personality, lifestyle, and budget.
The Best Add-Ons for Your Midsize UTV
When it comes to add-ons and accessories, we’ve got you covered! We understand that, when it comes to farming, hunting, or trail-riding, there’s nothing more important than safety and comfort. These add-ons, which you can find over at Thumper Fab’s website, are absolute must-haves for those looking to make the most out of their UTV experience.
The great thing about UTVs is that they can hold more people and more stuff. This is especially true if you have a roof rack or front basket. These add-ons will help you transport everything you could need from point A to point B. Your UTV will still be quite spacious, too, so you won’t have to worry about running out of room for you and your buddies.
Getting a bad sunburn or unexpectedly getting caught in a storm can spoil your fun. To tackle this, you have a few choices for adding a roof to your side-by-side. Many people choose to go for a molded plastic roof, but there are also options like metal and coated polycarbonate.
Polycarbonate roofs are particularly popular because they let in a good amount of sunlight and even come in tinted versions so you won’t have to worry as much about getting sunburned. If you like to listen to music while working or riding, Thumper Fab offers plenty of awesome audio roof options, too. There’s no better way to stay safe and enjoy your favorite tunes!
If your UTV comes with a standard bumper, it probably won't withstand the wear and tear you'll put it through over time. UTVs are pretty rugged, but not indestructible. Upgrading to a better bumper can help protect the most important parts of your UTV (e.g., the lights, radiator, and fenders) from damage.
Fixing or replacing these parts tends to be a lot more expensive (not to mention much messier) than simply dealing with a minor scuff on your bumper. Depending on the style of bumper you choose, you can even add extra features like winches, for example.
Whether it's you or a friend, someone is bound to display a lack of skill at some point while off-roading. For example, you might get stuck in the mud or caught on a rock. These things happen! Without a winch, you’ll be stuck relying on reverse, and oftentimes, using reverse in a rescue situation can lead to a broken reverse chain.
This is why investing in a winch is necessary. You must have all of the towing accessories you need to winch yourself (or said friend) out of a tough situation. You'll have an easier time carrying heavy loads, too. No one wants to leave their UTV stranded in the woods, and thankfully with a winch, that won’t be an issue!
Nerf rails (also called “tree kickers” or “rock sliders”) are essential when it comes to protecting the sides of your UTV. They allow you to navigate narrow trails without any issues, as well as help to prevent sticks from hitting your UTV’s undercarriage. Some Nerf rails even come with steps, making it easier for you to get in and out of your UTV. Thumper Fab offers plenty of options when it comes to Nerf rails, so be sure to head over to our website!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Choose the Right Midsize UTV for My Needs?
To find the best midsize UTV for your needs, you’ll need to think about what you'll mainly use it for, whether that’s off-roading, farm work, or a bit of both. Consider the type of terrain you'll be driving on, how many people you'll be transporting, and how much storage space you'll need. Also, keep your budget in mind and decide on any specific features you want, like a winch or audio roof.
What Features Should I Focus on When Choosing a Midsize UTV?
When choosing a midsize UTV, make sure to pay attention to features like engine strength, suspension quality, and overall durability. Check if the UTV has good towing capacity and can carry what you need it to. Think about the storage space and how the seating is set up. Look into extra accessories or options to further personalize your UTV. Make sure the controls are easy to use, and test how well the UTV handles different types of terrain. Don't forget about safety features, too, like roll bars and seat belts.
Are Midsize UTVs Suitable for Off-Road Adventures?
Absolutely! Midsize UTVs are great for off-road use. They're made to handle different types of terrain and tend to be pretty easy to maneuver, too (though, if you’re new to off-roading, you’ll want to spend some time practicing!). Make sure to look for features like four-wheel drive (4WD), strong suspension systems, and tough tires when picking out your UTV. It's super important to choose a model that matches your specific off-road needs, so just keep that in mind!
Explore UTV Audio Tops and More With Thumper Fab!
Thumper Fab offers several great audio tops (or audio roofs) for those who like to listen to music while off-roading. These specially-designed UTV audio tops offer protection from the elements, unmatched performance, and perhaps most importantly, an exceptional amount of style.
Not only that but Thumper Fab has plenty of other add-ons and accessories available, too! Perhaps you’re looking to get a new bumper, winch, or set of Nerf rails, in which case, we’ve got you covered! Check out Thumper Fab today to take a look at our available options. Soon enough, you’ll be cruising down the unbeaten path in the ride of your dreams!