UTV VS ATV — What Are They And What Are The Differences

If you have ever ridden an ATV or a UTV, you might notice the power and speed that comes with each. Both have mudguards and very durable horsepower. They are both designed for navigating tricky terrain with little difficulty.

They also have very resilient wheels, getting you out of the churning water and mud and onto the surer ground. But there are subtle differences between what they offer you: the one has much better speed and is ideal for racing, while the other will help you if you are performing heavy lifting tasks.

But which one will you need for your farming activities? Which type of vehicle is best for hunting and fishing? What vehicle offers you the best performance uphill? Which one is going to cost you the most money? Which one should you pick up for specialized work? How much weight can each one carry?

Well, if you want answers to these questions and a whole lot more, then we would suggest that you read on. We have compiled an in-depth list of some of the best features of both the UTV and the ATV. After reading this, you should have all the information you need to decide which one you need for your activities.


What Is The Difference?

utv vs atv

The differences are many, although we will outline a few of them briefly here before going more in-depth. The clue is in the title with these vehicles: an all-terrain vehicle is more adapted to the speed, whereas a utility-terrain vehicle is built to haul things across large distances.

An ATV is also the cheaper of the two, which will probably be more appealing to someone who has never sat on one of these bikes before and does not like the idea of shelling out a whole lot of cash on one.

If you are a racer, you’ll also want an ATV, but if hunting and fishing are your reason for getting a quad, we would certainly recommend a UTV for its brawn. A UTV is also good for hauling gear across large distances, so you won’t have to worry about injuring yourself.

ATVs Are Speedy

row of atvs

You should use this kind of vehicle for clustered wood where the trees are closed in tight together. If you are a light hunter, then we would suggest that you grab one of the vehicles. They are generally smaller than a lot of UTVs, so you can use them to get around lots of different terrains.

You can also tow these vehicles a lot easier owing to their smaller weight. This means that you can lash a few of them to your truck or lorry and transport them from your home to whatever terrain you plan on using them for.

ATVs Are Good In A Race

Needless to say, these smaller and lighter ATVs are good for racing. These are the best for small-scale odd jobs like plowing the snow and lighter hunting work. These machines have very high-speed performance, so you won’t want anything other than an ATV if you are racing against others on the clock.

You can also modify the machines to go a lot faster. Whether it is lightening the load on your mud plates or swapping out the wheels for smaller ones, you’ll have everything that you need to lower the weight of your machine and increase the speed to shave some valuable seconds off the final time in your race. 

ATVs Are Cheap

If you are looking to cut some corners for your bank account, we would also recommend that you pick up an ATV. They are often several thousand pounds cheaper than your UTVs, which will come as quite a relief to a lot of people, especially newbies.

These ATVs come with plenty of added features such as power steering, modifiable electronic fuel injection, and independent steering. If you are looking to change any of the elements, the individual components are cheaper than those on your UTV.

UTVs Haul Stuff

utv and atv riding

Now let’s move on to the much heftier UTV’s. These beasts are designed for hauling gear across large distances, making them the number one choice for hunters, fishers, and cross-country campers. These UTVs are also much more comfortable, allowing you to sit in their seats for much longer, meaning you can travel greater distances in them.

They have a lot more surface area on the top of your UTV, so you can strap your gear to them much easier. If you are traveling across bumpy surfaces and are worried about your gear becoming unstuck and slipping onto the ground, then having more space to work with will be brilliant.

You should have a lot of room on the rear platform, which also makes it a good choice for campers. You’ll want the ability to lash your tent, your stove, and the myriad of other camping implements that you’ll be bringing with you.

UTVs Are Good For Specialized Work

Now, these machines are not really designed for fun. As you can tell by the name, they are designed with utility in mind first and foremost. These are very bulky and are designed to really carry a lot of equipment. If you are a farmer, a fisher, a hunter, or anyone that does a lot of work across vast distances, they won’t be without their UTV.

These vehicles have around 1,400-pounds of towing capacity, so you will be able to tow a small trailer behind one of these vehicles. This allows you more surface areas on which to carry things. If you are doing farm work, you’ll be able to haul multiple bales of hay across large tracts of land.

Most hunters also won’t do without a UTV. They like the luxury of being able to sling their gun on the back of their UTV and chasing down prey when they have escaped that all-important shot.

UTVs Are Good For Impressing Your Friends

When it comes to customizability, the UTV really outstrips the ATV. You can put on cab kits and lights, allowing you to really supe up your vehicle, making your friend’s jaws drop in awe. You can also enhance the wheels and the wheel trims, giving you the ability to negotiate large tracts of land.

If you have some friends that you want to pick up for the barn dance, then we would recommend going up in a pimped-up UTV. You can also spray the body with whatever color that you like so that you know that you’ll make an impressive entrance.

Which Should You Get For Farming Work?

ATVs and UTVs are both used for farming work, allowing their users to cover vast distances very quickly, as well as hauling gear. One of the main pros of having a UTV for this kind of work is because they can bear a larger load.

However, if you want to traverse your large acreage to repair various fences or quickly repair some piping, then you might decide on the ATV because of its speed. These vehicles will also be much cheaper. However, one of the main downsides of the ATV is that it does not fare that well in bad weather.

With smaller tires and chasse, you can expect that your ATV will flip over easier in more treacherous weather. The UTV is a lot more durable and bulky and will not flip over. However, the downside of a UTV is much more difficult to maneuver, so if you have an area of clustered trees, then you might be in trouble.

Which Should You Get For Hunting?

Hunting is certainly a difficult sport that requires a lot of maneuverability and the ability to lug a lot of heavy gear across vast distances. However, this will all depend on what terrain you are traveling across.

If you are a wooded hunter, then you might want to opt for the ATV for its dexterity and ability to weave in between the trees. However, you will have to make a sacrifice when it comes to the amount of gear that you can carry.

If you are hunting in muddier areas, you might also find it more difficult to use a UTV, as it will often sink harder into muddier terrain. Although if you get wider tires, this will distribute the weight of the vehicle a lot better, which will result in less awkward situations.

UTV vs ATV — Our Final Say

We hope that our list of the various pros and cons has helped you decide whether an ATV or a UTV is better for the type of activity you are doing. It is also worth remembering that no matter what vehicle you’ll be riding, you’ll need to wear the appropriate safety gear.

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Patrick Johnson