Utility Task Vehicles (UTV) and Side by Sides (SxS) belong to a large family of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) that contain dirt bikes and quad bikes. These are generally two to six-seater vehicles and have wider payloads despite many being almost the same size as ATVs. As a first-time buyer, it's exciting buying one of these buggies, but do you know what you're looking for?
SxS vs ATV
If it's your first time buying UTV, you might think they're a direct “upgrade” to your quad bike. Technically this is true, but although both are all-terrain vehicles, side-by-sides perform a distinct and specialized function compared to an ATV.
Southpaw Motorsports and other retailers carrying both AVT and SxS in Salt Lake City explain that, as its other name suggests, UTVs are vehicles that are built for utility and specialized work. The fact that it possesses a higher payload than an ATV, and that it has a cargo box at the back, means it's mainly used for hauling.
While it's true that your quad bike can probably be fitted with its own cargo box, the construction of the side-by-side makes carrying heavy loads easier. When you're riding an ATV, you have a tendency to slouch forward. This is a rather uncomfortable position, especially if you're carrying heavy loads.
Side-by-sides have truck or cab-like seats, allowing you to sit upright as you would in a car or truck. Apart from being more comfortable to ride, UTVs are more powerful and can carry heavier loads that ATV simply can't.
Which One Should You Get?
If you're in the market for an all-terrain vehicle, you need to decide on what you're going to do with it. If your plans involve sports and racing off the road, ATVs and quad bikes should be your pick. Apart from being smaller and more nimble, many are built for speed.
If what you're doing is utility work, such as hauling equipment and the like, UTVs should be your pick. A quad bike can perform the same function, provided that what you're carrying isn't too heavy, like logs or large equipment.
If you're planning to move larger quantities of products or heavy tools such as chainsaws, it's better that you stick with a UTV. Despite this, side-by-sides can be used for recreational purposes. The larger size offers a greater amount of customization, but don't expect to win any races against the nimbler and more agile ATV.
The purpose is important when you're in the market for a larger ATV. If it's for utility work, side-by-sides and UTVs are the way to go.