5 Easy Steps to Finding the Most Reliable UTV for Your Money

most reliable UTV

When it comes to finding the most reliable UTV, there are many factors to consider. As the market rapidly grows and changes to meet consumer demands, these factors are excellent tools to help you identify the right fit for your uses and your budget.

Currently, there are several different UTV brands each with different models, so you must determine which factors you need to reduce your options. Asking brand-specific questions like “Can-Am vs. Polaris UTV reliability” or “Kymco UTV reliability” can only get you so far. It’s best to start with the basics and identify what matters most for your needs.

If you want to learn about UTV reliability and how to find the perfect vehicle, read on for five easy steps to help you figure out where to start.

5 Steps to Finding the Most Reliable UTV

UTVs, or utility terrain vehicles, are by nature designed to be used more for work than for play. Unlike their little brother, the ATV, a UTV is larger, more powerful, and boasts lots of storage space.

When you purchase a UTV, you’re getting a workhorse that sits comfortably in the goldilocks zone. They’re bigger and more powerful than an ATV but more lightweight and durable than a Jeep or truck.

1. What Type of UTV Do You Want?

There are three different types of UTVs, and each has its strengths. Some of these can work well into other areas, but they stand out when used as intended.

Utility Models

The original UTV model is in the utility field. These have higher towing and payload capacities, larger cargo boxes, lots of storage, and more. The utility model can be enclosed and can hold additional equipment to suit your needs.

Recreation Models

While the recreation UTV models can still do a lot of work, these are more balanced for work and play. These models usually have more comfortable seating and other features for longer rides. If you’re looking for a well-balanced vehicle, this is your sweet spot.

Performance Models

The newest UTV model on the market is the performance UTV, which doesn’t have a trailer hitch or cargo space. They have a broader suspension, larger tires, and engines that can make every ride more thrilling.

2. How Many Riders Will You Accommodate?

If you’re a family that plans to take rides together or do chores around your property, you must consider the seating arrangements when picking your ATV. Generally, most UTVs have two seats with seatbelts, but there are bench-style seats and even multi-row options that can help you travel with more people. 

When you choose a model with more seats, it’s important to remember that more seats mean you’re sacrificing some cargo and storage space. Finding the balance between people and utility will help you find the model that will suit your needs frequently. If you have older kids, you could always consider purchasing a youth UTV that they can drive independently.

3. Do You Want a New or Used UTV?

Shopping for a new UTV is exciting, but don’t close yourself off to used models! When you’re shopping for your perfect UTV, consider looking the vehicle over thoroughly to consider the following factors:

UTV Condition

If you’re looking at a used model, take the time to closely examine the vehicle’s body for cracks, leaks, or other breaks that could show that the previous owner didn’t properly maintain it. UTVs are meant to be driven and used, but they can be a liability without proper maintenance.


How regularly did your used UTV receive maintenance, and how do the filters and fluids look? If you’re shopping for a new model, peruse the manual or ask a sales representative what the maintenance schedule should be for that vehicle. It’s also a good idea to price out what the maintenance will be and include that in your budgeting.


Loose parts and damaged shocks will make for an uncomfortable ride. If you can test drive the vehicle, try to take it on rougher terrain to see how it feels. It’s also a good idea to closely examine these parts for cracks and damage, or any aftermarket parts that could have been added.

4. What Will You Need to Add for Comfort or Function?

If the model you’re looking at is missing some creature comforts you would want, talk with your UTV dealer or do a quick web search to identify any factory accessories you can add. Many UTV models come with base equipment, so you’re able to add and personalize the model as desired.

Some options you could add are:

  • GPS Systems
  • Fully Enclosed Cabs
  • Storage Boxes
  • Heaters
  • Stereo and Speaker Systems
  • LED Lights
  • Bumpers
  • Performance Parts
  • Wheels and Tires

5. What Type of Transmission Do You Want?

Choosing your transmission won’t necessarily be a huge factor, but it can help you decide what types of UTV you want to buy. The three main transmissions are sequential transmission, CVT (continuously variable transmission), and DCT (dual-clutch transmission).

Sequential Transmission

This style is similar to a motorcycle transmission, and it has a gear shift that shifts down when pushed forward and shifts up when pulled back. There is also a sport shift sequential transmission, which allows for full throttle shifting without letting off the gas.


This type of transmission is the most popular as it requires no manual shifting by the driver. When you step on the pedal, the engine speeds up, and the clutches adjust accordingly. The only action the driver has to do is moving between high and low, park, reverse, and neutral.


If you want a sophisticated and modern transmission similar to a sports car, this is your best bet. This style generally has two fully automatic modes (drive and sport) and a manual mode that lets you change gears with the paddle shifters.

Where to Start

If you’re looking to buy the most reliable UTV on the market, take some time to review different models and see which one will suit your needs best. Are you looking for a family-friendly model or maybe you need something that can help you work your farm

Make a list of what you want, and then keep that in mind while you’re shopping around. Then compare the quality of design and condition before committing to your perfect UTV. For more information about shopping for UTVs, check out these other informative articles on our blog.