Our list of the most reliable 4×4 ATV in 2021 includes the Honda TRX250X, Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 S, Arctic Cat Alterra 300, Can-Am Outlander 450, Suzuki KingQuad 750, and Yamaha YFZ450R. However, there are many factors to consider when purchasing a 4×4 ATV
If an ATV is well taken care of, it will generally start to reach the end of its useful life at around 10,000 miles. This will vary depending on its uses, the level of maintenance, and of course, the model of ATV.
You want an ATV that is going to handle rough terrain and withstand the tests of time.
It is hard to name the single most reliable 4×4 ATV on the market, but for a rundown of 6 of our top choices, keep reading.
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1. Yamaha YFZ450R
Yamaha has been one of the most popular brands for ATVs for a long time, and with good reason. Yamaha ATVs are well known for their power and speed, making them very popular with thrill-seekers, and even professional racers.
One of the most popular models is the Yamaha YFZ450R, which has been ranked as one of the 10 best ATVs of all time.
It has a five-valve, quick-revving, 449cc engine, which, combined with the lightweight aluminum/steel chassis, makes it one of the quickest models on this list. It has a low center of gravity and lightweight suspension, providing excellent handling and a more comfortable ride.
This ATV is the first ever to include a slipper and assist clutch, which provides several advantages:
- More clutch plate pressure
- Less clutch lever effort and fatigue
- reduced engine braking
- Improved bump absorption
All of these help to improve the lifespan of this ATV.
The starting price for the YFZ450R is $9,499 MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price).
2. Suzuki KingQuad 750
Suzuki was the first brand to produce quad bikes for more than just one purpose. To this day their quad bikes provide excellent functionality as both utility and sports vehicles.
While some people may want an ATV for just one purpose, Suzuki is the go-to for anyone who needs more. They are capable of towing heavy loads, and come with metal racks, providing a number of storage options.
The most reliable and durable model is the Suzuki KingQuad 750. It provides a smooth ride over tough terrain with independent suspension, and with power steering for ease of control.
The 750 cc engine provides plenty of power, and it is capable of towing loads of up to 1322 lbs (600 kg).
These impressive features come at a starting price point of $10,199 MSRP with a standard 12-month warranty.
3. Can-Am Outlander 450
This is one of the best Canadian quad bike manufacturers there is. Arguably the best value for money, Can-Am ATVs are incredibly reliable and offer excellent performance in all conditions.
A stand-out model is the Can-Am Outlander 450. It has a huge 5.4 gallon (18.9 liters) fuel tank with a 427 cc single-cylinder engine, which puts out 38hp. It has plenty of power, and it can keep running longer than most competitors.
This model is also popular for its comfort, as well as its ease of control. This is due to the plush suspension and light electric throttle. The one-way bearing clutch also gives a smooth and quick uptake of drive.
All this with a 1,300 lb (590 kg) towing capacity makes this ATV very versatile. It is a great choice for recreational use, while still being suitable for work and farm use.
The Outlander 450 starts at $6,499 MSRP. Considering the performance and capability, this may be the best 4×4 ATV for the money on this list.
Can-Am also offers several other trims, with the most expensive (the Outlander Max 6×6 DPS 450) starting at $10,599 MSRP. This gives a lot of flexibility when looking for something that is just right for you.
4. Arctic Cat Alterra 300
Arctic Cat (now part of Textron) manufactures reliable, yet affordable ATVs. They originally made snowmobiles, but now also produce ATVs for sports, utility, and youths.
Arctic Cat ATVs come standard with power steering and independent rear suspension. This provides excellent control and handling. They also provide a large amount of power while keeping a low price point.
The Alterra 300 is one of the most versatile ATVs available. The 300cc four-stroke engine puts out enough power to tow up to 500 lbs (227 kg). It comes with an automatic CTV transmission, making this an easy ride for anyone new to ATVs.
This model has a low maintenance shaft-driven solid rear axle, providing excellent reactions on tight turns.
This model starts at a very affordable price of $4,649 MSRP and comes with a 12-month warranty.
5. Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 S
Polaris doesn’t just offer reliability, but variety. They manufacture top-quality ATVs for recreation & utility, touring, sports, and youths. The US military uses Polaris ATVs, which says more than enough about their reliability and durability.
These ATVs stand out for their strength, size, and weight, as well as comfort. Steep slopes and rough terrain are not just tackled easily, and Polaris ATVs will always provide a smooth ride.
They have a low center of gravity, which keeps the ATV stable and less likely to roll over. This, along with their ease of control, makes them excellent for new riders.
The Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 S is an excellent top-of-the-line model. This ATV is definitely at the upper end of the scale, starting at $16,599, and the smaller Sportsman XP 1000 starts at $14,499.
The 952cc dual-cylinder engine gives this ATV the strength to tow loads of up to 1,750 lbs (794 kg). Utilizing one of the strongest chassis Polaris has ever built, carrying loads of up to 500 lbs (227 kg) over rough terrain is no trouble.
The 55″ stance, 27″ tires, and 14″ suspension travel make this one of the smoothest, most stable rides available in an ATV.
This ATV is definitely at the upper end of the scale, starting at $16,599 MSRP, and the smaller Sportsman XP 1000 starts at $14,499 MSRP.
For anyone who will be going offroad a lot, the Sportsman XP 1000 High Lifter Edition comes designed for just that, making it arguably the best ATV for mudding in 2021.
6. Honda TRX250X
The Honda TRX250X is a sure choice for reliability, function, and affordability.
Honda is considered to be the most reliable ATV brand in 2021. They are well known for consistently building ATVs with excellent performance and reliability.
The use of metal gears rather than belts, as well as bomb-proof transmission, means that Hondas can take a lot of abuse without any problems.
Honda ATVs also feature TraxLox technology. If traction is lost, this will engage, distributing power to the wheels. Along with the highly dampened suspension, this gives a very smooth and controlled ride, even for beginners.
The TRX250X is one of the most affordable sports ATVs available. It includes Honda’s trademarked SportClutch, which provides the control of a manual shift but prevents the risk of stalling.
It has a 229cc single-cylinder engine that provides enough power to handle steep climbs and technical trails. As it is shaft-driven, it needs far less maintenance than the chain-driven system that most ATVs use.
As one of Honda’s most impressive models, some would say that this might be the most reliable ATV ever built.
It starts from $5,049 MSRP, which is a very affordable price considering the quality of this ATV. It is suitable for new as well as advanced riders, and you can be certain that it will last.
Improving the Reliability of Your ATV
While certain brands and models are known to be reliable, if you want your ATV to last, there are certain spets you can take to help extend its life.
High octane fuel provides better gas mileage and causes less corrosion than ethanol-based fuel. Ensuring there is enough oil and engine parts remain clean is always ideal.
Low-quality fuel can clog air filters and destroy spark plugs. Bad spark plugs can cause damage to the engine, so if a lower quality fuel has previously been used, replacing the spark plugs is recommended.
An upgraded air filter can provide more airflow, which helps to improve performance and extend the lifetime of the engine.
Some ATVs come with aluminum wheels as standard. For ones that come with heavier wheels, replacing them with aluminum ones can help reduce the overall weight. Less weight means less strain on the engine and less damage from impacts.
The Most Reliable 4×4 ATV
Despite the ranking above, this is not a definitive list of the most reliable 4×4 ATV. It is a very subjective matter and can vary from case to case.
When choosing an ATV, reliability is not the only factor to take into account. How often an ATV is used, what it is used for, and how it is looked after will all affect the lifespan of an ATV.
You should think about how you will utilize your ATV, as that could be a deciding factor in the choice you make. The only thing we can say for certain is that if you want your ATV to last, you have to look after it properly.
High-quality fuel, upgraded parts, and proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to get the most out of your ATV.
For information on how ATV brands compare, not just in terms of reliability but overall, check out our major ATV brand guide.