When we say UTV or side-by-side most people do not think of six-seated vehicles. And the fact is that a vast majority of these vehicles are single, two or four-seated. The largest number of side-by-side users are into the sporty and more extreme kind of riding. Desert racing, rock climbing, or going up the dunes. The type of rides that are best enjoyed with just one or two people inside the UTV.
Until recently, UTV manufacturers saw things the same way and the UTV market reflected this. The family people and other potential users of six-seaters were not anywhere near the top of their minds. If you were to try to purchase a 6-seat UTV just a couple of years ago, you would face slim pickings. Especially if you were not just looking for plenty of seating space, but also reliable, powerful, and practical vehicle.
Luckily, in the last few years, the situation has changed. Established UTV factories, such as Can-AM, Polaris, Kawasaki, or Yamaha, saw that the demand for this kind of rides greatly surpasses the supply. People interested in buying 6-seater now have a decent selection available, featuring a number of models that, regarding the quality of build, can go toe to toe with any 2 or 4-seated UTVs.
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Why Use 6-Seater?
Friends and Family
If you’re lucky enough to have a large family or a vast circle of friends, then you’ll want to take them with you on an adventure and share UTV riding experience. You can hardly do this if you own 2 or 4-seated UTV will provide plenty of room and comfort for the whole family (unless it’s really big). And there is nothing better than having a family trip or outing with your friends and enjoying a trail or a ride through the woods in a side-by-side.
Hunters are one of the largest groups of 6-seated UTV users. It’s easy to see why side-by-sides have become a preferred vehicle for hunting purposes. UTVs, are by their design, convenient for going deep into the woods and reaching parts that are unavailable for a jeep or a truck. They also enable a hunting party to share one vehicle to reach their blinds, thus decreasing the total cost of the hunt.
UTVs, as a multi-purpose means of transportation suited for off-road challenges, have particularly proven to be useful on farms, larger construction sites, surface mines, quarries, and similar work environments. having a 6-seater enables transporting a whole crew of workers from one site to another.
The ability to reach places other vehicles can’t have made the UTV a vehicle of choice for many agencies who organize guided or unguided tours and safaris. 6-seated side-by-side provides them an opportunity to take larger tourist parties at once, especially if there is a guide or a driver involved already occupying one seat. 6-seaters are perfect for hunting safaris, enabling hunters to get to the right positions, with as much comfort as possible and plenty of room fo hunting equipment.
6 vs 4 vs 2-Seater
Choosing between 6-seater or other UTV version mostly comes down to personal preference and one’s needs. Although 6-seated UTV has advantages, there are some drawbacks when compared to its counterparts with fewer seats. It’s up to you to decide whether your planned use makes picking one or the other worthwhile.
The most obvious advantage of a 6-seater is, of course, as we mentioned, the fact that it fits more passengers. There are ways to increase the capacity of a four-seater. Some people install extra seats or benches into the dump bed. This is not something we would recommend, first of all for safety reasons, and also it’s illegal in some states.
6-seaters are bigger and wider than other versions. It means that they also have more storage space. Manufacturers try to use any available space for storage. You can place your stuff in the boxes installed in the dashboard, under the front and rear benches, and, of course, in the dump bed at the rear. Be aware that more space doesn’t necessarily mean fewer storage problems. Because 6-seated UTV accommodates more people there are more people there is more stuff to pack. Six people mean six sets of equipment, six sets of equipment if you’re going hunting, six lunch packs.
Due to its dimensions, side-by-side with six seats has a longer wheelbase which makes a longer turning radius, i.e. wider turning. Sometimes, if you find yourself against a sharp and hard corner, you’ll have to make two or three-point turns. Another drawback of a longer wheelbase is that now and then you may find yourself high centered while cresting over sharp hill break.
Weight and Power
Built bigger and carrying more people 6-seater is heavier than other UTV models. With added weight comes some loss in power and speed. But, for its intended use it’s not that big of an issue. It may not be perfect for racing, dune climbing, or extreme trailing, but they are mostly used for easy and recreational rides.
Newer 6-seat models are usually rather comfortable but still, nobody likes the middle seats. Ther indeed are not as cushy as the side seats and getting in and out of the vehicle is not particularly convenient. With some models, the middle seat passenger has nothing to hold on to during the ride. In case of a bumpier road or trail this can be a small problem. Other than this you should notice no difference between 6-seater and other versions.
The Top 6-seated UTVs on the Market
As we said already, currently there is plenty to choose from on the 6-seat UTV market. We’ll take a closer look at the vehicles that are deservedly at the top of the range.
6-seated brother of Ranger XP 900, Crew is up to any work task you may put in front of it. If you are looking for a utility 6-seater you can hardly do any better. 68HP supported by Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system will provide all the power and strength you may need, It can tow up to an impressive 2.000lb. and carry an additional 1000lb in cargo box making sure you’ll make as few trips as possible during work.
Polaris Ranger Crew XP 900 is not just a workhorse. Clean and straight design is something we’re already used to when it comes to Polaris vehicles. The cab has been redesigned to improve ergonomics and the new central console features more storage and cup holders. It’s comfortable enough for you not to dread a whole day spent in it.
Rigid chassis and increased torsional stiffness provide a smooth ride, although it may get a bit bumpy on rough terrain. 11.3″ inch of ground clearance helps with this a little bit. With the help of standardly excellent Polaris power steering, it handles really well and easily shifts through the gears.
With the top speed at around 50 Mph, it may not be the ride for more sporty types, but it’s versatility and power make it perfect for any work task you put in front of it. A wide range of available accessories helps here a lot.
- 68 HP 4-Stroke twin Cylinder Engine
- 2.000 lb towing capacity
- 1.000 lb box capacity
- 1.750 payload capacity
- 1629.03 lbs dry weight
- standard electronic power steering
- $14.099 MSRP
Defender Max XT from Can-Am is a spacious, comfortable, and reliable vehicle which is probably the best choice for an enjoyable ride with your family and friends, Cushy and roomy seats with reinforced thick vinyl cover will make sure that neither you or your passengers feel the weariness of a day ride. Legroom will satisfy even the tallest of us. Plenty of storage space all over the vehicle ensures that everyone can bring what they need with them.
But, Defender excels in tougher conditions also. Heavy-duty 82HP engine and excellent towing ability are ready for serious work assignments. A version 50HP engine is available too. The wheels are dressed with Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires that will help in on rocky roads and trails.
Can-Am’s Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) is very responsive during recreational rides but can answer the demands of more technical, slow-speed riding and four-wheel drive will ensure you don’t get stuck. The Defender provides excellent control over all that power. The central dash features triple rocker switch, allowing you to choose between Eco, Normal, and Work regime.
Unfortunately, the Defender doesn’t shine when it comes to accessories. There are some available, such as bed extenders, side mirrors, or windshields but it’s not this vehicle’s strong spot.
- 50/82 HP V-twin engine
- 2.500 lb towing capacity
- 1.000 lb box capacity
- 1.750 lb payload capacity
- 1.882,80 1.887lb dry weight
- Dynamic Power Steering
- $17.399 MSRP
Somewhat cheaper than its competitors the Mule provides more than a bang for a buck. Incredibly versatile, Kawasaki’s vehicle will serve you well whether you plan a recreational ride with family and friends, hunting, or a hard day’s work.
One of the quieter UTV’s on the market, Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT has all you need for a comfortable ride. 8 inches of travel help it handle easily even on the rockiest and toughest terrain. The good dents on shifter prevent you from being stuck between the gears.
In typical Japanese fashion the design is simple and practical. The overhead bar gives extra something for passengers to hold on to. Getting in and out of the cabin is convenient and easy, which we can’t say for may other models. The back seats are adjustable and collapsable so you can expand the capacity of the dump bed.
While it’s not the fastest guy around the Mule more than makes up for it in power. You won’t win any races in it, but its 47HP and 2.000lb towing capacity more than justify its name. It will handle the fully-loaded storage space with no effort at all. Although truth be told, it could do with some more storage capacity.
- 47Hp 3-cylinder engine
- 2.000 lb towing capacity
- 1.000 lb box capacity
- 1.616 lb payload capacity
- 1.887 lb dry weight
- Selectable 2/4 wheel drive
- $13.099 MSRP
With its powerful 686cc engine Yamaha Viking VI is a force on the road. All that power is transferred to the ground with Yamaha patented Ultramatic transmission making it more than a match for any obstacle or task that might await. Depending on your needs and terrain you can easily switch between four and two-wheel drive with On-Command 4WD system.
Inside the cabin there is more than enough room for six people to sit comfortably. Plenty of space ensures you’ll avoid uncomfortable shoulder-to-shoulder contact. The driver’s seat is adjustable and all other seats feature padded headrests and three-point seatbelts for maximum comfort and safety. Back seats are raised by an inch which provides better visibility for passengers in the rear which is a weak spot for many 6-seaters. Strong handhold and serrated floorboards make sure that everyone is set at their place.
When it comes to handling work, the Viking can stand on its own among other models. Somewhat smaller capacity and towing ability are compensated with excellent agility and versatility. One thing that could be better is too many vibrations sometimes. But, that’s what you get with a single-cylinder engine. Shifting is effortless and thanks to the Ultramatic system it goes into gear smoothly.
- single-cylinder engine
- 1.500 lb towing capacity
- 600 lb box capacity
- 1695lb wet weight
- Electric Power Steering
- $13.999 MSRP
6-seated UTV will give you all the comfort, space and convenience you might need. Also, most of these vehicles are more than capable of handling the toughest work tasks and payloads. They are incredibly versatile and most of them can be used in a variety of situations. More than powerful to handle working on a farm or surface mine, but still comfortable enough to ride with your family. Just be sure not to mistake them for racing and sports vehicles, because that’s about the only way you may not be happy with them.