Are Arctic Cat ATVs Any Good? Comparison, Best Models, & More

New Arctic Cat ATV model at Moto Expo

There is no shortage of ATVs on the market and all of them have something special about themselves. In short, there is an ATV for everyone that caters to their needs better. Arctic Cat is a reputable company that has been producing ATVs for some time now. However, are Arctic Cat ATVs any good?

Independent rear suspensions, high-performing engines, and power steering are some of the features that you can get from Arctic Cat ATVs. Besides, low weight and steady suspension are highly recommended for beginner riders and Arctic Cat ATVs tend to provide these features. 

Moreover, when it comes to delivering sheer performance, the Wildcat stands out from the rest. Besides, they have been in this industry for a long time. In this post, you get to know what makes Arctic Cat ATVs one of the best choices for many people. 

Arctic Cat ATVs versus other ATV brands

ATVs are classified by durability, engine horsepower, off-road performance, comfort, and so on. When it comes to comparing different brands that produce ATVs, almost each of them has models that cater to the riders’ needs to a great extent. Apart from that, all of them have intuitive features and provide great performance.

Despite that, people tend to look out for the most reliable ATV that they can have. It means, the ATV should be resilient to tough terrains, keep on moving even after taking a few waves of abuse, and be durable. Here is a brief comparison of Arctic Cat ATVs with other leading ATVs brands that you find around.

1. Honda

Honda is one of the most preferred brands when it comes to buying an ATV. Being a pioneer in this industry, Honda ATVs are known for their consistency. And, that helped them become a household name. Honda ATVs are popular for their reliability and performance. 

With metal gears instead of belts and a state-of-art transmission system, Honda ATVs can take much abuse you have imagined without breaking down. The user-friendly and resilient features have made Honda ATVs the popular choice for many ATV racers. Also, they have a reputation for being the best option for desert racers spread over long distances.

2. Arctic Cat 

The American company produces a variety of ATVs that arrange from high-performing sports machines to models for kids and youth. While Arctic Cat has been producing snowmobiles since the 1960s, they began their operations in the ATV industry in 1996. Their ATVs have features such as independent rear suspension, intuitive features at affordable cost, and power steering. 

The Altera 300, which is one of the best four-wheelers for younger and beginner drivers, has a steady suspension system along with low weight. Moreover, for riders who want more from their ATV, the Wildcat is the most sought-after machine. It features a 915cc liquid-cooled engine capable of generating 90 horsepower.

3. Polaris

When it comes to taking a lot of abuses, Polaris ATVs stand out. While their quads might not have been the best in terms of high-speed or sheer power, they make some of the heaviest ATVs that you won’t find on the market. Also, it is one of the best starter ATVs because of the lower center of gravity.

Furthermore, Polaris ATVs are considered reliable and it is evident from the US army using them on certain missions as response vehicles. The model is the MRZR D4, which has a 993cc 4-stroke powerful diesel engine. 

4. Kawasaki

They introduced the first 400cc ATV and have maintained the position of being a technology leader. The Thermoplastic Olefin of TPO bodywork from Kawasaki makes their quads scratch-resistant and tough. Kawasaki offers high-quality comfort in all its ATVs.

Besides, the 5-way adjustable shocks provide an easy ride on rough terrains. Moreover, they have a comfortable handlebar, easy-to-use controls, and other innovative features. In short, everything feels natural when you ride their ATVs.

5. Yamaha

When it is about innovation, Yamaha is ranked equal to Polaris and Kawasaki. While Raptor 700R has excellent performance records, the YFZ450R has been a trendsetter and is considered one of the best ATVs of all time. 

The YFZ40R has a 449cc 5-valve, quick-revving engine along with a lightweight steel/aluminum chassis. The bottom frame of the vehicle allows the engine to sit low and the suspension reduces its weight. As such, improves engine mass centralization and provides comfort to the rider. 

6. Suzuki

They are the ones who produced the first ATV that features a dual sport-utility power. However, pure sports ATVs aren’t popular these days like they used to be. Many drivers like to have practical functions on ATVs such as storage capacity and towing power. 

The Suzuki KingQuad 750 is one of the most reliable and powerful quads that you can find. And, it fulfills the need of many drivers who like to use quads other than a sporting activity. With a maximum loading capacity of about 434 pounds, this ATV can tow around 1322 pounds on flat ground.

Most common problems with an Arctic Cat ATV

There is no denying that Arctic Cat produces some of the best ATVs that you can find around. These quads are equipped with the latest features and provide riders with ultimate pleasure. Moreover, they have four-wheelers both for experts and beginners. 

However, like other brands that manufacture ATVs, Arctic Cat has some common issues that many riders faced. Because it is not possible to discuss troubleshooting issues of each model, this section will incorporate three popular Arctic Cat models. 

1. Arctic Cat Prowler 500

The fuel leak and fire hazard are some of the most popular issues with Prowler 500. However, the problem arises mainly because of assembling or manufacturing faults. Besides, Arctic Cat even recalled around 2700 units of the Prowler 500 2014 and 2015 HDX model because of this issue. 

And, people who already have them were requested to visit their nearest dealer and fix the issue free of cost. The 2005 Prowler 500 models have faulty rear brakes. Again, the company recalled the units with these faults. On the 2007 versions of Prowler 500, many riders have complaint about a bad diaphragm.

Because of that, problems such as no power, pop, horrible sounds, and sputtering issues came up. Some riders even experienced throttle issues and low rpm. However, both these issues are fixable. Belt breakage is another bigger problem with Prowler 500 and that happened in several 2017 models.

Many users felt that the clutch heats up frequently and fast resulting in belt breakage. As such, people have to replace the belt oftentimes. According to many riders, the Prowler 500 needs regular maintenance or servicing for a hassle-free operation. The high maintenance cost of Prowler 500 is what annoys many riders.

2. Arctic Cat 400

For Arctic Cat 400 versions from 2003 to 2007, there have been several issues reported by riders. Of which, running problems, flywheel issues, and actuator problems were most common. Many people have a problem starting the ATV during the winter months. However, this might not be a serious issue at all.

For a four-wheel drive, the choke depends on a timer to perform accurately. Also, it is independent of temperature settings and might not work if the quad doesn’t warm up in time. However, a quick fix is to allow the vehicle to sit for about 2 to 4 minutes and adjust the temperature. 

Another issue with the Arctic Cat 400 is the actuator. But the good news is that it can be resolved through correct diagnosis. So, take out your owner’s manual and perform the necessary tests for switch, ignition, power, and fuse. If all of them are in good condition, the actuator might be at fault. 

Apart from that, other issues that riders face are an overflowing carburetor, breaking frames, and stator trouble. Again, these are the faults from the 2004 Arctic Cat 400 4WDs. These problems are not treated as manufacturing defects. And, mostly because of poor maintenance or abuse of the four-wheeler

3. Arctic Cat 700

One of the common complaints about Arctic Cat 700 is that riders consider it as a low-performing ATV. In reality, it is made for farming purposes and doesn’t run at high speed. What’s interesting is that most people don’t know about the fact. The next biggest issue is that the engine stops working suddenly.

Engine not starting properly is mainly due to damaged fuel filter or fuel tank hose. Other reasons could be the defective fuel pump, issues with fuel solenoid, and so on. Clean the hose pipe or replace the fuel filter or pump or solenoid. When you perform these steps, it should fix the problem. 

Noisy gear is another big problem with this quad. However, it could be the result of several parts working together. These include improper tooth contact, worn-out splines, worn-out gears, or damaged bearing. Fixing these issues with making the gear system smooth.

Furthermore, a noisy engine is yet another issue with this ATV model. The sound could come from the combustion chamber, piston, crankshaft, and so on. Contact an expert technician and get the job done.

Best Arctic Cat Machines

The first ATV under Arctic Cat was introduced way back in 1996. Since then, the company has been launching ATVs that stand out from the rest when it comes to performance and durability. Here are some of the best Arctic Cat machines that you can find.

1. Bearcat 454

The ATV got its power from a single-cylinder 4-stroke Suzuki engine. Besides, the quad had foot-shifted transmission and a semi-automatic clutch. However, what made Bearcat special was that the model marked the Company’s first foray into the ATV market. 

2. Wildcat Sport

It was a 60 horsepower, 700cc fuel-injected ATV that has excellent suspension built specifically for long-distance travel. 

3. XC450

It is one of the popular quads for many riders because it packs performance in a small package. The 4-wheel drive, independent four-wheel suspension, and 450cc fuel-injected engine alongside aggressive clutching will compel you to take the XC450 to a ride.

4. Wildcat

It is a 915cc liquid-cooled beast that comprises a combustion chamber capable of generating 90 horsepower. The Limited and Special Edition models come with Elka Stage 5 shocks that deliver long-distance travel suspension. 

5. Wildcat Trail 

With a 50-inch wide body, the Wildcat Trail brings adventure to the quad. Besides, it is powered by the same 700cc, 60 horsepower engine that you find in Wildcat Sport. 

6. Alterra 90

For young riders, the Arctic Cat Alterra 90 is one of the best ATVs. Equipped with a 90cc engine, it features rear and front racks with 25 lbs. capacity, independent front suspension, adjustable throttle, pre-load shocks, and so on. 

7. Alterra 300

Perhaps one of the best mid-sized ATVs that features an A-arm dual front suspension, 270cc engine, towing capacity of 150 pounds, dual halogen taillights and headlamps, and swing-arm type rear suspension.

8. Alterra 450

Powered by a 443cc single-cylinder engine, the Arctic Cat Alterra 450 has an impressive 10-inches ground clearance. Also, it has 1050 lbs. towing capacity through receiver hitches of 2 inches each and 225 lbs. of combined rear and front rack capacity. Moreover, the ATV has dual A-arm suspension both on the front and back. 

9. Alterra 570

Equipped with a 545cc engine and 10 inches of rear/front suspension travel, the Arctic Cat Alterra 570 is another powerful ATV. It has 11 inches of ground clearance and 1050 lbs. towing capacity. It comes in two variants: the Alterra 570 EPS and 570 EPS SE.

10. Alterra 700 EPS SE

The single-cylinder 695cc engine in Alterra 700 EPS SE makes it one of the premium models. It comes with all the features that you find in the 570 EPS. Also, it includes 1050 lbs. towing capacity, 11-inch ground clearance, aluminum wheels, 3000-pound winch, and HD bumper.

11. Alterra TRV 700 EPS

For riders who want someone to accompany them on trails, the Alterra TRV 700 EPS has a rear passenger seat. Also, it has 11-inches ground clearance, 1050 lbs. towing capacity, and 10 inches of suspension travel. It has the same 695cc engine that you find on Alterra 700.