What Are the Best UTVs for Beginners and Mechanical Novices

POV novice is driving a UTV

If you are planning to buy a recreational vehicle that resembles an ATV, chances are that you are looking at side-by-sides or UTVs. But what if you are a beginner in this area and you haven’t driven a UTV before? Don’t worry because this post has got you covered. 

UTVs come in a variety of models intended for several purposes and all of them will help you get where you need to go. Arguably, UTVs are the best option whenever it comes to seeking thrill and adventure. Read on to find out the best beginner UTV and other useful information.

Choosing the best UTV for your job

Getting to know about the kind of work that you intend to use the UTV for is the first thing for you to do. People use UTVs for three reasons: recreational, work-oriented, and sports. UTVs designed for creational activities are more compact and sleek so that they can carry a few passengers along with necessary gear.

They have higher ground clearance so that the debris can pass underneath. For job-related purposes, specific UTVs are made to focus on the purpose. It provides farmers, landscapers, construction workers, and miners with an optimal vehicle that tries to replace a pickup truck. 

And, certain UTVs are made for off-roading sports that include exploration and adrenaline-pumping fun. These side-by-side vehicles are built for speed and can take almost every kind of terrain with ease. Hence, you should have a clear idea about what to do with the vehicle.

What are the best UTV brands?

If you are looking to buy a UTV for a younger rider or even for yourself with the least knowledge, it is important to know about the brands that you should be dealing with. Now that you are aware of what to do with the UTV, get an idea about some of the major UTV manufacturers.

1. Honda – Best in reliability 

While they might lack cutting-edge technologies on certain models, when it is about reliability, Honda comes first. They are committed to putting their best in all their models.

2. Yamaha – Best in quality

No doubt, Yamaha produces well-rounded models and has earned loyal fans for many decades. 

3. Polaris – Best in durability

While their models are heavier, UTVs from Polaris can take whatever you throw at them. So, when it is about durability, their side-by-side vehicles are the best. 

4. Can-Am – Best in innovation 

The suspension system that Can-Am induces in their models is unique and you can’t see them on other models in the industry. 

Best UTVs for beginners

1. Honda Pioneer 700

The Pioneer 700 is one of the best UTVs from Honda and has been appreciated by a lot of riders. When you look at it, the first thing that will come to your mind is that it might be limited to undertaking a strict task. However, it does a pretty good job at that. 

Also, it is a fun trail machine as well. The standard model comes equipped with a dumping cargo box and two seats. Because Honda has earned a great reputation when it is about durability and dependability, it is reflected in the Pioneer 700 as well. 

This UTV runs on a 675cc engine that is perfect for beginners. The transmission has a 3-speed automotive-style alongside a hydraulic torque converter. Besides, the deluxe model has paddle shifters. 

Also, you can ride it either in automatic or manual mode. If you are looking for a utility and trail UTV that’s a bit different from others, the Pioneer 700 is the right one for you.

2. Yamaha Viking

Another great product from Yamaha deserves a mention among the best UTVs for beginners. The Yamaha Viking has been a best-seller and a great side-by-side for starters. The best part about Viking is that it has a solid construction and is considered the best in quality.

Powered by a SOHC single-cylinder 686cc engine, it houses the best CVT transmission system on the market as well. The cab includes three bucket seats designed in a way so that no one gets the chance to rub their shoulders together. 

The braking mechanism is amazing on this UTV and Yamaha has worked well to reduce noise levels in the vehicle so that you can enjoy a great ride. Other features include underbody protection, a large fuel tank, a digital gauge display, and a dump bed.

3. Polaris RZR S900

The DOHC 875cc twin-cylinder engine in the Polaris RZR S900 produces 75 horsepower, which is another alternative for a beginner rider. Besides, the automatic transmission powers the wheels. 

With the AWD mode, the vehicle can sense wheelspin and transfer power to other wheels. That way, you don’t get stuck in a tricky situation for long. With added stability and width, the Polaris RZR S900 can hit trails that has width limitations. 

The dual A-arms suspension and Fox 2.0 Podium shocks give the vehicle ultimate comfort when riding. 

4. Can-Am Maverick Trail

There is no denying that the Maverick Trail from Can-Am is a stellar machine if you wish to have more fun. The balance that the UTV provides while driving through rough terrains is well-appreciated by most riders. 

Powered by an 800cc Rotax V-twin engine, it produces 51 horsepower. The fuel injection and Intelligent Throttle Control system are designed to provide sheer performance to the vehicle. 

Moreover, with Eco and Sport modes, you get to choose between better fuel economy and more power. The electronic braking system makes sure that you have a good grip when descending bigger inclines.

ModelEngineTransmissionGround Clearance in inchesWheelbase in inchesFuel capacity in gallonsTowing capacity in pounds
Honda Pioneer 700675ccAutomatic10.776.87.91500
Yamaha Viking686ccCVT11.884.19.71500
Polaris RZR S900875ccAutomatic12.5799.51500
Can-Am Maverick Trail800ccCVT1090.6101500

Other important factors to consider

When you are buying the best beginner UTV, looks aren’t everything. You should understand that each UTV is designed for a specific task and they come with specific limitations. Hence, pay attention to certain aspects so that you can have the right vehicle for your needs. 

1. Payload capacity

Most UTVs come with a rear end that’s great for pickup with lots of space to carry almost every kind of thing. Although they all look very similar, not all vehicles are created equal. So, if you are looking for a UTV that is built to carry all your gear, it is good to choose a model that has the heaviest weight capacity. 

2. Tow capacity

If you are looking for a UTV that can tow a trailer behind it, check out the towing capacity of the UTV that you intend to buy. Most of the models that you find around come with about 1350 lbs., tow capacity. So, make your research well.

3. Wheelbase

You may need a taller vehicle so that it can stay clear of the debris and other obstacles on the road. Depending on the terrain, if you are looking for a UTV to work in the mountains or lumber yards where fallen trees are common, choose a vehicle with a 20-inch wheelbase or even higher.

UTV riding tips for first-time drivers

To help you maneuver your side-by-side in the right way, follow these tips

1. Check out the manual

The owner’s manual contains valuable information on how the UTV operates, how to keep it in great shape, and everything that comes between. Hence, follow the guidelines so that you can make the best out of the vehicle and extend its life. 

One of the first things to avoid is to get in the driver’s seat and take it for a long, fast spin. It is always good to start easy and light. For the engine parts to perform smoothly, allow some time for them to adjust. Consider every precaution that is recommended in the manual and you are good to go.

2. Practice driving skill

Because a UTV is not similar to riding a bike or driving a car, take some time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle and know how it operates. Besides, if you have someone who’s experienced in handling off-roading vehicles, you may get expert tips from them. 

Moreover, you can practice by riding the UTV in an open area. Start by maneuvering the vehicle at a lower speed and increasing it gradually. Practice speeding up, steering, turning, and braking on flat ground so that you know how to handle dips and bumps on a trail.

3. Gear up

Navigating through tough terrain poses a safety risk when riding a UTV. Despite having some kind of safety features on the UTV, it is more likely that you might be thrown out of the vehicle in case of a serious collision or impact. 

A comfortable and sturdy helmet made for extreme sports is a necessity. Besides, a pair of goggles and a face mask will protect your eyes from debris that flies around. Sturdy boots, a good pair of gloves, long pants, and long sleeves act as a protective shield for your body.