What’s the difference between ATVs and UTVs?
We often hear terms like ATV and UTV when people talk about their 4×4 rec vehicles. However, are these two acronyms representative of the same type of vehicle? If not, what are the differences between an ATV and a UTV?
Despite a long-standing debate between ATVs and UTVs, no clear consensus has emerged. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately, it comes down to your needs. In this article, we examine the two vehicle types in more detail to help you determine which is right for you.
All-terrain vehicles also referred to as ATVs, are motorized off-highway vehicles that usually have four low-pressure or non-pneumatic tyres and are equipped with a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars that are used for steering control. The ATV is also known as a quad or four-wheeler and is designed for single riders.
Although a UTV is similar to an ATV, there is a difference between the two. In most cases, UTVs are also called side-by-sides. Generally, this type of vehicle is larger, with a higher passenger capacity and a greater towing capacity. The use of UTVs is common for transporting equipment and supplies where it is impractical or impossible to use a truck.
Differences Between ATVs & UTVs
One of the major differences between ATVs and UTVs is that of power. An ATV is powered by a gasoline engine, whereas a UTV is powered by a diesel or electric engine. The maintenance and repair costs of gasoline engines are lower, but they are also less efficient. The maintenance and repair costs of diesel and electric engines are higher, but they are more efficient.
Operations & Use
The ways in which ATVs and UTVs are used also denote a key difference. ATVs can accommodate one person, while UTVs can accommodate up to six people. Apart from being smaller and lighter than UTVs, ATVs are also easier to manoeuvre. In contrast, UTVs are designed for hauling purposes
Differences also exist in the way ATVs and UTVs use suspension. ATV suspension systems are designed for one person, while UTV suspension systems are designed for two or more people. In addition, ATVs have a shorter wheelbase, which makes them more agile. Wheelbases are longer on UTVs, so they are more stable.
The way UTVs and ATVs are equipped is also different. Ploughs, a winch, and a storage box are typical features of ATVs. Meanwhile, it is common for UTVs to have a roll cage, a winch, and a windshield.
Wheels and tyres
There are two types of ATVs: those with three wheels and those with four wheels. Compared to standard automobile tyres or UTV tyres, tyres are maintained at a lower pressure. The wheelbase of a UTV (four wheels) is the same as that of a car. It is possible for them to have more wheels, however, if they are used for specialized purposes.
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