What is the difference between a UTV vs. ATV?

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is usually made for one rider to go off-roading. A utility task vehicle (UTV) is a larger type of ATV designed to haul heavier loads and perhaps allow additional passengers. ATVs are primarily used for recreation, whereas UTVs are often used for professional tasks such as farming or landscaping.

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Pros and cons of ATV vs. UTV

ATV pros

ATVs are generally more compact and able to make sharper turns. Four-wheel drive (4WD) offers power through rugged terrain while navigating tight trails. ATVs can be more affordable compared to most vehicles.

ATV cons

While ATVs are certainly fun and exciting, they're not necessarily the safest vehicles. These vehicles often lack common safety features found in cars and UTVs. ATVs aren't always very comfortable, and there likely won't be room to bring someone along for the ride unless you purchase an ATV with a passenger seat.

UTV pros

UTVs are the workhorses of ATVs – they have bigger engines, sturdier bodies, and better capacity than standard four-wheelers. Compared to an ATV, a UTV may seem luxurious in terms of comfort, control, and safety. You also have room for passengers, which is why UTVs are sometimes referred to as side-by-sides.

UTV cons

The main drawback to purchasing a UTV is the price. UTVs are significantly more expensive than ATVs since they're more robust and suitable for hauling.

ATV vs. UTV for trail riding

If you're looking at buying an ATV or UTV for trail riding in the mountains, keep in mind that a UTV may be too large. If you're picturing exhilarating twists and turns, an ATV will usually be the way to go. However, there are a couple of factors at play when choosing between an ATV vs. UTV for trail riding.

Size of the vehicle matters when deciding between an ATV vs. UTV. If you want to bring a passenger on your expeditions, a UTV could be the default choice for this reason alone. You'll get the added benefit of being able to carry more cargo, too.

Power also matters as UTVs are more suitable for long distances because they're built to go on longer, more demanding rides.

ATV vs. UTV for snow plowing

Aside from off-roading, both ATVs and UTVs are popular for snow plowing by attaching a plow to the front of the vehicle. ATVs are great for light snow on tight driveways or sidewalks, but for serious snowstorms and lengthy streets, you'd likely need a UTV.

Should I buy an ATV or UTV?

The choice between a UTV vs. ATV is all yours. Factor in your wants and needs, your vision for your adventures, and, of course, your budget. Whichever option you end up with, be safe and protect your investment with customizable ATV/UTV insurance. Learn more about how ATV insurance works and how much ATV insurance costs.

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