What is the Difference Between a UTV and ATV? | Autance

Both the ATV and UTV are terrain vehicles that were designed for off-road travel and adventures. Each vehicle has its…

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What is the Difference Between a UTV and ATV? | Autance © What is the Difference Between a UTV and ATV? | Autance

Both the ATV and UTV are terrain vehicles that were designed for off-road travel and adventures. Each vehicle has its own key features, advantages and steering capabilities that are worth comparing, especially if you plan on buying one in the near future. So, what exactly is the difference between an ATV and UTV? Read on to find out.



The Utility Terrain Vehicle or UTV for short can accommodate more passengers and more cargo. These powerful off-road vehicles  were built to perform more challenging tasks and carry heavier loads when compared to the ATV. Their size allows them to maneuver narrow spaces with ease. Passengers can sit next to each other inside a comfortable cabin that can be fitted with a full enclosure system if needed.  This enclosure system allows you to add a detachable roof and windshield to your vehicle. UTVs have four wheels and a steering wheel and most of them can accommodate up to four passengers. This practical seating arrangement is much more ergonomic and ideal for older people with back problems who are unable to hunch over while driving an ATV. Families will find this vehicle more compatible with their off-road needs since they can  travel together across rough terrain without leaving anyone behind.

Similar to cars, UTVs have seatbelts and additional safety features that can be incorporated into the vehicle. These features include roll cages that cover all passengers and windshields to protect them from rain and mud during winter. There is a wealth of other upgrades available in case you want to add your own personal touch to this off-road vehicle. For example, investing in a cab kit can come in handy during summer. These kits were designed to deflect heat and prevent hot air from turning the cabin into a sauna. People who live in subzero temperatures can buy a heater kit for their UTV. This wealth of customizable features allow you to enhance the performance of your chosen off-road vehicle for years to come.

When it comes to speed, the UTV is fast but its size prevents it from  making sharp turns with ease. It also relies on foot pedals for acceleration instead of throttle handles like the ones found on an ATV.


The large storage capacity of the UTV makes it the go-to vehicle for a variety of tasks. It can be used to shuttle people around in rough terrain and it can be used to transport logs and other equipment in ranches. Its lower load feature means more stability while driving across steep grounds, allowing you to carry heavy cargo without worrying about rolling over.


When it comes to price, utility terrain vehicles are considered more expensive than ATVs. The cost depends on the model and the additional features available. Nowadays, many companies are competing against each other in the terrain vehicle market.  There are many models on offer from manufacturers such as Polaris, Honda and Yamaha. The starting price for a standard UTV is around $8,000 but this price tag can jump up to $16,000. Companies like Polaris have taken things to the next level by adding a smart device to the dash to help drivers enhance their off-road experience. This device shows you a map of your intended trail and allows you to locate and stay in touch with other UTVs during group rides.

Related Post: 5 ATV Safety Tips To Avoid Accidents



The ATV or All-Terrain Vehicle can tackle all kinds of challenging landscapes such as mountains and forests. It can have three or four wheels and is sometimes called a three-wheeler or quadbike. Steering is carried out using handlebars and low pressure tires are the norm when it comes to driving this type of vehicle. Some ATVs were designed to carry one rider while others can carry a  maximum of one extra passenger. Similar to riding a bike, the driver has to straddle the seat  and press the thumb throttle to operate the vehicle. The throttle allows the rider to speed down the terrain and the foot pedal allows him to slow down. Some ATVs are equipped with a twist throttle that allows the driver to accelerate by twisting the handle. Some models come with safety features such as roll bars. These bars are mounted on the back of a quad bike to protect the rider from getting crushed under the weight of his ATV during an accident.

ATVs have sharp handling thanks to their small size and tight turning radius. They also have small engines when compared to UTVs. Being lightweight has its benefits since ATVs are capable of accelerating and braking quickly. They also have a high power to weight ratio and impressive cornering ability.

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ATVs come in different sizes and are incredibly versatile vehicles. Some are used for recreational purposes while others are used on farms to plow fields and carry small boxes and essential items during camping trips. Sports ATVs were built for racing, so they are smaller and less heavy than your average utility ATVs. This makes them ideal for speed junkies who are in need of a high dose of adrenaline and adventure. Utility ATVs are more suitable for plowing snow and hunting due to their large fenders and overall large size. They were also designed to shield their riders from mud and water while they carry out their everyday tasks around the farm or forest land.


When it comes to price, the ATV is more budget friendly than the UTV. Nowadays, drivers have the option to add more features to enhance their off-road experience. These bonus features include power steering and an electronic fuel injection and can cost less on a smaller vehicle like the ATV. Other expenses include protective gear and insurance, so drivers need to take this into account when comparing vehicles.

The differences listed above can help you choose the terrain vehicle that best meet your needs. At the end of the day, it all boils down to your budget and your storage needs as well as the number of passengers you plan on taking with you on your off-road adventure.


  1. How Off-Road ATVs Work – HowStuffWorks
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