When people think of going off-road, they generally consider large 4x4s that are able to crawl through the woods without so much of a bump or dune buggies that can dominate the sands with ease.

While that isn’t particularly incorrect, there’s more to off-roading than just those two. UTVs and ATVs spring to mind, especially since they have gained a lot of traction and popularity since the 2010s.

This article details the main two differences between a UTV and an ATV as well as advice on what type of model you might want to get for yourself.

What Are UTVs and ATVs?

Both UTVs and ATVs are off-road vehicles, which are classified as automobiles that have been designed for extreme terrain conditions. In short, both of them are cars that do a lot better when driving off-road instead of over asphalt, concrete, tarmac, or any other surface.

The utility terrain vehicle – called the UTV – is a mix between an ATV and a more common passenger car. Compared to the ATV, the UTV is bulkier, heavier, and less agile, instead offering the added benefit of increased storage space, seating, and protection.

People who want performance out of their off-road vehicles typically tend towards UTVs, as do those who have families they’d like to take adventuring with them. While you can carry more than one person with an ATV, the odds are that you might injure them.

In comparison, all-terrain vehicles – or ATVs, as they are known – are more ubiquitous and well-known when compared to their less mobile counterparts. ATVs are easy to pick up and understand and are extraordinarily popular with youth who want to go trailblazing.

ATVs have less space but are arguably easier to maneuver. This is especially true for tight spaces, as making rapid turns is significantly easier with an ATV than a UTV. Furthermore, they are also much less expensive since UTVs have space for more vehicle parts and accessories.

Which Type of Vehicle Do I Want?

Nobody can know better than you what you need out of your off-road vehicle. If you want to get from Point A to Point Z quickly while having a little fun in the process, then an ATV might satisfy your off-road cravings.

On the other hand, if you need safety and efficiency, then the UTV might be the solution to your problem. A utility terrain vehicle is generally more manageable for novices when it comes to extreme terrain conditions, especially since it comes with additional layers of protection, such as a windshield.

Most people boil down the differences between UTVs and ATVs as “UTVs are for getting tasks done, while ATVs are for recreation. The truth is, that does appear to be a generalization, although a fairly accurate one.

Trusted UTV and ATV Brands

Figuring out what model brand you want before making a purchasing decision can be a crippling conundrum. While understanding the various benefits of each brand is easy when you have some off-roading experience under your belt, odds are you have no clue as to the differences between them.

Not that you’re to blame, since it can be difficult to wrap your head around off-road terminology.

Here is a quick and trusty list of the most popular and well-known off-road brands:

  • Arctic Cat
  • Can-Am
  • Honda
  • Polaris
  • Kawasaki
  • Yamaha
  • CFMoto

This list is by no means exhaustive and only serves as the foundation to a bout of research. Do not make a purchase before being 100% sure that you want an off-road vehicle!

The Kawasaki KRX is a popular choice for both beginners and experienced off-roaders. Their upgrades, however, can be elusive to find at a good price. Here’s where you can find more Kawasaki KRX accessories.

Your Choice, Your Story

In the end, it doesn’t ultimately matter if you’ve purchased a UTV or an ATV. What’s most important is that in the process of having fun, you take care of your friends and family, as well as the environment.

Remember, then: clean up after yourself everytime you go off-roading, and be respectful of nature!