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2014 4x4 ATV BUYER'S GUIDE

 
(3/28/2014)

It’s a good time to be an ATV buyer. The manufacturers have come to the realization that not only does the price have to be right, but the features have to be right too. They can’t continue to offer old technology under new bodywork. At the dealer level, ATVs are fighting for floor space with an ever-growing fleet of UTVs, which take up more space but have been very profitable. So, a dealer can’t afford to have overpriced quads that don’t move. The bottom line is that ATV makers have responded by putting more technology in less expensive models. Many are coming with power steering as standard equipment. And, there are all-new machines like the Polaris Sportsman 570 that are specifically designed with value in mind. With the dollar weak in international markets, prices are holding steady, which means the buyer wins. In the pages that follow, we’ve assembled photos and prices of all the most important ATVs on the market. Unless otherwise noted, the price listed is the base MSRP, which is subject to destination charges and upgrades. But, feel free to come up with your own prices. Dealers are listening.

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CONTACTS
Apex: (480) 507-5050, www.apexatv.com
Arctic Cat: (218) 681-9851, www.arcticcat.com
Can-Am: (715) 848-4957, www.can-am.brp.com
CFMoto: (888) 823-6686, www.cfmoto.com
Honda: (310) 783-2000, www.powersports.honda.com
Kawasaki: (949) 770-0400, www.kawasaki.com
Kymco: (864) 327-4744, www.kymcousa.com
Pitster Pro: (801) 796-7416, www.pitsterpro.com
Polaris: (888) 704-5290, www.polarisindustries.com
Suzuki: (714) 996-7040, www.suzuki-cycles.com
Yamaha: (714) 761-7300, www.yamahamotor.com
 
 
ARCTIC CAT MUDPRO 1000 LE ($14,399)
Someone at Arctic Cat must have come up with this idea in a dream. Who would have guessed how cool it would become? The Mudpro line is designed to cross uncrossable mud and water crossings, either for competition or play. The 1000 Limited is the top of the line, with the V-twin motor, a snorkel, massive tires, power steering and a long list of items to maximize muddy mayhem.

ARCTIC CAT MUDPRO 700 LIMITED ($11,499)
The 700 Mudpro is only slightly less outrageous than the 1000. It has the same chassis with a single-cylinder motor. It does its fording in style with automotive-style paint, power steering, heavy-duty bumpers, a 3000-pound winch, 28-inch Maxxis Zilla tires, aluminum wheels, a snorkel air intake, and it even has steel racks so you can pack a bag with a change of clothes. Make sure the bag is waterproof.
 

ARCTIC CAT 1000XT ($10,999)
This motor was once the biggest in the ATV world. Others have joined the 951cc V-twin in the mega-quad category now, but it’s still formidable. Arctic Cat only offers this motor in the XT trim, which means it has power steering, automotive-style paint and Maxxis Bighorn tires on aluminum rims. It has a towing capacity of 1050 pounds with 300 additional pounds of storage available on the racks.

ARCTIC CAT SUPER DUTY DIESEL ($10,699)
The star of this model is the 686cc in-line twin-cylinder diesel motor. It runs on six different kinds of fuel and is ideal for locations where you can’t be picky. The Super Duty Diesel also comes with a 3000-pound winch and 50 feet of cable. Otherwise, the chassis is similar to other Arctic Cat models, with double-A-arm suspension all the way around and a 2-inch receiver that can tug 1050 pounds.
 
 
ARCTIC CAT TBX700 ($9299)
This machine is part ATV, part UTV. From the seat forward it’s similar to the 700 quad, with the same 695cc, SOHC, four-valve motor. From the rear, it looks like a Prowler, with a large dump bed capable of holding 300 pounds of anything from kitty litter to pirate’s treasure. You can put another 100 pounds of priceless artifacts on the front rack. There’s also a 20-pound hidden compartment on the side.
 
 
ARCTIC CAT 700 ($8999)
If you want a big Arctic Cat without the bells, whistles, knickknacks and pattywhacks, the 700 is as simple as they come. It has a single-cylinder version of the 1000 motor on a similar CV transmission. You have on-the-fly 2WD, 4WD and front diff-lock. If you want to upgrade, the next stop is the 700XT, which is $10,299 for power steering and paint. The Limited gives you a winch and more for an additional $500.
 
 
ARCTIC CAT 550 ($7999)
This shares its chassis with other Arctic Cat models like the 1000 and 700, but it contains the 545cc H1 engine, with its single overhead cam and electronic fuel injection. Its racks are good, old-fashion steel, not plastic, and can carry a total of 300 pounds. The next level up is the 550XT, which sells for $9299 and gives you power steering and real paint. The Limited gives you upgrades, including a winch for $9799.
 
 
ARCTIC CAT XC450 ($7299)
This is a different breed of ’Cat, designed to not only get through tough terrain, but to do it quickly. The XC is rooted in the same kind of thinking as the Can-Am Renegades and the Polaris Scrambler, but with a much smaller motor. The Arctic Cat has a 443cc, OHC, four-valve motor with a CV transmission. Travel at both ends is 7 inches, The XC comes with 12 inches aluminum wheels and a front bumper.
 
 
ARCTIC CAT 500 ($6199)
Arctic Cat’s 500 is a crossbreed between two other models. It has the same chassis as the higher-priced models, but it has the motor from the 450, actually displacing 443cc. The 500 moniker simply provides an easy way to give this model its own identity. The core model is $200 less for 2014. There’s also a 500XT for $7399 that gives you upgraded wheels, tires and paint but no power steering.
 
 
ARCTIC CAT 450 ($5999)
This has the same 443cc motor as the Arctic Cat 500, but it has a very different personality. It’s smaller in most dimensions and about 50 pounds lighter. Both racks are steel and have a combined capacity of 225 pounds. All the Arctic Cat 4x4s have a 2-inch receiver as standard equipment, and it can accept a variety of Arctic Cat’s SPEEDPoint attachments or tow a 1050-pound trailer.
 
 
ARCTIC CAT 400 ($5699)
For an entry-level 4x4, the Arcitc Cat 400 has pretty good credentials. It has push-button four-wheel drive, digital gauges, steel racks and double-A-arm suspension all the way around. The motor itself is a modest, 366cc, air-cooled four-stroke that uses a carburetor to mix its fuel. It does have an overhead cam and four valves. The racks are steel, and the towing capacity is 1050 pounds.

CAN-AM OUTLANDER 1000X mr ($14,399)
This has to be the most wicked-looking 4x4 there is. The X mr line is Can-Am’s way of dealing with bottomless mud. There’s an 82-horsepower V-twin Rotax motor in a SST G2 frame at the core of a chassis designed for slime survival. The radiator is relocated, power steering is standard, and it comes with a winch, Air Control Fox suspension and 30-inch Silverback tires on cast-aluminum wheels.
 

CAN-AM RENEGADE 1000R X xc/800R X xc ($13,549/$12,499)
Racing a big 4x4 isn’t that unusual; whenever there are two of anything, they get raced. But to have a big V-twin, four-wheel-drive ATV that was designed with racing in mind, that’s unusual. The Can-Am Renegade X xc models are competition-oriented at heart and are offered in 976cc or 800cc. Both have power steering, Fox suspension, beadlock wheels and bumpers in striking yellow and black styling.
 

CAN-AM OUTLANDER 1000 DPS ($11,499)
As the pride of the Outlander line, the base 1000 is only available in the Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) package. Aside from power steering, this level gets QE auto-locking front differential (QE is for Quick Engagement) and 12-inch cast wheels. This year the twin-chamber airbox is new. The XT with a winch and upgraded tires is $12,099. The XT-P has Fox shocks, beadlocks and sportier styling for $14,099.
 

 CAN-AM RENEGADE 1000/800R ($11,049/$9999)
Can-Am took a four-wheel-drive utility quad and made it sexy. The Renegade has the motor and frame from the Outlander underneath a very sporty exterior. The racks came off, the suspension was upgraded and the Rotax V-twin engine sounds better than ever, in both 800cc and 976cc options. The new models get a bigger twin-chamber airbox, larger radiators and a relocated battery.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 650X mr ($10,399)
This is just as wild-looking as the Can-Am Outlander 1000X mr. It, too, is designed to go mud diving and cross most water bodies that don’t have “ocean” in their names. It’s based on the 650cc version of the Rotax V-twin that powers most of the big Can-Ams. The output is rated at 62 horsepower. It also has the same winch and wheels as the 1000, but with smaller tires and different suspension.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 800R ($9549)
There are four different packages for the Outlander 800R. All have the 71-horsepower Rotax V-twin motor with on-demand four-wheel drive in a surrounding spar frame. For the power-steering package with other upgrades, the price is $10,449. The XT package is highlighted by a 3000-pound Warn winch and sells for $11,049. The sportier XT-P brings Fox suspension to the table for $13,049.
 
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 650 ($8699)
The 650cc Rotax V-twin motor is available in three different Outlander packages. The base model has dual A-arms in front and trailing arms in the rear. The DPS package is defined by power steering, plus other upgrades, and is $900 more. The most significant addition for the $10,199 XT is the 3000-pound Warn winch. There are additional charges for automotive paint in premium colors or camo.
CAN-AM RENEGADE 500 ($8149)
Even though this Renegade has the smaller Rotax V-Twin motor, it still gets the same chassis as the 1000 and 850. It’s a sportier 4x4 with independent brakes and ITP Holeshot ATR sport radial tires on cast-aluminum wheels. The 500cc version doesn’t get the HPG piggyback shocks, but it still has long-travel double-A-arm suspension in front and torsional trailing arm suspension in the rear.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 500 ($7799)
This year all the Outlanders got larger radiators and a dual-chamber airbox. The 500cc motor is smaller but shares its V-twin layout with the 650, 800 and 1000cc models. The chassis for the 500 is now the same as that of the larger Can-Ams. For the DPS model with power steering and upgraded wheels, add $900. The XT is $9299 for all that, plus a winch and more, and there’s a $500 premium for camo.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 400 ($6799)
This is the sole remaining Outlander single-seater with the MacPherson-strut chassis and a single-cylinder Rotax motor. It still has most of the features of the bigger Can-Ams, like Siemens fuel injection, a CV transmission with auto-locking front differential and Can-Am’s digitally encoded security system. The XT version sells for $7849 and comes in yellow.
CFMOTO C-FORCE 500 ($4999)
This is the only single-seat model offered by CFMoto, an Asian manufacturer that is well known in other parts of the world. The 500 is a value-oriented model that gives you push-button four-wheel drive, front differential lock, alloy wheels and independent suspension on all four corners for the price of a 4x2. The motor is a modern four-valve four-stroke with fuel injection.
HONDA RINCON ($9199)
As corporate flagships go, the Honda Rincon is somewhat modest. It has a fuel-injected, longitudinal motor that displaces 675cc and has an automotive-style automatic transmission. It’s a very capable 4x4, but offers little in the way of options. Honda doesn’t have power steering for this model, a front diff-lock or any limited-edition packages. You can add upgrades like winches and trunks one at a time.
HONDA RUBICON ($7999)
Honda never quite warmed up to the idea of belt-and-pulley CV transmissions, which is why the Rubicon came into being. This has an automotive-style transmission hooked up to a carbureted, 499cc, liquid-cooled motor with Honda’s longitudinally oriented crankshaft. Power steering is an additional $700. Honda doesn’t have limited-edition packages, but you can get individual options like the $530 winch kit.
HONDA FOREMAN 4X4 ($7099)
Three years ago the Foreman got a new fuel-injected motor. Now Honda has finished the job with a new chassis, a new look and a series of significant updates. The 475cc motor got a more efficient fuel-injection delivery, the suspension travel was increased and the biggest news of all is the arrival of electronic front differential lock. This is a first for a Honda ATV and long overdue.
HONDA RANCHER 4X4 ($6199)
Honda has seven different models that are called “Ranchers.” The various versions are defined by a series of options: you can have a manual gearbox, push-button shifting (ESP) or a dual-clutch automatic transmission. You can have either swingarm rear suspension or IRS. And, there’s also a power-steering option. The price can be as low as $5199 for a 2WD base model to $7799 for everything.
KAWASAKI BRUTE FORCE 750 ($9299)
Kawasaki’s biggest Brute has become its only 4x4 model for 2014, as the 650 and the 360 models are on hiatus for now. The Brute Force 750 remains Japan’s biggest, most powerful ATV, with a fuel-injected V-twin motor similar to the one in the Teryx UTV. The 750 comes in two different packages. The standard version is fairly upscale, with alloy wheels, and the EPS gets power steering for $10,599.
KYMCO MXU 700i ($8599)
Taiwan-based Kymco is a step higher on the quality ladder than most products from “over there” and even builds products for companies like Kawasaki, Arctic Cat and BMW. The 700i can go toe to toe with other premium 4x4s, with fuel injection and a CV transmission that offers high, low, reverse, park, on-demand 4WD and diff-lock. The LE version has upgraded paint, wheels, tires and a winch for $9300.
KYMCO MXU 500i ($7499)
This is a fairly new Kymco model with a fuel-injected, double-overhead-cam motor that produces a claimed 36 horsepower. It shares its chassis with the new-last-year 700i. That chassis has independent double A-arm suspension all the way around and is surprisingly high quality. Kymco is holding its price steady for 2014. The LE version is $8299, giving upgrades in wheels, tires, paint and a winch.
KYMCO MAXXER 450i ($6899)
The Maxxer remains kind of a cult favorite among eastern woods riders. It starts off as a fuel-injected MXU 450i, but it’s stripped of its racks and has dual-spring shocks, upgraded aluminum wheels and tires, and new bodywork. The Maxxer is kind of a cool recreational ride, but it still has some of its utility credentials with a 2-inch receiver and 1050 pounds of towing capacity.

KYMCO MXU 450i ($6399)
Kymco gives you the fuel-injected 450 as kind of a cross between the older 500 and the newer version. The 433cc motor makes power similar to the carbureted 500, and it’s in a chassis similar to that of the 500 too. So, it’s lighter and has more suspension travel than the new 500i. The 450i also has an LE version for the asking that gives you paint, upgraded wheels and tires, plus a winch. All that sells for only $300 more.
KYMCO MXU 500 CLASSIC ($5999)
This is the Kymco that gives you the most for the least. It has the older chassis and a carbureted motor. But, the output isn’t that far off the new 500i, and it’s 64 pounds lighter with longer suspension travel and more fuel capacity. When you consider that the price is $1500 less than its sibling, you can deal with a slightly older body style.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN XP 850 H.O. ($9999)
At the peak of the Sportsman line is the XP 850 with its horsepower, fuel-injected, twin-cylinder motor. This year the 850 comes with power steering as standard equipment. The XP now has the same suspension design that was introduced on the Scrambler 850 last year, which greatly reduces scrub as the wheel travels through its stroke. Premium colors and packages are available for an additional cost.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN BIG BOSS 6X6 800 ($9999)
Even though the Big Boss has been a successful mainstay in the Polaris line for a long time, it’s still one of a kind. It can do the work of one-and-a-half regular ATVs with its six-wheel drive, 800 pounds of bed capacity, 100 pounds of front-rack payload, 1500 pounds of towing ability and 6.5 gallons of front storage. The Big Boss has MacPherson strut front suspension and dual A-arms for those big rear wheels.
POLARIS SCRAMBLER XP850 ($9499)
Last year the Scrambler hit the scene and proved to be an instant hit. It’s a stripped Sportsman with small racks, premium suspension and a racy attitude. The Scrambler’s low-scrub rear suspension configuration was such a success that Polaris used the same design on its two premium Sportsman models for 2014. There’s a LE version with power steering and other upgrades for $11,999.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN 550 EPS ($8699)
Even with the new 570 encroaching on its turf, the 550 remains the premium mid-size model in the Polaris line. It has the newer chassis with double-A-arm suspension in front and, for 2014, power steering is standard equipment. The rear suspension has also been redesigned and has a 42 percent reduction in the track change (scrub) through the range of its travel. The 550 Browning LE will sell for $9499.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN 800 EFI ($7499)
Polaris doesn’t like to leave anyone or anything behind. The 800 remains in the line side by side with the 850. It has a MacPherson-strut chassis with the older 760cc twin-cylinder motor that was the top of the line for years. Now the 800 is the head of the “value” line. It’s $2500 less than the 850 and is still a formidable machine in its own right. It’s available in blue or green, but doesn’t have a power-steering option.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN 570 EFI ($6499)
We’re stunned to report that the legendary Sportsman 500, one of the best-selling ATVs since 1996, is gone. In its place is a new value-oriented 570. It has a chassis similar to the 500s, but at its center is the Pro-Star 570 motor already seen in the RZR 570. It boosts a 22 percent increase in power over the 500. A power-steering version is available for $7299, and camouflage adds another $400.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN 400 H.O. ($5699)
The Sportsman 400 remains a spectacular value in the Polaris line. The liquid-cooled motor actually measures 455cc in displacement. It survives as the only carbureted model in the company’s 4x4 offerings. The chassis uses MacPherson-strut front suspension and has 6.5 gallons of integrated storage. The combined rack capacity is 280 pounds, and it can tow 1225 pounds. No power steering option.
 
SUZUKI KINGQUAD 750AXi ($8899)
Suzuki’s big KingQuad still has the biggest single-cylinder motor in the business with a piston that measures 104mm across. That’s basically a paint can. The standard package gives you independent suspension and fuel injection. The power steering model sells for $9499. There’s also a Limited Edition with special trim for $9099. You can get both in the Limited Edition Power Steering version for $9899.
 
SUZUKI KINGQUAD 500AXi ($7899)
Back when the earth’s crust was still sticky, Suzuki invented the modern ATV four-wheeler, and there’s still some internal company pride that goes with that. That’s why the big Suzuki 4x4s are called Kings, and the 500 shows that kind of pride. It has the same chassis as the 750 with independent suspension, but the EFI engine is less overkill at 493cc. Power steering is a $700 premium, and camo is another $400.
 
SUZUKI KINGQUAD 400ASi/400FSi ($6499)
Suzuki’s 400 4x4 has a 376cc, air-cooled engine in a chassis that has independent, double-A-arm suspension in front and a swingarm in the rear with two small shocks mounted side by side. The difference between the ASi and the FSi is the transmission. The ASi has an automatic CV transmission, while the FSi is manual shift. A camo version is available for $400 more.
YAMAHA GRIZZLY 700 FI AUTO ($8899)
Yamaha went a little crazy grooming its big Grizzly for 2014. It got a new cylinder head and ECU settings along with a new piston and higher compression. The suspension got revamped with longer travel, and the steering geometry was changed. It’s still a mighty beast, and you can get it with power steering for an extra $600. The Stealth Edition is an EPS model in blackout styling for $10,099.
YAMAHA GRIZZLY 550 FI AUTO ($7999)
The 550 didn’t get the upgrades that graced its big brother this year, but it remains at the top of its class in sheer off-road ability. The chassis of the two machines remain nearly identical, with only mild differences in suspension. The 550 is available in a power-steering version with variations in trim for $8899, and you can also get a camo model for another $500.
YAMAHA GRIZZLY 450 AUTO ($6399)
The Grizzly 450 has a 421cc, liquid-cooled, overhead-cam motor with fuel injection, a CV transmission, push-button diff-lock and all the credentials that allow it to follow larger 4x4s anywhere, but the IRS chassis is smaller in every dimension. Unlike many ATVs in this category, the Yamaha can be had with power steering for an additional $800. And, like all the Grizzlys, it is assembled in Newnan, Georgia.

YAMAHA GRIZZLY 350 AUTO ($5599)
Yamaha dropped the 300 4x2, but the price of the littlest Grizzly 4x4 is holding steady for 2014 to fill the low-cost utility void. The air-cooled overhead cam motor is still carbureted, but is hooked up to a CV transmission with push-button four-wheel drive. The front suspension is double A-arm, and the rear has a swingarm and solid axle. Yamaha offers a camo model for an additional $400.

Topic: Tests

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  • TEST: POLARIS SPORTSMAN 570
  • TEST: 2014 HONDA RANCHER







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WARNING: Much of the action de­pict­­ed in this magazine is potentially dan­gerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced ex­­perts or professionals. Do not at­tempt to duplicate any stunts that are be­­yond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear.
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