2015 4X4 ATV Buyer’s Guide!
It’s going to be a good year. The ATV market is expanding at both ends. Sure, there are more big quads with new features, but there are also better offerings at the low end of the price scale. 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 ETX 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.
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 LIMITED EPS/700 LIMITED EPS ($14,399/$11,599)
If your name is mud, that’s odd; if your passion is riding ATVs in mud, that’s great, because Arctic Cat understands you. Arctic Cat was the first in the pool—or the pit with specialized mud hardware. The MudPro line has tires, intake and features just for you. For 2015, Arctic Cat has a new closed-loop EFI system that is said to improve fuel economy by 25 percent. The 14-inch beadlock wheels are also new.
ARCTIC CAT 1000 XT EPS ($11,199)
This is a lion among house cats. Back in 2007, Arctic Cat was the first company to make an ATV motor in the 1-liter category, and even today the 951cc V-twin H2 motor stands as one of the biggest, most powerful ATV engines in the world. The chassis has 10 inches of suspension travel front and rear, and electronic power steering is standard equipment
ARCTIC CAT DIESEL 700 SUPER DUTY ($10,899)
At many work sites, there isn’t much choice in fuel. It’s either diesel or what you brought. This machine has a 686cc inline twin that will run on DF1, DF2, DF Arctic, JP5, JP8 and biodiesel. The Super Duty Diesel also comes with a 3000-pound winch as standard equipment. The suspension is fully independent with double A-arms and 10 inches of travel. Four-wheel drive and diff-lock come with the push of a button.
ARCTIC CAT TBX 700 EPS ($9999)
If you want a cross between an ATV and a pick-up truck, this is it. The TBX has a 300-pound tilting rear box. It also has two 20-pound storage bins, a steel front rack that can carry 100 pounds and a 2-inch receiver for towing up to 1050 pounds. Under it all is the 695cc, liquid-cooled, four-valve motor. Power steering is standard equipment. The color choice is red.
ARCTIC CAT XR 700 ($9199)
This year marks a big change in the time line of an iconic big quad. The full-size ‘Cats got a new chassis and a new name for the line. The XR prefix now is used for the 700, 550 and 500 recreation/utility machines. They got new ergonomics that are said to be more comfortable, as well as new integrated racks that will accept a world of accessories. The XT version is $10,849, and the Limited is $11,199.
ARCTIC CAT XR 550 ($8399)
The 550 got the same new chassis as the 700 for 2015, the motor is the only difference. The new rack system is called the Speed Rack 2 and is made of plastic-covered steel. The rubber coating keeps objects from shifting, and the system allows quick attachment of accessories. The XT version gives you power steering and alloy wheels for $9699. The Limited gives you bumpers, a winch and paint for $10,399.
ARCTIC CAT XR 500 ($7799)
Of the new quads in the Arctic Cat XR line, the 500 is the one that offers the new ergonomics and styling, as well as the Speed Race 2 system at a more affordable price. It looks just like the bigger new quads in the XR line, but the 443cc H1 engine allows it to come in under the $8000 mark. Arctic Cat doesn’t offer the 500 in any upscale packages and power steering isn’t an option.
ARCTIC CAT XC 450 ($7499)
If you like not just conquering tough 4×4 trails but like conquering them quickly, Arctic Cat has something special for you. The XC 450 is a 4WD quad that’s stripped and ready for a fight. It has no racks or dump boxes to get in the way. It does have racetrack styling, automotive paint, bumpers and aluminum wheels with Maxxis MX10K tires
ARCTIC CAT 500 ($6499)
A few years back, Arctic Cat called the 500 one of its “Core” line of ATVs. We liked that because that’s exactly what this machine offers: core ATV values. It has the 443cc engine with push-button 4WD and the original steel Speed Racks. The engine is actually the same as the one in the 450, but it’s housed in a larger chassis, not far removed from that of the XR line.
ARCTIC CAT 450 ($6199)
This is a 500 that was blasted by a gigantic shrink gun. It’s physically downsized. It is driven by the same 443cc SOHC H1 motor as the 500, but the chassis is slightly smaller in every dimension. The suspension travel is 7 inches at both ends, and the dry weight comes in at 613 pounds according to Arctic Cat, which is almost 50 pounds lighter than the 500. No upscale packages of the 450 are offered.
ARCTIC CAT 400 ($5799)
This remains the most affordable four-wheel-drive ATV offered by a major company. Arctic Cat has resisted the urge to fluff up the 400, allowing the price to stay low. It still has a 366cc air-cooled motor hooked up to a CV transmission with high, low and reverse, in addition to push-button 4WD. The suspension is fully independent with double A-arms that provide 7 inches of travel.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 1000 X mr/800R X mr ($14,099/$12,149)
There’s something about a massive mud quad that brings out the kid in all of us. The 1000 X mr is Can-Am’s take on the ultimate mud machine, starting with either the 850 or 1000 Rotax V-twin motor and including features like the 30-inch Gorilla Axle Silverback tires on 14-inch alloy wheels. It comes with a Warn winch and elevated intake and radiator positioning. The 1000 has upgraded shocks and features.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 6X6 XT ($13,649)
This is like having an ATV and a half. The Outlander 6×6 is new from Can-Am, designed to compete wheel for wheel against the Polaris Big Boss six-wheeler. The wheelbase, as measured from the front-wheel centerline to the second rear-wheel centerline is 82 inches, making for an overall length of 122.8 inches. The 6×6 is available with either the 976cc motor or the 650.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 650X mr ($10,499)
Even though a quad that costs over 10 grand can’t be called cheap, the 650X mr is a great value once you analyze its features. If you tried to build a mud quad with comparable wheels, tires, suspension and accessories, you would have much more invested. The X mr has design features that make it a virtual submarine, like the elevated intake and radiator.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER XT-P 1000/800R ($14,249/$13,199)
The term “loaded” doesn’t really do the XT-P justice. It has everything that you might consider installing on your own quad—Can-Am just saved you the work. It can be had with either the 71-horsepower 800R motor or the 82-horsepower 1000 engine. The premium features include Fox Podium X shocks, power steering, auto-locking front differential, aluminum beadlock wheels, a Warn winch and painted plastic.
CAN-AM RENEGADE 1000 X xc/800R X xc ($13,649/$12,599)
Having a quad that’s capable of going fast through heinous conditions is good. Having one that can do it in this kind of style is awesome. The Renegade X xc is Can-Am’s high-end sport 4×4 package. The X xc line starts with a standard Renegade holding either the 800R or 1000 motor, then adds power steering, Fox Podium X shocks, a locking front differential, beadlock wheels, a skid plate and cool graphics.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 1000 DPS ($11,599)
It seems appropriate that there’s no stripped-down version of the Outlander 1000. The line starts off with the DPS package, which, not surprisingly, features Can-Am’s Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering. Beyond that, the package includes Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential and 12-inch cast wheels. The XT model is $12,299 and adds a 3000-pound Warn winch and heavy-duty bumpers.
CAN-AM RENEGADE 1000/800R/500 ($11,149/$10,099/$8249)
The secret is out. Four-wheel-drive quads are fun! Can-Am came out of the closet with this revelation years ago, and the Renegade line amounts to a confession on wheels. There are three different motors in the line: the 500, 800R and 1000. The chassis is based on the SST G2 frame, just like the Outlander, but has suspension and bodywork suited to aggressive riding.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 800R ($9649)
The Outlander 800R is one of the original “mega” quads with a 71-horsepower Rotax V-twin motor. It’s available in a standard package, which is unadorned with power steering or frills. The next tier up is the DPS package, which sells for $10,549 and includes electric power steering and a few more upgrades. The XT version is $11,199 and adds a Warn winch and more.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 650 ($8799)
Can-Am offers the 650cc Rotax V-twin motor in three different packages. There’s the standard, the DSP and the XT. The two packages not on that list are at the extreme ends of the company’s offerings: the new budget-oriented L package and the super-high-end XT-P. The DSP package with power steering and auto-lock front diff is $9699, and the XT sells for $10,349
CAN-AM OUTLANDER 500 ($8899)
Can-Am doesn’t offer a base model of the existing 500 because it would interfere with the new Outlander L500. Thus, the most basic configuration for this model is the DPS package, featuring power steering. This Outlander has the same chassis as the big 800R and the 1000, but priced lower. You can get the XT version with the winch and other trappings for $650 more.
CAN-AM OUTLANDER L450/500 ($6399/$6999)
This is a new line from Can-Am with a mixture of old and new features, designed to offer more value. The 500 houses the familiar Rotax V-twin motor in a simpler chassis than the standard Outlander. The real news is the new 450 motor, which is new from the ground up and replaces the older 400 motor. Both versions can be had with power steering for $900 more. Digital camo is another $500.
CFMOTO C-FORCE 500 ($4999)
This is a very aggressive company that is already very big in Europe and Russia. Most of its offerings are two-up models, but the 500 is a budget-oriented 4×4 designed for a single operator and priced lower than most two-wheel-drive quads. So far, the quality of the products from CFMoto seem a notch higher than most of the stuff we see from the interior of Asia.
HONDA RINCON ($9299)
With a 675cc motor, this is Honda’s flagship utility ATV. Although it’s not as massive or flashy as some, it offers technology that is exclusive. Honda’s distrust of belt-and-pulley transmissions prompted an automotive-style hydraulic transmission. The Rincon has independent rear suspension, but does not offer a power-steering option. A dual-plug head and lower emissions top the list of 2015 updates.
HONDA RUBICON ($7799)
The Rubicon family grew for 2015 and now has six members. The machine is dramatically changed, and there are more transmission options. The most basic of those is a manual five-speed gearbox, which gives the Rubicon a lower base price than it had last year. The Rubicon also has a power-steering option for $700. All of the family members have independent suspension and now use a 475cc EFI motor.
HONDA FOREMAN ($7099)
Now that they both use the same 475cc EFI motor, the most significant difference between the Foreman and the Rubicon is the Foreman’s use of swingarm rear suspension, whereas the Rubicon has IRS. The Foreman also has electronic front differential lock. The standard Foreman has a manual gearbox, but you can add electronic shifting for $250. Power steering is available for $700.
HONDA RANCHER 4×4 ($6199)
There are nine Honda Ranchers in the family tree for 2015. All have the 420cc EFI motor. The 4×4 ES adds Electronic Shift Program, which is one of Honda’s anti-CVT alternatives. That adds $250. Power steering is $700. There’s a version with automatic Dual Clutch Transmission, and another version with independent rear suspension instead of the standard swingarm and various combinations of everything.
KAWASAKI BRUTE FORCE 750 ($8999)
The Kawasaki Brute Force remains the biggest, most powerful ATV produced by a Japanese company. For the record, it’s made in Lincoln, Nebraska, but it’s big nonetheless. The motor is a 749cc V-twin, and it has independent suspension. The rear brake is a sealed, multi-disc unit, much like a wet clutch. The power-steering version is $1000 more, and there are other premium options available.
KYMCO MXU 700i/500i LE 50th ANNIVERSARY EPS ($9799/$8699)
Kymco knows how to offer premium ATVs with quality that matches Japanese and North American products. They learned from companies like Kawasaki, Arctic Cat and BMW, all of which offer Kymco-made products in their own dealerships. At the top of the Kymco line for 2015 are the LE 50th Anniversary models, which have upgraded wheels, tires and a winch. They also have power steering.
KYMCO MXU 700i/500i ($8599/$7499)
The MXU line is finally offering all the same features as other premium ATV companies, but at lower prices. The new 700 and 500 offer camo for an additional $200. And, this year power steering is a new option that will cost only an additional $600. The MXUs already offer independent suspension, push-button 4WD and electronic fuel injection.
KYMCO MXU500 CLASSIC ($5999)
Kymco can offer the classic 500 at a lower price because it has somewhat simpler technology than the newer machines in the line. It’s powered by a liquid-cooled, carbureted DOHC four-stroke motor that is said to produce 36 horsepower. It has on-demand 4WD and front diff-lock. There’s a storage bin, a 12-volt accessory outlet and a 2-inch receiver hitch. Available in red or green.
KYMCO MXU450i ($6199)
The Kymco 450 is priced slightly higher than the classic 500 because it’s a new motor offering newer technology. The heart of the beast is a 443cc, single-overhead-cam, liquid-cooled single that is said to produce 33 horsepower. Induction is through a Synerject EFI system. Power steering isn’t yet offered on the 450. The camo model is $6399, and the LE 50th anniversary is $6699.
KYMCO MAXXER 450i ($6899)
This is Kymco’s take on a sporty 4×4 quad, along the same lines as the Can-Am Renegade and the Polaris Scrambler, but in a smaller, less extravagant package. The motor is the same as that of the MXU450i, with liquid cooling and a single overhead cam. The motor breathes through a Synerject throttle body and produces a claimed 33 horsepower. The Maxxer has on-demand 4WD and sporty styling.
POLARIS SCRAMBLER XP 1000/850 ($13,299/$9499)
A long time ago someone realized that 4×4 utility quads are fun. ATVs like those in the Polaris Scrambler series were conceived to take 4WD to recreational riding. The newest member of the club is the XP 1000, with a 952cc twin-cylinder ProStar motor rated at 89 horsepower. This year the transmission is redesigned with close-ratio ondemand 4WD. This package includes power steering and cast wheels.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN XP 1000 ($11,999)
Polaris now claims to have the most powerful utility quad in the business with the XP 1000. The 952cc twincylinder motor has a 270-degree crankshaft with dual balance shafts. The XP gets cast wheels and a standard 2500-pound winch. The transmission is new this year and is claimed to engage all four wheels faster than before when traction is needed, then reverts back to 2WD for solid ground.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN 850/850 SP ($8499/$9999)
Prior to the arrival of the 1000, the 850cc Sportsman was a worthy flagship for the Polaris line. The ProStar motor is rated at 77 horsepower. The SP version is upgraded with power steering, cast wheels, the new close-ratio ondemand 4WD transmission, active descent control and automotive paint in Sunset Red or Titanium Matte Metallic.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN 570 SP ($8499)
For 2015, Polaris simplified its line of 4x4s. The 550 motor was somewhat redundant after the arrival of the 570, so it was discontinued. The chassis that held it, however, was kept for the new 570 SP. So the premium Sportsman chassis with power steering that is used on the bigger machines now comes with the 570 ProStar motor. The best part is that the price is actually lower than that of the old 550.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN 570 ($6499)
This is the 570 that we have came to know and love, with the MacPherson strut front suspension, the 44-horsepower ProStar motor and the amazingly low price. The standard-issue 570 still has the same price as last year and gives you steel wheels without frills. There is also a model with electric power steering that will cost you an additional $900.
POLARIS SPORTSMAN ETX ($5899)
This is new for 2015 and represents a serious effort at offering a more affordable 4×4. The ETX comes with a variation of the motor that came in last year’s new Ace. This one is called the ProStar 30, signifying its 30-horsepower output. In case you were wondering, the Ace uses the ProStar 32. The ETX has a MacPherson chassis and does not come with a power-steering option.
SUZUKI KING QUAD 750AXi ($8899)
Suzuki recently gave the 750 some mild updates just below the surface. It now uses a twin-spark-plug head, which promotes better combustion efficiency. It also got a new pulsed secondary air-injection system for improved emission. The engine’s CPU has an anti-slip feature that acts sort of like traction control. This is still the biggest single-cylinder motor in the business. Power steering is $600 extra.
SUZUKI KING QUAD 500AXi (TBA)
The 500 King Quad got a new motor for 2015. It’s still a big DOHC single with fuel injection. Like the 750, it has a dual-spark-plug head and anti-wheelspin programming in the ECU. The 500 has the same chassis as the 750, with independent suspension and a sealed, multi-disc rear brake. Power steering is $600 extra, and a camo version is $400 more.
SUZUKI KINGQUAD 400ASi/400FSi ($6499/$6499)
The difference between these two models is the transmission. The ASi is automatic and the FSi has a manual five-speed. They both carry the same retail price. There are no other differences; they both have double A-arms in front and a swingarm in the rear with two shocks mounted side by side. The motors are both air-cooled with single overhead cams. Camouflage editions are available for $400 more.
YAMAHA GRIZZLY 700 FI ($8899)
There’s a reason that Yamaha names most of its 4x4s after big bears. The 700 Grizzly is pretty much at the top of the ATV food chain. The American-made Yamaha remains incredibly popular, with a relatively lightweight single-cylinder motor that has a top end derived from the Raptor 700. It has independent suspension and a CV transmission. You can get a power-steering option for $600. That’s a deal.
YAMAHA GRIZZLY 550 FI (2014 model, $7999)
Yamaha took the 700 Grizzly and downsized it to arrive at the Grizzly 550. In every other way, it’s the same. It features push-button 4WD that lets you choose between limited slip and full lock. It has 1322 pounds in towing capacity, plus 286 pounds of combined rack capacity. The Grizzly 550, like the others in its cave-bear clan, is assembled in Georgia.
YAMAHA GRIZZLY 450 (2014 model, $6899)
It’s tough to tell the difference between a Grizzly 450 and a Grizzly 700 at a glance. In features and specifications, the two are nearly twins. Both have CV transmissions, independent suspension and have 1322 pounds in towing capacity. But, the 450 is smaller in every dimension and has a 421cc, liquid-cooled motor with a conventional carburetor. Power steering is available for $600.
YAMAHA GRIZZLY 350 4×4 (2014 model $5599)
You generally don’t see this much technology paired with a simple, 348cc, air-cooled motor. The Griz 350 chassis has almost all the same features as the 700. It starts off with a CV transmission and has 264 pounds of rack capacity, plus 1102 pounds of towing ability. The standard model has a straight axle, although there was an IRS version a few years back.