Kymco has been largely overlooked in the popular UTV world lately. With so many new models from companies like John Deere, Polaris, Arctic Cat, Yamaha and Honda coming out lately, it’s hard to get noticed. In years past, Kymco’s lower prices made their vehicles very attractive, but in recent years their prices have risen slightly, but so has Kymco’s performance and quality. For 2014, Kymco has expanded its UTV line to include two engine sizes: 500cc and 700cc. From there, Kymco offers several special-edition models, including a hunting and turf unit to go along with the base, sport and limited-edition models.
You can still get a two-seat Kymco UTV for $7999, tying for the lowest-priced 4WD sport utility UTV you can buy; CFMoto also has a $7999 UTV as well. That Kymco unit is the 500cc carbureted version, which is surprisingly peppy. Kymco engineers did a great job of getting every ounce of power out of the smaller motor with clutch tuning and gearing. In fact, when we drove the 500 and 700 EFI models back to back, we were not at all disappointed with the 500 on tighter trails. The 700 does have a slightly faster top speed, but with a unit like this, speed is not priority number one.
INSIDE A KYMCO
All Kymco UXVs feature styling very reminiscent of the Yamaha Rhino. Under that bodywork, the chassis and suspension system mirror the venerable Yamaha as well. Providing power, Kymco uses two entirely different types of engine. The 700 uses a single-overhead-cam, liquid-cooled four-stroke, while the 500cc, single-cylinder four-stroke has a double-overhead-cam design. Both provide enough ponies to break the 50 mph mark but not much more. They run smooth and fairly quiet. The 500 has a bit more torque and grunt, while the 700cc can stretch its legs a little more on long, flat trails. Both options use electronic fuel injection, except for the low-cost base-model 500 that sells for $7999. On the other end of the spectrum, the EFI-equipped 700i sport model sells for $11,599. The 500cc sport model we tested a couple years back goes for $10,499, and the base 700i has a $10,099 price tag.
Those prices get you four-wheel drive with a locking front differential, and with the Turf models, an unlocking rear diff along with very smooth tires. What you won’t get on any Kymco is power steering. Like the Yamaha Rhino, we didn’t think we needed EPS while driving the Kymco UXVs. Steering was light and precise with very little feedback through the wheel.
Under the cabin, Kymco outfitted their UXVs with dual A-arms on all four corners with preload-adjustable shocks offering 7.5 inches of travel. The sport model has slightly upgraded shocks if you plan on driving more aggressively. That sport model also includes a light bar and spare tire. That’s one feature not available on any other UTV. All models do provide a comfortable and confident ride. During our test we hammered several Kymcos on some trails in Colorado without a single failure. The 25×12-inch Maxxis and Kenda (sport) tires took a beating. To slow the UXVs down, Kymco uses dual hydraulic discs up front and a single shaft-mount hydraulic disc out back. For these speeds, the combo did a good job and never faded.
Kymco is gaining a little steam in the off-road world. They are constantly improving and adding new machines to their lineup. The new UXV 700 is a quality product still offered at a very competitive price. Another bonus is, we feel you can get just as much work done and enjoy the occasional offered outing just as well in the 500 model and save a couple thousand dollars.