The best offerings in this category By Casey Cordeiro, Photos courtesy of the manufacturers and Dirt Wheels
There are so many categories and options in the UTV world these days that we often get asked, “How do I choose the right one for me?”
The 60-inch side-by-side vehicles on the market offer a lot of great features that many enthusiasts look for when purchasing a UTV. They are legal on many different trails across the country. They offer a good assortment of engine sizes across the different manufacturers, with varying passenger layouts depending on your family size and usage. Plus, these 60-inch offerings have a more accessible price point than the top-of-the-line sport machines with turbos, big suspension travel, etc. The 60-inch hits that just-right category for many people who want to do it all on the trails and not break the bank. So, without further delay, let’s go over the top 10 60-inch side-by-side vehicles on the market today.
CAN-AM MAVERICK SPORT
Can-Am has found a sweet spot in between their Maverick Trail and Maverick X3 with the Sport, which includes two different engine options, a well-tuned CVT transmission, full half doors for the ultimate in protection, and a comfortable and roomy interior that is built to fit everyone who cares to take the wheel. Many different storage options dot the interior to make your off-road experience comfortable. We have tested the Maverick Sport for thousands of miles, and we are continually impressed with the plush suspension characteristics that, again, make this one of the most comfortable side-by-sides on the market on a long ride. Plus, the plethora of accessories that Can-Am has in their catalog make outfitting this sporty two-seater an easy affair. If we were to purchase a Maverick Sport, we’d select the DPS 1000R model for the increase in power—100 horsepower total—and the inclusion of Dynamic Power Steering.
CAN-AM MAVERICK SPORT MAX
We had to include the four-seat version of the Maverick Sport, aka the Maverick Sport Max. If you’re looking for a bit more room for the front and rear passengers compared to vehicles like the Teryx4 and Wolverine X4, then this vehicle might be the ideal four-seat choice for you. The wheelbase isn’t as compact as some of the other four-seaters in this list, but the Maverick Sport Max will be a sporty option on open terrain. With a smooth-riding suspension system and powerful engine, expect all-day excursions to go by way too fast. You’ll be inspired to keep riding as long as you possibly can, or as long as the 10-gallon fuel tank takes you. With a lower seating position than the competition, the Maverick Sport Max has a bit more of a laid-back style. Plus, the interior has a ton of storage options for the front seat passengers, making it easy to take all of your essentials. Both front- and rear-seat passengers benefit from full half doors, too. If that’s not enough, Can-Am has purpose-built accessories for the Sport Max that inspire you to take everything you need for the trail, and more.
With so many different models in the Defender lineup, it might seem difficult to determine which model fits your needs. For this buyer’s guide, the Defender slots in at just over 60 inches, but it has to be included because of its plethora of models and options. The base models have all of the basics and comforts that make the Defender stand out from the crowd with more comfort and refinement than most of the competition. These traits come to life in the form of a standard dump bed with big hauling capacity (no less than 600 pounds), room for multiple passengers (at least three), and the great interior functionality that characterizes all Defender models. Basically, you can’t go wrong with a Defender if you need a utility UTV built for recreation and work.
While it may be a bit older than other models in this list, the Kawasaki Teryx cannot be ignored. It is very unique in a couple of areas, including its innovative storage options. Two full storage bins are housed in between the passenger compartment and the cargo bed, giving operators an extremely large area to store items whether you are working or playing. And, you can’t mistake the Teryx sound with that venerable V-twin engine; it has a rumble that makes your ears sing. Yes, there are other V-twins in this buyer’s guide, but there isn’t one that performs quite like the Teryx’s engine with its down-low grunt and great torque curve throughout the entire RPM range. The dump bed makes it equally capable around the farm and on the trail. However, trails are where the Teryx will excel with its excellent powertrain system, incredible reliability and chassis setup that will surprise most who drive it.
KAWASAKI TERYX 4
Built on a very similar chassis to the two-seat Teryx, the Teryx4 has room for 4 full size adults and still retains a (small) cargo bed in the back to hold supplies you need for the trail. It is clearly more sport and recreation oriented than the Teryx two-seater. This multi-purpose UTV is definitely capable as a utility vehicle, but trails really bring the handling dynamics of this 4-seater alive. Fox shocks all the way around make sure the ride is smooth and controlled in a variety of conditions. The chassis and all suspension components are built to last with plenty of bracing and thick-wall tubing for support in the harshest conditions. Nothing on the market sounds quite like the V-twin in the Teryx, either. And, luckily, the CV transmission mates very well to the engine by effectively sending all of the power output through the four driven wheels on this vehicle. Passenger comfort in the Teryx is good for all four occupants, and there are several storage options for front seat occupants. Also, should you want to add accessories, the Teryx has a clean dash layout that includes accessory switch spots for expansion.
POLARIS RZR S 1000
The Polaris RZR S 1000 has been in the sport market for many years now, and it continues its legacy as a great handling vehicle that can fit on 60-inch trails with ease. As with many other RZR models, this S 1000 has the handling chops to keep drivers entertained for many years to come. In addition to the chassis dynamics, the engine and transmission back up the handling with plenty of power and excellent clutching. Polaris puts a premium on keeping the machine light for performance, so the interior is a bit utilitarian with less storage room and refinement than the competition, but overall it is still a great place to be. At the end of the day, the RZR S 1000 will surely give you a thrill ride every time you press the go-pedal, and that is what we are looking for on the trails.
POLARIS RZR S4 1000
Polaris has a gamut of RZR vehicles with four seats in them, but none are more trail-capable than the 60-inch wide version of the RZR S4 1000. A compact width and wheelbase make this particular RZR a dynamic handling four-seater on the trails. It can still haul a nice quantity of “stuff” in the cargo bed to accompany all 4 passengers. Power comes from the venerable 999cc parallel twin engine that you find in other RZRs, but this one is slightly detuned to have an output of only 100 horsepower, which is more than plenty for most trails on planet Earth. A CVT transmission offers consistent driving characteristics and easy serviceability. We also appreciate the light weight of this machine at only 1506 pounds (dry). And, in an effort to keep the ride smooth on any trail, premium Fox 2.0 Podium shocks are found on all four corners. This RZR S4 has over 12 inches of travel in the front and over 13 inches out back. At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a compact trail carver, this RZR S 4 1000 is a great option when it comes to hauling the family in comfort.
POLARIS RANGER 1000
The 2020 Polaris Ranger 1000 is an all-new vehicle in the Ranger lineup, and it has big shoes to fill; it replaces the best-selling UTV of all time—the Ranger XP 900. Luckily, the 1000 replaces that vehicle and only elevates the platform with new features, updates, and refinements. The bold, truck-like styling is instantly recognizable as a Ranger. The interior builds upon the Ranger’s heritage of being a great work and recreation vehicle by offering even more storage options than before. Perhaps the most important upgrade is in the engine department. This 999cc parallel twin now has a SOHC layout, giving it increased bottom end torque. From our drives in this machine, we really appreciated how well this engine makes power down low, right where the power needs to be in a work vehicle. And, like all other Rangers, the power is put to the ground efficiently via the CVT. If you want a workhorse that can also pull double duty on the trails with a smooth suspension system, then this might be an ideal side-by-side for you.
YAMAHA WOLVERINE X2
With a compact overall package and an updated chassis for the 2020 model year, especially on the new extreme terrain XT-R model, the Wolverine X2 is a true all-purpose machine. If you need to tow large trailers (up to 2000 pounds) and/or haul large loads (up to 600 pounds in the dumping rear cargo bed), the X2 is up for the task. The X2 plays as well on the trails as it works on the ranch. The interior is comfortable with high-back seats and plenty of storage options. It feels very safe on the inside with full half doors and extra side bracing for the occupants. The new parallel-twin engine has excellent power from the bottom all the way to the top of the rpm range, and the Ultramatic transmission is a standout in the industry for its smooth clutch engagement and 10-year belt warranty. The X2 is a very capable trail-oriented UTV that will take you anywhere you want to go on your next adventure, but it is a willing help if you are stuck on the ranch. If you’re going to be using the X2 primarily on the trails, opt for the XT-R model with its standard Warn winch, upgraded GBC tires and mud-ready good looks.
YAMAHA WOLVERINE X4
Built on the same chassis as the Wolverine X2, the X4 is the four-seat version. It has the same proven and powerful 850-class engine, mated to the bLU cRU’s smooth and reliable Ultramatic transmission. Yamaha doesn’t question their CVT belt performance. They include a standard 10-year belt warranty on all of their CVT-equipped side-by-sides. That’s confidence in a product! The X4 is also loaded with innovations above the powertrain system, like a four-seat layout that includes sliding rear seats. This sliding feature allows the rear seats to move forward to reveal a significant amount of bed space if you do not need to haul four people. The front-seat passengers enjoy a spacious interior with plenty of room and fantastic sight lines out of the front to clearly see upcoming trail obstacles. The Wolverine X4 is a balanced chassis with great driving dynamics, too. As a complete package, the Wolverine X4 can haul the whole family comfortably and confidently down the trail, and this makes it an excellent choice in the 60-inch UTV category.
No matter what 60-inch UTV fits your needs, rest easy knowing that each one of these vehicles listed here has been proven over time to exceed expectations. We hope this list helps you narrow your search for your next 60-inch machine.