UTV TEST: 2017 HISUN SECTOR 250
A mini-me UTV for work and play By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Despite the fact that the Sector 250 is the smallest and most basic of Hisun’s UTVs, it follows the company’s philosophy of providing what is likely the most well-equipped machine in the admittedly small class. The level of standard equipment is impressive for a machine that retails for a little under $5000. The plastic body panels are glossy (and available in a variety of colors) with thick and durable stickers applied. Comfort features abound, including a roof, dual rear-view mirrors, a dump bed, machined aluminum wheels, radial tires and a winch. All of those items come standard. There is also a horn button in the center of the steering wheel, brake lights and even turn signals.
Under the bed is a relatively basic liquid-cooled motor that drives the rear wheels via a chain drive. It is only 2WD. In addition to the liquid-cooling, it has electronic fuel injection. Power is delivered via a CVT that has reverse, neutral, and low and high range. Despite the tech features, the tiny motor is moving a 750-pound machine and its passengers, so performance is leisurely. In fact, we never used high range.
For 2017 the gearing was lowered 33 percent, and that makes us wonder how it ever used high range at all. In our opinion, high range should be what low range is now, and there should be a vastly lower overall gearing in low range. We saw 40 mph indicated on a packed dirt road in low range.
The Sector’s CVT doesn’t have park mode. When you park the car, there is a hand-operated parking brake high on the left-side dash. The parking brake holds the machine extremely well. You release the brake by depressing a button atop the park lever.
Engine braking is enthusiastic, and the brakes are smooth and controllable with plenty of power for the weight and size of the machine. It has disc brakes on the front wheels, plus a single disc on the solid rear axle. Acceleration in mild is enough for the youth drivers the machine is aimed at, or for the person looking for a small helper vehicle around the homestead. You needn’t worry about anyone ripping up the place or doing jumps with power this modest. At the same time, we had guys who were 6-foot-plus and over 200 pounds in the machine. It was tight, but fine for what we would put the machine to use for.
You will want to shy away from steep grades or deep sand. When the ground is hard, the little Sector has a minimal effect on the terrain surface where a larger, more powerful machine might rut the area up.
The fit and finish of the machine is nice, with durable graphics, glossy plastic and even metal kick plates on the door sills. The dash is clean, but it does have a significant array of switches to engage the lights, high and low beams, hazard lights, turn signals and winch controls.
The seat isn’t deeply padded, but is comfortable and supportive. It is wide enough for only two, which is the number of seat belts and headrests it has. You can unload the 250-pound-capacity dump bed from either side.
TRAILS AND WORK
While the small size can be a challenge and limits engine size and performance, the Sector 250 fits between the wheel wells of a full-size truck. We had it in a long bed with the tailgate closed. As long as the terrain wasn’t too steep or rough, this should be a fine mount for light work, recreation or hunting that is easy to transport. A very small and lightweight trailer would haul this machine in the event that no full-size truck is available. The next step up in Hisun’s utility UTV lineup is a 450, but it is a 4×4 that is over 500 pounds heavier, $2500 more expensive and is a much tighter fit in a truck bed.
It would be nice to have a bit more suspension travel, but we used the Hisun on semi-maintained roads and trails that were fairly smooth, and it handled everything just fine. More travel would raise the center of gravity, and as narrow as it is, that could hurt the sure-footedness. As you would expect for such a small machine, it is super easy to maneuver with a tight turning radius and nimble steering. There is no power steering, and we didn’t miss it.
For work the Hisun Sector 250 is ready and able. The small bed is rated for 250 pounds, and you would need something pretty dense to go over that weight without overfilling the bed. Hay bales should fit, and bags of feed or cement as well. For young drivers we’d like to see doors or nets, but otherwise we’d trust our youth drivers with the Hisun. To be honest, Hisun does have the sport-oriented Strike 250 that is even lighter and has doors. If you are interested in a 250cc-class machine primarily for recreation, look at the Strike and save the Sector for work. In states that allow UTVs to be registered for light and rural street use, the lights, horn and signals are another bonus on a machine that is already nicely equipped. We like the one-year warranty as well. The Hisun comes with features that most machines consider options. Those features can make a day of fun or work, especially the winch, much better, and there is clearly value here.
HISUN SECTOR 250
Engine 229cc, OHV, 4-stroke single
Bore x stroke 65.5mm x 68mm
Fuel system Delphi EFI
Fuel capacity 3.5 gal.
Starting system Electric
Final drive Chain
Front Independent dual A-arm; 4.75”
Rear Swingarm; 5.25”
Front 22×7-10 radial
Rear 22×10-10 radial
Front Dual hydraulic disc
Rear Single hydraulic disc
Ground clearance 8.0 in
Cargo capacity 250 lb.
Towing capacity N/A
Curb weight 725 lb.
Colors White, black, blue, red, orange, Vista Camo