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Sports ATV vs. Utility ATV vs. UTV: Which to Pick?


What is the difference between a sports ATV and a utility ATV? And how are utility ATVs and UTVs (Utility Terrain Vehicles) different? Midwest Traction untangles the confusing terms below.

sports atvSports ATV

Primarily used for racing, you'll see them at motocross tracks and hare scrambles. Generally, they're two-wheel drive with the rear wheels functioning as the drive axle. Beefed up suspensions absorb table top jumps or the whoop section of a motocross track. They come with a two- or four-stroke motor. 

utility atvUtility ATV

Quads come with two- or four-wheel drive. The four-wheel allows you to switch between high and low gears, which work best if you'll be using the vehicle for different kinds of work. Low-end power is necessary for pushing snow or pulling a load.

utvUTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) a.k.a. Side-By-Side

With a steering wheel and the appearance of a miniature Jeep, these are commonly referred to as a side-by-side. Why? Because the driver and passenger are able to sit side by side. Most come equipped with a roll cage to protect driver and passenger in the event of a rollover. For additional safety, seat belts can be worn, and we recommend using an off-road helmet.  

UTVs aren't just great for utility; take them on Jeep roads to watch the fall leaves change, or use them in place of a pickup to navigate a farm field. 

Which One?

If you like sport and speed, go sports ATV. For plowing snow and light farm work, we recommend the utility ATV. Heavy farm work and trail adventuring with a partner, the UTV is your best bet. Regardless of your choice, be safe, and enjoy your ride.

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