What Is The Cheapest Side By Side?

With so many uses for a UTV with everything from farming, hunting, trail riding and more, a lot of people want to own one. The problem is, not everyone can afford a new machine. With some of the newest units costing well over $20,000, it can be hard to justify spending the money. 

However, there is a solution. Just because you don’t have a big budget to play with, doesn’t mean you can’t get into a new UTV. We’ve put together a list of some of the best cheap UTVs that are both good quality and easy on the wallet.

The manufacturers have taken notice that while having all the latest and greatest technologies and horsepower available can make for some cool high-end machines, there is also a market for budget-friendly units. 

The trick is to make a machine that performs well and is reliable. If someone shells out all they can afford for a machine and it breaks down, they aren’t likely to come back to that brand, or even the sport. 

That’s why many of us will caution people to stick with the major players, as reliability can be an issue for some. Here are five of the best cheap UTVs that we’ve come to know and like.

With the growth of the side-by-side (UTV) market, there are more options than ever for buying a new machine.

Did you know there are over 40 different UTV manufacturers selling units in the US alone right now? Some of the cheapest side-by-sides from these brands can be as little as $5,000.

Some of the names you might have heard before are HiSunn, CFMoto and even Kymco. We are not saying that these models are bad and we’re also not saying that they’re good. We’ve just chosen to say nothing about them..for now. We’ll dive back into these ultra-low-cost options at a later date.

Kawasaki Mule Sx Xc Price (Msrp)-$8,399

The Kawasaki Mule SX XC is a marvellous machine that perfectly marries the benefits of a low-maintenance and cheap UTV with the high-performance qualities that only the best UTVs have. The reason that this multipurpose utility vehicle is worth the money boils down to two very important features.

First, the handling on this vehicle is an absolute dream, providing quick steering and rapid response on the transmission part without being too jerky. The Kawasaki Mule SX XC comes with a 2-speed, automatic transmission; which is, in my opinion, the simplest yet most effective transmission out there.

It is so simple and straightforward that a child could learn to drive it if they were eligible to do so by law. If you are looking for a one of the highest-quality UTVs on the market, you always need to pay extra attention to how it handles on the roads and trails.

Secondly, the 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, OHV engine built into this baby puts out a max torque of 21.7 lbs.per foot. If you aren’t aware of just how amazing that is, that much torque can tow nearly 1,100 lbs. of equipment. 

Plus, due to the phenomenal air-cooling feature in the engine, this machine is like a workhorse that never seems to overheat or get tired.

If you are looking for your number one, all-purpose UTV under ten grand, this is the best one on the market, guaranteed.

Honda Pioneer 500

The Honda Pioneer 500 is a phenomenal compact vehicle. This particular UTV can replace pickup trucks any day and comes super close to achieving the first place spot on our list. 

The only reason it didn’t make number one on our list as the best UTV under ten grand is that automatic transmission requires that one uses paddle shifters rather than the familiar gear shifts found in an automatic car.

While the option to have the vehicle perform gear shifts automatically is provided, the manual shifting can be very tricky to one who is unfamiliar with paddle shifters.

Honda Motors has always had a reputation for gold. This Japanese motor company has been making their motorized vehicles to perfection for over seventy years now, so you know they know their stuff when it comes to motors. The Honda pioneer is just another testament of the precision and fine-tuning the goes into all Honda vehicles.

This UTV is built for most purposes such as construction projects, hunting outings, family fun on the trails, and mining operations. This little compact vehicle is easy to maneuver in tight conditions and can fit into a full-sized truck bed or small shed, making it the perfect vehicle for hunters.

Some of the notable features on this particular UTV are the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and large rear carrier design (450 lb. capacity). Though I wouldn’t recommend using the Honda pioneer for super heavy loads, such as the ones carried in logging or mining situations, it is built to be swift and light for easy portation.

Clocking in at a top speed of 40 mph, the Honda Pioneer 500 sports a 28.6 horsepower engine. It also comes with independent rear suspension, coupled with a phenomenal transmission to provide the best handling money can buy. If you are in the market for a perfect vehicle built for outings with the family or with your hunting crew, this UTV fits the bill.

Polaris Ranger 500

Coming in third on our list, the Polaris Ranger 500 is a noteworthy competitor on our list. Quick and strong, this UTV has very few setbacks and deserves the third-place position on our list.

The Polaris Ranger 500 is best known for being a favourite among hunters and farmers. This machine is very quiet on the trail in comparison to other UTV of its class, purring along the trail. The 32 horsepower, 498cc, 4-stroke engine is truly a wonder to behold.

This UTV can put out a maximum speed of 44 mph on flat elevation and is faster than most other UTVs made by nearly all manufacturers. 

Along with that, this machine has a maximum towing capacity of 1,250 lb (567 kg) and a payload weight capacity of 1,000 lb (453.6 kg). Some notable features that stand out are the speed key which limits your speed to 23 mph to avoid speeding and the level of comfort found with this vehicle.

This UTV has to be one of the most comfortable on the market, with a soft two-person bench, plenty of legroom and comfortable seat belts that will not dig into your shoulders. 

Upon the first drive, it becomes quite apparent that This UTV was built with taller operators in mind, sporting high arching roll-cage, a comfortably placed adjusting steering wheel and plenty of distance between the seat and pedals to avoid having to cram in.

The reason this UTV doesn’t deserve a higher placement on this list is a slight manufacturing error with the floorboard that causes it to crack when on mountain trails easily.

Though this does not pose any real danger for the driver or passenger, it is a noticeable flaw that stands out and causes a rattling sound when driving. Though not perfect, this relatively cheap yet quality utility task vehicle is one worth looking into.

Can-am Defender Hd8 Price (Msrp)-$9,999

If you are looking for a heavy-duty side-by-side and are willing to sacrifice some speed, the Can-Am Defender HD5 is the right tool for the job. This side-by-side is a meaty machine, built for hauling heavy material and for facilitating any large scale project you may have.

The heavy-duty 38 horsepower, the single-cylinder engine makes this vehicle a powerhouse on the work field, with a towing capacity of 2,500-lbs (1,134 kg). The engine on this baby is phenomenal, giving you the right ratio of speed to power.

Some other notable features worth looking at are the central skid plate to avoid undercarriage damage when running into debris, the intelligent throttle control, and a flippable VERSA-PRO bench seat to allow more space for storage. 

This UTV is a farmer’s dream. If you are in the market for a workhorse rather than a vehicle for fun, the CAN-AM Defender HD8 is the optimal choice for you.

Polaris Ace 570 Sp Price (Msrp): $9,299

The Polaris ACE 570 SP is the odd one out in the side by side market, for the reason that it is a single driver UTV advertised as a side-by-side. However, it does not allow slough out on quality and lives up to the Polaris reputation as one of the best sport side-by-sides out there.

If you are looking for a side by side that is built for pure, high-speed offroad pleasure, the ACE 570 SP is the right UTV for you. This sportsman UTV is built with a single-cylinder four-stroke engine, that when coupled with the lightweight sporty build can top out at 60 mph, making this fastest UTV for its price.

This vehicle is larger than your average ATV but significantly smaller than your average UTV, providing that perfect middle-ground for trailblazers and off-road enthusiasts.

Like the Polaris RZR, the ACE 570 knows how to run rough scenarios but at a fraction of the cost and is only built with one seat for single riding. This model comes with electric power steering, making tacking through tight trails a dream.

Built a sportsman standard roll cage and double A-arm front suspension, the ACE 570 SP is one of the most sophisticated and trail-worthy UTVs on the market; guaranteed to surprise any outdoor sportsman with just how phenomenal this machine handles.

Though built for the roughest of conditions, the ACE sure can provide a comfortable ride for riders of all ages eligible for a driver’s license. Even for elder riders, the ACE is a common favourite for accessibility and comfort. With plenty of legroom and just enough space between you and the wheel, you’ll feel tightly locked in for a wild ride.

Cf Moto Zforce 800 Price: $9,999

Any outdoor adventurer and UTV veteran driver would know that for a long ride one a reliable vehicle, but what about comfort? The CF Moto ZFORCE 800 is the perfect example of the right amount of utility and comfort.

The ZFORCE has been repeatedly tested by professionals and enthusiasts alike in the attempt to understand what makes this vehicle so enjoyable to ride for its price. 

The answer to this question is quite simple; you get more bang for your buck with this machine. Coming with all the standard equipment and then some, this is quite the package for a small price.

The ZFORCE 800 comes with a winch, mirrors, signals and a horn to just name a few. Coming stock with 800cc V-twin four-stroke motor, this UTV can put out around 54 lbs/ft of torque, which roughly translates into nearly 62 horsepower. With such a powerful engine fitted into such a light frame, this side-by-side can reach a top speed of 70mph.

The power steering on this baby is phenomenal. While oftentimes, power steering can seem sub-par or even nonexistent with vehicles of the same price range, the power steering on the CFMoto ZFORCE 800 is the Goldilocks standard in the world of off-road sports.

One really can’t go wrong with how easy it is to steer this thing. It is highly unlikely for one to feel out of control or overcorrect their steering when going down mountain trails. 

Built with two CFMoto factory standard seats and high-quality double wishbone suspension, this UTV will surprise any driver or passenger for how comfortable the ride is going down the trail, despite the hazards on the trail.

Now, let’s talk about dimensions. The CF Moto ZFORCE 800 provides a generous amount of ground clearance. 

With 11.8 in. (300mm) of ground clearance, that pesky trail debris and rocks would be a bother. With all this in mind, one can come to see that the CFMoto ZFORCE 800 is an optimal choice for any outdoorsman with a budget and a need for speed.

Polaris Ranger 570price: $9,999

The Polaris Ranger 570 is a simple workhorse machine. In short, this UTV is similar to most higher-quality working UTVs on the market but with a smaller, yet efficient, engine and lacks electrical power-steering.

Focusing on what the Polaris Ranger 570 is exceptional at, the engine has an output of 44 horsepower, which is more than enough to get the heavy chores done around the ranch or campsite. 

This vehicle has a payload-carrying capacity of 600 pounds, which is plenty for anyone looking for a pack mule to tote around your tools. On top of that, it also has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.

Certainly, it must be obvious by now that the Polaris Ranger 570 is not meant for recreation. While it is advertised as work or recreation UTV, it mostly lies on the work side of the spectrum due to the lack of power steering. 

Some have said that for trail-taming, the Polaris Ranger 570 is not the vehicle for the job, and can be quite a handful.

However, even with these negative insights, none can diminish its reputation for being one of the best work-based UTVs on the market for under $10,000. 

Don’t let the serious nature of the Polaris Ranger 570 scare you off so easily. Where it shines is in the hard work it can perform daily without fail; hauling off logs, pulling one-and-a-half ton trailers with ease, being a phenomenal pack mule machine.

One downside that seems to have become a trend for the Polaris Motor company is the lack of a windshield. 

This undoubtedly shaves off some of the cost to produce this model, which certainly determines the price. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem seeing how the Polaris Ranger 570 is not built for speed.

Hisun Sector 750 Crew – $13,799

The first notable thing with any Hisun side-by-side is that it comes with a 2-year warranty. The Sector comes with a 735cc, single-cylinder, OHC engine. It has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds and a cargo box capacity of 500 pounds.

The Sector 750 Crew has 2WD/4WD capabilities, hydraulic shocks with nitrogen assist, a 12-inch ground clearance, and a CVT transmission which are all pretty standard in side-by-sides these days.

So stacked up against the models that Can-Am and arctic Fox offer this seems like not a lot, however, we have yet to touch on the included things that Hisun gives you with their side-by-sides that the competition does not.

Included with the Sector 750 there is A roof, windshield, doors, rearview mirror, aluminium wheels, and a 3,500-pound winch. If you were to put that much stuff on the competitors side-by-sides, they would run you up and around the $17,000 mark that we see in the other side-by-sides.

Why Purchase A Side-by-side Below $10,000?

Simply put, side-by-sides can be more if not just as pricey as a regular car. However, for many hard-working men and women, UTVs are essential to the day to day work life. 

While in search of that perfect utility vehicle, many workers and employers believe that the pricier, the better and then miss out on a UTV that is equally as efficient and half the price. Don’t let this be you. 

Look into these models. They are just as efficient as any other hefty side-by-side on the market for double the price.

Scroll to Top