Oct 20, 2022

What is a UTV? The Difference Between UTVs and ATVs

Ericka Ellis

The debate between ATVs and UTVs has been around for years, with no clear consensus on which is better. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it really comes down to what you want to use the vehicle for. Here, we take a closer look at the two vehicle types to help you decide which is right for you.

What Is An ATV? 

ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, are designed for off-road use. They have four wheels and are usually smaller and lighter than UTVs. ATVs are also typically less expensive than UTVs.

Advantages & Disadvantages of ATVs

The main advantage of an ATV is that it is easier to maneuver than a UTV. This is because ATVs have a shorter wheelbase and are narrower. This makes them better suited for tight trails and rough terrain. ATVs also typically have better suspension systems, which helps them handle bumps and obstacles better.

The main disadvantage of ATVs is that they are less comfortable and have less storage space than UTVs. ATVs also typically have lower ground clearance, which can make it more difficult to cross obstacles.

What Is A UTV? 

Utility Terrain Vehicles, or UTVs, are built and used more for work than recreation. They are large, powerful, able to seat passengers side by side, and built with lots of storage space. They’re commonly used to haul equipment and supplies in locations that make using a truck impractical or impossible.

Advantages & Disadvantages of UTVs

UTVs, or utility task vehicles, are larger than ATVs and have four or six wheels. They are designed for both off-road and on-road use. UTVs typically have a longer wheelbase and are wider than ATVs, which makes them more stable. They also have a higher ground clearance, which is helpful for crossing obstacles.

The main advantage of UTVs is that they are more comfortable and have more storage space than ATVs. UTVs also typically have better suspension systems, which helps them handle bumps and obstacles better.

The main disadvantage of UTVs is that they are more expensive than ATVs. They are also less maneuverable than ATVs, which can make them more difficult to handle on tight trails and in rough terrain.

Differences Between ATVs & UTVs

Fuel Power

One difference between ATVs and UTVs is the way they are powered. ATVs have a traditional gasoline engine, while UTVs have a diesel or electric engine. Gasoline engines are less expensive to maintain and repair, but they are also less efficient. Diesel and electric engines are more expensive to maintain and repair, but they are more efficient.

Operations & Use 

One of the main differences between ATVs and UTVs is the way they are used. ATVs are designed for one person, while UTVs can seat up to six people. ATVs are also smaller and lighter than UTVs, which makes them easier to maneuver. UTVs, on the other hand, are designed for hauling and can tow up to 3,000 pounds.


ATVs and UTVs also differ in the way they are suspended. ATVs have a suspension system that is designed for one person, while UTVs have a suspension system that is designed for two or more people. ATVs also have a shorter wheelbase, which makes them more agile. UTVs have a longer wheelbase, which makes them more stable.


Finally, ATVs and UTVs differ in the way they are equipped. ATVs typically have a winch, a storage box, and a plow. UTVs typically have a roll cage, a winch, and a windshield.

Pros & Cons

Check out the pros and cons of ATVs and UTVs to add even more insight to support or expand your perspective on ATVs vs. UTVs. 



  • Can be used for a variety of purposes, such as hunting, racing, trail riding, and camping
  • More affordable than UTV’s
  • More nimble and easier to maneuver than UTV’s


  • Less comfortable than UTV’s
  • Can be less stable than UTV’s
  • Not as much storage space as UTV’s



  • More comfortable than ATV’s
  • More stable than ATV’s
  • More storage space than ATV’s


  • More expensive than ATV’s
  • Not as nimble or easy to maneuver as ATV’s
  • Can be too big for some trails
  • Can be physically demanding

Deciding Between ATVs & UTVs

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing between an ATV and a UTV. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

1. What are you going to use it for?

If you're just looking for a vehicle to get around your property or for leisurely rides on trails, an ATV is a great choice. They're lightweight and nimble, making them easy to maneuver.

However, if you're looking for a more versatile vehicle that can handle rougher terrain and even haul some payload, a UTV is the better option. They're bigger and more powerful, so they can handle more abuse.

2. What is your budget?

ATV's are generally less expensive than UTV's. If you're on a tight budget, an ATV is the way to go.

3. What is your skill level?

ATV's can be more difficult to drive than UTV's. If you're a beginner, or if you don't have a lot of experience driving off-road vehicles, a UTV might be a better choice. They're more stable and easier to control.

4. What are the conditions of the trails you'll be driving on?

ATV's are better suited for smaller, narrower trails. If you'll be driving on wider trails that are in good condition, a UTV will be a better choice.

5. How many people will be riding?

ATV's are typically only meant for one or two people. If you're planning on having more than two people riding, a UTV is a better option.

Now that you know some of the key differences between ATV's and UTV's, you can make a more informed decision or opinion on the subject matter of ATVs vs. UTVs. 

So, which is better? ATVs or UTVs?

There is no simple answer to this question. It depends on your needs and your preferences. The vehicle you choose should be based on your interests. 

If you noticed an affinity towards one over the other, then it doesn't matter what ‘they’ say in terms of which is better. The real question is, “Which is better for you?”

Note: RumbleOn is an Amazon Affiliate, dedicated to reviewing the best and safest gear and more, for riders everywhere. We may receive commissions if products are purchased from them.

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