When you head into the store this summer looking at 4-wheel, off-road vehicles, you'll see a variety of different shapes and sizes. Some are ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles) and others are UTVs (Utility Terrain Vehicles). While they're both made for off-road trekking, it really depends on what you're going to do with them and what those needs require. Here are some of the major differences between the two you should think about when making your decision.

ATVs are zippy, fun and great racers because of their small, lightweight frames, built for performance with tons of modifications available to enhance their abilities. They're able to tow a little bit of weight. However, they're also physically demanding to drive, and the driver needs to be able to control the vehicle as it’s led through really tough tracks. They're also pretty uncomfortable during long riding sessions because of the way their seats are designed.

The biggest difference though, the one probably pushing you closer towards an ATV is price. UTVs are very expensive and usually sit thousands of dollars higher than ATVs, but of course there are some pretty compelling reasons for that high price.

UTVs come with more than one seat, some come with four and the rare ones come with six. You can drive around with your whole family rather than alone. Then you only have to buy one vehicle rather than one for each person. Sure, there'll be some fighting for the wheel but you'll all be together experiencing the fresh outside air.

UTVs have more to offer then just more seats; they also have lots of storage room because of rear cargo holds that allow them to carry tons more than your regular ATVs. Try dragging a couple bales of hay, you won't have enough room on the back of your ATV to stack them, and you'll probably look a lot like those guys from Fast 5 dragging around that massive safe and crashing into everything around you.

Here's a the clip with them dragging the safe from Fast 5 if you're interested:

For those of you getting a little older, UTV seats are a godsend. They're usually bucket seats or benches that give your back a well needed rest and make it so much easier to travel longer distances while on a smoother ride. UTVs have more "utility", of course, as the same suggests, the range of their capabilities is much broader then ATVs. Some can carry tons of wood back to your house, chainsaws to your job, dump dirt by your gardens, drive across a pond and do a lot of other things ATVs can't.

There you have it; ATVs and UTVs have some similarities but are very much different machines. ATVs are built to take one person on a bumpy, exciting adventure where you feel every corner and race against your friends for the fastest time. UTVs on the other hand do everything else; they take more people, hold more stuff and transport large items. It's up to you to make your choice, but we know you'll have a great big smile on your face when you do pick the one that best fits.

Let us know your preferences and give us some reasons why in the comments! And if you’re looking for some parts to make that new machine even better, take a look through Partdiscounter.com.


  1. ATV vs. UTV Vehicle Guide: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/motorcycles/a...
  2. What’s the Difference Between a UTV and an ATV/Side by Side: http://blog.sidebysidestuff.com/faq-whats-the-diff...
  3. Choosing a Work ATV vs. UTV: http://www.atv.com/features/choosing-a-work-vehicl...

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