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Side by Side's vs. ATVs, Which Four Wheeler is Right for You?

  • Chad Brooks
  • Jul 27, 2017

One of the most frequently asked questions that customers ask us here at Brooks Power Sports is whether a Side by Side or a Two-Up ATV four wheeler is right for them.  Have you ever wondered the same thing?

To get a better understanding of what might be the right choice or work better for you, we recommend that you learn more about and understand the capabilities of each. Traditionally, when people ask if you want to go off-roading we think of hopping into a Jeep, or Truck, and driving it off the beaten path. The idea, of course, is to get it a little muddy and test the boundaries of the vehicle. Over time, Off-Road Vehicles have evolved especially Can-Am offroad vehicles. Don't forget to check out our in-stock inventory of ATVs for sale too!

Utility Vehicle (UTV), Side by Side (SXS)

A side by side UTV (UTV) is simply considered an off-road vehicle in which two people sit beside each other. The seating configuration is the same as in a car or truck. You have a steering wheel, pedals, and a gear shift just like a vehicle. The UTV is larger than that of the ATV’s and typically costs a little bit more. Today these vehicles are made for Utility (work uses), Sports (Just plain fun), and in the case of the Can-Am Commander; a mix of both work and fun! To decide if it’s right for you, you should first determine how it will be used. You can also shop all of our inventory of side by sides.

Can-Am Side by Side Utility Vehicle Can-Am Side by Side UTV

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV/ Four Wheeler)

An ATV has a different look, design, and feel than a Side by Side. Also known as a four wheeler, with an ATV, you straddle the seat, brake with your hands and feet, steer with handlebars, and throttle up with your thumb or a twist throttle. Today’s ATV’s are available in in three-wheel, four-wheel, and six-wheel models. With Engine sizes ranging from 50cc to 1000cc, there’s an ATV size for nearly everyone! Check out all of our in-stock ATVs for sale.

Can-Am ATV Outlander

How do you choose?

For two-up riding, it can be hard to choose the right machine for you. Do you purchase a side by side (UTV), or do you purchase an ATV/four wheeler? To help decide, ask yourself these questions:

1)      How much do you want to spend?

If you’re going to spend under $10,000 then a side by side might not be the right unit for you. Typically, a Side by Side is a little bit more money than an ATV. Can-Am Side by Side’s pricing is a little less than $10,000 and it goes up depending on your package.  A Can-Am adult ATV (450cc or higher) will start at $5999 and up. ATV’s are a more affordable option for going off-road.  With the right financing that we can get at Brooks PowerSports, it might not be too difficult to get the Off-Road Vehicle you want, at the right monthly payment for you. This way you won’t need to upgrade, or change in a year or two. Be sure and check out our used powersports inventory to see if something fits your budget there too!

2)      What trails are you riding on?

Depending on what part of the country you’re from, the trails may range in size. From my experience here in Pennsylvania, a lot of the trails may be for units that are close to 50” or less in width. For trails like this, you will likely need an ATV instead of a Side by Side. Can-Am Side by Sides start at 58.5” in width and go up to 72” or more depending on the unit and accessories that are installed on it. If you’re on private ground or an area with no restrictions, it doesn’t matter too much.

3)      What are your uses and what is your comfortability level?

Comfortability: I took a friend of mine out riding, for the first time, a few weekends ago. Because it was his first time, he immediately loved the Maverick Side by Side that I had taken up, because he felt like he was driving a car. The ATV he found a little more challenging and different. He was more comfortable with side by sides and not the ATV’s.

Uses: If you’re looking to purchase something for pure sport and fun, then it’s a toss-up.

Can-Am produces some of the most comfortable and reliable ATV’s and Side by Side’s on the market. A Can-Am Renegade ATV will give you plenty of Sport and fun, just like the Can-Am Maverick, or Maverick X3 will. The difference may lie on your uses for the Utility models.

If you’re looking for more pulling power, and plenty of storage to do pretty much any job, then the Can-Am Side by Side is right for you. If you’re looking to plow and pull a trailer here and there, then an ATV would work as well.

Overall:  If you’re still not sure about an UTV vs an ATV, stop into our Grantville, PA dealership, call or contact us today to learn more. We're conveniently located near Harrisburg, Reading, Lebanon, and Lancaster. We're also just a short drive away from Philadelphia and Baltimore. 

At Brooks Powersports, we're more than happy to take you through the showroom, and our overflow garage, to show you the difference on each of the units and figure out which one might be best for you. Sure, I can tell you a side by side is right because it’s more money, but I promise you that’s not what we’ll do. We’ll make sure we find the right ATV or side by side for you based on what YOUR needs and desires.  Don’t forget, everyone is different. 

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