BEST SPORT UTILITY ATV: MID-RANGE
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
WINNER: Suzuki 450 KingQuad
We changed this category this year and widened the choices to ATVs with engines displacing from 350 to 500ccs.
This opened the door to a much broader list of 4-wheelers and made the competition for a class winner much tougher.
Price is now a huge factor and, naturally, getting the most for the least amount of cash is a big consideration with consumers right now.
Suzukiís King Quad 450 owns this class for delivering the best ride, best handling and most features for a killer price.
This is an incredible ATV for the money and features off-roading staples like fully independent suspension, liquid cooling and electronic fuel injection.
Then thereís selectable 4WD, mechanical engine braking, a multi-plate rear disc brake system, diff-lock and an excellent CVT transmission.
Better than any of the above is the lightweight, precise handling the 450 delivers and its 4WD systemís ability to rule in the bogs.
Furthermore, itís a dead ringer for its big brother, the new 750 KingQuad, so you can impress your friends while jiggling the extra coins left in your pocket.
If this wheeler wasnít so much fun to ride (we actually prefer it to the old 700 KingQuad), it wouldnít have made this list.
As it stands, this is the benchmark right now for engineering, fair price and delivery of satisfaction in this category.
RUNNERS-UP: Honda TRX 420, Polaris Sportsman 400
Once again, price entered the equation here. Hondaís TRX 420 4x4 is an amazing product and delivers key elements like EFI and liquid cooling in a price range where the competition replies with carbs and air cooling.
Sure, itís missing IRS and still uses a semi-auto 5-speed but long engine life and strong resale will carry the day.
The Sportsman 400 is all-new this year and offers last years full sized Sportsman 450's powerplant. In this chassis it turns out to be a rocket.
This slightly downsized IRS suspended Sport-Ute is loaded with goodies like true 4x4, selectable 4WD, diff-lock and liquid cooling. Pricing is excellent and makes this one worth a long look.