Before 250-class runners and mid-sized quads were a thing, Arctic Cat 300 4x4s dominated the ATV landscape. Introduced by Arctic Cat in 1998, the four-wheeler instantly became a hit with mud boggers and dirt racers. What started as a utility vehicle eventually became a sport quad in 2009, becoming one of the first four-wheeler series to create the sport-utility sub-segment.
The Arctic Cat 300 4×4 is a sport-utility vehicle released in the market from 1998 to 2016. This iconic quad, featuring sport and utility trims, impressive bottom-end pull, reliable hauling capabilities, and automatic Duramatic™ transmission, helped proliferate Arctic Cat’s following.
One interesting fact about the Arctic Cat 300 is that it was designed predominantly as a workhorse. However, the vehicle’s characteristics led many off-roaders to prefer the 4×4 for ripping through motocross tracks and wooded trails. Curious to know more about the vehicle’s list of comprehensive features? Read on and discover how these affected its evolution.
About the Arctic Cat 300
The Arctic Cat 300 is a sport-utility vehicle introduced to the public in 1998 and manufactured until 2016 by then Arctic Cat (now a subsidiary of Textron Inc.) – before its 400-cm3, and higher-displacement siblings completely replaced it. Initially launched as a utility ATV, the Arctic Cat 300 eventually moved on to the sport-ATV segment with the release of the Arctic Cat DVX 300 in 2009 and the same-class Alterra trims in 2017 and 2020.
Launching the quad was born out of intense market research and the realization that big-bore and mid-sized ATVs were beating the rest of the segments (even snowmobiles) with its rapid growth. With this in mind, the firm began building the Cat 300 around the KingQuad 280-cm3 power mill, sourced from its long-standing snowmobile and watercraft engine supplier, Suzuki. Word about Arctic Cat’s new utility vehicle soon spread like wildfire, completely selling out before dealerships could get a hold of the product.
Both the 2×4 and 4×4 trims of the Arctic Cat 300 enjoyed a positive reception from the get-go. These four-wheelers outperformed the competition and literally played in slush and mud. The Arctic Cat 300 was so reliable that its strengths overshadowed its lack of mid-to-top-end power and weight. Many good things were going on for this vehicle that consumers thought it natural to sit back and wait for new models and trims every year.
Temporary Cease in Production
But unknown to many, the Arctic Cat 300 series had a five-year hiatus between 2006 and 2010. We can only speculate the reason for this temporary cease in production. On the contrary, we know that it proved to be a strategic move by Arctic Cat. And a successful one, too, as the Arctic Cat 300 2×4 ranked 1st out of 135 utility ATVs a year after its grand comeback. Similarly, the Arctic Cat DVX 300 bested 26 other sport ATVs in 2014.
Arctic Cat 300 Review
Watch this Mainland Cycle Center video as the presenter does a quick but detailed review of a 2015 Arctic Cat 300:
Arctic Cat 300 Price
The MSRP of an Arctic Cat 300 ranged from $3,999 to $5,199, depending on the year and trim. Interestingly, the most expensive Arctic Cats were those from its first production year. The list price of the ’98 2×4 model was $4,399, while the 4×4 trim was $5,199. There was barely any increase in the value of the Arctic Cat 300 throughout its production run. Except for the ’99 and ’00 models, all other versions from the 2001 Arctic Cat 300 4×4 and 2×4 models stayed within the same price range – only increasing by at most $400 in between releases.
|Year – Trim|
(**MRP – MultiRack Platform)
|List Price||Retail/Trade-In Values|
|1998 Arctic Cat 300 2×4||$4,399||$145 – $1,290|
|1998 Arctic Cat 300 4×4||$5,199||$180 – $1,565|
|1999 Arctic Cat 300 2×4||N/A||$345 – $1,535|
|1999 Arctic Cat 300 4×4||N/A||$175 – $1,110|
|2000 Arctic Cat 300 2×4||N/A||$410 – $1,650|
|2000 Arctic Cat 300 4×4||N/A||$190 – $1,945|
|2001 – 2003 Arctic Cat 300 2×4||$4,299||$960 – $2,005|
|2001 – 2004 Arctic Cat 300 4×4||$4,999||$965 – $2,435|
|2004 Arctic Cat 300 4×4, MRP||$5,149||$1,100 – $1,450|
|2005 Arctic Cat 300 4×4||$4,749||$1,260 – $2,575|
|2009 Arctic Cat DVX 300||$3,949||$910 – $1,740|
|2010 – 2011 Arctic Cat DVX 300||$3,999||$1,020 – $1,880|
|2011 Arctic Cat 300 2×4||$3,999||$1,575 – $2,745|
|2012 Arctic Cat 300 2×4||$4,099||$1,660 – $2,770|
|2012 Arctic Cat DVX 300||$4,099||$1,320 – $1,955|
|2013 Arctic Cat 300 2×4||$4,199||$1,695 – $2,925|
|2013 Arctic Cat DVX 300||$4,199||$1,535 – $2,030|
|2014 Arctic Cat DVX 300||$4,299||$1,770 – $2,330|
|2014 – 2015 Arctic Cat 300 2×4||$4,299||$2,005 – $2,975|
|2015 Arctic Cat DVX 300||$4,399||$2,050 – $2,700|
|2016 Arctic Cat 300 2×4||$4,399||$2,360 – $3,105|
Auction listings are almost similar in value compared to units sold by dealers. Resale values range from $650 to $3,730. Most of these pre-loved units are 2000 – 2003 4×4 models with low to mid mileage and hour count. Secondhand Cat 300s over $2,500 are typically in good running condition, with excellent plastics and exterior, and equipped with a WARN 93000 3000 ACI Series Electric 115/230V Winch (view on Amazon) or new tires. Conversely, quads sold for cheap may have some play in the shift linkage or non-working motors due to prolonged storage of the 4×4.
Arctic Cat 300 4×4 Specs & Features (2014 model)
The first-year engine displacement was slightly larger than the succeeding models at 280 cm3 (17 in3). Both the DVX and base models had Arctic Cat 300 4×4 carburetors but can convert to an EFI-equipped machine with the right kit. Otherwise, Cat owners recommend changing the engine to a Mikuni if you want to keep it in near-stock condition.
|Engine||Arctic Cat DVX 300||Arctic Cat 300 Utility|
|Platform||4-Stroke DOHC, dual-valve|
|Bore x Stroke||72.7 x 65.2 mm (2.86 x 2.57 in)|
|Displacement||270 cm³ / 16.5 in³|
|Carburetion System||Keihin CVK32 (112/60/30 – main/start/slow jet)|
|Idle RPM||1,250-1,350 RPM|
|Engine Cooling||Liquid w/ fan|
|Recommended Fuel||Unleaded gasoline w/ PON rating 87/89 (oxygenated/non-oxygenated)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||12.8 L (3.4 US gal) – w/ 4.54 L (1.2 US gal) reserve|
|Cam Lobe Height (Intake)||34.15 mm|
|Cam Lobe Height (Exhaust)||34.05 mm|
|Valve Guide/Stem Clearance (intake)||0.06 mm|
|Valve Guide/Stem Clearance (exhaust)||0.08 mm|
|Valve Spring Tension @ 18 mm (intake)||10.2-11.8 kg (22.5-26.0 lb)|
|Valve Spring Tension @ 21.5 mm (exhaust)
||19.05-22.0 kg (42.0-48.5 lb)|
|Top Speed (Estimated)||58 mph (93 km/h)|
As an alternative, owners use 10W-40 engine oil that meets API and JASO T903 MA standards on their four-wheelers. However, this is unspecified in the owner’s manual, so best to ask your dealer or local mechanic about their engine oil recommendations.
|Lubrication||Arctic Cat DVX 300||Arctic Cat 300 Utility|
|Engine Oil Capacity||1.6 L (1.7 US quarts)||1.4 L (1.5 US quarts)|
|Engine Oil||Arctic Cat ACX AllWeather Synthetic Lubricant, SAE 0W-40 (with API grade of SM or higher and with no anti-friction or modifiers)|
|Oil Pressure, 60°C (140°F) @ 3,000 RPM||29.6 kPa (0.3 kg/cm², 4.3 psi) – above
68.9 kPa (0.7 kg/cm², 10 psi) – below
|Coolant Capacity||1.4 L (1.5 US quarts)|
|Rear Drive Fluid Capacity||N/A||150 ml (5 fl oz) of SAE Approved
|Transmission Oil Capacity||400 ml (13.5 fl. oz. – overhaul)
300 ml (10.1 fl. oz. – change)
|600 ml (20.3 fl. oz. – overhaul)
500 ml (16.9 fl. oz. – change)
The Utility and DVX models share the same transmission components, including a saw-tooth gated shifter. The main difference is that on the DVX, the neutral position in the transmission is indexed by passing a Phillips screwdriver through the shift arm and into the index hole in the transmission cover. The Arctic Cat 300 DVX particularly gives its rider more freedom of movement, boosting rider confidence.
|Transmission||Arctic Cat DVX 300||Arctic Cat 300 Utility|
|Type, Shift Sequence||Duramatic™ CVT w/ Hi-Lo range, Neutral & Reverse|
|Secondary – Transmission Reduction Ratio||super low – 3.176 (17/18 x 25/11 x 37/25)
low – 1.480 (37/25)
high – 1.112 (11/25 x 18/17 x 43/18)
Some Arctic Cat 300 4×4 parts like the battery are positioned differently, depending on trim. Exercise caution when replacing your battery, as you will need to remove the CDI, start-in-gear relay, and fuse block without disconnecting the wires to gain access to the battery box. Make sure to use only Fluke Model 77 Multimeter with Peak Voltage Reading Adapter when performing peak voltage tests to ascertain the accuracy of readings.
Additionally, do not forget to charge it at the recommended rate every month (much better if you have a battery tender) to prevent permanent damage to the battery if it completely drains out. Any YTX14AHL-BS battery (view on Amazon) format should work with your Arctic Cat 300.
|Electrical||Arctic Cat DVX 300||Arctic Cat 300 Utility|
|Ignition Timing||5° BTDC (“F” mark)@ 1,000 RPM|
|Alternator Output||Magneto, 220W @ 5,000 RPM|
|Battery Dimensions (L x W x H)||5.28 x 3.54 x 6.54 in (134 x 90 x 166 mm)|
|Battery / Amp Hr||under the seat||behind the seat|
|Spark Plug, Gap||NGK DPR7EA-9, 0.8-0.9 mm (0.032-0.036 in) gap|
|Fuses||30/15/10/15 Amp (charge/main/light/spare)|
|Instrumentation||LCD gauge assembly, Speedometer, Odometer/Tripmeter, Tachometer, Coolant Temperature, Volt Meter, Hour meter, Clock, Warning indicators, Gas gauge, Hi-Temp Light, DC Outlet|
Tires & Brakes
It is easy to tell a DVX and standard model apart through their wheel composition. Utility versions have steel wheels, while DVX ones have cast aluminum. Both of them have Kenda tires, but the DVX knobbies are a little bit narrower. Always ensure that your wheel alignment, lubrication, and tire inflation are according to spec to avoid stiff handling or steering oscillation.
|Tires & Brakes||Arctic Cat DVX 300||Arctic Cat 300 Utility|
|Wheel Composition||Cast Aluminum||Powder-coated steel|
|Front Tire||Kenda Klaw XCF AT 21 X 7-10||Kenda Pathfinder AT22 x 7-10|
|Recommended Tire Pressure||27.6 kPa (0.28 kg/cm2, 4 psi)|
|Rear Tire||Kenda Klaw XCF AT 20 X 11-9||Kenda Pathfinder AT22 x 10-10|
|Recommended Tire Pressure||24.1 kPa (0.25 kg/cm2, 3.5 psi)|
|Front Brake||Front hydraulic discs|
|Rear Brake||Auxiliary rear hydraulics|
Turning radius, five-way preload adjustment, and front shocks rebound damping across all models are the same. But travel for both front and rear wheels is better on DVX than base models. Equipping your quad with a rear stabilizer bar would allow for better bump absorption, particularly at high speeds.
|Suspension||Arctic Cat DVX 300||Arctic Cat 300 Utility|
|Turning Radius||9.85 ft (118 in)|
|Front Suspension, Travel||Independent double A-arms w/ preload adjustment & rebound damping, 155 mm (6.1 in)||Independent double A-arms w/ preload adjustment & rebound damping, 126 mm (5 in)|
|Rear Suspension, Travel||Swingarm w/ preload adjustment, 165 mm (6.5 in)||Swingarm w/ preload adjustment, 126 mm (5 in)|
The Arctic Cat DVX 300 does not only have the Yamaha Raptor’s styling cues but is also shorter and a tad wider than standard Utility versions. Both models share the same rack and towing capacities, but only the base model has luggage racks. For all-day trips on your Arctic Cat DVX 300, an off-road-friendly backpack like Chrome Industries Pro Barrage Waterproof Roll-Top Satchel Backpack (view on Amazon) will be your best friend.
|Dimensions||Arctic Cat DVX 300||Arctic Cat 300 Utility|
|Length||1,719 mm (67.7 in)||1,870 mm (73.6 in)|
|Width||1,135 mm (44.7 in)||1,051 mm (41.40 in)|
|Height||1,135 mm (44.7 in)||1,118 mm (44.0 in)|
|Wheelbase||1,179 mm (46.4 in)||1,179 mm (46.4 in)|
|Ground Clearance||267 mm (10.5 in)||259 mm (10.2 in)|
|Dry Weight||192.8 kg (425 lb)||216 kg (477 lb)|
|Capacities & Storage||Arctic Cat DVX 300||Arctic Cat 300 Utility|
|Front/Rear Rack Capacity||50 lbs (22.7 kg) / 100 lb (45.3 kg)|
|Towing Capacity||500 lb (226.8 kg)|
The Arctic Cat 300 has a tubular steel frame and plastic body material in green, red, lime, blue, and black. Standard models feature rounded front bumpers and an overall utility look. On the other hand, DVX trims have racier aesthetics. Both Cat 300s have front and rear fenders, handgrips, and a front bash plate. Both sides of the handlebar contain the switches, and a central pod houses the vehicle’s instrumentation.
MultiRack Platform (MRP)
Also referred to as SpeedRacks, this company-exclusive accessory boasts a receiver rack design that connects to the quad’s front and rear fenders. It holds and hauls gear securely. This attachment system works perfectly with several Arctic Cat exclusive accessories. There was only one Arctic Cat 300 MRP trim throughout the series production run, released in 2004.
This video by Outdoor Gorilla talks more about a bit of these features in his introduction for a 2005 Arctic Cat 300 4×4 project:
Arctic Cat 300 Problems
Problems with the four-wheeler’s spark plug, battery, and rectifier/regulator are easy to determine but quite tricky to solve. Encountering weak or no spark usually points to a defective ignition coil, spark plug, CDI unit, or pickup coil that needs replacement. Discovering a spark plug fouled with carbon would warrant either a carb adjustment, using manufacturer-recommended gasoline, or replacing rings and seals.
Charging problems require tightening lead wires, connections, or a battery replacement. Similarly, a non-working starter button indicates something wrong with the starter relay, ground connections, or switches. Out of all the Arctic Cat 300’s electrical problems, the easiest to remedy is battery sulfation, which entails an immediate battery replacement.
A noisy power mill could be due to excessive valve chatter, worn pistons/bushings, defective chain adjuster, or incorrect bearing size and connecting rod. To fix this issue, identify the specific problem source and work on the faulty or worn-out parts. Affected components would typically require replacement, so make sure to catch the problem early to avoid increased repair expenses.
Hard Starting Issues
If you have experienced this problem, you may notice that electric starting does not work and may result in the need to flip up your vehicle’s decompression switch and recoil starter. Sometimes, restricted running at full throttle may even accompany this dilemma.
Whichever the symptoms, first check the jets, passages, gaskets, and valve clearance/lash. Remove any obstructions. Replace any missing parts. Ensure that your Arctic Cat 300 carburetor is not leaking air and valves are according to spec. Pay attention to initial symptoms to determine what is wrong with your valve lash. Remember – hard starting or backfiring indicates a tight valve lash, while noise points to a loose one.
If these steps do not solve it, look into the idle (or PMS screw) and float adjustment, the diaphragm, and the tiny filter at the top of the float valve. Adjust or repair anything amiss. More importantly, spend that $70 and buy the service manual – it could save your life.
A flaw in jetting, air filtration, air-fuel mixture, or specific engine mechanisms leads to this problem. In some cases, it becomes intertwined with shifter issues. Being meticulous with your vehicle’s valve clearances, rocker arm shaft, float height, and electrical components help minimize its occurrence. Keeping your quad spic-and-span after each drive and not overloading your machine goes a long way too.
Textron Inc. is an industrial corporation best known for its subsidiaries and extensive product offerings such as Bad Boy Buggies, Bell helicopters, Cessna aircraft, Cushman industrial vehicles, E-Z-GO, Greenlee tools, McDonald Douglas, and TUG. Founded as Special Yarns Corporation in 1923, the American firm acquired Arctic Cat Inc. (the maker of Arctic Cat 300 4×4) in 2017 and has been developing its snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle lineups ever since. Thanks to its unwavering efforts, Textron has earned its place among the most successful Fortune 500 companies.
Conclusion – Arctic Cat 300 4×4 Review
It was not until 2015 that the Arctic Cat 300 got an Electronic Fuel Injection for both its base and DVX models. This enhancement further highlighted its already remarkable qualities, such as long-travel suspension, robust engine, and superb maneuverability. A year after, Arctic Cat ceased production of this 300-class wheeler to give way to its larger-displacement siblings that carried on the same features.
This hardworking machine is both a masterpiece and a wonder. From suspension travel to low-end power to its brilliant design – everything fits seamlessly in the Arctic Cat 300. Furthermore, minor flaws like its heavier weight or lack of speed do not affect its handling nor its popularity with consumers.
While there are some differences between the base utilitarian model and the racier DVX trim, either quad will provide you with a fun off-pavement experience and a way out from any sticky situation – just like any other present-day sport-utility vehicle.
All in all, the Arctic Cat 300 is undeniably a well-balanced 4×4 – perfect for dirt racing, wooded trails, and powdery dunes. This off-road vehicle is equipped for pretty much any type of adventure and workload and will surely meet the stringent expectations of any rider!