Like with many other products, the manufacturer or brand is among the top considerations when it’s time for you to decide what UTV to purchase. The best UTV brands for work and play out there ensure they manufacture units that not only perform well but also keep you safe. While most of their UTVs have a high price tag, you’ll still find affordable options that won’t fail you while working and playing.
So, what are the best UTV brands for work and play? Many UTV brands became famous because of a specific unit they produced. However, the following have long lists of great UTVs and continue to stay known due to their commitment to quality:
- John Deere
- Arctic Cat
Of course, you wouldn’t just take my (or anyone’s) word for it; a list isn’t enough to convince you to purchase a UTV from any of the mentioned brands. So, let’s have a quick look at what these brands have to offer. I will also list the specific series of units from each brand designed for both work and play. This way, you won’t have difficulty browsing through the different UTV or side-by-side (SxS) models they offer.
6 Best UTV Brands for Work and Play
With so many options, these six top brands most experts and enthusiasts recommend should also top your list based on their experience and vehicle features. Let’s learn each brand’s history, overall product quality, and UTV designed for work and play.
What could be one of the best brands to find the perfect UTV for work and play, other than one owned and run by professionals passionate about the outdoors?
Polaris started with the founders’ dedication to making transportation to and from secluded hunting shacks more convenient, even during the snow season. From the first snowmobile they manufactured to ATVs and more, the brand has found its place in the power sports industry.
Polaris’ over six decades of designing, building, and selling vehicles are proof of that passion. They ensure they innovate their vehicles to meet drivers or riders’ changing needs. They have a lineup of UTVs or SxSs (side by sides) specifically designed for adventure, sports, work, and work and play, known as the crossover.
You’ll also love that Polaris allows you to personalize your vehicle. From choosing the type of cab accessories and components, utility features, and tire and wheel sets to adding additional plow features and accessories.
Polaris UTV Series for Work and Play: The General
Performance, comfort, and versatility are three simple words that define Polaris’ General Crossover SxS. You’ll find models that can seat up to two or four individuals.
Each unit has a rear dump box that allows you to carry and move tools, gear, and more. You can load up to 600 pounds (272 kilograms) into the dumping box. They’re also now tow-capable, with a maximum hitch towing rate of 1500 pounds (680 kilograms) as of writing.
Can-Am is a brand offering off-road vehicles for exactly five decades as of writing. From ATVs and SxSs to motorcycles and three-wheel vehicles, you’ll find a suitable unit for your age, skill level, and specific needs.
The brand’s SxS or UTV line combines comfort, reliability, and performance. Adding accessories to your UTV to make it even more perfect for a specific terrain or weather won’t be challenging. You can easily find parts and accessories on their website and retail stores.
Those planning to buy a brand-new unit will also be happy to know that the brand allows you to “build and accessorize” your UTV. You can choose the all-in-one unit for each model, which has the essentials and additional accessories. Of course, this UTV unit comes at a much higher price tag.
Can-Am UTV Series for Work and Play: The Commander
Among the series of UTVs the Can-Am brand offers, the Commander takes the title of the all-around beast. You can use it during your short-day or multi-day trips and wilderness adventures and accomplish hauling and towing jobs conveniently and safely.
The 2024 model has a maximum capacity of 2000 pounds or 907.2 kilograms! It also has the tri-mode DPS (dynamic power steering) for better control and two drive modes for easy transmission and engine response adjustment.
Like the first two best UTV brands for work and play, Kawasaki has a long history of developing, designing, and manufacturing products that make our lives more convenient. From air, land, and water transportation systems to industrial equipment, Kawasaki satisfies its customers’ needs and wants.
Regarding their UTVs, they’re divided into two categories: utility and recreation and sport and recreation.
Kawasaki UTV Series for Work and Play: The Mule
The Mule series, or as Kawasaki calls it, family, includes compact but powerful UTVs capable of loading your tools, gear, supplies, and more. Seating capacity varies, but every unit has a cargo with different carrying limits. Newer models also have limited towing capacities.
You can choose from two- to three-seater models or between the brand’s three-passenger models convertible to six passengers and two-seater units convertible to four-seaters.
4. John Deere
Another favorite of UTV users is the John Deere brand, which has been in the business since 1837. From its first steel plow, the company has a wide range of equipment products, including UTVs, or as John Deere labels them, the Gator™ Utility Vehicles.
You’ll find models designed to take on the most challenging jobs on the farm, construction site, and more. But there’s also a Gator perfect for places where the job requires a truck, but such a vehicle can’t fit in.
Not only that, but John Deere also has an all-electric Gator, ideal for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. This UTV is just one of the products the brand offers to attest to its commitment to helping achieve sustainability and eco-friendly goals.
John Deere UTV Series for Work and Play: The Mid-Size Gator™ Crossovers
Whether you need a two-seater or four-seater workhorse that you can also easily drive for your recreational mountain and trail rides, there’s a Gator perfect for you. Not only are these 4WDs agile, versatile, and powerful, but they’re also affordable.
If that’s not enough, one Mid-Size Gator™ Crossover can easily fit into a full-size pickup’s back. It means you can move and transport the UTV easily and safely.
One thing to note is that while the Gator has a roll cage, it doesn’t feature an enclosed roof. You can always add one to your order or purchase a compatible mid-size, durable rooftop (view on Amazon). Just make sure you compare the product’s measurement and installation accessories to your Gator’s roof.
Who wouldn’t have guessed that Honda would make it to this list, right? As an established manufacturer of some of the best motorcycles worldwide, it isn’t surprising to discover that Honda’s ATVs and UTVs boast durability and reliability.
That said, Honda produces two types of UTVs or SXSs. One is specifically designed for sports, and the other is for utility and recreation.
Honda UTV Series for Work and Play: The Pioneer
The Pioneer Series from Honda allows you to select one aligned with your needs and budget. From the Pioneer 500 to the Pioneer 1000-6, you’ll find units that can fit two to five persons without compromising performance. You will never worry about handling tough jobs and driving to and from hunting spots, fishing holes, and backcountry vistas.
Honda also allows you to customize or personalize your Pioneer. Choose from different accessories to add to the factory model and pick from various colorways.
While this personalization is meant for brand-new units, you can also purchase compatible accessories from the brand and install them on your second-hand or old-model Pioneers.
Like John Deere’s Gator, the factory Pioneer model doesn’t have a rooftop. Again, you add it to your order or purchase a compatible rooftop.
6. Arctic Cat
When asking an enthusiast and expert: “What are the best UTV brands for work and play?” You’ll usually hear Arctic Cat included in their lists of choices.
The brand has been in the business since 1962, and Arctic Cat is also known for manufacturing reliable snowmobiles, ATVs, and SXSs. Even when it became part of Textron Inc., the brand remained committed to producing powerful, high-performing, precision-engineered products.
Regarding Arctic Cat’s UTVs, the brand designs models for almost every type of user. From adrenaline junkies, go-getters, sightseers, and more, there is an Arctic Cat meant for you.
Arctic Cat UTV Series for Work and Play: The Wildcat XX
The Wildcat XX Series from Arctic Cat is a multipurpose vehicle built for the most challenging terrains. It can help you finish your outdoor job for the day and is also perfect for recreational and competitive trail rides!
You can choose from the most basic, Wildcat XX LTD, to the most advanced Wildcat XX Black Hills Edition. Of course, your pick will depend on your budget and specific needs. Likewise, you can personalize the brand-new model you’re opting for. From its color and bumpers to its accessories to additional storage like a kick panel bag or a shoulder console storage bag (view on Amazon), there’s something in store for you.
One thing to note with Arctic Car Wildcat is that new models, as of writing, can only accommodate two persons. That said, you can find older four- to five-seater models.
Choosing the Perfect UTV for Work and Play
With a long list of brands designing and manufacturing UTVs, you must consider their histories to know how well they innovate and improve their products. Considering reviews from previous and current owners is also important. Not only that, you also have to look into the UTVs they offer, as every unit is designed for specific or multipurpose.
While I narrowed down your options for the best UTV brands for work and play and the specific series of units for each brand, the final determination comes down to your needs, lifestyles, and budgets.
Once you pick the right UTV for you, remember to keep your and your passenger’s safety in mind. That is, even though these vehicles are built with safety in mind. Purchase a DOT-approved full-face helmet (view on Amazon) that you can wear for work and play while driving or riding your UTV.
- powersports.honda.com (SXS – Recutility)
Kris is an avid off-roader and outdoor enthusiast who loves to brave the elements and take on challenging terrain. He also enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others so that they, too, can appreciate the ride.