Bobcat 3650 Specs and Review (4×4 UTV)

A decade after Bobcat started making utility vehicles, it launched another great four-wheeler – the Bobcat 3650. This 4×4 is massive, multi-functional, and diesel-powered. Its farmhouse appeal initially charmed the hearts of ranchers and hardworking folks. Not surprisingly, it is now drawing the attention of off-roading enthusiasts and adventurers.

The Bobcat 3650 was the industry’s first utility 4×4 that could operate front-mounted PTO attachments. Its hydrostatic drive, triple driveline modes, impressive hauling capabilities, and a slew of unique features lend to its unrivaled performance and enable it to deliver on all fronts.

Bobcat Marketing Manager for Landscaping Rob Gilles said that the hydrostatic drive system was key in making the Bobcat 3650 robust, explaining that, “It’s a little bit more complicated as far as serviceability goes, but it’s more durable than a CVT system.” This driveline, among other things, is what makes the UTV remarkable – as you will later learn in this guide.

Off-Road 4x4 UTV

True Versatility

Out of all Bobcat UTV offerings, the Bobcat 3650 speaks versatility best. One may thank the Multi-Attachment X-Change™ (M.A.X.) system and Power Take-Off (PTO-driven) attachments (among other things). But what truly amplifies the vehicle’s flexibility is its straightforward design and practical features. Although some of the Bobcat-exclusive features were already present in earlier models like the 2300 and 3400 series, it was not until the 3650 launch that these features made sense.

The 4×4 was a good-quality quad, consistently in the top 50% of utility vehicles since it entered the scene in 2013. It was not until it had the single-wheel drive/Turf mode and an upgraded engine displacement that the quad started to go up the ranks. The Bobcat 3650 finally made a grand comeback in 2018, placing 2nd overall. Two years after, it was ranked 1st by ATV Magazine, besting 214 other utility UTVs. Undeniably, this 24-hp, diesel-powered four-wheeler is a testament to the firm’s constant efforts to improve its product offerings in the utility segment.

Bobcat 3650 Specs & Features

The Bobcat 3650 launched in the market two years after the famed 3400 series – the configuration of which it highly resembles. Let’s look at the 2013 model versus the recent-year version, as well as enhancements that the capable 4×4 has undergone:

Engine

The main differences between first-year and later-year releases are in the engine brand and displacement. The Bobcat 3650 began with a 904-cm3 power mill during its first two years, changed to 1,028 cm³ (62.7 in³) for its 2015 to 2019 models, and recently upgraded to 1,032 cm³ (63 in³).

2013 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel 2020 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel
Emissions Tier (EPA) Tier 4
Engine Brand Name Yanmar® Kohler®
Engine Type Longitudinal In-Line
Carburetion Type Fuel-injected
Engine Cooling Liquid
Engine Fuel Diesel
Fuel Tank 10 USgal (37.8 L)
Horsepower 24 hp (17.9 kW)
Bore x Stroke Ratio 75×77.6 mm (2.95×3.06 in)
Compression Ratio 22.8:1
Displacement 904 cm³ / 55.1 in³ 1,032 cm³ / 63 in³
Travel Speed – Max 30 mph (48.3 km/h) 30 mph (48.3 km/h)
Travel Speed – Low & Reverse 14 mph (22.5 km/h) 14 mph (22.5 km/h)

Drivetrain

Although the 3650 is a hydrostatic-driven machine, consumers can opt for a CVT transmission. Either way, its clutch-free design, and improved muffler-and-engine layout steadily deliver power to the wheels and reliable low-range grunt. The vehicle’s selectable drive modes and travel control pedal make it a charm to work with, especially when utilizing PTO-driven Bobcat 3650 attachments that require a lot of back-and-forth movement.

2013 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel 2020 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel
Transmission Type Continuous Variable (CVT) or Hydrostatic w/ PTO engagement, automatic, high/low range
Primary Drive (Front Wheel) Shaft
Primary Drive (Engine/Transmission) Gear
Driveline Type Selectable 2WD/4WD Selectable 2WD/4WD/Turf mode
Rear Unlocking Differential Standard
Rear Solid Axle None
Limited Slip Differential Location Front
Differential Lock Location Rear

Ergonomically-shaped controls are within easy reach and a perfect fit in the hands of any operator. Plus, a separate engine speed throttle provides better control of the Bobcat’s travel speed during high-load applications. Tilt steering was made available starting from 2015 onward. Conversely, power steering was standard since the 2013 model, which made for the wheeler’s remarkable handling responsiveness.

Ignition

Like the 3400 XXL Diesel, the Bobcat 3650 is brought to life by an electronic CDI, a triple-phase A.C. generator system, and a 12V 50 Amp RG26P-WS battery with dimensions of 206 x 175 x 190 mm (8.12 × 6.88 × 7.5 in – L x W x H). Earlier models were powered by a Brutus alternator rated at 12V 90 Amp 1,215 watts (at 13.5V nominal voltage). But what is unique about Bobcat’s diesel models is that they come with glow plugs. Unlike standard spark plugs on carbureted, gasoline-fed machines, glow plugs pre-heat the UTV’s engine block and enable more convenient cold startups and ignition.

Tires & Brakes

Off-Roading UTV in Wet Environment

Compared to the 3400 series, the Bobcat 3650 has slightly smaller, same-size 25-inch tires on all fours (later changed to off-road knobbies with 12-inch rims). While hydraulic disc brakes provide stopping power, the travel control pedal helps minimize wear on the brakes by reducing oil flow, causing the vehicle to naturally slow down and taking some of the work off of the disc brakes.

2013 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel 2020 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel
Wheels Composition Steel
Tires (F/R) AT25 x 12 – 8 AT25 x 10-12 / AT25 x 11-12
Brake Type (F/R) Hydraulic disc
Tread Width (F/R) 1,327 mm ( 52.2 in) / 1,352 mm (53.2 in) 
Linked Brake System (Front to Rear) Standard
Engine Braking Standard (dynamic braking)

Suspension

This 4×4 has learned from its predecessors and comes with independent double A-arms and semi-independent De Dion suspension, front, and rear. The De Dion setup, in particular, distributes trailer weight across the tires instead of the chassis, optimizing the towing capacity of the vehicle without compromising ride quality. Furthermore, the four-wheeler’s tall stance provides good ground clearance when traversing uneven terrain.

2013 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel 2020 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel
Front Suspension Type Independent double A-arms
Front Adjustable Fork Pre-load Refer to manual
Rear Suspension Type De Dion semi-Independent
Rear Adjustable Shock/Spring Pre-load Refer to manual
Number Rear Shock Absorbers 2
Rear Stabilizer Bar Yes
Adjustment Type Shock-mounted adjustment
Air Adjustable No
Ground Clearance 254 mm (7.2 in)
Turning Radius 7.5 ft (2.3 m)
Wheelbase 2,108 mm (83.8 in)

Dimensions

Since its inception, the vehicle’s overall dimensions and capacities remain unchanged except for its total vehicle operating capacity. Otherwise known as payload capacity, it consists of the combined weight of passengers, cargo box load, and gross trailer weight. Similarly, the Bobcat’s displacement-to-weight ratio increased from 0.41 to 0.46 in 2016 when it upgraded its engine displacement to 1,028 cm³ (62.7 in³).

2013 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel 2020 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel
Length 3,617 mm (142.4 in)
Width 1,605 mm (63.2 in)
Height 1,852 mm (72.9 in)
Dry Weight 2,215 lbs ( Kg)
Cargo Box Length 43.5 in (1,105 mm)
Cargo Box Width 54 in (1,372 mm)
Cargo Box Height 11.5 in (292 mm)

Capacities & Storage

2013 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel 2020 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel
Total Vehicle Rated Capacity 1,600 – 1,900 lbs (726 – 862 Kg)
Towing Capacity 2,000 lbs (907 Kg)
Operating Weight 2,546 lbs (1,155 Kg)
Cargo Box Bed Load Capacity 1,250 lbs (567 Kg)
Cargo Box Bed Load Height 33 in (838 mm)
Maximum Lift Capacity / Height 500 lbs (227 Kg) / 2 ft
Integral Tie-Down Hooks Manual
Number of Cupholders 2
Number of Seats
Seat Belts 3-point, retractable

Exterior

The Bobcat side x side is aptly equipped with digital instrumentation and other protective elements. However, it can do better with a chain guard, mudguards, or rear suspension skid plates if you use the wheeler on mud-laden farms or for trail riding.

Other great additions to your quad include front and rear work lights (Part No. 7204859 – Front; Part No. 7223354 – Rear), which easily mount to the cab frame. For music lovers, a heavy-duty stereo kit (Part No. 7028567; Part No. 7223350) will make doing chores enjoyable. A powder-coated brush guard (Part No. 7219854) can also help protect the 4×4’s front-end against debris and fallen branches.

2013 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel 2020 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel
Frame Steel
Body Material Plastic
Radiator Guard Yes
CV Boot Cover
Front Bumper Standard
Fender Flares (F/R)
Bash Plate (Front) Yes
Full Length Skid Plate
Cab Cage Standard
Cab Rollbar
Cab/Bed Divider

Features

2013 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel 2020 Bobcat® 3650 (4×4) Diesel
ROPS Approval Standard
Hour Meter
Speedometer Standard (analog) Standard (analog)
Operating Lights Standard
Spark Arrestor Muffler
Power Outlet
Glove Box/Dash Storage
Bed Lift Manual Manual
Receiver Hitch 2-inch 2-inch
Cab Enclosure Optional
Dash Defrost
Washer/Wiper (F/R/Roof)
Cab Heater
Sound Option
Heater / Air-Conditioning

Depending on the weather and riding conditions, you may also equip your Bobcat 3650 with a canvas top, a plastic canopy, or a windshield (choose between polycarbonate or glass material). For maximum protection during winter, a fully enclosed cab with a heating system is ideal. If you want to go fancy, opt for a premium sport roof with headliner or plastic doors with interior lining.

Multi-Attachment X-Change™ (M.A.X.)

The Bobcat’s (M.A.X.) system is considered the most advanced attachment system on the UTV market. A joystick operates and positions attachments, minimizing the need for the driver to leave the cab. The only time you would need to leave your seat is when locking the attachment and hooking up auxiliary hydraulics.

All in all, the Bobcat 3650 is a pretty solid workhorse and is the closest thing you can get to a chic-looking, mini tractor – as summarized by Evan Small in his introductory video:

Bobcat 3650 Price

The list price of the Bobcat 3650 starts at $17,886. Depending on the year, this value goes up to $25,000 for the base model (sans any attachments and optional accessories). On the other hand, auction listings range between $7,000 and $22,000. Units that cost more than $17,000 typically have an enclosed cab and come with accessories like a salter, a 62-inch snowplow (view on Amazon), 68-inch V-blade, or a mower.

Bobcat 3650 Benefits

I may have mentioned some of these items earlier, but let me reiterate the pros and cons of owning a Bobcat 3650 in the following few sections:

  • A simple but highly advanced 2-speed hydraulic power mill delivers a full spectrum of torque through its high and low ranges, reducing wear and tear due to less frequent shifting. Plus, its hydrostatic transmission works longer, requires less maintenance, and has fewer wear parts versus the competition.
  • The Bobcat 3650 has an Automatic Machine Shutdown feature that monitors critical engine components and automatically shuts down the engine at the first sign of potential engine damage and rider hazard.
  • An independent engine-speed hand throttle allows you to increase the engine RPM separately from the accelerator pedal, giving freedom to run attachments requiring high torque while maintaining low vehicle travel speed.
  • This UTV can carry up to 1,900 lbs (862 Kg, including payload capacity). This loading limit is comparable to that of a pickup – minus expensive insurance spending.
  • An optional enclosed cab, together with PTO-driven attachments, allows owners to work from inside the comforts of the vehicle.
  • Creature comforts such as adequate legroom and storage and a roomy cabin make for a trouble-free and enjoyable riding experience – whether you are doing chores or out on an adventure.
  • The RapidLink™ mounting system makes for more convenient switching and better control of attachments, resulting in more precise work.
  • At $17,886, the 4×4 is much more affordable than buying a pickup or tractor that is neither versatile nor easy to operate.

Bobcat 3650 Problems

  • Charging Issue: Earlier Bobcat 3650 models (the ones with Yanmar engines) are reported to charge only when driven or when engine RPM goes up – specifically past 3,300 RPM. As it turns out, this is not an intrinsic flaw of the vehicle but, rather, Bobcat owners not following service manual guidelines on how to start the engine right. At other times, the charging problem is an outcome of the vehicle left to idle for too long before being moved. On rare occasions, this issue happens if the incoming alternator supply voltage is not energizing the field coil appropriately.
  • Flimsy Brake Line: The Bobcat Company recalled about 575 units of 2017-2018 Bobcat 3650 UTVs due to a rear brake line issue. The said brake line can become punctured and fail, leading to a possible collision and crash hazard. The American firm opted to do the voluntary recall despite receiving no reports of injury or death for public safety.

With its praiseworthy features outnumbering its flaws, it is no wonder that the Bobcat 3650 ranked 2nd out of 228 UTVs by ATV Magazine in 2018. It may not be the fastest utility quad out there, but it performs exquisitely in many applications and is a guaranteed best for getting work done.

Not yet convinced? Let this 3-minute video by Bobcat Company do the talking:

About Bobcat

Bobcat Company (a subsidiary of Doosan Group of South Korea) is an American firm based in West Fargo, North Dakota, globally renowned for its industry-leading compact equipment and, recently, for its groundbreaking utility vehicles. The 50-year old company entered the UTV scene in 2002 with the Bobcat 2100, making significant improvements and introducing the market to innovations like the RapidLink™ attachment mounting system. At present, the maker of the Bobcat 3650 continues to leverage technology in creating productive, environment-friendly skid-steer loaders, compact excavators, utility work machines, and VersaHandler® telescopic tool carriers.

Conclusion – Bobcat 3650 Review

Like its siblings, the Bobcat 3650 more than makes up in performance what it lacks in speed. While the machine may not necessarily rip through the woods or conquer 25° boulders, it does plenty enough to accompany you on those hunting and fishing trips. More importantly, its many attachments and fool-proof features get yard duty done the entire week. And for the practical guy, this is hardly a bad thing.

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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