One of the great things about owning a UTV is that you can share the experience with someone else. For many people, hitting the trails is their favorite family activity. With 4-seat UTVs readily available, it really can be a family affair.
You’d be hard pressed to find a kid that didn’t enjoy going for rides with their parents on their side-by-side. The only thing better, would be having their very own side-by-side.
For years, manufacturers have made youth ATVs to draw kids into this sport. While the options were usually limited to a 50cc or 90cc option, it was a great way to introduce kids to the wonderful world of ATVs. Now, there are more options and better equipped youth ATVs on the market.
While the UTV market has exploded over the past decade, the youth UTV market has been slow to catch up. Like youth ATVs in the past, more youth UTVs are starting to hit the market to meet an increasing demand. Below is a Youth UTV Buyer’s Guide for those in the market for pint sized side-by-side.
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HiSun has been expanding their lineup in North America over the last few and have released some interesting models, including a couple of entries in the youth UTV category. The HiSun Strike 250 is one such example and it has a great deal to offer at a reasonable price. It has a 229cc single cylinder, liquid cooled engine with electronic fuel injection. The CVT style transmission has high and low ranges, as well as reverse and neutral.
It’s 2wd and has a chain driven rear end. Front suspension is handled by a dual A-arm setup, while the rear features a solid axle swing arm design, reminiscent of sport and older utility ATVs. This setup is the norm for youth UTVs as an independent suspension setup would be too large and heavy, not to mention too complex, for a small vehicle like this.
The Strike 250 has hydraulic disc brakes front and rear. It utilizes 22 inch tires on aluminum wheels. At 49.5 inches wide and 89 inches long, it has plenty of room for two kids and even 50 lbs worth of gear in the small bed.
Despite the smaller size, this little side-by-side has some noteworthy features. It comes with a standard roof, half doors, windshield, and even a 2,500 lbs winch. It has an analog speedometer and a LCD driver display. The Strike 250 is available in Red, White, Bahama Blue, and Sun Rise Orange. MSRP is $4,699.
The HiSun Sector 250 is basically the utility version of the Strike 250. The seating position is more upright and it has a larger rear bed. It gets the same 229cc liquid cooled engine and CVT transmission. It has dual A-arms suspension up front and a solid axle swing arm out back. It also gets hydraulic disc brakes, 22 inch tires and aluminum wheels.
Standard features include a roof, windshield, and 2,500 lb winch, though it doesn’t have the half doors. You still get the analog speedometer and LCD display. The main difference that you’ll notice is styling.
While the underpinnings might be the same as the Strike 250, the Sector 250 has a distinct utility oriented style. It’s a bit longer at 96 inches, but a half-inch narrower. The cargo box is larger and can carry 110 lbs of gear. The Sector 250 comes in Red, Bahama Blue, and Camo. MSRP is bit higher at $5,099.
The SSR SRU 170RS is one of the coolest looking youth UTVs out of the box and there are plenty of extras that make this a great value. It’s powered by a 169cc air cooled, carbureted, single cylinder engine paired with a CVT transmission. It’s a simple design with only forward, neutral, and reverse. Power is transferred to the rear wheel via chain drive and a solid axle swing arm suspension. The front suspension utilizes a dual A-arm setup.
This little ute has disc brakes, 21 inch front tires and 22 inch rear tires, mounted on aluminum wheels. Total length is 98 inches, which provides some extra legroom in the cockpit, so that an adult could ride along if necessary. It’s 48 inches wide, which is similar to other UTVs in this guide.
The accessories are where this machine really shines. It has a front bumper and integrated roll cage that runs from the front of the vehicle, over the hood, and all the way over the rear bed. Over the bed, the roll cage features a spare tire carrier with a spare wheel and tire. It even has an LED light bar across the top. Inside it has bucket seats and an analog speedometer. MSRP for this little unit comes in at $4,199 and it’s available in Gloss Red, Matte Black, and Matte Blue.
While the HiSun 250 models and the SSR SRU170 offer a great value, some parents may want to start their child on a UTV with a bit less power. This will give them time to learn and gain confidence without being overwhelmed. The Bennche Spire 150 is a great option in those cases. It has a 150cc engine and a simple CVT style transmission with forward, neutral, and reverse. It’s carbureted and air-cooled and has a chain drive rear end.
It has dual A-arm front suspension and swingarm setup in the rear. It has 19 inch front tires and 20 inch rears tires, as well as disc brakes. The overall size is in line with others in this guide. It’s 87.8 inches long and 48.1 inches wide. It’s pretty lightweight and can even carry up to 100 lbs in the rear bed. It has bucket seats, door nets, and front and rear bumpers. The stylish design and good looking aluminum wheels should appeal to any kid and the relatively low MSRP of $3,799 will make the parents happy. The Spire 150 is available in Blue, Green, and Red.
The Cazador Beats 180 follows the formula set by most of the other UTVs on this list. It has an oil-cooled, single cylinder 169cc engine paired with a simple CVT style transmission with forward and reverse. In the suspension category, it has dual A-arms up front and a twin shock swing arm in the back. Hydraulic disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power and it comes standard with 22 inch tires and aluminum wheels.
It has similar dimensions to most other UTVs in this category at 94 inches long and approximately 48 inches wide. Some of the extra length comes from the standard front bumper that gives the machine a tough, sporty look. It has bucket seats, door nets, and an analog speedometer in the cabin.
There are also switches for the front headlights and roof mounted LED lights. It has rear LED brake lights for safety, in addition to an adjustable speed limiter. MSRP for this model is $3,249 and it’s available in Red, Blue, Green, and Black color combos.
One of the coolest looking youth UTVs out there is the Vitacci Blade 150. It has aggressive styling that gives it a unique and fun look. From the bright colors to the stylish aluminum wheels and aggressive 22 inch tires, it will definitely appeal to a wide range of kids. The front bumper even looks like it was modeled after the RZR Highlifter bumper and it looks great.
The Blade 150 is powered by a 149cc oil-cooled, single cylinder engine. It has a simple CVT transmission with forward and reverse and chain drive in the rear, like all of the UTVs in this segment. It comes with hydraulic disc brakes, dual A-arm front suspension and a twin shock swing arm suspension setup in the rear. LED headlights and brake lights are also standard, as well as turn signals.
In the cabin, you’ll find bucket seats, an analog speedometer, and half doors. It has a 96.5 inch total length, while width comes in at 48 inches. MSRP is $3,699 and it’s available in Red, Blue, Orange, and Green color combos.
The Pitster Pro Avenger shares a similar look and design to the Vitacci Blade 150. It’s listed for pre-order on the Pitster Pro website, so some details are not available. The engine size is most likely in the 150cc range, as it appears to show 150 on the bodywork. The engine is oil-cooled and has a simple CVT style transmission with forward, neutral, and reverse. It has an overall length of 87 inches and a width of 47 inches.
Suspension is provided by dual A-arms up front and a swing arm out back. Wheel travels numbers are respectable at 6 inches and 5.5 inches, front and rear. It comes standard with 22 inch tires and hydraulic disc brakes. Ground clearance is decent at 7.9 inches. In the cabin you’ll find bucket seats, an analog speedometer, half doors, half windshield, and a fabric roof.
It also has a cool Baja style cage in the rear and functional headlights and taillights. There’s also an adjustable throttle, so that parents can set the maximum speed based on their child’s needs. The Pitster Pro Avenger has an MSRP of $3,999 and is available in Black, Red, White, Blue, and Green color combos.
Polaris has made a significant investment in its youth lineup, so it’s no surprise that they have the most options available. They’ve kept their youth models fresh and even added new models. The RZR 170 is their longest running youth UTV model. As you might expect, it looks very much like the larger RZR 570 and 800 models.
It features a 169cc air cooled, single cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection. It has an automatic CVT transmission with forward, neutral, and reverse. It has a single A-arm front suspension and a twin shock swing arm out back. While many manufacturers don’t list suspension travel numbers for youth models, Polaris lists theirs at 5 inches front and rear.
The RZR 170 has 19 inch tires in the front and 20 inch tires in the back, which are mounted on steel wheels. It’s similar in size to most of the other models in this category at 85 inches long and 48 inches wide. It has bucket seats with an adjustable driver seat, tilt steering wheel, and safety nets. Polaris also includes a safety flag, 2 youth helmets, and a training DVD. Parents can also adjust the speed limiter.
There’s no instrumentation in the RZR 170, though that’s not a huge issue for a youth UTV. It’s available in a Lime Squeeze/Cruiser Black combo, as well as a Bright White/Indy Red combo. MSRP is a bit higher than the competition at $5,299.
Though it’s not technically a side-by-side, the Polaris ACE 150 would still fall into the youth UTV category. The ACE 150 looks like its larger brethren and features a 149cc air-cooled single cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection.
It has a CVT transmission with forward, neutral, and reverse. It has 4 wheel hydraulic disc brakes with 22 inch tires at all four corners. It has a single A-arm front suspension with 5.1 inches of wheel travel. Out back, you get a dual shock swing arm setup with 6 inches of wheel travel.
It’s practically the same dimensions as the RZR 170 at 85 inches long and 48 inches wide. It has a single adjustable bucket seat, tilt steering wheel, and safety nets. Like the RZR, there’s no speedometer or anything like that. It does have a small rear box capable of hauling 50 lbs. It has dual LED running lights and a rear brake light. Y
ou also get a safety flag, youth helmet, and a training DVD. Like the RZR, the ACE 150 has a speed limiter that parents can use to limit the speed of the vehicle based on their child’s ability and experience. The ACE 150 is available in Indy Red and has a MSRP of $3,999.
The RZR 170 and ACE 150 are both neat little machines, but the Ranger 150 may be the coolest of the bunch. It has styling that is near identical to the Ranger XP 1000 and even has an LE model with a few extras. The Ranger 150 has a 150cc single cylinder engine that is air cooled, but also includes an oil cooler to keep operating temperature down. It has electronic fuel injection and utilizes a CVT transmission with forward, neutral and reverse.
It has the same overall dimensions as the RZR 170 and ACE 150, at 85 inches long and 48 inches wide. Single A-arms up front provide 5.1 inches of wheel travel and a dual shock swing arm provides 6 inches of rear wheel travel. It has 22 inch wheels at all four corners, as well as hydraulic disc brakes. Ground clearance is a respectable 8 inches. The rear cargo box has a carrying capacity of 50 lbs, which is about par for the course with youth vehicles. It has an adjustable driver seat and a tilt steering wheel.
Unlike the other Polaris youth UTVs, the Ranger 150 gets a digital display with speedometer, odometer, trip meter, gear indicator, hour meter, engine RPM and more. Some of the most innovative features come in the form of parental controls.
Parents can download the Polaris Ride Command app and use it to set speed limits for the machine as well as geofencing capabilities to set boundaries for the kids. It even has the ability to set up a password for the starting the engine. The Ranger also comes with the Polaris training DVD, a safety flag, and two youth helmets.
The Ranger 150 is available in Sage Green with an MSRP of $5,499. You can also get an LE version in a White Lightning/Sky Blue color combo. The LE gets a front bumper and a roof, in addition to the standard features for the Ranger 150. MSRP for the LE is $5,799
More fun than any video game!
Youth UTVs are a great way to expand an already family friendly activity. It will add a whole new level of fun and adventure on family trail rides and gives kids the opportunity to learn to drive and respect these vehicles in a safe setting. It also introduces them to the sport in a way that can only be experienced behind the wheel.
Perhaps most importantly, it will get the family outside and experiencing the outdoors. With kids spending so much time in classrooms, at a computer, or watching TV, this is a great way to get them outdoors and you can bet it will be more fun than any video game could hope to be.