What's the Difference Between an ATV and a UTV? | Youngblood Powersports & Marine



What's the Difference Between an ATV and a UTV?


All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs) are both considered off-road vehicles. It is, therefore, safe to say that they are siblings but not twins. If you are looking to explore and have a great outdoor adventure, there is no better ride than an ATV. The fact is that such vehicles are designed as off-road vehicles, and as the name suggests, they thrive and perform well on all terrains. However, if you are looking for versatility, a UTV is your best option.

What's an ATV?

ATVs, also known as quads, are four-wheeled and at times three-wheel off-road vehicles. ATVs are often used for outdoor recreational activities such as trail riding and hunting.

ATVs can accommodate a maximum of two people at a time and are steered by a set of handlebars. Designed with electronic power steering and 4x4 powertrain, ATVs can perfectly handle turns and abrupt directional changes. Sports ATVs are lightweight quads that range in size from 250cc up to 700cc.

What's a UTV?

Also known as side-by-sides, UTVs can also be termed as quads. Some have been customized and have six wheels. As opposed to ATVs that are steered by handlebars, UTVs are operated by a steering wheel. It can accommodate a maximum of four people.

Difference Between ATVs and UTVS

Both UTVs and ATVs have their benefits, and you need to know your options to make the right decision. Some distinct features separate the two.


ATV is generally smaller than UTV in terms of capacity and physical appearance. They are therefore suitable for people who want to ride alone and are often considered for racing. UTV is larger, and it can hold up to four people. It is the perfect fit for a group ride for its capacity and safety features. As opposed to ATV on which you need to maintain balance, UTV is more comfortable and has a large storage space.


ATV is said to be cheaper and thus a budget-friendly option. As a potential buyer, it is recommended that you look into additional costs and safety features. Both vehicles can be modified and customized for more specialized tasks and customer needs. UTV modification tends to be more expensive than ATV.

Safety Features

ATV, in most cases, does not have safety equipment. If you intend to ride alone and stand at high speed, then an ATV is your vehicle. If, however you are looking for a safer option, go for a UTV. UTV provides you with adequate space to add safety gear and ride with more people.

When it comes to outdoor activities, keeping safe is paramount. The type of off-road vehicle you choose doesn't matter as such; the fact is that you can customize either of them to suit your needs.

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